Inflation is a fact of life, with prices rising over time.
However, there are times when things decrease in price.
While 2013 will see some items increase in price, there are a few things that could cost less as the new year progresses.
As you plan your finances this year, and try to decide what you will save your money for, here are 5 things that could drop in price this year:
1. Tablets and Netbooks
With competition heating up for tablets and netbooks (and ultrabooks), prices could very well drop. The iPad Mini is already trying to compete in a world where consumers are willing to deal with a smaller screen as long as it comes with a lower price. These electronic devices are supposed to be coming down in price, and at CES Intel predicted that some ultrabooks will start out as low in cost as $599.
eReaders are also dropping in price. I'm rather excited about Kindle's Paperwhite, with its LED lights shining down like a book light. It's already down to $119 to start, and the Kindle Fire HD is priced at $199. These handheld devices are likely to continue to be competitively priced. eBooks are dropping in price as well.
2. Used Cars
A couple of years ago, it was all about the new cars. In fact, I bought a new car because it cost less than the used car I was considering. With the dealer incentives and manufacturer incentives (plus I bought at the end of the year), I saved money by buying new instead of used.
This year, though, that might be changing. With lease agreements coming to an end, there is the chance that there will be an increase in supply of used cars — and not enough demand to keep prices high. 2013 might be the time to get a used car.
3. Flat Screen TVs
More than six years ago, we bought a 32″ LCD flat screen TV. The cost of flat screen TVs has dropped so much in the last few years that, for the same price we paid back then, we could get a top of the line 60″ now. And flat screens are likely to continue to drop in price. If you have been contemplating a new TV, you can probably get a great deal later this year on flat screen TVs. With costs to manufacture dropping, and new models coming out all the time, it's little surprise that you could save on big screen TVs.
With travel, it's all about the package deal. Even though there are expectations that airfare will increase in price, you might be able to offset that with lower hotel and rental car costs. Additionally, all-inclusive vacation packages and cruises are becoming more popular. With a little planning, and a willingness to be a little flexible, you can save money on travel, including saving money on airfare.
So, consider signing up for a travel rewards card, and start planning a family vacation. With the right vacation package, you really could save quite a bit this year.
5. Alternative Energy
With technology improving efficiency, alternative energy items are dropping in prices — especially solar panels. You can save money, get a more efficient product, and even get a tax credit. Green energy tax credits are available for major systems through 2016. Plus, many cities and states offer their own tax advantages, as well as special financing to help you cover the cost.
Plan Your Spending
It's important that you plan your spending, though. Many of the items that are expected to drop in price during 2013 represent major purchases for most budgets. You shouldn't be buying a car on a whim, or installing alternative energy systems without thinking it through.
Instead, consider what you had already planned on buying. Or, even you hadn't originally planned the purchase, make a plan for it now. Just because it's cheaper than last year doesn't mean you should whip out the credit card for it. Plan to save up for the purchase so that you aren't turning something great into unnecessary debt.
Look ahead, make a spending and saving plan, and then only get the items that you really feel will enhance your lifestyle.