How To Save Money In 2014: 10 Things That Will Cost Less This Year
Technological advances in 2014 mean that some items will be more expensive than in years past but many will be significantly cheaper, also as a result of advances. Over the past decade we’ve been improving drilling technologies and oil production, advancements in fuel efficiency, and advancements in handheld computing technologies. In some ways these advancements have meant more expensive products for you to buy, but sometimes advancements mean cheaper things for you. We’ve created a list of the top 10 bargains to look out for in the coming year, and if our predictions are correct there are thousands of dollars to be saved on your horizon. Whether you’re in the market for a new smartphone or a new car, 2014 holds some promising deals for your wallet.
10. iPhone 5
Many tech experts were surprised in 2013 when the iPhone 5S and 5c were released instead of the iPhone 6—which means that we have 2014 to look forward to the iPhone 6 finally being on the market. This is great news for techies who love to have the newest technologies in their pockets, but even better for those of us who don’t like to spend big bucks on great smartphones. In the past when Apple has released new phones, they have offered their older products for free for contracted users. Right now you can purchase the 16 GB iPhone 5 for $99 but we predict that in 2014 this phone will be available for free with a contract.
In the past, Apple has stuck on a regimented schedule of releasing their new products about once a year, but we predict that in 2014 it won’t take so long. Sources like Forbes estimate that it will be released in May of 2014. So whether you’re looking for the newest Apple product or a free upgrade, we won’t have to wait too long this time.
Over the past decade it seems as though gas prices have been rising at an unstoppable rate, but it’s possible that in 2014 we’ll finally see a much needed decline in barrel prices. While it may have seemed like there was no light at the end of the tunnel, we’ve seen a steady increase in drilling over the past few years—especially domestic drilling—while also seeing a steady decrease in oil demand due to more fuel-efficient technologies. Today oil in the United States is around $100 per barrel, but some estimates put oil in 2014 as low as $80 a barrel. It seems that all of the time and energy we’ve put into fuel alternatives are finally starting to pay off, at least at the pump!
iPads today cost anywhere from $500 for the most basic model to almost $1,000 for an iPad plus internet. While Apple has dominated the tablet market over the past few years, 2014 has even more promising prospects for cheaper tablet alternatives. As more companies make their own versions of tablets, they are already becoming increasingly cheaper relative to the iPad. Acer has a tablet priced at around $130, and some companies are working with Google Mobile Services priced under $100. These prices are only bound to fall, even if Apple refuses to ever lower the price of their own products, as tablet technologies continue to improve. In 2014 we are only going to see increasingly better tablets with lower prices.
7. Electric cars
Looking to buy an electric car in 2014? This year’s model of the Mitsubishi i-MiEV will be selling for $6,000 less than the current 2012 model, a surprising drop in price for a great and efficient automobile. This price drop will price the car at $22,995, still expensive, unless you consider the $7,500 federal tax credit for buyers in the United States. Don’t even get us started on the amount of money that you’ll save in gas if you invest in this car (and even more considering the anticipated drop in gas prices!). The average driver of an electric car saves around $2,000 a year on gas relative to a driver of a non-electric car, so in the end if you can invest in a cheaper car like a Mitsubishi now it’ll be a gift to yourself that keeps on giving in the years to come.
6. Government Bonds
Another price that may come crashing down in 2014? Government bonds. The price of a bond is the inverse of its interest rate, and government interest rates have nowhere to go but up. Currently at or around zero percent for short term borrowing, interest rates are looking set to rebound. Conversely, bond prices have been through the roof for the last five years, and they are more than due for a reversion to their average. While the breakthrough may not come immediately in 2014, the trend is likely to start, as the Federal Reserve stops buying new bonds and begins to raise interest rates. Bonds are about to become much more affordable, starting in 2014.
5. 3D Printers
3D printers haven’t been around for very long, and while they are currently too expensive for the average American family to keep around the house, there is hope that you’ll be able to buy one in 2014. Not only are 3D printers falling in price in their current forms, but unique types of printing technologies are being designed by creative entrepreneurs. The Peachy Printer was funded thirteen times over on Kickstarter in 2013 and is due to be released by its designers in 2014. This will be the first 3D printer to cost $100–a very affordable price compared to the printers on the market today that are going for thousands of dollars.
4. Pharmaceutical Drugs
Suffer from heartburn? How about arthritis, or painful menstrual cramps? Are you currently taking Nexium (for heartburn), or Celebrex (for the others)? If you do, or might, good news: the patents for these drugs expire in 2014, meaning that generic versions of the drugs might soon find their way to a pharmacy near you! Because the cost of manufacturing drugs is typically a small fraction of the on-patent price, the drugs might fall in cost by 90% or more. Other important drugs that might soon see generic versions include Avodart, Micardis, Exelon, and more. If you have regular prescriptions for these drugs (or others!) be sure to check with your doctor if there is a completely identical generic version available. It could save your wallet while saving your life.
Up until 2013, the price of gold (much like that of oil) was simply up, up, and away. More recently, it’s started coming back to earth, where it belongs. However, given where it sat before the recent recession, it seems likely that it has much further to fall. In 2009, the price sat just around $800 per ounce, and while its fallen from its peak of nearly $2,000, it still sits at $1,200. Because so much of the demand seemed driven by “gold bugs” scared of inflation, the absence of almost any inflation whatsoever–either recently or in predictions for the near and distant future–the price has been falling, and seems likely to keep going. This is good news if you’re fancying a fancy necklace, bracelet, or ring–but bad news if you’re sitting on your own personal Fort Knox. In any case, it sure looks like the price is headed down further for 2014.
2. Music, Art, and Literature
A slew of new important authors will be entering the Public Domain in 2014. People’s work enters the Public Domain in the US on January 1st 70 years after their death. Public Domain laws do vary by country, so in addition to the 70 year rule in the US, other countries will also see work released by authors and musicians who died 50 years ago. This is good news for you, because it means that there are no longer royalties attached to their work and anyone can produce and distribute copies, making it cheaper for you to purchase these items. There is some great work to look forward to in 2014, including: George Washington Carver, Nikola Tesla, Robert Frost, Sylvia Plath, C.S. Lewis, Aldous Huxley. Here’s to hoping that Kindle comes out with some free versions of these authors’ works!
1. Real Wages
Is your boss trying to put off your raise another year? While inflation has been low, wage growth for many workers has been even lower–put this together, and you get a recipe for falling “real” wages. This means your paycheck does not go as far as it used to, as the price of your rent, your gas, and your groceries go up–but your paycheck doesn’t. This list, sadly, is closing out without much holiday cheer: one price that may be falling the most is yours. Happy New Year!Category: Financial News, Money & Entertainment