personal finance

How to calculate your own personal inflation rate

Inflation increased in August, the highest since September 2005, with consumer prices rising at an annual rate of 20.52%. Rising costs for housing, food, and airfares were among the biggest contributors to that key gauge of inflation.

The typical Nigerian family is spending a lot more per month on goods and services than a year ago. Yet you may not be “typical.” We don’t all spend the same amount on the same things.

To figure out how much inflation is actually impacting your wallet depends on how much you are spending and where you’re spending it. You need to calculate your own personal inflation rate. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Look at what you’ve spent on food, housing, gas, entertainment, apparel, education, and other items. (To find out exactly what to include, go to page 4 of the Nigeria Bureau of Labor Statistics’ list of expenditures that make up the consumer price index.)
  2. Gather your card bills and bank statements to find the exact amounts that you spent in each category.
  3. Add up your monthly spending for last month and a year ago.
  4. Then subtract your total spending for August 2021 from August 2022.
  5. Divide that difference by your monthly expenses for August 2021.
  6. The result of that equation is your personal inflation rate.

Depending on your income, the impact of your personal inflation rate may feel better — or worse — on your wallet than the latest CPI number.

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