How the cost of monthly utilities, car insurance and child care is soaring
It’s not just grocery staples like eggs, milk, bread and coffee that are going through the roof — it’s also the hit from basic monthly payments like heat, electricity, car insurance and child care.
While housing costs and car payments continue to dog consumers amid stubbornly stiff interest rates, new figures from the US Energy Information Administration reveal that homeowners and renters alike are getting no relief from their associated monthly bills.
Those include electricity, which has climbed 25% since January 2020, the year before President Joe Biden took office and began touting his Bidenomics agenda.
California residents have experienced among the fastest-climbing electricity bills, which have popped a stunning 59% from the start of January through October 2023, per EIA.
Maine also experienced one of the steepest surges in electric costs, at 42%, while New Yorkers faced a roughly 38% pop in the same three-plus-year time period.
It’s part of the cold reality looming for most US voters who believe the odds of achieving the so-called “American Dream” are stacked against them.
For consumers faced with heating their homes this winter, the price of natural gas is also up 29% since January 2020, according to EIA figures that were earlier reported on by Bloomberg.
The figures contradict the latest Consumer Price Index, which reported that the energy index fell 2.5% on a monthly basis in October as gasoline tumbled 5% — figures Biden spun as good news for Bidenomics, which popped a historic $2 trillion hole in the federal budget last month.
Car insurance costs are following the same trend as Americans face monthly payments that are 33% higher than they were at the start of 2020.
The advance is faster than the previous three years, from 2016 to 2019 combined, when monthly car insurance payments ticked 21% higher, according to Bloomberg.
The cost of the car itself has also revved to a record-breaking $736 per month for a new vehicle, according to automotive company Edmunds.
In another grim all-time high, Edmunds found that 17.5% of Americans’ monthly car payment exceeds $1,000.
Healthcare plans also became more costly.
The average employer-sponsored health insurance premium for US families reached almost $24,000 this year, according to an annual KFF survey of more than 2,000 American companies — up a punishing 7% compared with a 1% increase a year earlier
Premiums for individual employer coverage rose at the same rate.
And as of 2022, the average annual cost of child care nationally was $10,853 — or roughly 10% of the average married couple’s median income — according to Bloomberg, citing data from Child Care Aware of America.
However, costs varied by region. States in the Northeast charge the most for child care, CCAoA found, running parents $30,514 for two children.
For reference, CCAoA’s annual survey found that housing costs in the area average $25,557 and the average child care professional earns an average of $28,520 per year.
In 41 states plus the District of Columbia, the average annual price of child care for two children exceeds average annual mortgage payments by anywhere from 1% to 53% — and rent payments by a staggering 100% — per the CCAoA.