The “I” word is being heard a lot these days, with the rising cost of goods and services and wages not keeping up, inflation is becoming the word of the day.

Experts are highlighting many factors in play including dealing with the global pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine which is affecting gas, oil, and commodities. As well, supply lines are being hampered by both aforementioned.

In April of 2022, Canada’s annual inflation rate rose to 6.8% the highest recorded since 1991, the same year the last Battle of Alberta playoff series took place 31 years ago.

Adding salt to the wound of high costs is the fact that wages are not keeping up. According to the Business Council of Alberta, there was a 4 per cent decrease in average household incomes since the start of the pandemic.

Albertans can take some solace in knowing that the cost of living in Alberta still remains one of the lowest in Canada that does not mean Albertans are not being affected. According to a Leger poll taken in March of this year, 39 per cent of Albertans considered the current inflation rate “a very serious problem” while 43 per cent viewed it as “a somewhat serious problem” as opposed to 1 per cent of the population saying it’s “not a serious problem at all”.

As in everywhere else in the country, Cochranites are feeling the pinch at the gas pumps with a price of 1.71.9 per litre. Rising costs in utilities and food are also making consumers look closely at what is in their shopping carts.

That consensus seems to ring true with local consumers:

As Brandon from Cochrane says, “You buy less and you’re very selective and you try to figure out where you are going to find the best price, basically.”

Local shopper Mike says, “I think everybody is scrutinizing their shopping lists shopping used to be almost an afternoon adventure now it’s a depressing task we have to perform. […] I think everything all the way across the board has been raised up in prices from services to goods.”

While global mitigating factors at the root of rising inflation may be beyond our control, some financial advisors do say we can have some control. Planning, budgeting, and shopping wisely lessen the strain on wallets. Plus, if you need help with refinancing and lessening your debt load there are organizations that can offer help.