Budgeting: It is a word that is on everyone’s mind this year from federal and state government officials to individual households. Consumer confidence is at an extreme low during this economic recession as individuals attempt to get control of their finances, save money and reduce debt or even looking for ways to avoid filing for bankruptcy.
“Consumers are not throwing caution to the wind since there are tremendous headwinds, such as a high and persistent unemployment rate, a poor housing market, tight credit conditions, and increasing energy costs,” explained one economist with IHS Global Insight.
Although experts assure us that inflation is definitely under control, there are a few costs that will continue to rise in 2011 that will have a large affect on individuals. Five individual increases rise to the top of the list of everyday goods and services:
- Food is one of the most essential needs in a household, but in 2009, the cost of groceries went up approximately 1.5 percent and is not expected to slow down. Major food producers have even begun raising food prices after dropping several discount options. Not only have food producers raised their prices, but 60 percent of restaurants surveyed by Nation’s Restaurant News said customers should expect a cost increase next time they visit.
- You may have already noticed that it is getting more expensive to fill your car once again after the cost of gas seemed to waiver around a somewhat fixed point for a while. According to the Consumer Price Index, the overall cost of energy had already risen by 7.7 percent by the close of the year.
- Citizens of every state should expect a change in taxes as state and government officials look to get their own budgets under control. One of the quickest ways is to increase taxes on products like cigarettes or even bottled water.
- Major television and telephone service providers like AT&T are reportedly expecting to raise their monthly premiums.
- And lastly, banks have had to restructure their business models as government regulations have forced them to find new ways to generate income. Several banks have already begun to consider raising fees associated with ATMs or checking accounts.
Source: The Wall Street Journal “The 7 things you’re paying more for than you think” Jennifer Waters 1/19/11