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Posted: Wednesday, 10 July 2013 4:22AM

Household expenses are up, but how much?



Skyrocketing household expenses are outpacing inflation and paychecks.   The Intuit Consumer Spending Index is out and while it does not completely fall in line with government data, it claims the data taken from actual users in real time at Mint.com is much more accurate. 

And it shows a lot of expenses are soaring, like healthcare insurance, up 111% since January 2009.

Family economist Dr. Jeanette Tucker with the LSU Ag Center says this survey may reflect mostly higher income people.  But according to The Consumer Price Index from the Bureau of Labor Statistics she says total expenses are up 4.6%.

And she says with paychecks not keeping pace, "Many families are struggling."

Even though the government says inflation remains around two percent, some prices consumers are encountering every day are soaring, like baby sitters, daycare and tuition up nearly 70% and utilities rising 35% according to Intuit.

The federal governments data doesn't show as dramatic price increases, as Dr. Tucker looked up the same time frame from CPI and says "Health insurance was astronomical at 14.5%, education costs 14.6%, utilities over 19%."

Dr. Tucker says the Intuit survey may reflect mostly higher income people and people who are getting back into the workforce.  

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