Updated: May 3, 2021
Let’s face it: The cost of living is kicking our butts. If you’re wondering why you’re having trouble getting ahead, it’s because the game is rigged against you.
While wages have gone up over the past couple of decades, they haven’t kept up with inflation. To add insult to injury, the cost of big-ticket purchases, like houses, cars and college degrees has increased faster than the pace of inflation. In other words, the cost of everything is rising a lot faster than your salary is.
The government has a handy way to measure this — a thing called the Consumer Price Index, which is essentially the price of common things we pay for all averaged together. The Bureau of Labor Statistics just compared prices in February 2021 to those of one year before, and found that grocery prices had increased by 3.5%!
In the big picture, the cost of living has essentially doubled over the past 30 years, according to a number of studies and this cost of living calculator from the American Institute for Economic Research. Having trouble keeping up? We’ve got seven money moves you can start making today.