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Where is inflation affecting you the most?

Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2007, before the Senate Banking Committee hearing on monetary policy. (AP Photo/Dennis Cook)
Dennis Cook
Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2007, before the Senate Banking Committee hearing on monetary policy. (AP Photo/Dennis Cook)

“Inflation is affecting my ability to buy a house, even though I have a six-figure salary. I refuse to pay the inflated prices as they stand today, knowing there is a better than even chance I would lose a substantial investment within the next decade or so while the housing bubble deflates. Thanks to Alan Greenspan's easy money policy, and unregulated mortgage brokers, housing has inflated way beyond core value in most major metropolitan areas.” -- Kathy C., California

“Inflation is affecting my ability to save and invest more this year! My entire salary increase is eaten up by the increased gas and home heating fuel prices. In addition, I have already cut back on things like eating out and shortening my yearly vacation by a day or two to compensate for the increase in the price of groceries at the supermarket.” -- Tony L., New York

“Groceries.” -- Dennios T., Massachusetts

“My family is being hurt by both taxes and at the pump. I am in the minimum tax bracket and I see no relief other than to get a higher paying job. However, in order to do that I will have to increase my commute distance (42 miles/day) and cross two bridges ($8.00/day) and gas is currently at $3.17/gal. for regular gas in my area. No new taxes or higher prices…what’s the difference? -- Cardenas S., California

“Property taxes.” -- Mark L., Hawaii

“Tuition. Nothing illustrates the power of compound interest like tuition costs, which rise 10% a year, and people are competing for the opportunity to pay it.” -- Drew, Connecticut

“Inflation has been creeping up at the pumps, so I drive less on purpose now conserving dollars that way. Groceries are getting higher and higher. Food companies are slick. For example, years ago you could buy a 16 oz can of tomatoes. Now the price is the same or higher but the can is now 14.5 oz. Meat is going up. Bacon is pushing $7 a lb where I live. I quit eating cereals but I see they are getting higher and higher. So now I need to buy things more when they are on sale being a good consumer. And the last thing is my local taxes. They keep going up as well.” -- Henry M., Illinois

“Gasoline, Gasoline, Gasoline...” -- Frank, K.

“The most obvious is at the gas pump and when I pay my heating bill because those expenses are highly visible. But the real effect is at the end of the month or year when I look at the overall budget outflow and its higher, even though I have cut back.” -- Nick I.

“House prices, taxes and insurance in Florida have clearly outpaced wage gains and the CPI.” -- Barry C., Florida

“The biggest effect on inflation can be seen at the gas pump during driving season and in natural gas pricing during the winter season.” -- Jim W., West Virginia

“Everywhere! The baby boomers have bankrupted America. At no time in our history have economic factors been so bad.” -- Rob G.

“My friendly health care provider just notified me that my monthly health insurance premium is increasing by 19%. This is the largest increase I have ever faced for my health insurance and is very difficult to accept. Unfortunately there is not much I can do about it.” -- Tom H., New York

“Real property taxes & the cost of insurance." -- Jeff K., Florida

“Healthcare 1st. I have found that doctors often charge 1/3 to ½ less when I pay cash for services than when they bill through the insurance company I think due in large part to the time-frame they are paid in, and since they won’t have to pay a medical-billing person to get their money. Since I have a high deductible plan now, it is much cheaper for me to not use my insurance, unless I end up in the hospital. Obviously energy prices are much higher, but we have learned to think more about when and how we use it. I try to think before going to make purchases how I can combine trips, and we have insulated and double-paned windowed our home, which has made a significant difference so our heating and cooling bills run about the same as they did 4 years ago. Food costs have been on the rise for over 4 years, but much more so in the last one, mostly I believe due to problems with crops due to unexpected weather change patterns, and the cost of transporting it. Fresh squeezed orange juice has gone from $3.99 a carton to $5.99 in the last 6 months, and the Becks beer my husband likes has nearly doubled in the last 3 years from about $8.99 a 12 pack to $15.99. I also remember not too long ago that broccoli could be bought for $.89 a head, now the average is about $1.39. I use coupons and shop sales, but our food bill runs about 1/3 more than it did 4 years ago.” -- Carla S., California

