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Cost of Living Rises Yet Again: You're Now Paying $1,037 More Each Month


It comes as no surprise to anyone who pays for everyday necessities like food, rent, and gasoline that prices continue to rise. The newly released Consumer Price Index shows inflation rose 3.5% over this time last year, which is higher than the predicted 3.0%.  

Today the typical American household spends approximately $270 more each month on basic items than they did one year ago, and a shocking $1,037 more per month than they did three years ago, according to Moody's Analytics.  That was in 2021, before inflation shot up to 9.1% in 2022.

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E.J. Antoni, research fellow in The Heritage Foundation's Grover M. Hermann Center for the Federal Budget, told CBN News the Biden administration is to blame for high inflation.

"It's simply the government spending too much money. Because the government also controls our currency, and that's a deadly combination. We've seen that over the last several years. It's a lesson that we learned very painfully in the late '70s and early '80s and we are re-learning that lesson 40 years later," he said.

The rising prices mean more Americans are using credit cards than ever before. The average household balance is about $11,000. All combined, our nationwide outstanding credit card debt is a staggering new high: $1.3 trillion.

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Personal finance company WalletHub credit card writer and editor Christine Matherne told CBN News more people report increasing credit card debt and expect it to grow. 

"It means specifically that people are relying on credit to get by month to month and that is not a great long-term tactic," she said. 

Most troubling, is that nearly half of all credit card users can't pay their monthly monthly balance, while at the same time, the average Annual Percentage Rate (APR) currently hovers around 21 percent.

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"Credit card debt can snowball very quickly because of the interest rates," Matherne said. "You can get in over your head very quickly with credit cards." 

Matherne said sometimes you can avoid the pitfalls if you act before you're in too much financial trouble. 

"If you have a lot of high-interest debt somewhere and you still have good credit," she said, "you can get a credit card with a zero-percent APR and you can do a balance transfer."

If a balance transfer isn't an option, Matherne recommends asking for help.

"Talk to your lender or your credit card company. Give them a call if you can't pay your bills on time," she said. "They want to work with you." 

In some cases, credit card companies reduce minimum payments, interest rates, and fees. They can also at times choose to offer customers a structured payment plan. 

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