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People learning to live with less in the face of higher food and gas prices

11:48 PM, Feb 18, 2013   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- How are your finances so far this year?  Higher prices and smaller paychecks mean less money for a lot of people.

We have seen 32 straight days of gas prices on the rise. The average price per gallon in Jacksonville is $3.73.

"I've been shocked and I went out of town and I came back and I'm like, oh my gosh, while I was gone, because I went somewhere where I didn't drive, and I was shocked," Nancy Anderson said.

It's enough to make almost anyone a little protective of their money.

"For gas, I do like probably everybody, I do my stops in a row so I don't have to do too much and the food prices, I'm just more careful," Anderson said.

So far, this year has been a tough start for a lot of people.  Anderson and her grandkids are trying to compensate for higher prices at the pump, at the grocery store, and a smaller paycheck because of a payroll tax increase. 

"I'm just more cautious, and trying to cut back on like everything," she said.

It's hard to escape the extra costs. Accredited wealth manager Jim Newman said it's best to try and focus on the long-term, if you can get through the short-term. 

"It's not a bad thing that prices are going up, because what you hope will happen is as the demand goes up, so will our paychecks," he said.

Another factor, the rising minimum wage. It's good for workers, but some analysts say the higher wages could eventually mean higher prices on the items you buy.

First Coast News

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