LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Inflation has been a big problem for Americans over the past year.

For food, gas, housing, and other necessities we’re paying more than we have in the past.

So, experts say it’s time to spend wisely.

The Consumer Price Index, which adds up the average price people are spending on everyday necessities, went up to 8.5% back in March.

The data released today by the Labor Department makes it one of the biggest year-over-year increases since 1981.

“A lot of people go to the grocery store and don’t really pay that much attention to the prices. Now is the time to pay a lot of attention to prices,” said Charles Ballard, an MSU economics professor.

“So, it’s like having to find a way to budget and spend money it’s kind of difficult especially being a second-year college student, and it only being my first year on campus,” said MSU Sophomore C.J.

Experts say it’s all because the supply is not meeting the demand.

Whether it’s energy, housing, shelter, food, or gas, people like Robert know we don’t have much choice but to pay the price.

“People need to consider what they’re spending and learn how to conserve and don’t waste needlessly. Decide where you’re going to go and make the most out of it and just simply wasting gas when there’s no need to. We need to be very cognizant of how we spend,” said Robert Cooper, a social studies teacher in Connecticut.

But the question is, where are we headed?

“It’s very very hard to predict where we’re heading. Because there are many elements that we have no control over,” said Dr. Ayalla Ruvio, a Marketing professor at the Broad College of Business.