The current inflation rate, where prices are rising at the fastest pace that they have in 40 plus years, is walloping the wallets of parents. Working families are now struggling with rising gas prices, higher grocery bills, and a housing market that seems out of control – just look at rent costs that have skyrocketed as much as 40 percent in some cities. And new data from Bloomberg economists have found out just how much inflation will impact a family budget in a dollar amount this year.
As of February 2022, the consumer price index rose by 7.9 percent over last year. That massive growth in the cost of everyday items from eggs to vegetables has the potential to completely screw up with our budgets – and it’s going to continue to impact our budgets over the next few months, to the tune of many hundreds of dollars a month.
“Inflation will mean the average US household has to spend an extra $ 5,200 this year ($ 433 per month) compared to last year for the same consumption basket,” Bloomberg Economics reports.
Having to spend an extra $ 433 per month to get the same is a hefty, even gargantuan ask for anyone – especially parents who are already struggling to keep a roof over their kid’s heads and food on the table. And with social safety net supports having disappeared, like the end of stimulus checks, extended and enhanced unemployment insurance, and the end of programs like the Child Tax Credit, and with student loan payments set to resume, parents are in for a reckoning, one they’re already working through. Now with costs of meats, milk, and vegetables ballooning, and rent and home costs going up, too, budgets are going to be very tight, even impossible to manage, for many parents.
Last year, the Child Tax Credit helped parents stabilize economically during another whirlwind year. The landmark program brought over 4 million children out of poverty who have already fallen back into it since it expired in January of 2022. Another program that would undoubtedly help is increasing the minimum wage at the federal level to at least $ 15 an hour, which is still lower than what it would be if wages kept up with the rise in the cost of living.
In the meantime, utilizing some practical tips for cost-saving can help parents get by. Budget groceries, clipping coupons, shopping for sales, going through your cabinets and fridge before every food shopping excursion, and always sticking to a list are a few practical ways to save money or stick to a strict food budget.