Weekly Roundup – Inflation or No Inflation Edition

Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve, recently told us again that there is little evidence of inflation. Sometimes I wonder if I’m on a different planet than the people inside the beltway. My grocery bill is higher. It costs more to fill my car. My utilities are going up.

There’s also growing concern over food shortages. There are more foreclosures to come. We’re still down about 7 million jobs from when this downturn started. We’ve spent (borrowed) an insane amount of money in the last decade. I’m no economist, but surely this has to catch up with us in the form of inflation.

The Frugal Roundup

The Less You Need, the More You Have. Managing wants and harnessing contentment are two keys to living within your means.

Nine Lessons in Wealth-Building from The Millionaire Next Door. As a fan of the book, I really enjoyed this post.

10 Tricks Burglars Use. When the economy goes down, crime rates typically pick up. With that in mind, here are some great tips for making your home look like less of a target. (via The Daily Crux)

How to Take Time Off from Work. Are you as intentional about taking time away from work as you are about going to work?

When Faced With Financial Disaster, Can You Live Without These Things? What could you give up (and not give up) if things hit the fan?

What Is A Dividend? I like to think of dividends as supplements to capital gains and hedges against losses.

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Comments

  1. At least we both are on a different planet. We do not have one expense that hasn’t increased. I am in full agreement with your list and can add car and home owner insurance, property taxes and our medical deductibles and co-pays.

    This week gasoline increased 10c a gallon!

  2. Inflation has hit us. We are up in groceries (our list is pretty set) about $10 a week. Gas has gone from $2.90 to 3.09 in the last month and my utilities are the highest I have EVER paid- up 20% from last year. My property taxes are up about 30% as well- with less services because of debt. Health care is up – not down- and so is the dentist. Clothing,furnishings and cars may cost the same or less- but I don’t buy any of those.
    Having no COLA for two years is hurting- since we will never make that money back.
    We are not hurting. I am concerned that lots more senior citizens who have saved little will be out on the street when rent begins to rise again.

  3. I agree with you totally Janette, as it relates to seniors.

    My parents are in their 80′s and unfortunately are not paying attention to the signs around us. They are continuing to make purchases w/credit cards for various non-essential items. They act like they will live forever. They are totally unprepared for the economy to get worse.

  4. Even junk food is up….
    4 years ago I moved…. A McD’s Egg McMuffin ( a once a month breakfast treat) was $1.00 in my previous town. Moved back home to the coast and it was $1.30… as everything costs more here….. Then it went to $1.40, then $1.80, and this week was $2.00.
    I’m done. Even a once a month treat has gotten too expensive for me to waste the money on. I try to keep my meals at $1.00 a meal – under $100/month, including any eating out. Not easy anymore. Thank Goodness for the garden!

    Gas??? Since the first of the year it has jumped from $3.08 to $3.35…. bummer.

    • Yeah they’re $2.89 for an egg mcmuffin here! (If I order it without the canadian bacon, like I always do, it’s one of the few breakfasts I can eat out if I’m super late–and they don’t even lower the price when I get it without the meat!!!)

  5. Thanks for the link! I have to agree that all this spending, and current monetary policy is going to catch up to us sooner or later. I’m noticing higher prices on just about everything in our area as opposed to a year or two ago. Prices are definitely going up.

  6. This is one of the problems of how the Fed measures inflation! They use a number of indexes, but they rely mostly on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) without food and energy. Their reasoning is these two (2) areas are commodities which will fluctuate. I agree, they are higher than last year and I would define that as inflation. The Fed does not agree!.

  7. Krandscents,

    I don’t believe it is an accident that these two leading indicators of inflation were left out of the index.

    PS…The gasoline prices since my earlier post have jumped another 6 cents. Sigh. We are not even going to speak about groceries.

  8. I have just finished moving…. I am sure I have a year’s worth of food…. wonder how much I gained in cost savings putting it up a year ago??? LOL!

    Food may be the new gold…. geez…

  9. As we hit peak oil, and start winding down the worldwide oil supplies, the cost of fuel will continue to go up. That in turn drives the cost of food up, as the average piece of food in America travels over 1700 miles. It doesn’t do that for free :)

    That’s why those two items are left out of the equation. They are HEAVILY dependent on each other in the US. We get much of our food the same way we get our electronics, from low income people doing very rough hours.

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