I like to be the hero. It's a pretty rewarding line of work to be in. The pay is good, and you get to help people in need, sometimes saving them hundreds if not thousands of dollars in the process.
The cost of everything is going bananas. I have to charge more. That's expected by most, but some aren't able to simply pay more and more for services. But at the same time, I can't perpetually absorb these increases. Gas is almost double what it was a short time ago, water heaters are absolutely ridiculous, and believe it or not, what I call nuts and bolts, the smaller items to make the bigger stuff work, has risen in cost even more than the bigger, more obvious things.
So that's the situation, plain and simple. If a business doesn't adjust, it dies.
What I think every homeowner should consider doing is to set aside an emergency fund if you don't already have one. Our dishwasher decided to shed its mortal coil, draw the curtain, and join the bleedin' choir invisible, and we were surprised at how much more expensive it was to replace than the last one. We're feeling it too.
Having one or two sources of supplemental income, even if it's a side gig or occasional yard sale, can save your bacon when something breaks. This is common in countries where the overall tax burden is high, and we WILL be seeing more taxes soon. Politics may be relative, fluid, and subjective, but math doesn't care one bit about that crap.
20 years ago I could replace a 50 gallon standard vent natural gas water heater for under $900 and did well at that price. 10 years ago it was about $1,200. Now the average simple replacement is pushing $1,600 after sales tax, heater, supplies, and labor. And I'm not really making much more in profit than I was back then. The cost of the heater itself is rising faster than gold or silver. If I knew what I know now a few years ago, I would have bought a truck load of heaters and forgotten about investing in the stock, crypto and commodities markets.
If I didn't care, I wouldn't be writing this. I'd give a price and say take it or leave it. But I do care about people's well being financially, You need to have a plan. Inflation of the kind we are experiencing IS NOT TRANSITORY. I'm not as credentialed in economics as I am with plumbing, but I call it like I see it. Hyperinflation is coming. It could get scary for some. That's where supplemental income will make a difference. Be creative. Think outside the box. And never give up hope.