"Taxes beyond a doubt. Not only the obvious like payroll taxes (income, social security, medicare), but excise taxes on gasoline, utilities, tires plus sales tax and more. Add on to that the taxes businesses pay and pass that cost on to the consumer. I can see about 45% of my income going to pay taxes of various types." -- Don G., Colorado

"The cost of a nice hotel room for a family summer vacation has become prohibitive. Perhaps we’ll purchase a summer home and use the $450/night to make monthly payments instead." -- Michael M., Illinois

"Inflation is hitting in several areas, let me count the ways, when I fill up my gas tank, when I go to the grocery store, and yes even my entertainment, when I go to see a movie, I am an airline employee who was starting to feel optimistic until the recent "open skies" agreement was approved. It will only lower my wages with the flood of ultra low cost carriers like Ryanair, who recently said they will offer fairs from Europe to the USA from as low as $12 each way. Not so optimistic anymore. " -- Wayne C., Georgia

"House prices, taxes and insurance in FL have clearly outpaced wage gains and the CPI." -- Barry C., Florida

"Tax inflation As a retired financial planner I am fortunate to have a well planned retirement. But the steady and constant increase of taxes, property, sales, income tax ( both state and federal) are very subtle and almost sinister. And we as citizens are demanding the govt. provide more and more services that require more and more taxes. We are starting to eat our young." -- Chuck M., Kansas

"The official government numbers consist mostly of things we never, or very seldom, buy such as flat-screen TVs, computers and cell phones. But property taxes, insurance of all kinds, medical and dental costs, any type of energy and food are up nearly 10% per year and still accelerating. We can live without the former items (which is perhaps why the prices are falling) but must make choices now whether to reduce food, shelter or energy consumption to maintain our budget." -- Tom W, Florida

"I think that the biggest problem right now is the decline in the U.S. dollar.The impact of this will make all purchases continue to skyrocket." -- Jim B., Illinois

More Comments

"Despite the seemingly low rate of inflation, my costs in the service sector have continued to escalate. Auto insurance, auto repair, cable TV, telephone bills, real estate taxes, medical and dental expenses along with food prices, restaurant meals, and of course, gasoline. I understand that the CPI is adjusted downward for the increased value provided by technological improvements in the things we consumers purchase. That seems far-fetched to me. I wonder if the members of the Federal Reserve Board are confronted by these costs, considering their lofty economic status. Does Ben Bernanke stand in the checkout line at Krogers?" -- Bob G., Louisiana

"Inflation is hitting us in our food, gasoline, and housing." -- Evonne B.

"I feel the consequences of inflation in my utility and gas bills. Additionally, grocery costs continue to rise. Still, all things being equal, when I realize the cost for cell, land line, computer, and cable service -- things which really are not essential -- I find that I have some ownership with rising costs as well." -- K., Maryland

"Since the 'official' inflation rate is low, my paycheck doesn't increase nearly enough to cover the actual cost of living. Insurance, without a doubt, is the most inflationary expense. In the past three years my homeowners insurance increased by 400%. An $8.00 weekly raise doesn't do much to cover a $150.00 increase in my monthly mortgage payment because of spiraling insurance costs." -- Ray M, Florida

"For my wife and I, we're seeing more stealth inflation where the prices remain steady but the goods are being sold in smaller quantities. Aside from that observation, our current spending hasn't been noticeably curbed by inflation." -- Brian B., Georgia

"Healthcare." -- Joan S.

"Clearly medical insurance. I just had my medical premiums increase 13% starting this month (April 2007). A letter was sent out prior to this, notifying us that this increase across the board for everyone is going to start in April 2007. Gas is not an issue for me since I don't drive a gas-hog SUV or excessively-large truck." -- Jeff S., Washington

"Number 1: Taxes. Federal, Social Security, state & local. It kills mine and my husband's paychecks. Number 2 : Environmentalism. It's out of hand and creates more taxes. And just like taxes, it drives up the prices on everything we buy such as our home, car, utilities, food and clothing! If both were to ease up instead of grow, I'd be able to afford to pay for our kids college tuition and afford to retire before I'm 67! Maybe even afford a vacation. It's a terrible thing when the government takes what they want out of our our pay before we pay our rent, mortgage, feed or clothe ourselves or anything else. Nothing in the economy is more burdensome." -- Jacqui F., California