I remember a CBC report a few years ago where a reporter and a cameraman walked into a grocery store in the Yukon and started comparing prices from stores much further south in Canada.
I was struck by how much more people in the territory were paying for their basic groceries than we were, with prices typically 15-50% higher, depending on the article, than what we were paying at the time. .
I wondered how the people of the Yukon managed to survive when they had to pay such inflated prices for their food, on top of all their other expenses.
But as I was browsing my local supermarket last weekend, I began to realize that food prices in the area had reached or were reaching the same levels as at this grocery store in the Yukon.
(I can only imagine what those poor shoppers are now paying for their food if our prices have skyrocketed so much.)
Economists will point to a number of reasons why the cost of feeding yourself and your family is rising so much, including weather events like frosts and floods destroying crops, increased transport costs and issues related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
But knowing the underlying reasons does little to alleviate the financial pressures that many of us face as a result.
Then, when we head to the gas station to buy gas to take our very expensive groceries home, we are again hit in the wallet with gas prices that are now the most expensive I have ever seen. have ever seen.
Just last week, gas prices, which were already ridiculously high and averaged around $1.61 per litre, shot up again to $1.71 per liter in the Valley and industry experts say it is expected to climb much higher in the near future.
It’s getting a bit stressful for a lot of people, myself included, whose salaries just don’t keep up with the cost of living which is exploding into the stratosphere.
The purchasing power of many Canadians has drastically diminished in just a few years, and their future does not look as bright as they had imagined.
I’ve spoken to people who hoped to retire in the next decade, but their dreams of finally being able to relax and unwind in their golden years fade as the harsh realities of their new economic circumstances in these troubled times become clear. for them.
Many have told me that they have become resigned to the fact that they will likely die at their desks at some point in their old age, just trying to keep up with their ever-increasing bills.
A poll conducted by life insurance company PolicyMe last November determined that two-thirds of Canadians consider higher inflation rates and the rising cost of living to be their biggest financial stressor.
Following inflation, the study found that top financial stressors include saving for retirement [30 per cent]inability to absorb unexpected expenses [25 per cent]unpredictability of investments [25 per,cent]inability to save as much as before the pandemic [22 per cent]and high-interest consumer debt [17 per cent].
Andrew Ostro, CEO of PolicyMe, said at the start of 2021 that many people were optimistic about their financial future.
“But now Canadians are worried about the highest rate of inflation we’ve seen in a long time,” he said.
“Whether it’s dealing with rising prices for food, fuel or housing, people are stressed by the rising cost of living; and parents feel it the most.
These are indeed troubling times.