I developed the Chapwood Index because I knew the CPI didn’t reflect the cost of living increase accurately. Additionally, I was disturbed that in the index it evaluated 60,000 items. Which I felt was way too many and couldn’t possibly reflect the rising cost of what most people spend their money on. So I looked for an alternate measure for the rising cost of living. I found one that I was comfortable where it measured the rising cost of living with out the manipulation and biases that the current cpi has. However it didn’t break down its findings by city and metropolitan area. I felt a need to explain to people specifically what their cost of icing was and have it reflect their specific lifestyles in the ir specific cities. Since I couldn’t one I developed the chapwood index. I have many friends and business associates around the country and I asked them to send me a list of what the spend money on in their everyday lives. I asked them bot be specific by brand product and size and frequency of use. I received over 4,000 different items. I narrowed the list down to the top 500 most frequently used. This is the list we use for the chapwood index. In crating the index I observed if the item was used daily, weekly, monthly or annually and calculated its influence on the index based on its value. Then we started tracking the items on a quarterly basis.
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I also created what I call a personal austerity calculator. The Chapwood Forecaster allows people to input their personal information utilizing the chapwood index for their city to determine a realistic financial plan. It is complimentary, requires no sign-in and no one except yourself will know that your went there. This is my gift to you. In putting this together I rallied coming from the financial advisor world that advisors need to do abetter job of discussing with clients what their clients increases are.