For most of us economics get serious when it hits us in the back pocket.
Right now there are plenty of reasons to be interested.
The economy is running hot, prices are rising and so are interest rates.
This is much better than the deep recession and mass job losses we feared as Covid hit, but the recovery is bringing fresh challenges.
News that inflation is on the rise won't be a huge surprise to those who pay attention to the weekly shopping bill.
But it's exceeding the Reserve Bank's target range for the first time in more than a decade.
That means interest rates are likely to rise.
Last week the four major trading banks - ASB, ANZ, BNZ and Westpac - all increased their home loan rates in the wake of the spike in inflation.
Economists are now forecasting that the Reserve Bank could start lifting the official cash rate from next month.
The OCR was cut to a record low 0.25 per cent last year to head off the worst of the Covid economic shock - fallout from lockdowns and closed borders.
But it is now expected to rise with predictions of an increase of around 1.5 percentage points.
That will come as an economic shock in its own right to many.
Analysis by CoreLogic shows the mortgage cost for a first home buyer in Auckland who paid the median price this year ($902,000) using a 20 per cent deposit, could rise by almost $10,000 if rates were to hit 4.5 per cent.
ASB economists have forecast that every 1 per cent increase in mortgage rates would suck about $3 billion a year out of the domestic economy.
Aside from the prospect that this might cool the housing market, putting up rates right now might seem a harsh thing to do.
With debt levels high, it is not without risk.
And the oil price slump and market wobbles of the past few days have provided a timely reminder that things can turn fast.
A straight line recovery is no sure bet.
But lifting rates is the primary tool at our disposal to head-off inflation and stop price rises getting out of control.
Anyone old enough to remember living through the years from the mid-1970s to the early-1990s will have experienced the pain that inflation causes.
It hits the poor hardest because they spend the highest proportion of their incomes on living expenses.
Whether inflation is really here to stay or is just a temporary symptom of the pandemic is the big question dividing economists right now.
Has technology (and price discovery the internet allows) changed the world so much since the 1980s that the old rules no longer apply?
While there's a good case for a cautious, middle-ground approach, central banks are going to have to make the call one way or another.
The odds might be on an August rate hike now but when we look at the pace of the daily news cycle and the scale of events unfolding in the world we should remember that is still a long way off.
The best we can do is stay interested.