Tag Archives: inflation

Rising Prices in 2015

We talked last time about the variety of items and services that will cost less in 2015, from falling gas prices to just about everything affected by gas prices, which is a BUNCH.

Unfortunately, there’s always another side to the equation, and other factors that affect prices. According to MoneyTalksNews.com, weather, livestock diseases, rising demand, poor planning among suppliers, and government regulation all play a part.

So which items will hit you pocketbook a little harder this year? Here are the bullet points:

  • Bourbon
  • Beef and pork
  • Avocados
  • Chocolate
  • Air travel
  • Hotels
  • FedEx and UPS fees
  • Coffee
  • Olive oil
  • Some sports cars
  • Redbox rentals
  • Girl Scout Cookies
  • Health care

For all the hows and whys, check out the original article. Which of these will affect you most? How will it affect you spending behavior? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page, and have a great weekend before the prices go up!

(And don’t forget about the Valentine’s Day Makin’ it Rain giveaway!)

Watch Out for Falling Prices

fallingDidn’t Walmart used to say that? Anyway, it’s coming true across our economy, for a few reasons. Gas prices are a big one. We blogged back in November, amazed about gas prices that were around $3.40 in June had fallen to $2.62. Well, today they are $1.89 in my town. This affects transportation costs of just about everything we buy.

So, which items will are likely to cost less in 2015? DailyFinance.com has the 411, and here are some bullet points…

  • Gas Prices
  • TV Content Packages: folks, the “cable cutters” have won.
  • Cloud Storage: I don’t understand the cloud, either. But I like paying less for it!
  • 4K TVs: I just now bought a flatscreen – don’t rush me!
  • Smartphones: Now that everybody already has one, the price drops. Shocking!
  • Video Game Consoles: To quote Grandpa Simpson, “I got down on the floor for THIS?”
  • Kia Forte: Now officially the cheapest car in the US

As usual, these are just the highlights. Much more info at the original piece. So, are you noticing prices dropping. Gas, certainly, but anywhere else. If you started saving on daily stuff, what would you do with the money? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page!

Money-saving Grocery Ideas!


First, read ‘em and weep: the average rise in food prices lately.

  • Beef: +7% (over last year’s all-time high!)
  • Pork: +7%
  • Lettuce: +34%
  • Packaged Salads: +13%

And just to rub it in, if Iraq goes down the drain, we will be looking back fondly on a $3.60 gallon of gas!

As for food, the culprits are too much rain in some places, drought in others and animal diseases, apparently. What can you do about it? Well, money blog LearnVest has some ideas, the bullet points of which I am happy present…

  1. Make Wednesday your food shopping night
  2. Stock up during deep-discount periods
  3. Forgo the packaging
  4. Know when not to shop organic
  5. Buy the whole cow. (They call it cow-pooling. That cracks me up!)
  6. DIY your produce (i.e., grow your own.)
  7. Buy in season
  8. Join community-supported agriculture (CSA) groups. (Hippie nonsense, or real money saver? YES.)
  9. Consider frozen foods
  10. Buy in bulk

As usual, lots (tons!) more information at the original piece, so do yourself a favor! How about YOU? Feeling the pinch? Are these good tips? Got any to share? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page!

Ups and Downs in 2014, el parte uno

16082265-incremento-de-los-precios-ilustracion-diseno-sobre-fondo-blancoPrices, that is. The folks at Money Talks News have put out their annual list of items expected to get more expensive in 2014.  Let’s check out some highlights (with bonus dumb commentary!)

Going UP in 2014

Wine: Bad weather wrecks the French industry. Will wine snobs stoop to drinking Spanish wine? I’m on pins and needles!!

Getting a GED: In some places, the cost will TRIPLE. (Meanwhile, they cut costs, cut staff and most of it is done on computer now.) They must be pretty confident that you ain’t knowin’ math good.

Chipotle: Well, tree-huggers, you wanted organic, sustainable and locally sourced. Time to pay up.

Milk: Doesn’t it seem like every year they say that “milk prices are going to double or triple this year!?”  Not gonna happen, but prices WILL go up.

