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How inflation is impacting one mother in the U.S.

DANIEL ESTRIN, HOST:

The government has released the latest round of inflation numbers. Consumer prices surged again, up 8.5% in March from a year ago. It's the highest annual increase in more than four decades.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

For months now, we have used superlatives like surged and highest to describe the situation. But those statistics are just that, statistics. They don't illustrate how these price increases are affecting real people, people who are struggling to make ends meet before inflation started to soar.

ESTRIN: People like Ginger Brice (ph) of Austin, Texas. She was laid off from her job as a hotel concierge at the beginning of the pandemic. And even though she got unemployment, disability and food stamps, Brice had to downsize her family's two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment.

GINGER BRICE: That was fun. So we did that (laughter).

CHANG: They moved to a one-bed, one-bath apartment. It's tight quarters, but she and her two kids made it work. And then in December 2020, Ginger was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer, stage four.

BRICE: I started chemo April 1, 2021, so that was terrible and somehow crawled through that. Do not ask me how.

CHANG: Ginger had to hire someone to help with her kids. And then there was another cost.

BRICE: The doctors required that I have a second bathroom because when you're in chemo, nobody can use your bathroom. So we then upsized to a three-bedroom, two-bath.

ESTRIN: Another move, another cost. Now, Ginger is doing better and working part time. It helps to keep food on the table, but with the rising cost of groceries and gas, she has to keep her budget very tight.

CHANG: And Ginger's rent is going up by 20%, so she is moving again. She's only saving about $100 a month with this move. But Ginger says she doesn't worry about things she can't control. Cancer taught her that.

BRICE: I just manage what's in front of me. For me, it's like I'm not really worried that much about the future, you know? We just roll with the punches. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Brianna Scott is currently a producer at the Consider This podcast.
Courtney Dorning has been a Senior Editor for NPR's All Things Considered since November 2018. In that role, she's the lead editor for the daily show. Dorning is responsible for newsmaker interviews, lead news segments and the small, quirky features that are a hallmark of the network's flagship afternoon magazine program.