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Good morning and happy Wednesday, Daily Money readers. it’s Jayme Deerwester here with you.
🥚 More bad news for your grocery budget 🥚
But first, here’s a silver lining. Your house is probably less likely to get egged this spring. Why? Egg prices are expected to continue to rise just in time for Easter as more states are hit by an outbreak of H5N1 avian influenza A.
Standard practice in the poultry industry is to destroy all infected and exposed birds to stop the spread of the virus, meaning there are far fewer egg-laying hens to meet the upcoming demand for Easter eggs.
And it’s not just eggs that will command higher prices. Pretty soon, you’ll be paying even more for just about everything when it comes to eating in or dining out, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The USDA’s Economic Research Service updated its March report predicting a 4.5%-5% rise in food prices this year.
Eating out will see the highest increase: 5.5%-6.5%, the report predicted. Grocery prices are expected to rise between 3% and 4% in the coming months. And that’s on top of all the other increases consumers faced over the past several months.
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👩🏽🎓 Student loan update 👨🏻🎓
President Joe Biden plans to extend the moratorium on federal student loan payments through Aug. 31, the Associated Press reported, citing a federal official. For tens of millions of Americans, student debt limbo will continue another three months. The freeze saves 41 million borrowers about $5 billion a month, the Education Department has said previously.
Though borrowers likely will appreciate the extra wiggle room, many have grown frustrated with the continued extensions without a plan for widespread forgiveness. Both conservative and liberal politicians are expected to pan the Biden administration’s actions, with Democrats pushing him to cancel up to $50,000 per borrower and Republicans saying the moratorium is overly generous as is, at the expense of those without a college education.
On Monday, borrowers from California, Florida, New York, Massachusetts, Ohio and Pennsylvania traveled to Washington to press the president to cancel student loan debt. Demonstrators said that although the payment pause helped them, they wanted long-term cancellation. They said the repeated extensions make it difficult for them to plan.
“The pause doesn’t change the fact that it’s still not affordable,” said Elisha DeJesus, 27, a Massachusetts therapist for children.
💸 Taxes: Do you qualify for the recovery rebate credit? 💸
College grads in the Class of 2020 could face a happy surprise when they file their 2021 federal income tax returns, thanks to the recovery rebate credit. The same’s true if you had a baby back in 2021. Or maybe even saw a much smaller bonus or far less overtime in 2021 than the previous year.
“We have come across clients that were unaware that they could claim the credit,” said Matt Hetherwick, director of individual tax programs for the nonprofit Accounting Aid Society in Detroit, which offers free tax preparation for families and individuals with incomes up to $58,000.
Here’s a look at who might want to give the recovery rebate a second look:
- People who had a baby in 2021.
- Young adults who can be claimed as a dependent on their parents’ 2021 returns.
- Divorced couples with children.
- Young families and new college graduates living on modest incomes.
- People who earned less money in 2021 than they did the previous year.
🎧 Mood music 🎧
The egg shortage inspired today’s lyric from A Tribe Called Quest’s “Ham N’ Eggs,” written in the early 1990s, when the breakfast staple had fallen out of favor with health experts and environmental advocates.
“Why, just the other day, I went to Grandma’s house. Smelled like she conjured up a mouse. Eggs was fryin’, ham was smellin’. In 10 minutes, she started yellin, “Come and get it!” And the gettin’s were good. I said, “I shouldn’t eat it,” she said, “I think you should.” But I can’t, I’m plagued by vegetarians.”
LISTEN WHILE YOU WORK: Remember, you can listen to this song and every track I’ve quoted in the newsletter in the Daily Money Mood Music playlist on Spotify.