Dealing with increased energy costs from both inflation and seasonal changes

My budgeting was a lot easier before prices on every single conceivable expense increased over the past two years.

I remember how good I would feel at the end of the month whenever we’d have a tiny amount of money left over to put away in our savings accounts for a later day.

These days I’m lucky to have enough money from my paychecks to cover my credit card and vehicle payments. I couldn’t even imagine having enough money for savings accounts amid the current inflation rates. Gasoline shot up to $4.80 in my area for a few months before dropping below $4 again during the past week. While this might seem like progress, I doubt we’ll ever see a reversal of the price increases at the grocery store. While things like my hot dogs are still under $1, even the Dollar Store is now longer an actual dollar—they had to raise their prices to $1.25 last year and lots of people were hurt by it overnight. That’s a massive 25% increase on prices without any warning or transitional period. It seems like a gradual increase would have been better, but it’s possible they only wanted to do one single increase so they wouldn’t be forced to do it again as inflation worsened. Needless to say, my electricity costs more, making heating and cooling expenses higher than ever. It’s painful whenever I hear the air conditioner or furnace turn on depending on the season, and thinking about all of the money it costs in the short term. Because of the increased energy costs that come with running a central HVAC system, this has caused me to become increasingly stingy at the grocery store.

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