True cost of inflation revealed: how YOU pay $5,915 more this year for everyday basics
Gas prices make softball away games too expensive for 18-year-old Idaho twins
Jennifer Liebrum’s family has had to cut back on driving long distances across Idaho, which means softball away games for 18-year-old twins Devon and Gracie are in the rearview mirror
Jennifer Liebrum, 56, of Bellevue, Idaho, who works with children with special needs, and husband Tyler Peterson, 51, a farrier, enjoyed driving around the region with their 18-year-old twin daughters Devon and Gracie for softball games.
The sporting vacation trips came to an end when the cost of a full tank of gas rose from $70 to $160. Their family income is $50,000-$100,000.
“They canceled the team because we are not alone in the predicament,” said Liebrum.
There is now an SUV in the driveway. The family is increasingly moving by walking and cycling in an effort to “get through this crisis,” she added.
Groceries used to cost $100 a week, but a recent two-day supply of stock was $170 — prices that made Liebrum feel like she was “going to a jeweler.”
Even driving 60 miles to the nearest Costco to charge up more affordable products just didn’t make sense anymore because of gas prices.
“We are considering having chickens again, which I hate,” she joked.
“We are ready to launch two girls into life. And now those savings are for survival.’
They are the sixth generation to live in the valley and are “part of the pioneer group that established this place,” Liebrum said.
Billionaires like Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates come to the area in private jets every year for the nearby Sun Valley Conference, a networking extravaganza for tech and media moguls.
Once a month there are filet mignon treats for the New Jersey family
Thomas Crowell’s New Jersey family struggles with inflation and the couple’s retirement plans have been pushed back, but son Connor, 25,’s wedding at the end of the year is a highlight on the calendar
Thomas Crowell, 58, a benefits consultant from Forked River, New Jersey, says he’s “cut back on splurges” like the tasty filet mignon stakes he and his wife Chris, 57, an administrative manager, enjoyed every month.
Even by avoiding meat and poultry, weekly groceries have risen from $250 to “well over” $300 and gas tank filling has increased from $45 to $70, Crowell said. The household income is between $100,000 – $150,000.
Their son Jack, 21, lives at home, but Connor, 25, moved to Nashville, Tennessee, and is getting married later this year.
In the rearview mirror are the Florida and Caribbean vacations that the family previously enjoyed.
“We went out to mom-and-pop restaurants three times a week, we cut back on that,” Crowell said.
Worse, the couple’s retirement savings have been “eaten away” as stock prices have “broken down,” Crowell said.
“We don’t know how long or how deep this recession will be,” he said.
‘When can we retire?’
The country is “paying the price” for overspending early in the Biden administration, he added.
California couple swaps European vacations for relatives on East Coast
Megan Aaron, 36, struggles with the cost of fuel, food and childcare for daughter Harper, two, but says the family is still ‘lucky’ to be able to pay their rent and put food on the table
Megan Aaron, 36, a Los Angeles, California theater executive, husband Tim, 43, a paralegal, and daughter Harper, two, had no expensive vacations in Spain or Mexico this year.
Instead, the family vacation went to a relative’s house in Massachusetts.
Weekly grocery bills skyrocketed from $170 to $220 and California gas prices are among the highest in the country.
Daycare for Harper at $1,400 per month takes a big bite out of the $100,000-$150,000 family income.
To make ends meet, Aaron is more careful about using up leftovers. She goes to her hairdresser less often and has reverted to her natural dark brown locks without highlights to save money.
“It was quite a challenge,” Aaron said.
“We’re cutting out the luxury things we just can’t do anymore.”
Downsizing to one car has been “logistically challenging,” she added, but the bigger problem is how the unstable economy makes it harder to buy a home and plan for the future.
‘We are very lucky to be able to pay our rent, childcare and the large expenses. We are not afraid of becoming homeless or unable to put food on the table,” she said.
“But it does make our lives a little more uncomfortable.”
Pizza trips fail as the Maryland family clings to months of belt tensioners
The summer camp of 11-year-old twins Daniella and Natalya Neubauer and their family was canceled this year. Instead of going abroad for a summer vacation, the Neubauers spent a week on the Delaware coast
Family outings to the pizzeria were the first victim of the financial crisis for Sigurd Neubauer, 41, a online publishing company from Maryland, his wife Hannah, 45, a doctor, their 11-year-old twins Daniella and Natalya, and son Cyrus, four.
The twins will have to skip summer camp this year because prices have “shot through the roof,” Neubauer said. The household income is $100,000 – $150,000.
Average camp costs have more than doubled to $178 a day from about $76 last year — putting them out of reach for many Americans.
International travel was not possible this year, and the summer vacation was spent on the beaches of Delaware for a week.
The father of three skips his morning visits to Starbucks and makes coffee at home instead.
Mom and Dad both drive hybrid cars, meaning a full tank of fuel only rose from about $25 to $40.
While cutting back on restaurants, the family has focused on healthy activities such as tennis and swimming.
“This economy will stay with us for a long time to come,” Neubauer said.
He blames inflation on geopolitics and global food price hikes and other “structural problems any US president would face.”