(WKBN) – In the past year, the United States has seen the inflation rate rise 6.8%.

“The 6.8% is the steepest increase that we’ve seen since 1991,” said Deanna Rossi.

Rossi is an investment advisor representative. She says the inflation rates have affected many areas. 

“A gallon of milk has gone up by 3%, but a gallon of gas has gone up by 58%, so if you’re driving a lot, you’re really gonna feel it. Whereas food has gone up maybe by 6%, but your energy bills have gone up by 30%, or if you gotta buy a car, the cost of a car has gone by over 30%,” she said.

Currently, the federal minimum wage is $7.25, and the minimum wage in Ohio is $8.80. It is set to rise in January to $9.30.

So, that raises the question, can an average person survive off of minimum wage with the inflation rates going up?

According to an article written in September by Dr. Amy K. Glasmeier, Professor MIT and Allison Omen, Chief Strategy Officer at JUST Capital, “We discuss the minimum wage, but we leave a living wage out of the conversation. Neither the current minimum wage, at just $7.25 an hour, nor the proposed $15 an hour reflects what people need to get by.”

Rossi said due to the pandemic, many people have received extra financial assistance and so they haven’t really seen the effects of the inflation rates yet.

“They didn’t feel the pinch so much as inflation went up in 2021, so they had a little extra money. They’re spending that money, they spend that money, and what happens, cost of goods go up. Well, in 2022, they’re really gonna feel that pinch ’cause they’re not gonna have that stimulus money,” she said. 

Still, she says it’s not all bad. She says with the cost of housing going up in our area over 6%, our area is benefiting 

“The value of your house went up. Get excited about it, and it’s really getting us more in line here with some other communities,” she said. 

Her recommendation to help prepare for rising costs is to save a little more than normal when you have extra money, even if it’s just $10.