Summer is in full swing.  The enjoyment of getting out in Montana to enjoy any activity is happening.  Camping, hiking, boating, backyard repairs, even home repairs.  It most likely will also include a few get togethers over cold beverages and exquisite barbeque meals.

Or will it?  Have you checked out the pricing on certain items across any store that you may find yourself in?  Are you feeling the crunch of the "Consumer Price Index?"

Understanding What It is, And How It Effects Our Everday Life Purchasing

The Consumer Price Index is a measure of the average change in prices over time in a fixed market basket of goods and services.  How does it affect you?  Easy, these are typical things that you would purchase in any given day.  The US Bureau of Labor Statistics defines that as:

The CPI is based on prices of food, clothing, shelter, fuels, transportation fares, charges for doctors' and dentists' services, drugs, and the other goods and services that people buy for day-to-day living.

Finding Out If We Are Paying More for Goods in Montana This Year

Well, yes.  We are.  Sure, gas prices have stabilized to a point, eggs are back down to a manageable price level, it seems like maybe we are feeling some relief from this recession crunch.  But not so fast.

The latest data shows that in fact we are paying more for our everyday items:

Over the last 12 months, the CPI-U advanced 3.5 percent.  Food prices advanced 5.3 percent. Energy prices decreased 11.3 percent, largely the result of a decrease in the price of gasoline. The index for all items less food and energy increased 4.7 percent over the year.

The only statistic that boggles my mind is that of the drop for energy pricing.  In Montana, we have seen our energy prices and bills skyrocket over the last year to keep our homes heated or cooled.

Are food prices keeping you from being on your deck cooking something up?  Are you being more frugal when it comes to what you take to the campsite?  How are today's prices affecting what you purchase?  Let us know in the comments of our socials or you can email me here with your thoughts.

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If you are feeling the crunch, here are 25 ways you can start saving money today

These money-saving tips—from finding discounts to simple changes to your daily habits—can come in handy whether you have a specific savings goal, want to stash away cash for retirement, or just want to pinch pennies. It’s never too late to be more financially savvy. Read on to learn more about how you can start saving now. [From: 25 ways you could be saving money today]

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