The cost of living isn’t cheap, and while some essentials will decrease in price in the future, others will go up. Technology, which has seemingly become more affordable and widespread in the last decade, could start pricing customers out of the market. The same story can be written for certain foods, and oddly enough, the reasons are similar. These are the items that are only getting more expensive and the reasons why!
The Supply Chain For Tech Means Higher Prices
The pandemic has not been kind to tech companies. While they aren’t hurting for customers, the complex supply chain line has been stretched thin. Monica Eaton-Cardone, the COO of Chargeback911, describes it this way:
“Rare earth metals are mined in one part of the world, assembly might be somewhere else, and all kinds of other parts and pieces are sourced, tracked, and delivered in an intricate system of factories for international fulfillment. When even a small breakdown in that chain occurs, expenses rise, productivity is stalled, and profit margins shrink—and that means higher prices for smartphones, computers, and other electronics.”
Increased Food Safety Precautions Are Leading To Higher Prices
In 2020, the price of food broke a six-year record. As with the complicated supply chains that are increasing the cost of tech, the increased complexities of food production and delivery are leading to higher prices.
The pandemic has led to higher safety standards, not just in food supply chains, but also in the shopping experience. Finance expert Kimberly Palmer says, “Of course, those [costs] ultimately get passed on to consumers.”
Higher Home Decor Demand Is Raising Customer Costs
As people spend more and more time at home, improving their living space has become a major trend. Don’t think manufacturers haven’t noticed the higher demand for their products either!
In 2021, the furniture industry is expecting a four percent growth. With the increased demand for nicer home decor, customers can slowly expect to pay more as well. It’s only natural that increased demand is leading to increased customer costs. As long as demand stays high, expect prices to continue rising, too.
Gas Prices Are Creeping Back Up
In December 2020, the price per gallon for gasoline jumped 84 percent. As people slowly begin commuting to work again and driving more, those prices are expected to continue rising, which won’t make anyone’s bank accounts very happy.
The continued rise in gas prices isn’t a certainty, but all current trends point to it. Patrick De Haan, the head of petroleum at GasBuddy says, “Overall, I think there’s more likelihood that prices will rally in 2021 compared to 2020 as Americans at least start to try to learn how to live in this pandemic environment.”
Home Exercise Equipment Is In High Demand
Another business that saw demand increase as the pandemic continued was home fitness. Gyms across the country were forced to close, and anyone looking to stay in shape invested in their home gyms.
Even when gyms did start re-opening, trends showed that people stayed home and continued buying indoor equipment such as exercise bikes and outdoor equipment like trampolines. The increased demand for home fitness equipment means prices will rise, especially as higher-end products become more widely available.
More Weddings Will Help A Fractured Industry
Few industries were hit as hard recently as the wedding industry. Hundreds of thousands of weddings had to be put on indefinite hold, and venues and vendors were crushed by the loss of business.
The good news for these vendors is that the industry should come back like crazy. The Wedding Report estimated that 650,000 more weddings than expected could happen over the next year. Added demand for venues and vendors means, you guessed it, more expensive weddings.
Online Entertainment Is Increasing A Dollar A Month
The less that people go outside, the more they naturally need ways to entertain themselves indoors. For many of us, that means paying for streaming services or investing in video games to pass the extra time.
Streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, among others, are taking full advantage of this new reality. On average, the prices for consumer per service is increasing about a dollar every month. That doesn’t sound like a lot on the surface until you add up all the services you actually pay for.
More At Home Energy Use Creates Higher Bills
Energy bills, unfortunately, aren’t getting cheaper anytime soon, and it’s not simply because companies are raising the costs. The more electricity you use at home, the more your bill is going to be. Some of the biggest energy costs are AC and heat, depending on the time of the year and the region you live in.
Some energy companies have tried usage models to make life easier on people suddenly working from home, but that hasn’t helped ease the burden entirely. As we continue to stay home, some of us permanently, these bills will only get more expensive.
The USPS Has Been Forced To Increase Consumer Costs
Make sure you get your Forever Stamps while you can because the cost of using the USPS is about to cost you a lot more money. As the service struggles to make ends meet, it has been forced to increase certain costs to consumers.
Those increased costs will only get larger, too, until things finally settle down for the long-running government service. In November 2020, the cost of stamps (excluding Forever) was raised by a penny. A small amount for now, but also a sign of things to come.
“Athleisure” Is Making Comfort Pricey
Sweatpants are suddenly in fashion, and clothing companies are taking notice. After seeing traditional clothing sales fall by more than $12 billion in 2020, companies are changing directions and turning “athleisure” into the next big thing, raising the price of comfort wear by nearly 11 percent.
