1. European Travel
I’m hesitant to rejoice in the drop of the Euro, but the fact of the matter is it means the dollar is more competitive than it has been in quite some time. As I’m writing, one dollar is worth $.77 versus $.69 on September 1st. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but it adds up quickly. Don’t get too excited about the airfare. While the dollar is regaining some buying power, a new green tax of $17+/flight will more than even out the difference. Once you land the real savings will begin. Lodging and day-to-day expenses are predicted to cost less in addition to the new increase in the dollar’s value.
2. GPS Systems
So excited about this one. I’m in love with geocaching. You can read about my love affair in a previous post. I also don’t have a smart phone. I don’t really want one. Not until they’re the old thing and I can get one for free when I sign up for a plan that doesn’t cost me an arm and a leg. But those smart phones are driving the cost of GPS units down, down, down. Why? Because they have GPS units in them. So why pay for an extra device when you already have the software? Well, I could answer that question, but it would turn into a long, geeky rant, so I’ll save that for another day.
Amazon came out with this nifty thing called a Kindle. I’m sure you’ve heard of it. Eventually Barnes and Noble came out with a copycat item…the Nook. In my opinion it’s probably kept them from going the way of Borders. Regardless, their pricing wars have benefited consumers. The original Kindle came out for $399. The most recent Kindle is expected to come out for $109. I heart competition.
4. 3D TVs
They’re a huge investment. And it’s not just the TV itself. You have to buy special blue ray players, 3D glasses, the whole shebang. Because these haven’t been selling well, their prices are expected to go way down this year to get rid of inventory. Which may just free up people’s budget enough so that they can afford to get those special blue ray players and nifty glasses.
For much the same reasons, wine is predicted to go down this year. When money problems started striking so many households in America, people stopped buying expensive wine. Let me just pause here to say how proud I am of the American people for that one. I’m sure people have still gotten plenty drunk off their grapes, but they’re being responsible enough to do it in a more budget-friendly way. Anyways, you can expect to see bottles of wine that usually cost $30+ come down in price as retailers need to clear inventory and wineries need to make some kind of profit.
6. Car Rentals
Same idea here. An influx in stock and new competition mean that you’ll be able to rent a car for a much lower rate this year. This is a great continent to road trip…
7. Home Prices
Home prices are still low, and not expected to climb higher in the next twelve months. (Although they might be assessed at crazy increases in order for your local government to get more money via taxes. You know I’m talking about you, Pittsburgh. The place where driveways are worth more than houses.) This could be very good for you if you’re looking to buy, along with low interest rates. The bad news for buyers? It’s really hard to get a loan right now. Even if there’s no reason you shouldn’t qualify. Banks are being held accountable to the government for giving out bad ones, so they’re stricter than ever on who qualifies.