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4 Things That Are Always Increasing In Price

By Mark Riddix

Wages, home prices, and the stock market have all been dropping over the past few years. The American consumer is seeing the U.S. dollar buy far less than it did just a decade ago. At a time in our economy when asset prices seem to keep going down, there are a few things that just keep increasing in price. If you want to win with money, you must identify what those items are that constantly increase in price, plan for those upcoming expenses, and continue to work on increasing your income. Here are a few big ticket items that always seem to increase in price:

1. College Tuition

The cost of higher education always seems to be going up. The average cost of college tuition at a private four year college is $26,273. According to College Board, college tuition will increase anywhere from $172 to $1,096 over the next 12 months. Not long ago, colleges used to offer lock-in programs. The cost of your tuition your freshman year was the same price as your tuition cost your senior year. While tuition lock-in programs may have gone the way of the dinosaur, you can still lock in tuition costs by investing in a prepaid savings 529 plan. The prepaid savings plan guarantees tuition payments at most in-state colleges. If you have kids, college planning is an essential part of your long-term financial plan so your children have the opportunity to get a college degree, and you nor your children should go into debt to get this degree if you have the ability to save for it now.

2. Taxes

Does anyone actually like paying taxes? The problem with state and federal taxes is that they only go in one direction, UP! Federal income taxes are likely to continue to rise in the future as the government has to address rising Social Security, Medicare costs, and a growing national deficit. States will also keep increasing taxes to meet budgetary shortfalls in payroll and pension programs. Even property taxes continually rise when housing prices are dropping. You can escape state income taxes if you don’t mind relocating to Texas, Florida, Washington, South Dakota, Alaska, Nevada, and Wyoming. Now the federal part, on the other hand, there is no legal way around that!

3. Postage Stamps

The United States Postal Service just announced the postage stamps will be increasing in price again in January. The postal service just increased rates last May of 2009. A first class stamp will now rise nearly 5% to 46 cents. The U.S. Postal Service is trying to raise money to cover its budgetary shortfall. The federal agency lost $3.8 billion dollars last year and is facing a $7 billion dollar shortfall this year. You can get around paying the proposed increase by stocking up on forever stamps now. You could also eliminate the need to mail bills by¬†using online bill pay at your local bank or credit union. It’s a free service. You will rarely need to send letters with the advent of email, texting, and Skype.

4. Healthcare

The cost of healthcare is steadily increasing nationwide. Healthcare premiums only increase as you get older. Healthcare costs are expected to rise 9.5% over the next year despite the new healthcare reform bill. Employers are switching employees to high deductible health plans causing employees to pay more money for out-of-pocket expenses. If your employer has given you a high deductible insurance plan, you are eligible to enroll in a Health Savings Account (HSA). HSA’s can significantly decrease your premium payments and employers may even choose to offer matching contributions.

Do you know of any other items that are always increasing in price?

Mark Riddix
Mark Riddix is the founder and president of an independent investment advisory firm that provides personalized investing and asset management consulting. Mark has written financial columns for Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area newspapers and is the author of the book, Your Financial Playbook.

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  • Karmella

    The Post Office needs to manage perception better – it feels like they are constantly raising rates!! I pay everything online so I don’t have too much need for them, but I did buy some Forever Stamps for occasional greeting cards and handwritten notes.

    • Mark Riddix

      I agree. It’s like rates are always rising!

  • Terry

    The Postal Service just might be in a death spiral due to declining first-class postage revenue. Hard to NOT raise postage rates in the face of declining revenue: expenses are hard to reduce since you still need more or less the same number of mail carriers even if first-class volume declines.

  • http://www.pfsdebtrelief.com Stephan

    the post office is defintiely in trouble, and i do expect them to be out of business within 10 years unless they drastically change their business practices!
    another thing that always goes up in price in my opinion is sports events tickets. i remember paying 10$ for bleacher seats, now i cant find any for less than 25$, only 5 years later! im sure all the new stadiums have something to do with this, but it is defintiely pricing me out of going to live sports events.

    • Mark Riddix

      Good point. Teams are going to cover those massive player salaries by having fans pay more and more.

  • http://www.personalfinancebythebook.com Joe Plemon

    Good list. With the stock market going down and college expenses going up, I appreciate your tip about using 529 plan to lock in tuition expenses. A guaranteed return of the increased college expenses sounds pretty good right now.

    • Mark Riddix

      Thanks Joe!

  • Erik Folgate

    I don’t care that the post office raises the rate on stamps, i just wish they would do a large increase once and keep that rate for the next 5 to 10 years. It’d be a lot more convenient, so we don’t have to keep buying those 1 cent stamps to compensate for older stamps we still have. Just raise it to 55 cents or something.

  • http://financialbondage.org Financial bondage

    Why don’t they just make stamps $1 each and be done with it? If they are short millions of dollars, a few more cents on stamps won’t help. In fact, it may have a negative effect. I will pay even more bills online to avoid buying stamps.

  • http://silversylvester.blogspot.com/ Patrick

    The American Dollar. WOW. What an Issue in my short 24 years of Life I saw Pizza go from $1 to $2.75. And that’s without getting toppings. But then again i do live in New York so we all know the story of that. Honestly Colleges have became a House of Thieves. They don’t even offer the 50% Cash back on your books anymore. Its usually around 20-25% now a days. And no Guarantee of work after you Graduate. Its more like a Gamble now a days unless you go into certain industries.

    And a tip to deal with Health care cost is Herbal Medicine.

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