How soaring inflation forces stark choices

Written by sidhanta

From rising rent to higher heating bills, surging inflation impacts everybody, but it poses a particular hardship for people with little extra money to spare.

On Tuesday, the Labor Department reported that consumer prices in March were 8.5% higher than a year ago — the sharpest increase since December of 1981.

While no one likes paying more for haircuts or hamburgers, high inflation is especially painful for low-income families, 

Take Laura Kemp, a widow in Muldrow, Okla., who says that her heating bill last month was $306, more than double the $125 she paid a year ago.

"I live in a two-bedroom mobile home," she says. "I don't understand what's going on. Every month it's increasing and it's taking up about a third of my income."

Kemp feels like she's losing ground, priced out of even small indulgences like a McDonald's meal.

"I'm not making it to the end of the month anymore," she adds. "Even getting a Big Mac now — a Big Mac meal is $8 — I can't afford it."

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