carrick on money

My recent shout-out asking for examples of inflation produced a full shopping list full of examples. We know inflation is on the rise – we started the year with prices rising 1 per cent year over year and hit 3.6 per cent in May. Now, let’s look at some specifics, as reported by readers of this newsletter:

• A reader in Woodbridge, Ont., reports that a five-litre jug of canola oil recently sold at one national retailer for \$13.99, up from \$11.99 a few weeks ago and \$6.99 in the past.
• A reader in Kamloops, B.C., found that carpeting went from \$3.57 a square foot in January to \$4.50, which was negotiated down to \$4.20.
• A men’s haircut for one reader has climbed to \$40 from \$30.
• A pint of beer at a restaurant in Guelph, Ont., has gone from \$8 to just over \$10.
• Packs of bacon purchased by one reader have remained steady in price, but the weight has fallen to 375 grams from 500g.
• An Ottawa reader offered a bunch of examples of food inflation, including a jump in the price of chicken thighs to \$25 a package on average from \$18; yeast has risen to \$5.49 from \$4.50 or so.
• A fireplace insert will cost a reader in Victoria close to \$7,000, compared with \$4,000 for a friend who bought something similar two or three years ago.
• A pack of generic paper towels has risen to \$5.99 from \$4.99 a few months ago, a reader reports.
• A dozen bagels purchased by one reader at an independent bakery have gone from \$11.99 to \$15.99 in a year.

Statistics Canada has built a calculator to find your personal inflation rate, based on your monthly expenses. I calculated our household inflation rate at 3.8 per cent. What’s yours? Let me know at rcarrick@globeandmail.com.

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#### Rob’s personal finance reading list

###### Her wedding plans have changed – a dozen times

Add weddings to the list of things getting more expensive as the economy reopens. There’s a huge backlog of events that are now going ahead, and that’s putting upward pressure on prices. We tackled wedding costs in a recent episode our Stress Test personal finance podcast for Gen Z and millennials.

###### Best apps for transferring money internationally

The Savvy New Canadians blog surveys apps for sending money to family and friends who live outside Canada. Here’s some guidance from the federal government on international money transfers.

###### ‘Have fun staying poor’

A Financial Times columnist says this jibe has been thrown at her following critical comments on bitcoin. Her response, and it’s a good one, is to note the similarities between crypto investing and a Ponzi scheme.

###### Pirates, dog statues and Captain America

For your amusement – photos of, um, unique objects of art featured in real estate ads.

Q: Why on earth would Canada’s major banks choose now to raise their fees for most types of accounts and transactions? Record profits, many suffering. Boggles the mind. On the same subject, is there a good bank fee comparison tool that you could recommend?

A: Try the chequing and saving account comparison tool from the federal Financial Consumer Agency of Canada. Banks raise fees because they can. Most customers just pay the extra.

Do you have a question for me? Send it my way. Sorry I can't answer every one personally. Questions and answers are edited for length and clarity.

#### Today’s financial tool

An online tool that will help you get an idea of your risk of suffering from dementia. Dementia risk is something to consider in your retirement planning.

#### The money-free zone

I recently took a halftime break from A Promised Land, Barack Obama’s book about his presidency, to read Jonny Appleseed, by Joshua Whitehead. It’s about “a young Two-Spirit/Indigiqueer,” to quote the publisher, who works in the city as a big city cybersex worker. One of my best reads this year.

#### ICYMI

###### Even more coverage from Rob Carrick:

Are you reading this newsletter on the web or did someone forward the e-mail version to you? If so, you can sign up for Carrick on Money here.