Do Supply Chains Really Affect Me? 

In recent years, people have been asked to adjust their habits in more ways than one. And one such way is in our ability to access certain goods. Now that most people are back to work, we’re still not able to purchase everything we could in 2019. This news can be confusing, and it may not affect you. But believe it or not, the disruption of certain global supply chains can, in fact, take a toll on individual households.

High demand and limited supply tend to make prices go up. It’s no longer toilet paper that’s in short supply. Here are just some of the areas in which your family may be lacking or feeling financially pinched, thanks to supply chain issues:

  • Food
  • Gas
  • Furniture
  • Cars
  • Electronics
  • Long wait times

What Household Items in the Midwest Are Affected by Supply Chain Shortages?

Just like with inflation, some supply chain issues are having a big effect on the prices that shoppers pay at checkout. As of early this year, here are some of those items:

  • Meat. The production of meat temporarily fell due to staffing shortages during the pandemic. When meat producers lower their output, that can result in higher prices.
  • Baby Formula. There have been reports that baby formula is hard to find. It’s unclear what’s causing the shortage, and some stores are more affected than others.
  • Used Cars. While the average cost of used cars is expected to go down in 2022, prices won’t likely reach 2019 levels. This is due in part to the fact that new cars have been in shorter supply than usual.
  • Furniture. If you’re having a hard time finding affordable end tables, lumber shortages could be why. The cost of lumber continues to be much higher than normal, and this can cause a spike in the price of goods made from wood.
  • Electronic Devices. If you’ve been saving for a new laptop, smartphone or other electronic device, you may have noticed higher prices, as well.
  • Bicycles. This may not be a make-or-break item for your home. But the availability of new bicycles has been severely impacted by lacking supplies. It’s a long story, due in part to the fact that the vast majority of bikes are made in China.

Depending on who you ask and where you live, it seems that everything from clothing to pet food has been in short supply at some point. That isn’t to say everyone throughout the Midwest is having the same experience. But it’s good to be aware so you’re not taken by surprise the next time you go grocery shopping or look for products online.

Financial Education: Is Inflation in Illinois Making Things Worse?

If the news has your head spinning lately, you’re not alone. First, it was the toilet paper wars. Then, we were told certain goods were hard or impossible to get. Global supply chain shortages caused by the pandemic meant that many companies didn’t have all the parts needed to make the computers or automobiles or whatever else they sold. But as you and your family plan for the future, keep in mind that inflation and supply are two different things. Some experts predict that many of the inflated prices you’re noticing will start to ease, especially as the more elusive parts and goods become available.

Illinoisans May Need to Adjust Expectations, Budget for Longer Wait Times

There is hope for Illinoisans. Some prices have already started to fall. To find out whether current circumstances affect your own household, start by creating a detailed budget. Doing so nowadays may require doing a bit more research than usual on the cost of common expenses, as well as future purchases you’re planning. Families may have to delay making more expensive purchases or make more of an effort to seek out discounted or used items.

With so many things in flux, financial services provided by Currency Exchanges can provide a much-needed sense of stability. Even if your paychecks are irregular, we are always here to help you cash them. Some things are still the same – such as transportation needs and on-time electronic bill payment – and we’re here for you in those areas, too.

At CCEA, we offer dozens of services to residents throughout Illinois. Call or stop by your nearest location to see what else we can do for you.

A person holding lettuce at a grocery store.

With over 350 locations, many open nights, weekends, and holidays (and several stores with 24/7 availability), you can rest easy knowing your financial needs can be taken care of when you need them most. We’re in the heart of every community. Don’t believe us? See for yourself.