It’s NOT your imagination. Prices really are creeping up. Things today are more expensive than they were yesterday. With no end in sight. The days of easy money are over. According to this article from CNN Money,
Both consumers and producers are feeling the squeeze from a healthy US economy. After years of low inflation, prices rose 1.9% in March from a year ago, according to the Federal Reserve’s favored inflation measuring stick.
Consumer prices were up 2.1% in April from a year ago, while suppliers paid 2.6% more.
Auto loans are getting more expensive because the Federal Reserve is gradually raising interest rates. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage has moved to a seven-year high above 4.6%, according to Freddie Mac.
Dozens of companies in recent weeks have said they already hiked prices or plan to in the coming months to combat inflation.
Most retiree’s, such as myself, are on fixed incomes. When prices rise I have two choices: either go out to work and make more money or cut back on other expenses so that I can afford my priorities. OUCH! Both choices hurt. And sometimes, I can not do either. We’re all facing higher gas prices, higher food prices, higher oil prices to heat our homes and higher medical costs. Last week I had to renew an old prescription and a new prescription. The old RX was still $4 for a 30 day generic supply but the new inhaler my doc ordered cost me $51. Instead of paying my monthly fee of $12 for all my meds, my new bill was $63. Apparently, there is no generic formula for my new inhaler AND my Part D RX plan has a $400 deductible before they will cover my Tier 3 inhaler. Ouch again.
So, what did I do in order to afford my new inhaler? DH and I cancelled our plans to go out to a discount movie theater (we wanted to see Book Club). I also cancelled my pedicure appointment (I get one pedicure a year, at the beginning of summer) and I cancelled my appointment to get my eyebrows corrected (I have NEVER had this done professionally but I am getting a lot of gray hairs in my eyebrows and I can’t figure out how to shape my eyebrows anymore. I wanted professional help.)
I did my own pedicure but please be forewarned: my hands shake, I’m not that flexible anymore and doing my own pedicure has become more difficult for me. I ex-foliated my feet, clipped my nails as best as I could and applied my fave red nail polish as steady as I could. The result? A mess, of course, but it will have to do. The outdoor light gives me a better view of my eyebrows, so I plucked them and tried to shape them in the passenger side of my car using the light-up mirror on the visor. As for forgoing the movies, DH and I stayed home and watched several new (but unknown yet very good Hulu movies).
I haven’t divulged this yet, but I guess I’ll do it now. The 5+ months that I endured second-hand smoke back when I was living in my Florida condo did substantial damage to my lungs, thus the new RX for an inhaler. I’ve been coughing steadily since February 2018 with no end in sight. I’m currently seeing a pulmonologist but have now been scheduled to see an Ear, Nose & Throat specialist next month. My cough has changed over the past few months but nonetheless, it has not gone away. I find myself weaker, unable to walk and hike as I once did. I’m tired and constantly out of breath. At night, because of my constant nose drip and coughing, sleep has become more difficult. I’ve seen two doctors already and they both tried a series of treatments but to no avail. In other words, I’m going to be facing higher medical costs in the very near future. Oh well.
Inflation has reared its ugly head. We can either prepare for it or whither away. For us, going out and getting a job is totally out of the question. We’re retired and we’re sticking to it. In the interim, I’ll find ways to cut back and make do with what we already have. I’ve lessened our RV trips by one day each (6 days instead of a full week of 7 days) I’ve started substituting lesser grades for the more expensive grades we had become used to. DH has sharpened up his DIY talent and is out there mowing the lawn himself, changing the oil on both cars himself and doing the little home maintenance care needed in order to void costly repair bills in the future.
And thankfully, most people I meet are nearsighted so they can’t look down and see my tantalizing toes as good as they used to. They’ll just see little blobs of red and be none the wiser.
Live well and prosper, my friend. Live well and prosper.