Is there a simple way to measure how inflation actually affects me?
No complicated formulas, or building a basket of goods, give each product a weight in the basket, or spending large amounts of time looking over bills or what not. Some simple criteria to follow or look at to figure out how much your spending power decreased from some previous time?
Just a bit of context for my question. I recently had a conversation with a senior person, retired, about politics. I know... bad idea. He was telling me how the current government has increased his pension by X amount. To which I replied that it doesn't matter since the same government, with their bad practices, has caused inflation to double since last year, so his increase in pension is just on paper since things cost more now.
But then I started wondering. How do you know how you are affected? But you personally. Not how inflation affects people in general. In the example above how do I know if the pension increase is enough to cover inflation prices or not? In the case of bank deposits you know, if inflation is 5% and your bank pays you 1% on your deposits then you know. But how about the cost of living?
What are some simple steps one can take to figure out how inflation is affecting him or her?
EDIT: just to be clear, I'm not talking about USA. It doesn't really matter the location. inflation works the same everywhere, and governments are incompetent elsewhere also.