Everybody says that inflation is staying low, but besides what we see at the gas station you wouldn’t know it when you go to the checkout counter. While it only costs about half to fill up our tanks, some categories of spending continue to defy gravity going into 2015. Here are seven items that are going to climb in 2015 and your smart money moves alternatives to keep your dollar stretching throughout the year.
Bourbon sales continue to skyrocket as the demand for higher end bourbon brands continue to be sought out across the country. These bourbons may need a 10 to 20 year aging process, so production is extremely limited at this time. However, just like wine, most of the average bourbon drinkers couldn’t really tell the difference between a higher end and lower end bourbon, and some distilleries make multiple brands in the same place just with a different blend. Try something like Old Crow or Kentucky Gentlemen if you want to do bourbon on a budget.
Starting January 1st, California put in a law for chickens to have more room to spread their wings. Really, they need more space? Chicken housing is so expensive that farmers reducing the number of birds. Egg prices could go up by 20 to 30% here in 2015. You might try egg whites by the carton for a little cheaper price and still get your protein. Also, bananas can be used as a substitute for some recipes where you would normally use eggs.
K-Cups will be going up 9% this year and Starbucks should go up as well because of a severe drought in Brazil. If you are willing to do a 180 on your morning drink, green tea could be an alternative to get the caffeine kick without the sticker shock. Also, if you can stomach doing a reusable K- Cup, then I might recommend using a less expensive filler such as Folger’s coffee when you use the Keurig machine in the morning.
- OLIVE OIL
Italian olive growers have recently weathered what some are calling the worst year in memory for producing Olive Oil. Output from Italy decreased by 27%, and Spain suffered a horrendous drought as well. You might try rationing yourself by doing Olive Oil from a spray can or if you can alter your taste buds just a bit, then use Canola Oil and cook on a slightly lower heat.
- HEALTH CARE
Of course with the 23 million new Americans on health care, costs would inevitably go up. Many Americans experienced double digit growth of their premiums this year, and their employers are asking them to share more of the burden of responsibility for their premiums. If you can stay healthy, take a look at doing a high deductible health insurance plan with a health savings account.
- COLLEGE EDUCATION
My friends, this is, simply and purely, supply and demand. When schools are getting 5x to 10x the amount of applicants as they have spaces to fill they can continue to drive price up in an unreasonable fashion. At the current inflation rates, a newborn today would cost more than $300,000 for four years at a top end private school for a college education. Look at testing out the Academic Common Market or exhaust your public in state school options to keep your family budget in check.
- MUSCLE CARS
With some 77 million baby boomers headed into retirement, they have shown no sign of slowing down when it comes to spending disposable income on muscle cars. Automobiles such as Mustangs or Chevelles have been flying off the shelf. You might want to consider looking at an Impala or a Pontiac GTO as an alternative.
Each and every year, we want to continue to give you smart money move budgeting information so you can get your dollars working harder for your family. Keep these seven in mind for 2015.