'Barely making it:' Americans are getting creative to combat inflation's devastating costs

'Barely making it:' Americans are getting creative to combat inflation's devastating costs

Sep 30, 2022 2 mins, 57 secs

Americans are paying higher prices for everything from groceries to gas. The consumer price index, which measures what consumers spend on goods and services, rose 8.3% in August from a year ago.

The cost of food, gas and auto insurance also jumped. Her auto insurance went from $200 a month to $300 a month since she was living in a “high crime” area, she says.

Rent hike pain: Rents are rising at fastest pace in 40 years.

Last year, she went back to work full-time.

Smith is a human resource specialist with the Clayton County School District and makes about $42,000 a year.

Chuck Dilbone, 70, a retired high school principal and business manager, has the kind of hardiness that comes from 13 years of planting and harvesting crops.

Chuck Dilbone has never needed his experience running a big high school budget more than when forecasting the year ahead.

“We budget conservatively in case of a crop failure and we make sure we stay within our budget and so forth,” Dilbone said.

“This year everything we buy has increased.” .

He doesn’t want to pass along higher costs to customers – his neighbors – who are struggling with rapidly rising prices, too.

“It has been tight,” Dilbone said.

But he says he’s not too concerned. “Being my age, we have been through this before,” Dilbone said.

More often than not, they spend more than Toledo brings home. So Garcia has to sit down and make a tough calculation each month, which bills will get paid and which ones will have to wait.

One of her biggest bills is electricity and water, which runs $370 to $380 a month, Garcia says.

“All we get are bills and bills and bills.

Throughout the year, things have just gotten worse.”.

Eating costs more: Food prices soar amid inflation.

Now, with groceries up 15% year-over-year in San Antonio, Texas, King, 47, is tracking rising prices the way many people check the weather.

Prices have been ticking up since last year while savings have been vanishing with fewer coupons and rebates.

With prices rising on every household item, she is not brand loyal.

A big chunk of Riddle's budget goes towards Ubers. Transportation costs, which include mass transit and ride-hailing services like Uber, have increased about 3% since last year, according to data from Labor Department

In March, Uber and Lyft added $0.45 to $0.50 fuel surcharges per ride to help drivers cover soaring gas prices that reached a national high of $5.02 before settling to $3.91 last month

Riddle shares advice via TikTok videos for college and high school students thinking about applying to college, with a particular focus on fellow first-generation students.   

“Imagine how hard it is for me and other students to want to ask your parents for financial advice but all they can say is, ‘Well ...’” said Riddle, whose mother struggled to make ends meet

Phung said they're doing their best not to pass higher prices on to their customers. 

"It’s tough because you don’t want to raise prices, but you want to make something," she said

"We talk to them about it and use the price of gas as an example and how it’s been a dollar, almost two dollars higher than a year ago," Phung said. "So now they pay attention to gas prices and are conscious of saving money."

“You can make almost a week’s worth of salad. Please, I insist,” Huynh said as the customer accepts and hugs Phung. 

"Our customers can’t afford to venture out, so we want to be accommodating and fair to them," said Phung, taking a deep breath

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