When you put together your 2014 budget (and you’ve done that or at least thought about it, right?), you usually have to make some assumptions about what certain things will cost you. While there are a number of fixed cost items (your mortgage) that you can budget for, other things – food and gas, for example – have prices that can and do fluctuate.
Here are the things that will likely cost you more money in 2014 according to the people who should know about such stuff. According to Forbes.com, economists in America think that the U.S. inflation rate for 2014 will be slightly below 2%. But all of the following things are likely to increase at a higher rate than that.
I can’t recall a year when anyone has ever said the price of food is going to decrease and this coming year is no exception. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, food prices are expected to increase overall by about 3% this year. But that’s just an average. Some individual food items – mostly staples – are going to increase by even higher percentages.
Bread and cereal will increase by a much higher percentage, primarily because wheat and flour prices have gone up significantly just in the last quarter of 2013. And although some might not call it a staple, chocolate is for a lot of us and a cocoa shortage in 2013 is helping fuel predictions of nearly 25% increases in the cost of chocolate products this year. What can you do? Back in May, my blog on PrimeRates gave you some suggestions about how to save money at the supermarket without sacrificing quality. It’s worth taking a look at some of our prior suggestions about tips you can follow to trim your food shopping bill.
Clothing is also likely to increase this year, particularly clothes made of cotton. Bad crop conditions have increased the cost of cotton and, naturally, this is being passed on to you as the consumer. DailyFinance.com is predicting 5-7% increases in cotton and cotton-blend clothing in 2014.
If you’re thinking of buying a new house, home prices should be increasing this year. After a number of years watching prices decrease because of the global financial market meltdown in 2008, the housing market is finally started to rebound and that – coupled with continued low interest rates – means that buying a house will cost you more in 2014. US News.com reports that real estate analysts noted that home prices increased about 11% nationwide last year and that trend is expected to continue into 2014.
Cable and satellite television prices are also going up this year. According to the Wall Street Journal, “the average cable bill jumped from $48 in 2001 to $128 a month in 2011”. Since providers like DirecTV and Dish Network announced price increases just before Christmas (way to get positive press, guys) averaging about 4% for DirecTV and about 5% for Dish Network, now – more than ever – is the time to consider cutting the cord from cable television. In my PrimeRates blog last April we reminded you that more and more households are cancelling their cable television packages (because of the ridiculously high costs and packaging requirements) and instead watching movies and shows on online video subscriptions or pay as you go services. If you haven’t thought about pursuing that option, now may be the perfect time to get a better deal at less money to help your 2014 budget.
Is there any good news I can offer you on 2014 prices? Yes, actually, there is. According to experts, gas prices are not only expected to not increase, it’s very possible that they’ll decline in 2014. At least for that, we can give thanks.