Skip to main content

The U.S. government has a real inflation calculator anyone can use

If you want to see how bad things are, take a look at the U.S. inflation calculator

Inflation, inflation, inflation.

It’s a word that continues to appear in headlines, on social media, and in every conversation you have after looking at your latest grocery bill. Is the constant coverage just “doom porn” and clickbait, or is it real?

a ton of $20 bills
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The U.S. government has a real inflation calculator for you to decide for yourself.

The tool comes courtesy of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The inflation calculator allows you to determine how much buying power a certain amount of money would have in one specific month of a year compared to another. It may sound confusing to explain. However, it’s intuitive, and a cinch to use, though looking at the results may bring about a significant cringe.

For example, perhaps you live in New York and filled your tank with 10 gallons of gas before heading somewhere for the holidays in December of 2022. The average price of gas a month ago in New York was $3.49 per gallon. If that were the price at your usual gas station, you’d have paid $34.90. How much buying power would that have had in December of 2000? A few inputs, and you’ll see — that $34.49 would have been worth $58.83 two decades ago — more than two-thirds more (68.57%).

Of course, 20 years is a long time. What would $34.90 have been worth in December 2019, before COVID-19 and supply chain issues changed the world and global economy? Again, re-input the numbers, and you’ll see a slighter difference. The $34.90 you spent on gas would have stretched to $39.83 in 2019. It’s slightly less than a $5 margin, but it adds up when you consider all the other expenses you have.

The inflation calculator currently shows figures from January 2000 to December 2022, and it doesn’t allow for future projections. That’s probably a good thing.

It’s been a challenging few years living through a global pandemic that’s domino effects on the global economy included layoffs, furloughs, shortages, and supply chain issues. It would be nice to feel like we’ve burst through the tunnel and reached the light, but thousands of tech sector layoffs from Twitter to Microsoft, freefalling cryptocurrency, and inflation are all among the new headlines that may give you a headache as you scroll through social media or watch the news. The R-word — recession — is also being thrown around a lot. On the bright side, the caviar market is hot.

Jokes aside, know that you’re not alone in your concerns about the economy, finances, and job security right now. A recent survey showed that more than 70% of workers were getting more and more concerned about their financial security, and fewer than half of the respondents reported feeling financially stable.

Using an inflation calculator to see just how bad things are getting may not be the best idea if you have worries. However, it’s there for you if you’re an economic wonk or need to prove a point to a friend who hasn’t been following the news.

Topics
BethAnn Mayer
Beth Ann's work has appeared on healthline.com and parents.com. In her spare time, you can find her running (either marathons…
Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in the U.S., alpine touring (2nd) and splitboarding (5th) also rank high
Some like small courts, some like wide-open backcountry
A group of people playing a game of pickleball.

The stats are in for 2023, and it tells us that Pickleball is the undeniable frontrunner in growth over the past four years. According to the Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA), the racket sport has grown over 170% in the past four years. But it's not alone in seeing enormous growth. Sports participation has continued to grow as we move out of the pandemic, including several outdoor activities — most notably winter sports — and previously fringe sports.

Ingrained in our human nature is the need to feel part of something big that connects us to others. Movements, sports, and ideologies all fit this bill, and the more people who take part, the more we feel validated in our desire to play or push ourselves in that sport. Marginalized or new sports may appeal to those willing to take a risk on an all-new activity, but until that sport gets some traction, you might end up spending hundreds of dollars on a short-lived hobby.

Read more
Apple just gave hikers, campers, skiers, and snowboarders a great reason to use Apple Maps and ditch Google Maps
Go anywhere and never get lost
Apple Maps update press release photo

Google Maps has long been a dominant player in navigation, known for its comprehensive data and ease of use. However, with the release of iOS 17, Apple has introduced a game-changing feature that's set to make Apple Maps the go-to choice for outdoor enthusiasts and adventurers. Apple is finally introducing offline maps, and it's a feature that will revolutionize the way hikers, campers, skiers, and snowboarders navigate the great outdoors.
iOS 17 unveils offline maps for Apple Maps
Apple Maps has come a long way since its initial launch, and it's continually striving to offer users a more robust and feature-rich experience. With the launch of iOS 17 on September 18, 2023, Apple is introducing offline maps, a feature that will be a game-changer for those who love outdoor activities.

Offline maps allow users to select specific areas to download to their phones. Once downloaded, these maps can be accessed and used without an internet connection. This makes it possible to enjoy turn-by-turn navigation and conduct searches even in remote areas where internet connectivity may be unreliable or nonexistent. It works similarly to Google Maps in the sense that you do need a WiFi connection to download the maps, but after that, you're good to go off the grid.
The perfect companion for outdoor adventures
For outdoor enthusiasts, this feature is a dream come true. Whether you're hiking in the wilderness, camping in a remote location, skiing down the slopes, or snowboarding in the mountains, having access to offline maps can be a lifesaver. Here's how this feature can benefit different adventure seekers:

Read more
Apple has a classical music app you’ve probably never heard of, and just purchased a record label to support it
Apple says it now has the most classical music of any streaming service
Portland, OR, USA - May 7, 2023: Apple Music Classical and Apple Music app icons are seen on an iPhone. Apple Music Classical is a brand-new standalone streaming app for classical music lovers

 

Amazon Music, Spotify, or Apple Music — whether you're grinding through your work commute or unwinding in your safe space at home, music is a part of that, and your favored streaming app is how you listen to it. Some of us like to rock out to get mentally psyched for the workday, and some want to soothe their souls on the way home. While classical music may not be everyone's first choice when planning a playlist, it's grown in popularity over the last few years. Through social media like Instagram and TikTok, classical music is getting recognized more and more, and Apple wants it to get even bigger with an app you may not know it already released.

Read more