The U.S. inflation rate accelerated in March, with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rising 0.4%, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported today.

The CPI measures the average change over time in the prices paid by consumers for goods and services. The CPI also rose 0.4% in February, after increasing 0.3% in January.

Source: U.S. BLS

Inflation has come down sharply over the past two years, after peaking at 9.1% in 2022. But over the past 12 months, the CPI has still risen 3.5% – nearly double the Federal Reserve’s target rate of 2.0%.

Photo Credit: The WSJ

Economists widely regard high inflation as harmful to families, particularly those that struggle to make ends meet. Higher inflation means items families need – food, gasoline, housing, utilities, clothing, transportation – become and remain more expensive.

When couples encounter financial struggles, it can quickly begin weighing on their relationship and become harmful to their marriage if not dealt with in a healthy way.

A 2018 survey from Ramsey Solutions found that money is the number one issue that couples fight about, concluding that “both high levels of debt and a lack of communication are major causes for the stress and anxiety surrounding household finances.”

The survey also revealed that “money fights are the second leading cause of divorce, behind infidelity” (emphasis added).

In a statement to the Daily Citizen, Geremy Keeton, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Senior Director of Counseling at Focus on the Family, told us that families should face tough financial struggles head on.

“In challenging or even dour times, families can show what they are made of – they can still grow, and often for the good, through trials,” Keeton said.

He added:

Despite what is happening at a macro-level nationally, we have to take responsibility on the home front and balance our own budgets to the realities that exist. Individuals need to be realistic and sometimes even creative with how they save or generate supplemental income. Adjustments to such hard times work best with optimism, flexibility and even extra thankfulness for what we do have.

We don’t have to be defined by a “sky is falling” approach to life – wealth and wellbeing in a marriage or family system is actually rooted in so much more “than the numbers.” It’s in the healthy emotional process of a family system – in how they connect to one another as a team solving a problem and connecting to their faith.

If you’re struggling and need to speak with someone, Focus on the Family offers a free, one-time counseling consultation with a licensed or pastoral counselor. To request a counseling consultation, you can call 1-855-771-HELP (4357) or fill out our Counseling Consultation Request Form.

To check out Focus on the Family resources on the topic of Managing Money, click here.

Related articles and resources:

Counseling Consultation & Referrals

Focus on the Family: Managing Money

Empowering Women to Take Control of Their Finances

Getting a Reluctant Spouse Onboard with Budgeting

Working with Your Differences

Money Talk: The ‘You’ in ‘Unity’ is Silent

Teach Kids About Money

Middle-Class Americans Struggling Financially, New ‘Issues 2024’ Brief Reports

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