When the local barber shop I liked raised prices after COVID it felt spendy but a reasonable concession for a business that had trouble for a few years. About a year ago a new booking app switch lead to a $2 service fee per transaction. Annoying, but bearable. Finally on May 1st they announced a whopper of a 24% price increase. Businesses are not just riding the wave of inflation, but being greedy.
Why It Matters
Some economists are starting to look at a profit-price spiral as the cause of our stubborn inflation. As consumers it is easier to maintain our habits and keep buying what we used to buy, but if we do not push back, companies will continue to take advantage of us.
My War on Inflation
After Wegman’s jacked up the price of their rotisserie chicken to $12 from $8 I retreated to Costco and their $4.99 bird. I used to love eating out for the random Sunday brunch or date night but jacked up menu prices at many local restaurants make dining out not worth it. Fees added to food delivery apps like UberEats are comical at this point, and I have stopped using them unless I get a discount.
Inexpensive Luxury Turns into Money Holes
From the easy to grab Starbucks coffee and sandwich to the convenient Uber ride, pre-COVID there were a lot of things that were not necessary but were nice. As prices continue to rise, I will not miss these things too much. The food from Costco is great. My Nespresso brews as good of a cup of coffee as Starbucks. And I found a new barber shop.