DES MOINES — With inflation at its highest rate since 1981, financial counselors in Iowa are hearing from more families who are worried about their household budgets.

Emily Bezdicek, a HUD-certified financial and housing counselor with Catholic Charities, says to compare how much your family is spending now compared to last year.

“Pull those credit card statements, pull those bank statements. See how much you actually spent on things and see what that difference is,” Bezdicek says. “Everyone’s going to feel this inflation a little bit differently.”

She suggests the best way to combat inflation is a complete understanding of the family budget and how it compares to spending. Bezdicek says it can be difficult for some people to step up and admit they need help making ends meet.

“We really commend people for reaching out because finances are a really personal thing,” she says, “and for someone to be brave and to reach out, in our eyes, is always great but we always start looking back to those basics: budget, budget, budget, budget.”

Food prices are up more than 10% from last year, used vehicle prices are up over 15%, and energy costs are up 30%.