I was at Wal-Mart the other day, and noticed that they have raised their prices on lots of staple items. I was surprised. When we moved here 4 years ago, a big box of Pepperidge Farm Goldfish was $5.98. Guess what it is now? $7.98. That's just an example. Even at places like Wal-Mart, groceries aren't cheap anymore. And for this family of six, which three teenagers, food goes fast!
Insurance is more expensive. My first 3 children were born in the 1990's. Guess what I paid for them? A $50 copay, and everything after that was covered 100%. Now, it's a copay for every pre-natal visit (and there are a lot of them), you get zillions of bills from the pathologists, Radiology, the tests, etc. etc. and THEN you get to pay anywhere from 20-40% of the hospital stay during the birth of your baby. We had a baby in 2007 and he was thousands and thousands of dollars. UGH.
Now, I learn that public school Driver's Ed (which was a FREE class in my time) in North Carolina will go up from the meager $55 it is now, to $300-$500 dollars per student after this school year! UGH! It's not enough that my insurance payments literally QUADRUPLED when my daughter got her license!
Gas is expensive. Groceries are expensive. Taxes are higher. Utilities are WAY more expensive. (I about fell over when I got my water bill for last month!) Insurance is pricey. School field trips are $100+ and they used to be like, FIVE DOLLARS. Airlines are starting to charge a fee for CARRY ONS. Everything is being stripped down to the most basic service, and things we were never charged for before are some sort of fee now, and it all adds up.
It's scary, how much money having a family costs these days. Don't get me started on College tuition.