Photo source: Spencer Platt, Getty Images
During the pandemic, the International Monetary Fund reported in March 2022 that shipping costs surged so dramatically that the cost to transport a cargo container along a transoceanic trade route shot up sevenfold during the 18 months following March 2020—with the shipping cost for bulk commodities spiking even more. The pandemic upended supply chains, and ports saw labor shortages.
Pandemic health restrictions drove up demand for online shopping during extended lockdowns, only adding more stress to the supply chain that led to shipping delays and a surge in shipping costs.
So, if you’re planning to ship a package, don’t wait until the last minute; sending something overnight or express could cost you exponentially more.
It’s not your imagination: The cost for your morning jolt of caffeine has crept up. Several popular coffee chains announced price increases in 2022, citing supply chain disruptions and increased labor costs. In the U.S., the price for a cup of coffee skyrocketed by 7.6% from August 2021 to August 2022, now costing $4.90 USD on average according to the article published by Insider in August 2022. For Americans brewing at home, roasted bean prices have jumped 17% since 2021—even instant coffee crept up 12%—so while coffee makers are the cheaper option over time, it’s still not immune to inflation. Canadian coffee drinkers saw the price of 12 oz. package of ground beans rise a full dollar since 2020, according to consumer price index data from Statistics Canada.
Aside from inflation, the weather is having an outsized impact: In 2021, Reuters reported that in Brazil, the largest coffee exporter worldwide, farmers faced frost, which damaged their arabica beans crops. Some farmers say their production will be impacted, which could lead to higher prices for coffee. While coffee lovers have few options to get around price increases, buying in bulk and brewing at home can keep overall costs down.
In-app mobile purchases
Photo source: Canva
During lockdown restrictions, people had more spare time and used gaming apps, causing consumer mobile games spending to skyrocket in 2020. Canadians downloaded 469.6 million gaming apps in 2019, a number that steadily rose to 659.9 million by 2022—a nearly 41% surge according to data from Statista. In-app purchases saw a sharp spike in 2020 and since then have seen slower growth, though it continues with a steady rise in revenue. Meanwhile, in the U.S., mobile app research firm Apptopia reports a 40% year-over-year increase in average in-app purchases in July 2022. In 2019, the average price of in-app purchases according to Digital Information World —among the top iOS U.S. games—was $3.99 USD. Over one year, that price increased 25%, reaching an average cost of $4.99 USD in 2020.
With more games on people’s phones than ever, it’s easier to lose track of the costs that add up, so consider taking inventory and uninstalling games or restricting in-app purchases through your phone’s settings.
Making minimum payments on a credit card
Credit card interest rates can be high, and if you've made a habit of paying the minimum, your interest costs may be adding up. Canadian credit card holders generally have an interest rate ranging between 19% and 22%.
In the U.S., Forbes found that the average interest rate for credit cards was 16.65% in May 2022, which is 2 percentage points higher than in the third quarter of 2020. If a card holder has a balance of $2,000 USD and a 16.65% interest rate, it would take eight years and five months—and an additional $1,529.61 USD in interest—to pay it off with minimum payments.
In 2020, it would have taken eight years and three months to pay off $2,000 USD with minimum payments—starting in 2022, it would take an extra two months to pay off the same amount.