Costs of living

Survey says costs of energy and food hit budgets the hardest

The costs of energy and food are the greatest hits to American pocketbooks, according to recent Gallup polls. Seventy-nine percent of those surveyed on the financial impact of nine various economic issues ranked the cost of energy—including gasoline—as very hurtful to their finances; the price of food was cited by 76 percent of the respondents. Other high-ranking issues included taxes (69 percent) and health-care costs (68 percent). Related polls revealed the lowest income brackets (under $24,000) are more affected by the cost of food than the highest ($90,000 and above), with 81 percent of the poorest ranking food costs as damaging compared to 65 percent of the most wealthy.