In the category of things I wish I knew sooner: Inflation.

What is it? It is the overall increase in the price of goods. I  recently learned how to calculate inflation rates, and  I want to share it with you.

You take the current price (A) and divide it by the old price (B). Then, take that number and multiply it by 100. Then subtract the total by 100 to get inflation rates in percentage form. So the formula is:

((A ÷ B) × 100) – 100 = Percent inflation

Let’s do math!

If the current price is $1000, and the old price is $495, the math problem would be:

1000 ÷ 495 = 2.02

2.02 × 100 = 202

202 – 100 = 102% inflation

I first moved to the Tri-Cities in 2012. The average person was getting paid about $8.00/hour. In 2012, I was getting paid $14.78/hour while today, ten years later, the current rate is $14.49 for minimum wage work.

The apartment I moved into in 2012 was $495.00 per month. Today that apartment is $1000.00 per month.

Why is rent so expensive?

This TMG article talks about how rent can be determined based on the size of the home, the location, amenities, finishes, etc. None of those had changed at the apartment.They were built in the 1940s and they have asbestos in the ceilings.

The minimum wage has increased in the last decade, supposedly so that we could cover our expenses. In 2012, I struggled to pay rent and my other bills. In 2022, I cannot rent ANY apartment in this area. There are none that are safe and affordable.

I am concerned. What type of world are we creating? One where people have to work three jobs to pay for their landlord’s greed? There is no sense behind this. These old buildings are not safe to live in, and the mortgage on them has to have been paid off many years ago. Where is the money going?

Carmen Villarma has been seen in the Tri-Cities news lately as a developer investing in apartment homes. She is the president of a property management company called TMG. TMG is widespread and doing very well. They have no issues with accruing ample amounts of money. This is one of the only instances I have seen of any new apartment buildings in the Tri-Cities, so they really can charge anything they want based on supply and demand.

Let’s talk about bills, baby!

I want to break down monthly bills into a low- and high-end view. The low end prices are numbers from my own personal life experience. The high end is estimated based on current prices.

According to, people working a 40-hour week make $579.60 per week, but that is before taxes!!!!!! People are not taking home that amount of money. After it is said and done, your actual paycheck is about $400. That only accrues to $1600 per month. That is not enough to cover even the low estimate in the table above.

I want all rental properties to offer income-based rent prices. Housing is a human right. Why is it not available for the citizens of America? If you’re interested in home owning, that is a whole other topic of concern.

One resource for people seeking housing in Washington State is Cut the Costs, a campaign started by the Building Industry Association of Washington that seeks to empower people to cut through the roadblocks, restrictions, and regulatory red tape that adds hidden costs to home ownership.

I do want to try to add a solution, because I don’t like to whine without proposing a solution. I am not saying the best solution is to raise wages, but to control the prices on already sky high commodities. Why aren’t all rental units based on income anyway? In this rental and land management arena, the only ones who are profiting in any way are the property management services. These new builds are capping out at $2595/month in rent for single family homes! These need to be dropped and rent controlled. In a few years, who’s to say inflation won’t make these single family homes $4000.00 or more per month? Who will be able to afford that?

Besides that, I have no solution or ways out of the housing problems we face. I am just one person trying to live with them. Hopefully by bringing awareness to what I face, maybe somebody with more power, money, and intelligence can get us out of the crisis we ‘Average Joes’ face.