As people get back to the office, leftover clothing from the “disaster” of 2020 won’t lead to massive warehouse clearance sales. Major retailers and brands will still sell clothes at normal costs, some even raising prices in an effort to make up for lost revenue.
Meat Prices Could Increase By 20 Percent!
During 2020, not many industries were hit harder than the meat processing industry. While demand remained high, employment opportunities dwindled as potential workers weren’t allowed at their jobs for health and safety reasons.
The decreased workforce meant that less meat could be processed. Buy some calculations, supply of meat at grocery store fell by 30 percent. Less product, as you have no doubt learned at this point, leads to increased costs. In this case, costs have been estimated to possibly increase by 20 percent as compared to 2020.
Washing Your Hair Isn’t Getting Cheaper
You may not have noticed, but in 2020 it became significantly more expensive to wash your hair. Personal hygiene products in general have seen prices increase, without an end in sight, and here’s by how much.
Daniella Flores, who runs the website I Like To Dabble, crunched the numbers and the results were surprising, to say the least. Pantene shampoo saw a price increase of more than four dollars! With any luck, the cost won’t keep increasing at such a quick pace, but it definitely won’t be getting any cheaper.
Cleaning Cloths Won’t Be Cost Effective For Long
The world is more concerned about cleanliness than ever before. This is one of the reasons the demand for cleaning cloths, specifically microfiber ones, has gone through the roof. And with higher demand, companies who make these cloths have also begun charging more.
Zwipes is one brand that has also seen a sharp increase in cost, with the price rising more than three dollars in the last year, with more increases expected in the future.
Hot Tubs Are Becoming Even More Of A Luxury Item
At the start of the COVID-19 pandemics, some items like hot tubs were already considered luxury items. Unfortunately for buyers, the time to invest might be over as shipping costs have grown unsightly and will only get worse.
Because of shipping port congestion, many delivery services have begun using air freight travel. Seko Logistics CGO, Brian Bourke, told CNBC that you could order and receive a new hot tub in a matter of days, but it would cost you $2,000 just to have it delivered.
There’s A Cheese Shortage That’s Affecting Prices
Delays and container restraints at major US ports have not been good for cheese lovers. Grace Kay of Insider reported early in 2021 that these issues had caused a shortage of imported fromage, particularly at Costco.
Costco’s CFO, when asked about the lack of imported cheese, which will lead to higher prices later in the year, said, “Overseas freight has continued to be an issue in regards to container shortage and port delays. This has caused timing delays on certain categories.”
A Coffee Drought Will Make Your Caffeine Boost Cost More
One price increase that has not been caused by the pandemic is that of coffee. Brazil’s coffee crops are expected to suffer after a drought in 2020. That means that not only will Brazilian coffee be harder to find, it will also be more expensive.
Even scarier for coffee lovers, according to Bloomberg, the United States’ stockpile is the lowest it’s been in six years. Once that stockpile runs out, the price of coffee will rise universally.
Now Is Not The Time To Buy A New Cooler
If you’ve started exploring the outdoors more and have considered a new cooler, you might want to wait. As long as your cooler still gets the job done, it’s worth holding onto. Companies like Yeti have been forced in the last year to reroute inventory deliveries of their products instead of waiting for California port congestion to clear up.
The move by Yeti will allow the brand to use faster shipping lanes in Southeast Asia, but that won’t help with prices thanks to the already discussed delays and port congestion.
Comfortable Couches Will Cost You
The last year and a half has shown us just how important having a comfortable couch is. Anyone looking to finally make the upgrade now won’t be happy to see how much prices have risen, and those prices are only expected to go higher.
Rising prices are the result of a lack of shipping materials, a shortage in fabric, and short-staffed factories. Travel restrictions have also made employee retention and growth difficult worldwide.
Supply Problems Are Making The Cost Of Outdoor Furniture Less Comfortable
Being at home more has led people to re-evaluate their outdoor spaces. Looking to spruce up their surroundings, sales of outdoor furniture have increased while supply has predictably decreased.
Shipping issues have been the main reason the supply has not been able to meet the demand. Ikea has struggled in the United States as shipping costs for some items have increased by thousands of dollars. Gina Hinde, a member of the Leisure and Outdoor Furniture Association said, “Some have even been quoted up to $17,000 to bring one container over.”
Don’t Buy Vegetable Oils
One of the cheapest items on this list that is going to see a price increase is vegetable oil. Used for cooking and perfect for frying, the drought that has left Brazil’s coffee crops in question has also done damage to the country’s soy crops.
At the start of 2021, prices on vegetable oil already began to increase. Bloomberg reported prices for soy increased by 30 percent while palm prices have gone up 10 percent. At some point, those increases will be felt by your bank account.