Russian invasion of Ukraine

Russian invasion of Ukraine

The war that Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin started in Ukraine will also cost us a lot of money and lead to upheaval. If millions of refugees are striving for Western Europe and staying there for at least a while, the infrastructure for this must be provided. That will cost money. There is an even greater lack of housing than already.

But we can privately mitigate the consequences of the war in Ukraine and prepare ourselves better for the future. “It’s better to freeze than be ashamed” is a nice slogan for a demonstration, but there’s an even smarter way.

Essentially, there are three questions:

  • How can we keep our energy needs in the house and apartment affordable in the future?
  • How can we guarantee our mobility even with soaring fuel prices?
  • How can we protect ourselves against inflation and preserve the value of our savings?

All three questions need a short-term answer because the war is happening now. And they also need a long-term answer at the same time, because the dispute will continue even after the hot war is over.

Reduce energy costs at home

In the short term, you can only react to the drastically rising energy prices with savings. So you can, for example, install new thermostats if you don’t already have them, and you can turn the thermostats down one degree Celsius, for example. With modern thermostats, you can keep things cozy when you’re at home and turn the heat down when you’re at work or shopping.

One degree less saves an average of six percent. If you operate the heating yourself, you can also have the plumber do the hydraulic balancing, which ensures less energy consumption with the same heat output.

Buy heating oil wisely

A clever purchasing policy when it comes to oil means: if the heating oil tank isn’t empty, wait until summer. When it comes to oil, it is most likely that the oil price will fall again from current moon prices of more than 185 euros per liter (as of March 8th, 2022).

If you need to fill up now, compare prices, fill up less and don’t tell the supplier to come this week. The differences between different heating oil or liquid gas dealers quickly add up to ten cents per liter.

Don’t cancel your gas contract . If the price increases drastically, explore other alternatives and don’t sign long-term new contracts.

Use government aid

Take the state aid that is available with you: from free energy advice to housing benefit with an extra heating cost subsidy. Almost two-thirds of households entitled to housing benefit have not yet asserted their entitlement. It quickly goes to more than 100 euros – per month!

Heating in the long term

In the long term, the aim is to optimize your heating in terms of energy:

  • In the old building, replace your old heating system with a new one with a heat pump , ideally with a photovoltaic solar system on the roof. In this way, part of the heating current can be generated yourself. Funding for the exchange goes up to 50 percent.
  • In the new building you install a heat pump right away – with a solar thermal system. The new funding guidelines for energy-efficient new builds are coming soon.

Saving energy for mobility

In the short term, you can only reduce your energy costs for mobility by changing your behavior. When the price of petrol rises to two euros per liter because of crude oil speculation and war, such changes in behavior pay off immediately.

You basically have four options:

  • Drive differently so that you use less fuel when driving. ADAC engineers have demonstrated 25 percent fuel savings through different driving behavior with the same car. Tempo 150 you should save anyway.
  • You can of course use a tank app that helps to find the gas stations with the cheapest prices. The price differences range up to 20 cents per liter, which is more than ten euros for a full tank.  
  • Drive less by working from home more, if possible, and carpooling or shopping pools.
  • Drive less by using other means of transport: public transport, bicycle, walking.

Taken together, these measures can contribute to significant savings. The Federal Statistical Office calculated that by 2021 , a car would cost an average of 250 euros per month, given the fuel prices at the time. The price of buying the car comes on top.

You can also keep your new transport mix in the medium and long term.

E-bike, hybrid car or fuel-efficient used vehicle

In addition, you can of course choose your own means of transport based on the options for saving fuel:

  • With an e-bike, you can cover far more trips to work without consuming fuel. There are even ways to have the company encourage you to do so.
  • An e-car or plug-in hybrid car saves a lot of fuel. And if you can charge the car at your own solar charging station or the company’s solar charging station, all the better.
  • If you absolutely need a car, but you don’t have the money or infrastructure for an e-car, your next car should be a fuel-efficient used car. This ensures less depreciation. And when the car is used up, the possibility of an e-car arises again.

Get the value of money

Fighting inflation works personally. The Federal Statistical Office even has a calculator that you can use to determine your personal inflation.

In the short term it helps the most: compare, compare, compare! Price search engines are a must for expensive purchases.

The second short-term measure also has to do with a change in behavior. Change your shopping behavior with a view to inflation and take control of personal inflation.

Invest savings wisely

In the medium and long term, it is of course about preserving the savings for real emergencies or for large savings projects such as the education of the children or one’s own house.

For the time being, you will not receive any interest, or so little that it will not pay off to preserve your assets. Your goal on the call money account is therefore not to increase the money with interest, but to avoid expensive loans, such as the overdraft facility, with the savings.

In the long term, you either invest your money in personal property, for example your house or your balcony of dreams. Or you invest in a market-wide, global equity index fund, also with a sustainable orientation. Russian stocks are not there anyway.

When investing in stocks, however, it is always important that you really invest for the long term, i.e. for ten to 15 years. In the short term, the stock markets will certainly be very restless in the coming months.