RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Whether you like it or not, life is more expensive nowadays. Inflation has forced prices on just about everything to rise in 2022., and it causes many to be worried about what 2023 has in store.

If you have been looking for a new house or if you’ve had outstanding credit card debt, you may have noticed the impact of high inflation — and University of Richmond professor Dr. Tom Arnold said the end is still not in sight.

“It’s not a great economy, but it’s not exactly a horrible economy either. And to some degree, that’s what makes it almost unsatisfying, because it’s not one or the other,” said Dr. Arnold.

Earlier this month, the Bureau of Labor statistics released its November jobs report, showing 263,000 jobs were added across the country and unemployment remained steady.

Dr. Arnold acknowledged, while this is good news, there is a downside.

“The problem here is kind of like indirect inflation. In order to attract workers, employers are going to have to raise wages. That then feeds into the cost of products and services that are being sold,” he said.

Instead, all eyes are on the Federal Reserve.

After four straight interest rate hikes of 0.75%, the Federal Reserve chair is now expected to do a smaller increase at 0.50%.

The interest rate hikes are meant to cool the economy by making it more expensive to borrow money for things like cars, houses or just plain ol’ credit cards.

Arnold said experts are hopeful The Fed can raise rates at a slower pace.

“Okay, say a half a percent, a quarter percent, maybe even get down to an eighth of a percent. Or if it’s going to stay at this, 0.75%, maybe not every two months,” he said.

So, the big question — are we headed for a recession? Arnold says as of now, no. While prices are high and the fed is increasing interest rates, people are not losing their jobs like they did back in 2008 during the Great Recession.

Arnold points out, unless a big catastrophe happens, this current economic climate will be our reality going into the new year.

“What we’re stuck in is this sort of middle ground of ‘maybe there’s going to be a recession.’ And it wouldn’t surprise me that sort of middle ground even becomes prolonged the next year,” said Arnold.

Arnold’s advice? Save money where you can and avoid those credit cards.

“Usually, its people borrowing money that kind of feeds into the crisis, unfortunately,” he said.

So, plan ahead for the long haul in this economy and be mindful of your spending.