What's Your Personal Inflation Rate? Use This Spreadsheet to Find Out

Use our spreadsheet to calculate your personal rate of inflation.

Nicola Chand 5 August, 2022 | 1:37AM
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The rate of consumer inflation in Canada continued to rise, reaching 8.1% year over year in June, following a 7.7% gain in May, according to StatCan. Food, clothes, life - everything costs more. 

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) represents changes in prices as experienced by Canadian consumers. It measures price change by comparing, through time, the cost of a fixed basket of goods and services. The goods and services in the CPI basket are divided into 8 major components: Food; Shelter; Household operations, furnishings and equipment; Clothing and footwear; Transportation; Health and personal care; Recreation, education and reading, and Alcoholic beverages, tobacco products and recreational cannabis.

Not all the components of the basket are weighted equally. Food, shelter and transport have the highest weighting. When the price of bread goes up, then, it moves CPI more than if fine wine or caviar do, as bread is an extremely important staple consumer product. But that process may not account for unique and individual experiences of inflation. What this means is that for individuals, the result is divergent experiences. 

Working out your personal rate of inflation is a good way to shed light on those differences. Our colleagues in Australia have assembled a spreadsheet you can use to do this.

What's Your Personal Inflation Rate?

Using the spreadsheet is simple.

1. Click here to download the spreadsheet and save a copy on your computer

2. In the “Amount your spent over the quarter” column input the amounts that you spent on each category (if you’re not sure how much you spent over the quarter, just multiply your monthly spend by three as a rough approximation)

3. The spreadsheet will automatically calculate your personal rate of inflation for each category (Column F) and your overall personal rate inflation (Cell F17)

Note: If you are confused as to why this isn’t similar to the headline rate, please keep in mind this is a quarterly rate, instead of annual.

My Personal Inflation Rate: Nicola Chand's Example

I calculated my own personal rate of inflation as an example below. At 2.1% over the June quarter, prices for the goods and services I buy rose faster than the 1.8% notched by in the CPI. The culprits were clothing and footwear, food and rent.

I spent more of my income on housing than most households, which experienced price inflation of 2.5% over the quarter, pushing my personal CPI figure up. I also spent more on clothing and footwear than average households, which had a major impact on my CPI, with the category experiencing the largest price increase over the quarter jumping 3.5%.

On the other hand, I spent less on furnishing, household equipment and services than the average household.

This article was originally published on Morningstar Australia by Nicola Chand, and is reproduced here with Canada-specific insight.

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About Author

Nicola Chand  is a wealth and finance journalist with Morningstar

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