what's YOUR personal CPI?

Discussion in 'Economics' started by blackjack007, Jan 24, 2011.

  1. for those of you who keep spreadsheets with personal expenditures, how have your annual expenses changed from 2009 to 2010?


    housing and clothing were cheaper in 2010 than in 2009;
    groceries about the same;
    eating out costs about the same per meal;
    household utilities about the same;
    gasoline slightly more expensive

    my 2010 CPI is -3% from 2009

    i'm still waiting for the rampant inflation that people predicted two years earlier
  2. Good one.
    My housing is the same, since I didn't refinance my mortgage.
    Property taxes are the same.
    Transportation is down from a couple of years ago when gas prices spiked, but not too sure about the year over year on this one.
    Groceries are broadly the same; wine, which is what I pay the most attention to (hey, if you drink it every night with dinner, it's a grocery) is the same.
    Citrus is up, I think there's some crop yield problems there.
    Firewood went up to $200 a cord, but I think someone was figuring on cashing in on oil and gas shooting up, because that wood is still sitting in a big pile.
    Books, which we consume a lot of around here, are still cheap as always: we buy 'em used every year when the local library has a big sale, and we got a Nook which we can use for getting everything else pretty cheap. I got Adam Smith's Theory of Moral Sentiments for a buck on that thing. I bought City, a sci-fi one on shortie's referral, from Amazon cheap and used.
    Energy is about the same, partly because we replace the incandescents with CFL's every time one burns out, and that has actually reduced our electric bill noticeably, which offsets a rise in our winter heating bill. We also replaced all our desktop computers with laptops, and they use a lot less power too.
    The Boy's tuition goes up 3% every year like clockwork. If ever there was a case of extortion, this is it; these guys know they have you by the short and curlies, and they just pull a little harder every year. Come the revolution, we shoot the professors first; the lawyers can wait.
    So, overall, I'd say around +2%, just because tuition is such a huge part of our budget right now.
  3. Check your insurance costs
  4. Fuel costs have been reduced to 0%
    Automotive cost have been reduced to 0%
    Food cost have stayed the same but due to a location change consumer tax rate has been reduced significantly.
    There has also been a reduction in sin tax due to the location change for -36% difference.
    There state income tax rate has been reduced to 0%
    Housing and utility cost have appeared on the radar but are managable. If there is any increase in cost the solution is move to another location.
    The actual effects of the housing mess will be around for decades. Reguardless of what anybody is trying sell the perception a hopefull economic picture. There actually exists some major macro economic issues in the US economy.


    I am geting so cheap that a penny rolls away becauses it does not want to get pinched.
  5. The only one I can comment on is groceries:
    2006: $230 / month average
    2007: $260 / month average
    2008: $245 / month average
    2009: $255 / month average
    2010: $257 / month average
    This assumes my wife and I have bought about the same amount of groceries for the noted years. Everything else is pretty much up and down, but they are impossible to compare due to purchasing in different amounts.
    For anyone who doesn't keep a spreadsheet -- I highly recommend it. It's the best way to spot when you're paying more for something over time than you actually value it. Otherwise, you're making decisions with no real information, leading to the good ol' GIGO decision making.
  6. health insurance up ~20% since last year and more hikes are promised.
  7. clacy


    Don't worry, the guys that live in their parents basement and earn $10k/yr, will be on here soon telling us how because McDonald's raised their Dbl Cheeseburger by 10 cents, that there is rampant, widespread, hyperinflation due to Helicopter Ben.

    Ignoring the fact that clothing probably costs about the same as it did 10 years ago, electronics are cheaper than ever, housing prices are lower, almost all retail prices are lower, travel and air fare have been cheap in recent years.
  8. Stocks are 15-20% more expensive than a year ago.
  9. My personal read on this is that the middle class two income family definitely gets hit the hardest by the inflation we've got stirring underneath the surface (and above the surface in parts). There is less flexibility on lifestyle adjustments when you have to pay tuition and you have to buy more food, etc, etc...

    I've definitely seen the inflation in insurance prices like another poster mentioned. My read on this is two-fold (and this applies to a variety of other fees and various "taxes"). The increase in rates is more closely tied to:

    a) Investment losses from 2008.
    b) Less Participation or subscription from insurance enrollees. (i.e. the ponzi has fewer participants).
    c) To stave off default, price hikes become the norm. Note this applies in a major way towards insolvent states that have massive underfunded pensions and/or large bureaucracies.

    Back to the original question...In the face of the greatest credit bubble collapse possibly in worldwide history and AFTER a parabolic run-up of all prices (food, housing, property taxes, various "use" taxes, tuitions, etc, etc), the fact that we have not had any meaningful deflation is pretty disconcerting to be honest.

    Take college tuitions as just one example. Throw out any number you like for a 4 year institution, whether it be $100,000 or $200,000 depending on state institution versus a prestigious Eastern private school. How many families in 2005-06 could afford the cost of those schools versus present day? Keep in mind, that interest rates actually generated some form of return, the stock market was higher and employment was at a higher percentage.

    In the interim, tuition prices probably increased another 20-25% during that period while the actual affordability decreased. In steps the government and its subsidy for student loans.

    The point is prices were unsustainable at 2008 prices. We had the greatest credit crisis in history and we've barely made anything more affordable. For the levels of unemployment, underemployment and overall lack of wage growth, even moderate inflation in this environment is a disturbing trend.
  10. That is the scary one. Blue Cross has an automatic 15% hike every year, with additional 15% raises on top of that for certain age milestones. I had one this year, so my health insurance went up 45% in 2 years.

    How many people's income goes up 15%/year indefinitely??
    #10     Jan 24, 2011