8 Things That Will Become More Expensive in 2014

You can expect to pay more for some things as the new year begins.

Jan 18, 2014 at 1:11PM


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Think you're really ready for the new year? Inflation will make the prices for products, services, and other things you pay for increase as the new year begins. If you're not sure what is going to cost more next year don't worry, we're here to inform you on some of the things you can expect to pay more for as the new year begins.

1. Stamps
On Christmas Eve, regulators approved an increase of the cost of first-class stamps by three cents. That would make one letter cost a total of 49 cents. This is going to be a temporary rate increase, and will last a total of two years. The increase is a reflection of the $2.8 billion lost by the postal service as a result of the Great Recession, and aims to help it recover its losses.

2. Cost of homes
Home prices have steadily increased all throughout 2013. Expect 2014 to be no different. Home prices will gradually increase as the year goes on and the demand to buy homes will also continue to climb.

3. Home loan applications
Home prices alone are not the only thing related to housing that is going to cost more next year. Applying for a home loan is going to cost more as well. New mortgage rules set to take effect on Jan. 10 will force lenders to dedicate more resources toward closely reviewing the credit score, history, and financial situation of each applicant. That is going to make prospective home buyers pay more for home loan applications.

4. Food
According to research from the United States Department of Agriculture, their 2014 forecast predicts food will increase anywhere from 2.5 to 3.5 percent. That includes meats, vegetables, dairy products and more. The increase will have a trickle effect everywhere you purchase food. The Department of Agriculture also forecasts food away from home to increase 2.5 to 3.5 percent as well.

5. Health coverage
Health coverage is expected to cost more in 2014 as well. New laws will require most people to have some type of health coverage, increasing the demand and cost to receive coverage. Additionally, the Affordable Care Act is going to require employers to pay a $63 transitional reinsurance fee. The fee is for each employee who is insured through the company, and will be used to help fund the exchange of insurance plans. Employers are expected to cut the amount of medical coverage they provide to employees in order to reduce their overall losses.

6. Satellite television
and Dish, the two leading satellite television providers, are going to increase their prices as well. At the beginning of the last year, DIRECTV increased its prices by 3.2 percent. In 2014, the company plans to increase its prices at an average of 4.4 percent. That is actually far less than the price increase from last year, which was 16.3 percent.

7. Cost of higher education
The cost of education has lead to a big increase of student debt in recent years. Expect education to become more costly in 2014 as both tuition and the cost of living go up. Keep in mind, the price of homes and food will also increase in 2014, which will make it even more expensive to pay for the overall cost of attending college.

8. Cars
Kelley Blue Book estimated that between 2012 and 2013 the price to purchase a vehicle rose a total of 1.1 percent. The cost to purchase a vehicle is expected to increase at a similar rate for 2014.

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A Financial Plan on an Index Card

Keeping it simple.

Aug 7, 2015 at 11:26AM

Two years ago, University of Chicago professor Harold Pollack wrote his entire financial plan on an index card.

It blew up. People loved the idea. Financial advice is often intentionally complicated. Obscurity lets advisors charge higher fees. But the most important parts are painfully simple. Here's how Pollack put it:

The card came out of chat I had regarding what I view as the financial industry's basic dilemma: The best investment advice fits on an index card. A commenter asked for the actual index card. Although I was originally speaking in metaphor, I grabbed a pen and one of my daughter's note cards, scribbled this out in maybe three minutes, snapped a picture with my iPhone, and the rest was history.

More advisors and investors caught onto the idea and started writing their own financial plans on a single index card.

I love the exercise, because it makes you think about what's important and forces you to be succinct.

So, here's my index-card financial plan:


Everything else is details. 

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