In a New Poll, Americans Say They Face Higher Household Expenses

By Jonathan Walker | December 12, 2021
Jonathan loves talking politics, economics and philosophy. He carries unique perspectives on everything making him a rather odd mix of liberal-conservative with a streak of independent Austrian thought.
46
A shopper walks by a sign displaying $1.25 price, posted on the shelves of a Dollar Tree store in Alhambra, California, December 10, 2021. Results of a new Associated Press poll found Americans reporting they’re paying more for household expenses.
A shopper walks by a sign displaying $1.25 price, posted on the shelves of a Dollar Tree store in Alhambra, California, December 10, 2021. Results of a new Associated Press poll found Americans reporting they’re paying more for household expenses. (Image: FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)

Prices of essential goods and services have been increasing unabated over the past several months, and many Americans now report they are feeling the pressure to make ends meet. 

According to the results of a Dec. 2021 online poll published by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research that sampled 1,089 Americans, 67 percent of Americans admitted that their household expenses are higher than what they were in March of 2020.

Only 26 percent said that their financial expenditures remained about the same, while just 6 percent enjoyed a decrease.

Half of the responding Americans stated that their income has remained static when compared to March of last year. 24 percent reported making more money, and 26 percent said their incomes had decreased during this period.

The survey asked respondents if they had experienced higher prices than usual for certain goods. 85 percent said they noticed a rise in the prices of groceries and gasoline, 58 percent thought holiday gifts were pricier, 57 percent experienced higher electricity costs, and 62 percent felt the cost of services had gone up.

When it came to appliances, 37 percent said the prices were higher while 51 percent said they were not in the market.

According to CNBC, during the early period of the pandemic, inflation was largely limited to things such as trucks and used cars. But of late, this manifestation of a troubled economy has begun to affect a broader range of products and services.

“In terms of core household expenses, you weren’t seeing it there [earlier this year]. You are now…You’re not seeing price declines to offset that…The price increases are pretty pervasive,” Greg McBride, Chief Financial Analyst at Bankrate, told the outlet.

Larry Sprung, a certified financial planner in New York, shared similar sentiments in comments to Time, “Things that you’re buying on a day-to-day basis are now essentially going up in price, so it can really affect your budget…If you have a budget put together, it’s time to adjust it and take a look at how prices and your costs have changed,” 

According to CNBC, the Consumer Price Index (CPI), a measure of a wide range of goods and services, rose by 6.8 percent in November year over year, the fastest pace of inflation growth since June 1982.