Valdosta Daily Times

January 20, 2013

Brittany's Budget Diary: Four things that will be cheaper in 2013

Brittany D. McClure
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — As some of you may have noticed, my name is no longer plastered all over the business tab this week. That is because the Times has entered into a new dawn and I, former business reporter, have passed my torch of awesomeness to new business reporter Stuart Taylor.

Sure, he’s not a blonde bubble full of perk and sass (even though his pony tail is pretty darn sassy), but that just means instead of spreading my awesomeness across three stories every Sunday, I get to focus it all on my budget diary. Watch out world, it’s going to be epic.

On to my next point: Some of you may have also noticed that I am about to shut down the Facebook page for Brittany’s Budget Diary. That is because I am taking on a new roll as social media manager, and I am consolidating Budget Brittany with every day news reporter Brittany, who isn’t as funny, but is as equally lazy (thus, the one Facebook page). I would really appreciate the support of my loyal budgeteers, so please go to www.facebook.com/BrittanyDenneyMcClure and like me. My personal self-esteem depends on it.

Now that I’m done rambling, on to why you read me. Let’s get down to the nitty gritty of saving you money.

I just recently read an article in the Wall Street Journal about four things that will be cheaper in 2013. While the economy is still in the pits, some consumer benefits may rise from the ashes.

Just as apple released a cheaper version of the iPad, the iPad mini, many other major companies will soon follow because quite frankly, they’re going broke like the rest of us.



1. Automobiles

Over the past five years, people in the market for a new car have been driven to look in the used car market. As a result of opening a flood gate of demand, the prices of used cars soared. But after peaking in 2011, used car prices have begun to simmer down and consumers will find that in 2013, used cars may become again, a better value than a brand new car.

Cited by the Wall Street Journal, senior market analyst for Kelly Blue Book, Alec Gutierrez, prices for used cars are expected to be 3 percent to 4 percent lower by the end of 2013.

While buyers for new cars may also see some savings, that will be more about the ability to downsize rather than falling prices.



2. Cable Television

I have been throwing a fit about the prices of cable television for over a year now, that’s why I have opted for streaming Netflix for close to nothing every month. While at the time, I didn’t know that this switch to streaming was a part of a larger movement of people leaving cable, it has become known as somewhat of a protest amongst major cable providers.

According to the Wall Street Journal, during the third quarter of 2012, providers lost an estimated 127,000 subscribers. While many argue that the streaming trend isn’t for everyone — i.e. live sports and current, popular television shows — it is on the rise and cable providers are starting to figure out a way to win back customers.



3. Flat-Screen TVs

While I’m sure my hubby is going to immediately make me regret writing this, the prices for flat screen TVs are dropping. It has become cheaper and easier for manufacturers to make large flat-screens which has had a significant impact on prices. Cited by the Wall Street Journal, chief executive of price-comparison for Decide.com Mike Fridgen stated that the average prices for 32-inch sets have dropped nearly 50 percent since 2010. That’s about $300 down from a $600 price point. Global demand for new televisions are dropping as consumers seem to be focusing their financial ambitions to more pertinent things, which means you will be able to buy a newer and bigger TV for half the cash.



4. Digital Media

I noticed the benefit of investing in digital media after my hubs got an iPad for Christmas. He is obsessed with Men’s Health magazine which is about $5 an issue. He bought an entire year on his iPad for only $12.99. It’s cheaper, environmentally friendly, and I don’t have to have half-naked muscle-freaks all over my coffee table.

Consumers will continue to see gaps between media such as books and e-readers, in large part because of the rise of cost in manufacturing, marketing and distribution.

Much like the gap between CDs and albums on iTunes, the same is going to remain and grow between books and magazines.

Well my budgeteers, that’s all I have for you this week. Like I said before, don’t forget to like me on my new Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BrittanyDenneyMcClure and please, please, please follow me on Twitter @VDT_Brittany. I appreciate the continued support. You guys rock!

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