The Cost of Living is Costing Sanity!

Written by: CashAdvice Staff

Is the cost of living costing your sanity? For some people it is! The cost of living in 2019 is extremely different than it was in 2002 or even 2010. Gas prices have increased exponentially often costing above four dollars for a single gallon with threats of costing five dollars in the near future in some states. There is also the cost of food to consider and the cost of utilities such as electricity and water. To afford all the expenses you incur just living on a daily basis, you must have at least a part-time job. If you have kids of course, you must then pay for daycare if you and your significant other both work. However if you are being paid minimum wage, then it’s almost like robbing Peter to pay Paul. You will find yourself working just to pay daycare and gas expenses. This is not ideal so likely you will have to find a full-time job because you must still pay for groceries and you must still pay your rent.

The cost of living has inflated significantly since the around the year 1950. A loaf of bread used to cost around $.18. If you want to purchase a loaf of plain white bread at Walmart these days, the cheapest bag you will usually find is about $1.88 or you can get two loaves for four dollars. Electricity for your house runs at about 100 dollars per month at the lowest. Renting in a neighborhood that is above the poverty level is around $700 to $1000 dollars. Your grocery bill will likely run around $200 dollars every two weeks or it may be a little cheaper if you shop smartly. Of course there is also a bill for phone and internet if you choose to have it installed which is about $70 dollars for both per month.

If you have a car there are fees for just about everything. Once you get past the initial car payment which will be about $320 dollars a month if you have decent credit, you must pay for registration, insurance, gas, and any mechanical problems it begins to have. You must also factor in oil changes, tire rotations, and new tires about once every couple of years. I factor the car into cost-of-living because if you want to get to your job, generally you will want a car. You could take the bus or a taxi or even walk to work if you are close enough but an automobile is probably the most convenient.  

Going back to the cost of groceries, if you have small age children, you will need to buy diapers, toys, baby food and a plethora of other items in addition to your normal grocery list. This will run you about an extra $100 a month. Factor in more money if you choose to have pets. You must then pay for food, vet bills, licensing, and the general necessities that every pet requires. If you are living in the city, you will probably also have to pay trash and sewer fees. If you live in a rural area, you may not have to pay these expenses because you have a well for your water needs and a dump to take your trash to nearby. However, you may have to find a post office to have your mail delivered to. This cost is fairly low. It runs about $60 for six months for a standard post office box. However, it is still money that has to come out of your pocket. Most people also choose to install cable TV at least which is about another $50 dollars a month.

Once all these bills are added up, you have your standard cost of living. This doesn’t include going out once in a while to eat, going to the movies or any other recreational activities you like to participate in with your family and friends. There are still birthdays and holidays to think about as well. Of course with the right budget, all of this can be accomplished and is accomplished by most people on a daily basis. There is even money left over to be put in the savings account if all is done right. 

The cost of living is very high in 2019. There is no doubt about this. If you go to school and get a degree, your wages will be significantly higher then if you chose not to pursue a degree in most cases. This makes what you can afford for cost of living significantly higher and you may be able to live a more quality life. If you choose to have credit cards and are responsible with them, it may benefit you in the long run as well. You may pay bills with certain credit cards as long as you are responsible and make the payments on time. This may stretch your work paycheck out a little more and give you more money to spend on other important things such as groceries or supplies.

Of course the cost of living is significantly lower if you are single. If you have a family, the cost of living could double. You can lower your cost of living by budgeting using coupons and being smart with your electricity. You could turn all the lights off when you’re not home and only run the washer and dryer on certain days to save on your energy bill. When choosing a home to live in, put all of your bills together first and see what it is you can afford. No matter what, try to keep a budget and put whatever amount of money you can afford into your savings even if it is just spare pocket change. Pass on the morning coffee run every once in a while and try to just cook at home instead of eating out. Cancel your Netflix account and just watch cable TV. These are all little things, but it all adds up in the end and is more money in your pocket. The cost of living is high, but we as citizens must survive and manage in whatever way we can. Don’t let the cost of living control you, your life, or your sanity.


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The Cost of Living is Costing Sanity!

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