Inflation costs cut students’ disposable income drastically

What they really mean when they say “You have such a bright future!” Geralt via Pixabay

And yet, tuition continues to rise

Have you noticed an increase in your grocery bill? Did you suddenly start to feel lightheaded now that cheap gas is considered $1.70? Have you noticed eating out costs more than it used to? Let me tell you why all these prices are going up. It’s a wonderful thing called inflation. 

Now what is inflation, you might ask? It is when the prices of things go up at a gradual or fast pace, which results in the growth of prices affecting a great majority of people. It can affect our families, community, provinces, and country in a variety of different ways. 

Inflation tends to affect us, and those around us, in a variety of different categories. It has affected people in a way in which they may choose to make more affordable decisions in their ways of living. Those around us seemed to be the most concerned about the prices of food, gas, and housing. According to Statistics Canada, inflation has hit its highest percentage in 39 years. Inflation skyrocketed last month in June at 8.1 per cent, which makes it the highest percentage since 1983. 

Why are we back to such crazy prices and why is this happening now? Seems to be a common question that is coming across people’s minds. Well, it appears that there are a variety of different reasons why the prices of things are going up. It can be because of a supply shock, which can occur naturally, just not as expecting such high demand in certain products, or it can depend on the distribution of certain products in areas. A prime example of supply shock could be when the COVID-19 pandemic first hit. 

Something went missing for a period of time that hardly ever goes out of stock. The thing that was disappearing off shelves and was delivered by the truckload to Costco. The answer is: toilet paper. When the pandemic hit in March of 2020, a great majority of people were buying toilet paper to stock up in case they had to had to isolate. This resulted in families not being able to find supply. Stores had to control the amount of toilet paper they gave to people, and prices were jacked up now that it was a hot commodity. This was the result of supply shock. Now in 2022, the pandemic has slowed down, but there is still a supply shock on a variety of different products in stores which then results in a push towards a cost-push. This is when the prices of food, gas, and housing goes up because of the amount of supply that is around. 

The major categories affected by supply tend to be food and gas. To put into perspective how much prices have gone up for food products, you can look around in your local grocery store and see how much more food costs. It appears that food now costs much more than what it did about a year ago. In Saskatchewan, the Consumer Price Index states people’s grocery bills have gone up by 9.7 per cent since May 2021, which is certainly driving a wedge in healthy eating habits. 

Making food at home tends to be a way to have healthier options, meet certain dietary restrictions, and create bonding experiences with those around you. Not to mention enjoying the process of making and eating it. Well, now that is not always the case with such an increase in the price of food. Not only does it cost almost 10 per cent more to buy groceries to cook at home, but restaurants also have to compete with high inflation costs. Many restaurants struggled with prolonged closures, shipping delays, and empty tables due to the pandemic. For them to balance the budget at the end of the day, it will mean raising the costs of their food too so they can make ends meet. But for many customers, they may have to find cheaper, alternative options to spend on a nice meal because the price is now beyond their budget. 

Now that we have discussed how much the percentage of food has gone up, let us take a look at the price of gas. The price of gas has grown a significant amount which is deterring people from travelling to their ideal summer vacation destination, among other hardships. Summertime travel is a fair bit different than winter, the majority of us may be using boats, taking vehicles on more trips to meet with others, and getting out more compared to colder months. Not only are you using more gas, but the price of gas is going up which makes it harder for us as well. The price of gas went as high as $2.07 per litre earlier this month. With these prices, many are certainly seeking alternatives to getting around. Bus passes, cycling, walking, and e-bikes have been particularly popular means of getting around. 

Overall, the prices of things are skyrocketing because of inflation. It can be because of supply and demand, or how supplies are distributed, or because the causes are out of our control. Will the inflation keep growing or will it go down? It appears that it is hard to say at this exact moment. The prices of food, gas, and housing are constantly fluctuating and the advice that appears to be best is look out for sales, talk with family and friends where they see good prices, and just keep an eye on the news, radio, and more so that you are aware of what is going on around you. 


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