It is no surprise that lower income families, retirees on fixed income and debt-laden families are suffering under inflation much more harshly than those with higher income. An individual bringing home minimum wage will have to pay proportionately more for necessary commodities and food than a higher income individual.
For example, a person may bring home, after deductions, about $250/week. Because of a shortage in low income housing, as much as 50 percent of the individual’s income will be for rent. The remaining $125/week must purchase all other consumables, children’s expenses and fossil fuel needs.
If inflation rises by 7 percent as it has in just 4 months, the individual doesn’t have $125/week; they have $116/week. Mariner’s grocery shopping jumped by 15 percent. If the individual had shopped at mariner’s supermarket, their net value would be reduced by more than 7 percent.
Of course inflation affects everyone. Inflation inflicts tragedy on the poor but even ‘middle class’ families need to adjust spending patterns to minimize the higher cost of family living. What follows are suggested modifications for offsetting the loss of spending power:
- Have two dinners each week that are meatless. Fruit salads, meatless vegetable pasta, bean soup are much less expensive without meat and, in fact, better for you.
- Move away from pre-packaged, ready-to-eat foods. Does the reader remember how to use flour, rice and eggs?
- How many channels on the smart TV are paid for? Cut back by half. Spend more time with your family – that’s free.
- Many families have a weekend night out. How about switching to a night out every other week or not at all?
- Adjust the furnace thermostat down by three degrees and wear a sweater – raise it for air conditioning.
- Analyze auto trips per week. Find a way to stretch those trips to 10 days. A good game for this category would be to shop less frequently but limit the amount to what the old schedule would have purchased in a shorter time.
- Alcohol consumption along with snacks is relatively expensive. Cut back by half or more; perhaps this is a good time to start a serious diet.
These ideas are offered to help the reader develop a mindset that lessens the impact of inflation. Mariner is positive that there are many more ideas the reader can conger.