Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Inflation Hits Home... Literally

Today, the apartment manager slid an envelope under my door. It was a packet of forms to sign to renew my lease on the apartment, as it's about two months until my lease expires.

Upon looking, I noticed something: my rent is going up to $390 a month. It was $375.

Here in Missouri, inflation rates are pretty slow, like I told a friend in Scotland in a recent Instant Message session. (He told me his apartment, converted to USD, would probably cost $900, and he also pays electric.) Back in 2005, minimum wage was $5.25 an hour, now it's $6.65 and expected to rise soon. They tell us this is because the "estimated cost of living" has increased, though I didn't notice an increase until after the raise in wage.

I really need to find a better-paying job now, or get a room-mate. And seeing as I currently have no room for a room-mate...

Oh, and I also got my electric bill today. The evil people who run the utility company caused me a bit of grief when they didn't make their online payment service completely secure, and I paid my electric bill with my debit card, and sure enough, my information got stolen. The fraudulent charges only came up to about $70 before I canceled my card, but it caused my bank account to overdraft (with fines) to about $260, money I don't have lying around. I was able to contact one place that had been charged to my account (a $20 charge) and got them to refund my account, but the other I couldn't contact and have to wait about three months before the dispute is over. In the meantime, I paid the bank $100 that I should get back when the dispute is finished. With provisional credit and refunds for the other charge, that equals to about another $100, so my account is still negative by about $60.

And we read in the newspaper last week that they want to increase our utility bill. I usually keep my lights off, but leave my computer on, and have the microwave, a clock, and the phone plugged in. (Oh, and my apartment has air conditioning.) My bill this month was $89.10, more than it was last month. Note that CU (City Utilities) pays hefty pensions to retirees... And they run the City Bus, which is also increasing it's fare from $1 to the odd $1.10, which is expected to increase again next year. (Last year, bus fare was $.75.)

They're already over-charging as it is, they don't need to increase the utility bills!

ARGH! And ARGH! again!

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