Here’s Where Inflation is Raising Your Living Costs the Most

Joe Roberts
Researcher & Writer
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August 04, 2022
4 min read

Prices are on the rise everywhere, and you’ve probably felt inflation’s influence in the grocery store, on your utility bills, and at the gas pump. Prices for just about everything from food to fuel have increased by an average 8.5% in the last year, and prices for some industries have climbed higher than others. For instance, moving costs jumped by nearly 12% this year.

To find out where inflation is affecting consumers the most, we compared the prices for typical goods and services in 2022 to those in 2021. Keep reading to learn where inflation is costing you the most, and we’ll even throw in some tips for saving money while we all wait for prices to return to normal.

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Methodology

We sourced our data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index (CPI), a government resource that measures the change in prices consumers pay for goods and services. To fully understand how quickly prices are rising this year compared to last year, we checked the CPI for 2022,[1] 2021,[2] and 2020.[3]

Though the CPI is only one measure of inflation, it offers some of the best data publicly available.


Key findings

  • Between March 2021 and March 2022, the average inflation for all items increased by 8.5%. For comparison, the average inflation for all items during the previous one-year period was only 2.6%. This means that the average price for all items has gone up by more than 11% over the last two years.
  • Living costs have increased by an average of 13% in the last year.
  • Prices for all varieties of gasoline climbed by 48% in the last year.
  • Prices related directly to moving have increased by 11.84% in the last year.
  • Rent prices have gone up 4.40% since 2021 and 6.35% since 2020.

Where inflation is hitting the hardest

Fuel prices

The gas station is one of the most obvious places where inflation is impacting consumers. The average price for gas of all types has skyrocketed, climbing a whopping 48% in the last year. And, as if that weren’t shocking enough, fuel prices actually went up 19.80% between February and March 2022 alone.

These immense price increases can mostly be blamed on two factors: decreased oil production since the COVID-19 pandemic and US sanctions on Russia.[4]

How to save money on gas

Unfortunately, there’s no magic bullet that will bring gas prices back down overnight. The best ways to save on fuel are the same as they’ve always been:

  • Drive less.
  • Carpool when you can.
  • Take public transportation whenever possible.

Moving costs

Increased moving costs are a surprising standout in this year’s inflation trends. Since March 2021, common costs for moving have increased by an average of 11.84%. Here are a few typical moving costs that went up:

  • The average cost for moving and storage freight services increased by 6.9%.
  • The average price to rent a truck or other vehicle went up by 23.4%.
  • Average prices for furniture and bedding have increased by 15.8%.
  • The average cost to set up a new internet plan increased by 2.3%.

How to save money on moving costs

If you’re moving during the height of this inflation spike, here are three great ways to save money on your move:

  1. Get estimates from multiple moving companies to compare prices and find your cheapest option.
  2. Downsize before your move by selling or donating unwanted items. You can also hire a junk removal company to take useless stuff off your hands.
  3. Use our list of moving deals and discounts to find a deal that works for you. You’ll even find a few internet deals on that list.

Utility bills

In the last year, prices for electricity have climbed 11.10% and prices for natural gas services have gone up 21.60%. There are several reasons for this, but chief among them are high interest rates and—you guessed it—inflation.[5]

How to save money on your utility bills

Here are several great ways to save on electricity and gas for your home:

For tips on saving on other utilities like water, TV, and internet, check out our guide to utility bills.

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Groceries

The average grocery bill has increased by 10% in the last year and by 14.87% since 2020. Unfortunately, there’s no end in sight. The US Department of Agriculture estimates that food prices will go up by another 5% or 6% this year.[6]

How to save money on groceries

Saving on groceries can be trickier than saving on fuel or utilities. You’ve got to eat! That said, it’s possible to get the nutrition you need while saving money. Here are a few tips for spending less on groceries:

  • Start collecting coupons.
  • Switch to generic brands.
  • Shop at less-expensive grocers.
  • Buy groceries in bulk.

Sources

  1. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers,” April 12, 2022. Accessed May 2, 2022.
  2. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Consumer Price Index News Release,” April 13, 2021. Accessed May 2, 2022.
  3. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Consumer Price Index News Release,” April 10, 2020. Accessed May 2, 2022.
  4. Aimee Picchi, CBS News, “3 Reasons Why Gas Prices are so High — And When They Might Come Down,” March 15, 2022. Accessed May 2, 2022.
  5. S&P Global, “Interest Rates, Inflation Could Crimp Utilities' Spending Plans,” March 11, 2022. Accessed May 3, 2022.
  6. US Department of Agriculture, “Food Price Outlook, 2022,” April 25, 2022. Accessed May 3, 2022.
Joe Roberts
Written by
Joe Roberts
Joe Roberts is a professional writer with a degree in writing studies and over four years of copywriting experience. He previously worked at Overstock.com, where he wrote about furniture, home decor, and moving. Joe has moved all over Utah, so he knows his way around a moving truck—and he spends his time (and money) expanding his personal library so it will be even heavier next time he moves.