10 issues that might be costlier in 2022
One thing is certain: 2022 will cost you.
Between inflation and ongoing supply chain problems, consumer goods prices are rising almost everywhere.
“I really don’t think there is any way out,” said Julie Ramhold, consumer analyst at DealNews.com.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t shop smarter for the things you need and want.
Here is a list of some of the top items that will cost more in the coming year and what to do about them now.
For some, buying a home has been one of the biggest challenges of the pandemic, even as mortgage rates hit record lows. Unfortunately, 2022 could be another year with new highs, as home prices continue to rise two to three times faster than a year ago – in all cities, according to CoreLogic’s deputy chief economist Selma Hepp. “An expected hike in mortgage rates over the next year will pose further challenges,” she added.
Professional type: Higher interest rates could help dampen home demand, at least a bit, which can lead to a less dramatic spike in home prices and fewer bidders fighting, ultimately making it easier for some homebuyers to get through the door. And with rental prices rising, it will still be a good time to buy.
A grocery store in New York on December 7, 2021.
Wang Ying | Xinhua News Agency | Getty Images
If you go to the grocery store, your budget will run out very quickly. Not only are staple foods like eggs, meat and milk becoming more expensive; Coca-Cola and PepsiCo also announced price increases due to additional supply chain and labor issues. Even oreo cookies, Ritz crackers, and sour patch kids will cost more in 2022, Mondelez CEO Dirk Van de Put recently told CNBC – starting with a 7% price hike earlier in the year.
Professional type: It will be hard to avoid getting gouged out on food. Watch out for weekly sales and replenish your supplies when you can, advised Ramhold. And while clipping coupons may be out of date, many stores have digital deals or membership discounts that can save you money. A credit card with food rewards can also help with your weekly expenses.
Americans are finally ready to say goodbye to their sweatpants, but this won’t be the best time to shop. Although apparel sales are expected to recover fully this year and many shoppers are looking to refresh their pandemic-era wardrobes, supply chain pressures will drive retail prices averaging 3.2%, according to a report on Business of Fashion McKinsey – and 15% of fashion executives expect prices to rise 10% or more in 2022.
Professional type: Before buying anything new, monetize your old clothes. You can submit in person or online through sites like Tradesy, Poshmark, and thredUP.
4. Heating costs
Heating bills could make you sweat this season. Almost half of households that heat with natural gas will spend an average of 30% more than last winter, according to the Winter Fuels Outlook 2021 report by the US Energy Information Administration. Propane users will spend 54% more, while heating oil users will see bills rise 43% and electricity customers will spend an additional 6%, the report said.
Professional type: Consider doing an energy audit at home to identify and fix potential leaks and find areas for improvement, such as sealing drafty windows. In some states, utility companies even offer the service for free.
A gas station in Los Angeles on December 10, 2021.
FREDERIC J. BRAUN | AFP | Getty Images
After gasoline prices rose a whopping 58.1% last year, it’s hard to imagine paying any more at the pump. Yet gas prices in some states, including Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, and Kentucky, are likely to continue to rise “very soon,” in part due to a surge in wholesale prices, according to GasBuddy.com.
Professional type: Depending on where you live, there can be large price fluctuations between petrol stations. Even if the price difference per gallon doesn’t seem huge, it can add up to hundreds of dollars a year.
6. Go out to eat
Restaurants have been under pressure since the beginning of the pandemic and the ongoing staffing challenges are not going to go away anytime soon. As a result, most have had to raise wages to attract workers and pay more for groceries, and that means menu prices will rise too.
Professional type: Look for weekly specials or dining options, such as B. Burger evenings for two. Sometimes it’s a great way to get more bang for your buck at a higher price.
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New car prices are at all-time highs, while used car and truck prices, which used to be a great way to get a deal, drove the inflationary surge by 31.4% year-over-year, making this a particularly challenging time to buy a car to buy.
Professional type: You may not be able to bring the price down, but dealers pay more for used cars, which means you could get more if you bought a trade-in or a lower-than-market price on a lease purchase.
8. Computers and Electronics
Computers, TVs, and video game consoles are all hit hard by the ongoing chip shortage, and that means there is much less inventory even if you’re willing to pay a premium – which a lot of people are, since it has become basically impossible to get a video game console to buy during the pandemic-powered gaming boom.
Professional type: Some of the best sales of the year come on Presidents’ Day and Super Bowl Sunday, when retailers mark last year’s models to make way for this year’s deals. Otherwise, score what you can when it’s in stock, said Ramhold. These prices are unlikely to come back down even if supply finally catches up with demand.
Housing at home has got most people crazy about renovations, but even small updates don’t come cheap. According to the United Nations Trade and Development Conference, furniture prices could rise by more than 10% in the coming year due to higher container freight rates. Not to mention the prices of building materials for major renovations.
Professional type: A good clearing out and a fresh coat of paint can give a much-needed boost until some of the shipping delays and supply-side issues with these bulkier items subside.
10. Medical care
Paying for health care was a problem long before the pandemic. Health care costs are up 8.4% from 2020, making care costs out of reach for many Americans, according to a medical index published by consulting firm Milliman.
Professional type: Do not hesitate to go to the doctor. One way to cut costs is to use tax-privileged medical expense accounts – especially health savings accounts or flexible expense accounts. To use an HSA, you must be enrolled on a high deductible health insurance plan (HDHP). The contributions then go up tax-free and you can invest that money to keep pace with or to beat healthcare inflation.
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