Gas prices make away softball trips too expensive for 18-year-old Idaho twins
Jennifer Liebrum’s family have had to cut back on long-distance driving across Idaho, which means away softball games for 18-year-old twins Devon and Gracie are in the rearview mirror
Jennifer Liebrum, 56, of Bellevue, Idaho, who works with children with special needs, and her husband Tyler Peterson, 51, a farrier, enjoyed driving their 18-year-old twin daughters, Devon and Gracie, around the area for softball games.
Sports vacation trips ended when the cost of a full tank of gas rose from $70 to $160. Their household income is $50,000 to $100,000.
“They canceled the team, because we are not the only ones in this difficult situation,” Liebrum said.
An SUV is now idling in the driveway. The family is increasingly walking and cycling in a bid to “get through this crisis”, she added.
Groceries used to cost $100 a week, but a recent delivery of supplies for two days cost $170 — prices that made Liebrum feel like she was “going to a jewelry store.”
Even driving 60 miles to the nearest Costco to stock up on more affordable products has ceased to make sense due to gas prices.
“We are considering taking back chickens, which I hate,” she joked.
“We are preparing to launch two girls in life. And now those savings are for survival.
They are the sixth generation to live in the valley and “are part of the group of pioneers who established this place,” Liebrum said.
Billionaires like Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates descend on the area every year in private jets for the nearby Sun Valley Conference, a networking extravaganza for tech and media moguls.
Once-a-month filet mignon treats came out for New Jersey family
Thomas Crowell’s family in New Jersey is struggling with inflation and the couple’s retirement plans have been pushed back, but the wedding of his son Connor, 25, at the end of the year is a highlight of the calendar.
Thomas Crowell, 58, a benefits consultant from Forked River, New Jersey, says he’s “cut back on the splurges” like the tasty filet mignon stakes he and his wife Chris, 57, an administrative manager, relished every month.
Even avoiding meat and poultry, weekly grocery bills of $250 jumped to “well over” $300 and filling the gas tank went from $45 to $70, Crowell said. Household income is between $100,000 and $150,000.
Their son Jack, 21, lives at home, but Connor, 25, has moved to Nashville, Tennessee, and is getting married later this year.
The Florida and Caribbean vacations the family once enjoyed are in the rearview mirror.
“We were going to family restaurants three times a week, we cut that down,” Crowell said.
Worse still, the couple’s retirement savings have been “gnawed away” as stock values are “torn down”, Crowell said.
“We don’t know how long or how deep this recession will be,” he said.
‘When will it be possible for us to retire?’
The country is “paying the price” for overspending early in the Biden administration, he added.
California couple swap European vacation for East Coast relatives
Megan Aaron, 36, has struggled with gas, food and childcare costs for her two-year-old daughter Harper, but says the family are still ‘lucky’ to be able to pay her rent and put some food in on the table
Megan Aaron, 36, a theater worker from Los Angeles, Calif., her husband Tim, 43, a paralegal, and daughter Harper, two, haven’t had an expensive vacation to Spain or Mexico this year.
Instead, the family vacation took place at a relative’s home in Massachusetts.
Weekly grocery bills have risen from $170 to $220, and gasoline prices in California are among the highest in the country.
Daycare for Harper at $1,400 a month takes a big chunk out of the $100,000 to $150,000 household income.
To make ends meet, Aaron is more careful about using leftovers. She visits her hairdresser less often and has gone back to her natural brown locks without highlights to save money.
“It’s been really tough,” Aaron said.
“Eliminating the luxury things we can no longer do.”
Downsizing to one car has been “a logistical challenge”, she added, but the bigger issue is how the unstable economy is making it more difficult to buy a home and plan for the future.
“We are very lucky to be able to pay our rent, daycare and big expenses. We are not afraid of being homeless or not being able to put food on the table,” she said.
“But it makes our lives a little more uncomfortable.”
Trips to pizzerias canceled as Maryland family hangs on for months tightening their belts
Summer camp has been canceled this year for 11-year-old twins Daniella and Natalya Neubauer and their family. Instead of flying overseas for a summer vacation, the Neubauers spent a week on the Delaware coast
Family outings to the pizzeria were the first casualty of the financial crisis for Sigurd Neubauer, 41, a online editor of Maryland, his wife Hannah, 45, a doctor, their 11-year-old twin daughters Daniella and Natalya and their son, Cyrus, four.
The twins have to skip summer camp this year because prices have “skyrocketed”, Neubauer said. Household income is $100,000 to $150,000.
Average camp costs have more than doubled to $178 a day from about $76 last year, putting them out of reach for many Americans.
International travel was halted this year and summer vacation was a week spent on Delaware beaches.
The father-of-three skips his morning visits to Starbucks and brews coffee at home instead.
Mom and dad both drive hybrid cars, which means a full tank only went from about $25 to $40.
While cutting back on restaurants, the family focused on healthy activities like tennis and swimming.
“This economy is going to be with us for a long time,” Neubauer said.
He attributes the inflation to geopolitics and rising global food prices and other “structural issues that every US president should face.”