How to beat the higher cost of living

Perhaps you've noticed: Living is expensive.


In January, you paid an average 3.9% more for basics -- the roof over your head, the food in your fridge, the visits to your doctor -- than you did 12 months earlier in Southern California.

A government forecast says that food in general will set you back 3.5% more this year.

People are coping in many ways -- patronizing the public library instead of the bookstore, kicking the brand loyalty habit, arguing (often successfully) with credit card companies, finally taking their fathers' advice to check the tire pressure, mowing their own lawns.

Check out some dollar-stretching tips.
Tweaking your household finances to save hundreds of dollars a year doesn’t have to hurt — too much.
Savvy shoppers can find name-brand and organic products at discounters like 99 Cents Only.
Contrary to how it feels, stuff is cheap. Really. So why do we feel so squeezed?
Quick econ lesson

'Educate yourself about the economy'

March 9, 2008

'Educate yourself about the economy'

Kim Estrada works two jobs, has two children at home and one in college and makes time to monitor mortgage interest rates, keep tabs on the consumer price index and take note of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke's utterances. "I think the best way to take out the stresses is to educate yourself about the economy," the 45-year-old Saugus resident says.

'When I got my gas bill, I couldn't believe my eyes'

March 9, 2008

'When I got my gas bill, I couldn't believe my eyes'

Serena Jen, a renter for 12 years, is determined to be ready to buy the next time prices are right. The real estate market being in a slump "gives me an added incentive to save more cash for a future down payment," the Los Feliz-area resident says.

'I try to stretch everything'

March 9, 2008

'I try to stretch everything'

Paul Marangoni had his epiphany at a Ralphs, where he suffered what he calls his "first triple digit." He had never spent more than $100 at the grocery store.

March 9, 2008

'There's basically nothing left for splurging'

As luck would have it, Cheryl Charles' twin daughters both found careers in the mortgage industry. One was laid off just before the holidays and returned home to live with her mom, and the other moved back in to save money as the real estate market went south.

March 9, 2008

David Lazarus: Renters priced out of L.A.

Deanna Corbin, 46, would live in Los Angeles if she could. But she can't, at least not with a modicum of space and safety, not on her $38,000 salary as an administrative secretary.

  • Email E-mail
  • add to Twitter Twitter
  • add to Facebook Facebook
  • Home Delivery Home Delivery

PHOTO GALLERIES

TOP VIDEO

CONNECT WITH US


2013 YEAR IN REVIEW
Look for this special section in your
Baltimore Sun newspaper on Dec. 29, 2013.
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Google Plus
  • RSS Feeds
  • Mobile Alerts and Apps

Contact Us | Newsroom directory | Social Sun