Valley families struggling as inflation reaches 40-year high

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A shady park provides fun for the kids and for parents, a temporary break from worrying about rising food and gas prices.

"Well, it's been really tough," says Cara Mejia. "My husband has been single income. We have three kids and we're already having to dip into savings because it's too much."

Mejia is not alone.

Fortune Magazine says 67% of Americans have been raiding their savings to cover rising costs.

With cash reserves running low, we're seeing more families using credit cards at the store.

"People are trying to sort of figure out a way to fill in the gap in their household budgets," says Bankrate Senior Economic Analyst Mark Hamrick. "There is a risk in that because you're sort of taking on the risk of increased debt. At the same time, you're being hit with these increased prices."

The federal reserve meets on Wednesday and is expected to raise interest rates in another attempt to curb inflation.

Fresno Loan Officer Paul Salazar says that will further lessen your buying power when it comes to housing and cars.

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Fortune Magazine says 67% of Americans have been raiding their savings to cover rising costs.

"We got hit with kind of a triple whammy," he said. "You've got COVID, then you've got the war with the gasoline prices that happened. You've got inflation running rampant."

Salazar believes this down economic cycle, unfortunately, will be remembered for the ages.

Many families have put off summer travel to save money, but Kathy Hillman-Manlove needed to see their grandkids in Fresno so she flew in from Maryland.

"We're just tired of being stuck, so we just have to keep working," she said.

Key indicators on Wall Street are flashing warning signs

The S&P 500, which is tied to many 401k accounts, entered a bear market, meaning it is down 20% from its most recent high.

Stock portfolios are taking a big hit but many financial experts say you shouldn't sell off your stocks - unless you absolutely need the money.

They remind people Wall Street has always rebounded from a bear market.
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