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There’s an elephant in the room, or at least, in the economy: inflation. Inflation is blowing up in the headlines, causing many Americans to feel a little deflated about their money. So, let’s talk about what inflation is and what you can do about it.

Inflation is simply an increase in prices. Fifty years ago, we saw some crazy inflation rates of around 10–12%. This past year, inflation rates clocked in at 7%. That’s not in the 10–12% range, but it’s a heck of a lot higher than the 1.4% rate the previous year—five times higher if you’re doing the math at home.

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