One thing is certain: 2022 is going to cost you dearly.
Between inflation and persistent supply chain problems, the prices of consumer goods are rising almost everywhere.
âI really don’t think there is a way out,â 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 you can do about it now.
For some, buying a home has been one of the biggest challenges of the pandemic, even as mortgage rates have reached record highs. Sadly, 2022 could be another year of new highs, as house prices continue to appreciate two to three times faster than a year ago – in all cities, according to CoreLogic deputy chief economist , Selma Hepp. “An expected increase in mortgage rates next year will present other challenges,” she added.
Pro tip: Higher rates could help dampen housing demand a bit, which could lead to less dramatic growth in house prices and fewer bidding wars, potentially making it easier for some buyers to get started. And with the increase in rental prices, it will always be a good time saver.
A grocery store in New York City on December 7, 2021.
Wang Ying | Xinhua News Agency | Getty Images
Going to the grocery store will start to eat up your budget very quickly. It’s not just staple foods like eggs, meat, and milk that are getting more expensive; Coca-Cola and PepsiCo also announced price increases, thanks to more 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 at the start of the year. .
Pro tip: It will be difficult to avoid getting ripped off at the grocery store. Watch for weekly sales and refuel when you can, Ramhold advised. And while cutoff coupons may seem out of date, many stores have digital deals or member discounts that will save you money. A credit card with grocery rewards can also help you with your weekly spending.
Americans are finally ready to say goodbye to their sweatpants, but now won’t be the best time to shop. Even though clothing sales are expected to fully recover this year, with many shoppers looking to refresh their pandemic-era wardrobes, supply chain pressures will push retail prices up 3.2% on average, according to a McKinsey Business of Fashion report – and 15% of fashion executives plan to raise prices by 10% or more in 2022.
Pro tip: Before you buy anything new, turn your old clothes into cash. You can log in person or online through sites such as Tradesy, Poshmark, and thredUP.
4. Heating costs
Heating bills could give you a cold sweat this season. According to the US Energy Information Administration’s Winter Fuels Outlook 2021 report, nearly half of households that heat with natural gas will spend 30% more than they did on average last winter. Propane users will spend 54% more, while heating oil users could see their bills increase by 43% and electricity users would have to spend an additional 6%, according to the report.
Pro tip: Consider a home energy audit to spot and repair potential leaks and find areas for improvement, like waterproofing drafty windows, to get started. In some states, utility companies may even offer the service for free.
A gas station in Los Angeles on December 10, 2021.
FREDERIC J. BROWN | AFP | Getty Images
After gasoline prices jumped 58.1% in the past year, it’s hard to imagine paying even more at the pump. And yet, in some states, including Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, and Kentucky, gas prices are expected to rise further “very soon” due, in part, to higher prices. wholesale, according to GasBuddy.com.
Pro tip: Depending on where you live, there can be big price fluctuations between gas stations. Even if the price difference per gallon doesn’t seem significant, it can still run into the hundreds of dollars a year.
6. Dinner at the restaurant
Restaurants have been under pressure since the very start of the pandemic and staffing issues won’t go away anytime soon. As a result, most have had to increase wages to attract workers in addition to paying more for food, which means menu prices will rise as well.
Pro tip: Look for weekly specials or dining deals, like two-for-one burger nights. Sometimes getting more for your money is a good way to add value, even at a higher price.
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Prices for new cars are at an all time high, while prices for used cars and trucks, which were once a good way to strike a deal, have been the cause of the explosion in inflation, up 31.4% year over year, making it a particularly difficult time. to buy an automobile.
Pro tip: You might not be able to lower the price, but dealerships pay more for used cars, which means you might get more on a trade-in or lower than market price on a buy-back. rental.
8. Computing and electronics
Computers, televisions, and video game consoles have all been hit hard by the continuing chip shortage and that means there’s a lot less inventory, even if you’re willing to pay a premium – which a lot of people do. have since become virtually impossible to purchase a video game console during the pandemic-fueled gaming boom.
Pro tip: Some of the year’s best sellers arrive around Presidents Day and Super Bowl Sunday, when retailers mark last year’s models to make room for this year’s offerings. Otherwise, mark what you can when it’s in stock, Ramhold said. These prices are unlikely to come down even when supply finally catches up with demand.
Sheltering at home has sent most people on a renovation spree, but even small updates won’t come cheap. According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, furniture prices could increase by more than 10% in the coming year due to rising freight rates per container. Not to mention the cost of building materials for larger makeovers.
Pro tip: Proper decluttering and a fresh coat of paint can give a much needed boost until some of the shipping delays and supply issues abate for those larger items.
10. Medical care
Payment for health care was an issue long before the pandemic. Now, healthcare costs are up 8.4% from 2020, according to a medical index released by consulting firm Milliman, making the cost of care out of reach for many Americans.
Pro tip: Do not delay going to the doctor. One way to keep costs down is to use tax-efficient accounts for medical spending, especially health savings accounts or flexible spending accounts. To be able to use an HSA, you must be enrolled in a high deductible health plan, or HDHP. The premiums then increase tax free and you can invest that money to keep up with or beat health care inflation.
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