Gasoline, rent, and everything else
Have you spoken with a friend renting lately? Or one of your kids recently graduated looking for his first apartment?
There is a bad moon rising on the rental front. This is the story:
Rental prices were by far the "largest contributor" to the rise in inflation on an annual basis in March, according to data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
While consumers paid less for gasoline and grocery, causing the consumer-price index — a widely used measure of inflation — to moderate to 5% in March from a year earlier, housing costs went up 8% during the same time period.
"This more than offset a decline in the energy index, which decreased 3.5% over the month as all major energy component indexes declined," noted the Labor Department in the report.
Let me translate for you: this one goes up, and this one goes down, but the money keeps flying out of my wallet.
All of this explains why more and more Americans are living from paycheck to paycheck.
This is from CNBC:
Between higher costs and a possible recession on the horizon, families feel increasingly strained financially.
More than half, or 58%, of all Americans are now living paycheck to paycheck, according to the CNBC Your Money Financial Confidence Survey, conducted in partnership with Momentive.
And even more — roughly 70% — said they feel stressed about their finances, mostly due to inflation, economic uncertainty and rising interest rates, the survey found.
Living paycheck to paycheck is frightening, as I learned in my own life. It makes you look forward to Friday, and then you're depressed when the money runs out.
When is all of this going to end?
It won't anytime soon, because the people writing President Biden's speeches don't care about the middle class living like this.
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Image: Karolina Grabowska via Pexels, CC0 public domain.