11 Things That Will Be Cheaper in 2020
Want to save big in the new year? All you have to do is take advantage of these seriously smart opportunities.
The truly effortless way to save money
When it comes to your finances, finding ways to save money can free up extra cash. This makes it possible to afford the things you really want in life, like taking that amazing trip, contributing to your retirement fund, or finally getting out of debt. But this can often be a painful process, especially since wages are stagnating and so many people are living paycheck to paycheck. Other times, the money is practically yours for the taking. This is one of those times. Believe it or not, these products will actually be cheaper in 2020, making it easier for you to cut spending and achieve your financial goals.
People who love having products, groceries, and even meals delivered to their doorsteps could be in for a treat in 2020. As more companies enter the delivery space, competition for cheap delivery is increasing, which means that prices for these services may fall. “With businesses trying to compete with Amazon Prime’s fast and free delivery to members, food and grocery delivery services are trying to stand out by decreasing delivery prices,” explains Laura Harders, founder of BeltwayBargainMom.com. Harders cites how Instacart slashed its fees last year on grocery delivery. She expects this trend to continue. For more ways to save, check out these 10 cheap ways to order groceries online.
Saving for retirement could also be more affordable in the upcoming year. Jeff Rose, a certified financial planner and the founder of Good Financial Cents, explains that “the Fintech space has exploded with disruptors, such as Robinhood and M1 Finance, offering zero-trade commissions.” Some of the bigger players in the online brokerage space (like Schwab, E*trade, and TD Ameritrade) have joined in and are offering zero-trade commissions as well. “Competition will continue to drive the price down and only make the cost of investing that much cheaper,” Rose predicts. “The clear winners here are the investors.” But do your research before you dive in: Here are 17 things you need to know before investing in stocks.
In 2020, you should expect the prices of the previous year’s iPhone and Android devices to be slashed. Plan ahead and use this knowledge to your advantage. “Every year, without fail, new smartphones become more expensive as the technology inside them continues to improve,” says Tom Drake, founder of Maple Money. “But you can combat that trend by opting to purchase the outgoing model instead. While you’ll miss out on a few tiny upgrades, you’ll make up for it by keeping more money in your bank account.” If you do get a new iPhone in the new year, make sure it lasts as long as possible by avoiding these mistakes that Apple experts would never make themselves.
If you have your heart set on a television upgrade in the coming year, you may be in for a pleasant surprise. David Cahill, founder of Finance Superhero, predicts lower prices on premium TVs, thanks to advances in Organic Light Emitting Diode (aka OLED) technology. “If you’ve been saving and are ready to upgrade your entertainment experience, you may see prices reduced by 15 to 20 percent on OLED TVs next year,” Cahill says. Of course, you can get an even better deal at certain times of the year. Here are the best times to buy TVs and other household appliances.
If you’re always looking for clever ways to slash your home energy bills (and really, who isn’t?), you’ll be happy to know that you won’t have to look too hard in 2020 when it comes to your electric bill. This potential price decrease (in certain areas) is thanks to the rise in renewable energy sources. “As more renewable resources come onto power markets across the country, the average power price paid to generators continues to fall,” explains Riley Adams, a certified public accountant and the founder of Young and the Invested. “Because renewable resources have zero marginal cost to operate, this lowers the average market power price for all types of electricity.”
Adams adds that the solar investment tax credit will be decreasing soon as well. This may lead to a rush to install solar power systems while the tax credit still remains in full effect, creating more pressure on nationwide power prices and helping consumers save.
With the rise in renewable energy sources, there’s also been an increased need for energy storage, like rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. Kyle Kroeger, founder of FinancialWolves.com, says “the intermittent nature of [solar and wind] technologies has also driven costs for batteries and energy storage down, as we will need somewhere to store power. Solar and wind can only generate power during certain periods of time.”
Lithium-ion batteries, for example, are now being mass-produced and used to power products like phones, electric scooters, and even cars. Kroeger predicts the high demand and mass production of these batteries will continue to cause prices to decrease and may even help electric vehicle and cell phone prices to drop further as a result.
Food inflation is a real concern. But the news isn’t all doom and gloom when it comes to expected grocery prices in 2020. Jarek Grochal, founder of Time in the Market, predicts “the expansion of low-cost purveyors like Aldi, Lidl, and Trader Joe’s will continue into 2020, giving customers the option to drastically cut their bills by switching stores.” Although the grocery discount market is still relatively small in the United States, Grochal believes the recent explosive growth of Aldi (slated to have 2,500 stores by 2022) and Lidl (on schedule to have more than 100 stores by the end of 2020) “will mean vast potential savings for shoppers.” By the way, here’s why Aldi’s groceries are so cheap.
More grocery savings
While shopping at a discount grocery store could save you money on your monthly food budget, you may also see the price of certain food products drop across the board in 2020. If you’re buying fats, oils, or processed fruits and vegetables next year, these purchases may cost less. Why? “Certain shifts in agricultural conditions, supply, or demand could impact consumer costs,” says Harders. “The USDA analyzes and forecasts consumer food prices. In a report published in September 2019, they estimated that fats, oils, and processed fruits and vegetables could all decrease in pricing in 2020.” If you’re looking for more ways to lower your grocery bill, try these 19 tricks that frugal shoppers use to save big.
Does the idea of cruising around town in an electric vehicle appeal to you? If so, you’ll be happy to learn that the price of electric cars could drop significantly in 2020. “Technological advances, such as cheaper batteries that maintain a longer charge, will reduce production costs and make electric cars more affordable for the masses,” predicts Mike Collins, founder of WealthyTurtle.com. “Also, the increased popularity of electric vehicles will bring economies of scale.” Economies of scale is an economic term used to explain how companies can save money when increased production of a product helps them become more efficient. Collins predicts this more efficient production of electric vehicles could drive down prices even more.
If you’re selling a home in 2020, you might be able to save money on real estate transaction costs. According to Andrew Herrig, founder of Wealthy Nickel, new competition in the real estate market could save home sellers a bundle. “Traditionally, 8 to 10 percent of the sale price of a home was eaten up by closing costs and realtor commissions,” he says. “But with the entrance of new competitors, such as discount brokerages and Silicon Valley–funded iBuyers (Opendoor, Zillow, etc.), the landscape is changing, and transaction costs are coming down because of it.”
But keep in mind that a discount brokerage isn’t the right choice for everyone trying to sell a home. It’s best to research all your options and interview multiple real estate agents before you make a commitment. And don’t miss these 18 signs you’re about to hire the wrong real estate agent.
In 2020, quality financial planning options will continue to become more affordable to the middle class, predicts R.J. Weiss, a certified financial planner and the founder of The Ways to Wealth. “While for years, the standard was a flat 1 percent fee for assets managed, many new types of financial companies are getting into the game,” Weiss explains. “Companies like SmartPath and Facet Wealth provide access to CFPs at a very affordable price. In addition, more investment institutions and robo-advisors are providing clients access to certified financial planners.” If you’re new to the process, make sure you know these 9 financial planning terms.