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Study: Inflation hitting rural families the hardest

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Posted at 11:17 PM, Jul 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-13 23:19:28-04

POWELL COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — According to an Iowa State University study, rural household expenses rose 9.2% in 2022, while earnings only rose 2.6%.

It said the net effect cut rural disposable income by 38%. Meanwhile, urban disposable income only dropped by 17%.

In Powell County, LEX 18 found a few families who feel this statistic in their pocketbooks.

Screamin' Beans Coffee Shop owner, Christina Smith said she isn't able to grow her business due to high prices right now. At home, high gas prices have also called for sacrifice. Her husband's daily commute to Lexington meant paying about $900 a month for diesel.

"We didn't have money for a phone bill," Smith said. "We didn't have money for groceries."

Now, she said he's going in less to cut down on costs.

Customer and single mom of two, Theresa Tipton is also feeling the pinch.

"You gotta choose which bills you can pay and which ones you can let slide and try to pick them up the next time," Tipton said.

For customer and musician, Chelsea Nolan, high inflation meant she had to take on a second job.

"We're all balancing things right now," Nolan said. "It's tough but we're trying."

Her positivity was echoed by Smith, who believes it will all work out in the end.

"Sometimes I do get nervous, I get anxious," she said. "And then I have to let it go and not worry and enjoy the moment and enjoy the right now and keep planning for that future and hope that things turn around. I just really hope things turn around."