First Person: I Expect Higher Costs in 2013

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Taxes are going up now that the payroll tax cut has expired. Is there any other bad news? Apparently so, as there are a number of expenses that will reportedly go up in 2013. This is not necessarily unexpected as a combination of issues will lead to costs that could have a negative impact on many household budgets across the country. What can I do at this point? The only thing to be done is to make more adjustments and prepare for an altered pattern of buying.

Avoiding purchases

There are obviously costs that I can avoid. Barring a major change in my finances or the condition of my vehicles, I will not buy a car in 2013. In addition, certain entertainment and household costs can be cut. These are not the necessities of life, but sometimes it is nice to get out and enjoy different aspects of society. Granted, saving money is sometimes about getting creative with costs. 2013 may be a day of going on hikes rather than to the movies.

Affording the basics

The tough part of increased costs is that certain "essentials" may be going up. Meats, eggs, and milk may be costlier in 2013, which will be somewhat of an adjustment. Granted, these types of products tend to increase in cost just about every year, so it isn't like the average consumer will suddenly be unable to afford to grill hamburgers. The challenge is that the cost of milk is added to the increase of payroll taxes, which is compounded by other expenses such as gas, postage and utilities. That may make life a bit more interesting in our household.

The reality of numbers

Of course, some of these increases have to be examined in terms of their actual amounts. In other words, some of the costs will not be devastating. For example, I can live with a one cent increase in postage. Again, a number of small costs can add up to a big increase but sometimes it is difficult to really put certain expenses in context. Would I have noticed the cost hike when I went to buy stamps in 2013? Probably not.

Life goes on

Again, what can I do in 2013 but adapt? Sure, we could eat less bacon in our house, but we could also skip a baseball game or two in order to absorb the increased cost of milk and eggs. Life goes on. The reality of household expenses is that budgeting is complicated process of planning and tracking individual costs. Each individual expense will not necessarily make 2013 a devastating financial year, but it is going to be a challenge.

America will muddle through, and so will I.

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