I know this is a little ‘off topic’ for a blog that is mostly devoted to healthy living, natural beauty and alternative health. It is nonetheless prescient in these times of what seems to be a never-ending increase in the cost of living. This will be a three-part series as I didn’t realize how much has really gone up until I started writing this! Be sure to read Part II and Part III
Many are asking, when will these prices go down, or can we expect to see higher prices in everything for a significant time to come? Unfortunately no one knows the answer. All we can do is look for ways to blunt the effect until relief is seen. Related: Cheap Remedies for Basal Cell
So, look out for a Part II then Part III on this one, which will have some other ideas for stretching your dollar today. Since Part I didn’t delve too deep into the actual money saving ideas, we’ll start off with just one in the leading paragraph to get you thinking about making your money work harder for you.
When I really think about it, just about everything we put our paychecks toward in this household, has increased fairly substantially over the past few years. We’re not alone. Everyone seems to be feeling the squeeze of universal inflation.
There is a Silver Lining Though
Let’s start with the good news first. Since interest rates have gone up, this does mean that the cost of loans and mortgages has gone up almost exponentially. While this is awful news for those that are pursuing the American dream of owning a home, or for Americans that need to move right now, it is really good news for savers. Related: A Cheap Easy Way to Hair and Nail Growth
What do I mean? Well, if you take a look at most savings accounts, particularly higher interest paying savings accounts and money market accounts, they are yielding almost 5% right now. This is really a good time to be a saver.
5% may not sound like much, but at least it helps your money keep pace with inflation, and it sure is much better than the paltry 1% or even fractions of 1% that are usually available in these types of savings accounts.
If you have money that you put aside every month into a savings account that still has a low yield, look up high interest savings accounts and you should be able to find some really good ones that are offered by reputable companies and big banks. It may be a hassle to switch, but it may be well worth it while the interest rates are higher, to pursue transferring to one of these types of accounts.
What’s Gone Up?
When I say just about everything, I really mean it. For instance, if you need to get home repairs done or were thinking about a new addition to the house or any type of renovation, the costs of materials has gone up considerably. This goes for the cost of appliances too. For instance, conventional hot water heaters have almost doubled since before Covid.
We found this out when our twin water heaters went bad. We ended up going with a tankless option, which is considered more expensive, but the conventional ones were almost the same cost so why not (tankless hot water heaters can also be eligible for a tax rebate this year, which is a bonus)?
Home prices have inexplicably skyrocketed over the past 3-4 years as well. We were seeing ridiculous valuations on homes that previously would have sold for half the price, although they are steadily coming back to earth. This may seem good for the sellers of homes, but is it really? They still have to purchase another home, and they would have to buy a home at a higher price too.
I just read the other day that the median home price in 2019 was $313,000. In just four years, the median home prices has gone up over $100,000 to roughly $420,000 give or take some change depending on your area. If you live in places where the cost of living is always higher than the national average, the pain is even greater. Related: Easy and Inexpensive Ways to Boost Fiber Intake
The other downside to high home prices is that when the costs of a home goes up, so do the property taxes. Many have seen their property taxes steadily increase while also experiencing an increase in the cost to insure their home.
Dwelling costs aren’t just limited to home owners. Renting has also become less affordable as well. So basically the cost of living anywhere, no matter if you rent or own, has increased.
One of the most commonly talked about costs that have gone up is the cost of everyday groceries and food. This higher cost carries over not only from the grocery store and everyday staples we need to have in our house, but also to restaurants. Even fast food has gone up.
Paper products have increased as well. It’s not just edible groceries. Things like paper plates, napkins, paper towels, toilet paper, aluminum foil, plastic baggies, and other common household non-food items have all gone up as well.
Say tuned for our Part II on this universally important and pressing topic!