Stamps: Hilarious. “We have just approved a temporary one-cent increase. And by temporary we mean permanent. And by one cent we mean three.”

Luxury cars: The BMW M5 is going up by $2,000? Guess my 1982 Ford Pinto will have to last one more year…

McDonald’s Dollar Menu: The McDouble is $1.29 now. This made me sooo mad!

The Olympics: You know what’s more expensive than staging the stupid Olympics? Getting killed in a terrorist attack at the stupid Olympics. Pass.

Next time, we will hear some GOOD news about 2014 prices. And of course, MUCH more items and insights at the original article so blah, blah, blah. How about you? We don’t all drive a BMW M5, but we DO all drink milk! What items are going up in your world? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page!

Spending Snapshot, 1973

made_in_1973_personalized_invites-r77027731f425487fb56691e8eb6c1eec_8dnmv_8byvr_512When you compare how much our incomes and spending have changed in the past 40 years, I guess you could say that there’s good news and bad news.

The average person spends 81.2% of his or her post-tax income on food, housing and other expenses, according to ConvergEx Group, a New York-based brokerage. That’s down from the 85% that Americans shelled out for mandatory and discretionary items in 1973. LA Times

  • Household Income After taxes: UP. $9700 in 1973, $63,000 today (adjusted for inflation.)

As a percentage of income, spending in the following categories went…

  • Savings: DOWN. Way down. We put over 13% of our income in the bank in 1973, now a terrible 4.6%!
  • Housing: UP. 15% of income in 1973, 19% today. Partly because the average square footage of a home has nearly doubled since then!
  • Food: DOWN. 19% of income in 1973, 13% today. Of course, family size has shrunk, from 2.9 to 2.5 people.
  • Cars: DOWN. 9.5% of income in 1973, 6.6% today. However, the next item…
  • Fuel: UP. 4.2% in 1973, 5.4% today.

So, it’s a mixed bag. Maybe it just SEEMS like we are paying more and more and more?

Personally, I think these numbers are wack. Like, the size of our homes has doubled, but we’re only spending 20% more of our income for them?  My theory?* They are measuring expenses as a percentage of household income. In 1973, less than 40% of moms worked outside the home.  It’s over 60% today (I looked it up!) So, in 60% of homes, it’s taking two incomes to enjoy a 4% decrease in overall household expenses. Yay progress!

My question to those who remember 1973 is this: what do you think? Do you think we are better off, worse off, or about the same as we were back then? Did Dad and/or Mom work as hard/harder/about the same to pay the bills as we do? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page, and have a great weekend!

*Disclaimer: I’m an English major!

Drought Brings Crops Down, Prices Up

How colorfully depressing!

On TV, radio and the web, it’s the background noise we have been hearing all summer: the big Midwest drought. Living in South Carolina, where it rains every day at 4pm sharp, it seems like somebody else’s problem. But my grocery bill tends to disagree. The biggest factor? CORN.

Corn — a crop that has been decimated by drought — is used as feed for beef and poultry; is manufactured into ethanol, a gasoline additive; and is cooked into corn syrup, a sweetener in everything from cereals to ketchup. And, of course, that doesn’t count corn’s simple uses, whether to be eaten alone or made into anything from chips to tortillas.  CBS Money Watch

Before the planting season, they were talking about a record crop. Now they say it will be down 12% from last year. So how does this affect your wallet? And what can you do about it?

  • Buy meat now: Before long, it will be cheaper for farmers to slaughter their livestock that to feed them. When that happens, meat process will shoot up.
  • $kip proce$$ed food$: they have a lot of high-fructo$e corn $yrup.
  • Buy fruit: The weather that is killing vegetables is good for fruit, so prices are lower.
  • Substitute. Oatmeal instead of processed cereal, fish instead of beef, foods with simple sugar instead of fructose, etc.
  • Eat locally: If you happen to live in an unaffected area, the local stuff should be cheaper.

So, have you seen the difference in your grocery bill? Do you have any other saving tips? Let us know!