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Reasons Why Cost of Living in 2016 is So Damn Expensive

As 2016 dawned, you may have gotten a flurry of red notices. (Just be glad they weren’t howlers like in Harry Potter.)

The New Year was great for many things, but not for living costs. It feels as if 2016 is the most expensive year to live in since the Great Depression.

Costs are rising, but your income is probably not. It costs you to even breathe in a city like New York. So, you know 2016 is expensive. But do you know exactly why? Here are some possible reasons:

Rent is Ridiculously Expensive

Rent has steadily risen in recent times, especially in big cities. The mortgage loan crisis of 2008 plummeted property values, but not rent. The rent only went higher. It’s next to impossible to live in a big city without selling a kidney. There are multiple theories why rent in big cities is so expensive. High demand, inflation rates, and greedy realtors all play a role.

Entry-Level Jobs are Disappearing

In the current job market, it’s impossible to secure a steady job without an advanced degree or a fancy certificate from an Ivy League college.

Entry level jobs have now become unpaid internships. Most students enter college with high hopes of landing a solid job upon graduation. Then, upon graduation, they learn that the only paying jobs available require experience or advanced level qualifications. Most college grads end up struggling with low-paying jobs, on top of huge student debt. It’s very difficult for a new college grad to bear expenses of living in a city on his or her own.

Wages are Stagnating Almost Everywhere

If your job pays you the same that your father earned in the same position two decades ago, that’s not a good thing. Inflation has been rising. Ideally, wages should be rising with the inflation rate. But they haven’t. Wages have been stagnating across America and in many parts of the world for the past two decades. This makes day to day life very hard for most families.

Tax Burden is Increasing for Mid-Level Earners

Who can forget the taxes? The problem with the current tax system is that it puts undue burden on middle-income workers, while high-level earners take advantage of low rates, tax loopholes, and deductibles. Remember that wages are stagnating. A tax burden is not something that should be added to that list of worries. Overall, life is becoming more and more expensive for middle-class workers. The rich get richer, and the poor get poorer, as they say.

Everyone Wants Sky-High Profits

Most average earners know that everything nowadays costs an arm and a leg. Medical care, which is supposed to be a basic human right, puts many people in debt thanks to outlandish ER bills. Even the gadgets we depend on, like smartphones, are becoming more expensive. Part of the reason is greed. Corporations can manufacture gadgets like smartphones for extremely cheap prices in third world countries. However, the retail prices remain high so the profit margin also remains high. Greed is not good for low and middle-income folk.

There is not one reason why everything is expensive this year. But some of the above reasoning might explain why it is so.

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Erin Thompson

Erin Thompson spent years managing her own blog about budgeting and debt. Because of that, she has great insights not only about managing spending and borrowing but also about running websites profitably. When she's not writing articles for us, she's traveling and looking for new types of wines to try.
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The content on is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not financial advice and we are not certified financial advisors. strives to keep its information accurate and up to date, but it may differ from actual numbers. We may have financial relationships with companies listed on our site. We may receive compensation for the placement of sponsored products or services. We work hard to write authentic and accurate articles.