When Matthew Rivera ordered a chicken wing plate at a restaurant in the Catskill Mountains last month, the highest inflation in 40 years became a reality. He usually pays $ 8-10, but this time it was $ 20. The menu was struck through the old low prices.
“‘Inflation'” was an explanation from the waitress, he said. He ordered wings for the kids, but he promised never to do it again. “It wasn’t worth it.”
Inflation has been a staple of news headlines for months as food, utilities and energy prices have skyrocketed. Many say that escalation is now home in everyday life. For some, it’s a sticker shock when it’s full of pumps.For others, it’s the higher price of their Morning Joe
Or the cost of strawberries at a local grocery store.
There may be more such moments in the coming weeks. Cost pressures are expected to increase as the West responds to Ukraine’s crisis with sanctions on Moscow and a new pandemic blockade in China further devastates the global supply chain. The Ministry of Labor recently reported the February Consumer Price Index, a monthly measure of the cost of various goods and services. Reached the highest level since 1982.. On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve said it would fight inflation by raising interest rates for the first time since 2018.
Charlotte Guerettoka, Managing Partner and Owner of Silver Penny Financial, Atlanta’s Financial Advisory Company, said: “But they didn’t have’Oh!’. The moment they reach something that affects their daily lives.”
I have a lot of experience doing it while refueling gas tanks, opening utility bills, and finding a place to live.Whole country Average price of gasoline It has recently surpassed $ 4 and reached its highest level since July 2008. Electricity bill has risen by more than 4% It will be in operation again this year in 2021. Spark complaints on social networks such as Nextdoor.. Average cost of a one bedroom apartment Almost 25% increase from the previous year, According to the latest report from Rent.com. Mortgage costs are also rising. The average interest rate on 30-year fixed mortgages has exceeded 4% for the first time since May 2019.
I said on Thursday.
According to a measurement of consumer confidence at the University of Michigan, people expect purchasing power to weaken further. It fell to the lowest level in 10 years last month. For Americans under the age of 40, this is the highest inflation they have ever seen.
Alyssa Susnjara, a 27-year-old San Diegan who works in educational communication, experienced one of her “Ahaha” moments while getting gas. Avid snowboarder weekend trips cost more than $ 80 on gas, compared to $ 44 last month, even after looking for cheaper deals at various stations.
“I’m a smoke-driving girl,” she said of her recent trip to the pump. “It broke my heart a little.”
She also faced inflation while looking for a new apartment. She and her boyfriend wanted a larger two-bedroom unit in the San Diego area. They both worked remotely and wanted an additional room for their home office. However, Susnjara said units that were once expected to borrow for $ 2,300 or $ 2,400 per month can now be up to $ 2,700. They decided to stick to a one-bedroom apartment.
“It’s the effect of whiplash for many renters,” she said.
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In Chicago, 35-year-old Emily Aclar realized inflation when she noticed higher prices at grocery stores and then at Starbucks. She said it used to be close to $ 4. Since then, Achler has reduced coffee visits.
She and her partner are accustomed to tightening their household budget. They gave up full-time salaries in 2020 and launched the italic type of startup business, a digital reading platform. Now they are doing it again.
“When we’re here today, we’re asking ourselves.’Do you need xyz now?'” She said. “In most cases, the answer is” No, you don’t need three cappuccinos a week. ” ”
For Lani Assaf, a 25-year-old marketing employee in Brooklyn, her inflation breakthrough took place at Trader Joe’s checkout line.
“I don’t buy strawberries anymore,” she said.price Soared by nearly $ 1 in the last 6 monthsAccording to data from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, it has risen from about $ 2 per pint of fresh strawberries to over $ 3 for the same amount. “I’m particular about bananas. They were 19 cents forever at Trader Joe’s.”
Asaph replaced fresh fruit with frozen fruit in his usual morning smoothie and paid close attention to the prices of other items in the grocery cart.
“It doesn’t seem like much, but it’s 40 or 50 cents,” she said. “And finally, you’re buying all this, but it’s totaled and you notice it.”
Inflation is invading not only people under the age of 40 but also their daily lives. At the moment when fat shafer, 63-year-old owner of Enchantment Botanicals in Lovettsville, Virginia, became a serious problem in her life, the price of soy wax she used for candles almost doubled.
According to her, the £ 45 box is currently priced at $ 90, compared to the $ 48 paid for the slightly heavier £ 50 box. She sells candles, soaps and incense in her store.
She said she is currently playing “Budget Tetris” because she doesn’t have to raise prices because she’s looking for opportunities to trade bottles, buy in bulk, and move more products. When she looks at deals and bundles, she goes to buy, even if that means crowding her candle studio with packages and boxes.
“It’s a difficult game to play,” she said.
Jeff Fugate, 53-year-old owner of Empty Bowl Queso in Leesburg, Virginia, has vegetables from cheese to packaging. However, Mr. Fugate can only buy in large quantities because the fresh ingredients are ruined.
Due to inflation, he decided to make a sacrifice in his private life, cut off the cable channel, and gave up his family’s Washington Capitals season ticket. His household has been under the microscope since he quit his job in 2020 and then started a new business.
He said he knew that his own price increases would have to pass on the costs to the customer. The company that buys and sells his cheese is currently asking customers to pay $ 9 to $ 11 per pint. This is already appealing to many shoppers, Fugate said.
He told a client how difficult it is to give up a season ticket. The client has offered to exchange the keso for a hockey ticket.
“You have to do what you have to do,” he said.
Write to Spider woman Julia.Carpenter@wsj.com
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