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Household expenses are increasing, wages staying about the same

YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - While the economy continues to show growth and recovery on paper, it’s getting hard to make that dollar stretch at the grocery store.

“I spent $65, I usually spend $35,” said Julio Martinez while leaving a grocery store. “It’s kind of ridiculous sometimes.”

Other residents say the prices we’re seeing in rural Yuma County seem more like big city prices.

“It shouldn’t be rising as much as it is,” said Talia Noriega. “I mean we’re Yuma, not Phoenix.”

While specific market data for Yuma was not immediately available, the United States Department of Agriculture Retail Milk Prices report says the average price for a gallon of regular milk in Phoenix right now is bout $4.26. 

Last year in Phoenix, the average price was $3.66, up from $3.01 in 2021.

According to a poll by the Associated Press and the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, about two out of three Americans say their household expenses have increased over the last year. The same poll also shows only about one out of four Americans said their annual income has gone up.

As expenses outpace earnings, financial experts say it’s time to make some cutbacks in spending.

“Your budget is going to tell you how you’re spending you’re money and the quicker you understand how much money is being spent compared to how much money is coming in, then you can make some assessments on what to do about your budget,” said Tom Rush, founder and wealth advisor at Yuma Investment Group Wealth Management.

Assessing one’s budget means separating the wants and wishes from the needs. 

The needs are things you have to pay for, such as gas, rent or mortgage, and basic groceries. 

Other purchases could fall under discretionary spending, which is where people can often make a few changes.

“I wanna go to Starbucks two, three times a week, well you can cut that out because it’s not a necessity,” said Rush.

Rush also advises against putting too many purchases on credit cards because of the high-interest rate.

He also says some people could try to increase their income to combat the increase in household expenses by asking for overtime projects with their current employer, or by picking up a side job on the weekend. 

Article Topic Follows: Yuma County

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Eddie McCoven

Eddie joined the KYMA team in October 2023 as a reporter. If you have story ideas or tips, email him at


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