Americans Are Trying To Cope With Rising Inflation

People are struggling to cope with the effects of inflation. Newsy spoke with some consumers and small business owners about their experience.
Posted at 8:27 PM, Sep 07, 2022

For months, people have been making changes to cope with the highest inflation in 40 years. 

"I think everyone is just trying to find a new normal and kind of balance between what we used to do and what we have to do now," said Zack Ferguson, a resident. 

The Federal Reserve is expected to raise interest rates another three quarters of a percentage point this month as it tries to rein in inflation. 

That will make debt, like credit card balances, even more expensive to pay off.

"Buy now pay later, doesn't mean you're paying back that $250 purchase, that means you're paying back a $375 purchase once you add in that interest," said Marla Puckett, a certified credit counselor.

Renee Macklin’s family had to rely on credit cards when their moving costs spiraled. 

"Just a lot of stress, and a lot of nightmares and a lot of feeling like you're doing something wrong all the time," she said. 

Rising costs are a major challenge for small businesses. 

John Ries has owned Hot Pie Pizza in West Palm Beach, Florida for 13 years.    

"Everything is evidentially jumping so fast, faster than you can reprint the menu, faster than you can pass that cost along to the consumer," said Ries. "My cheese, my tomatoes, my meats, my poultry, my paper goods and all my beverages." 

Experts say businesses that have barely hung on, may start giving up in the coming months. 

"I think because of the pandemic, there was a lot of federal aid money out there, PPP and EIDL loans for example, that kept a lot of companies afloat, now that the federal money has dried up, I think we’re going to see an uptick in bankruptcy filings," said Adam Marshall, a corporate restructuring and bankruptcy attorney.    

Inflation slowed a bit in July. 

The Labor Department’s inflation report for August will be released next week.