The highest inflation since 1981!” the broadcaster reported. Kit and I looked at each other. Newly home from Africa, we had married in 1981. Our first home came with a budget-choking 14% interest rate as the Federal Reserve fought inflation. We managed by driving used clunkers, no meals out, and rabbit ears for a thirteen-inch TV. For our one-year anniversary and 1st vacation, we scraped together $100 in cash, drove to Charleston, and stayed until the money ran out.
Today those with low locked-in interest rates need not be so draconian. Kit and I plan to manage simply by using 8½ % less of everything starting with food. We could benefit from eating less anyway. Gasoline? Oops. We’ll need to use 37% less gas. We only heat and cool our home when we have company. No chance of saving there. Our minimal service Internet and cable costs nearly 10% of our income. I doubt the cable company will give us a break. Unlikely with house and car insurance as well. Property taxes here are nearly triple what we paid in Arkansas. No 8½ % short-payment of taxes allowed. Maybe managing won’t be so easy after all.
“Social Security is indexed to inflation,” Kit and I assured ourselves. But the increased cost of Medicare deducted from Social Security took virtually all of this year’s inflation adjustment. Still we’re grateful to be healthy, energetic, and not in Ukraine. Our divided country is unlikely to take the difficult steps necessary to deal with inflation. Hunker down folks. We’re planting potatoes.