Here are the eight things that will be cheaper in 2015.
As a resident of the notoriously expensive state of Hawaii, I couldn't be more ecstatic about this news! U.S. gasoline prices ended 2014 at their lowest levels since May 2009. And they might be about to drop even lower. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, in 2015 the average price per gallon will be about $2.60 (the average in 2014 was about $2.71). Some states are expected to enjoy per gallon prices below the $2 mark. As of December 2014, some gas stations in Texas were selling gas at $1.89 and $1.99 per gallon.
2. AIR TRAVEL
The benefits of falling fuel prices are trickling down to other industries, among them the airline industry. Carrier companies are likely to cut the average flight's ticket price by 5% in 2015. However, don't expect this price drop to happen right away. Airlines are experiencing healthy demand from consumers and are still tied up with fuel contracts at old prices. Due to this, economists suggest that it will take about six months for airfares to drop. Some analysts predict that flights leaving from Dallas, Washington, and Tampa could experience the biggest drops from last year's prices (-11.2%, -6.7%, and -5.9% respectively).
Bringing home the bacon just got easier: Experts expect prices to fall 15% to 17% in 2015. I know what you're thinking, "How do I go about becoming a bacon expert?" But let's keep on topic. Due to moderate corn prices, the pork and poultry markets will be able to lower the prices of several products, including cheese, chicken breasts — and yes, bacon.
There are two reasons why you can expect lower milk prices this 2015. First, Russia's ban on U.S. milk imports is forcing producers to find other buyers. Keep in mind that milk is a perishable item, so this puts pressure on them to accept lower prices. Second, the lower price of corn, used in the feeding of cows, is boosting per-cow milk output to record levels. U.S. dairies are expected to reach production levels of 212.8 billion pounds of milk in 2015, a 6.7 billion pound increase from 2014 levels. This excess supply means lower milk prices for you.
5. SMART WATCHES
- 2013 gave us the Samsung Galaxy Gear.
- 2014 revealed to us the Apple Watch.
- 2015 will give us a bigger and cheaper selection of smart watches.
While the Apple Watch looks very cool, its expected $349 price tag may turn off price-sensitive customers. That's why Chinese equipment manufacturers are racing to capture the wearables market by producing Android-based smart watches with retail prices as low as $30. This aggressive pricing strategy is bound to drive down the price of existingAndroid-based smart watches below $150.
6. CLOUD STORAGE
If you're currently paying for your cloud storage, you probably loved seeing Microsoft and Amazon dropping their cloud storage prices by up to 50%. In August 2014, Dropbox reduced the price of 1TB storage to $9.99 per month. Then later in October, Microsoft rolled out unlimited cloud storage to its Office 365 subscribers.
Cloud storage's race to zero, as in $0, is on. Take advantage of these falling prices, but make sure to keep your data safe. (See also: 10 Critical Steps to Protect Your Data in the Cloud)
7. NEW HOMES
Most analysts agree that new home sales will be above the 500,000 mark in 2015. That means that builders need to come up with about 50,000 new homes from existing inventory from the Great Recession era. One opinion is that builders are going to sell fewer expensive new homes to be able to come up with that inventory. These new homes are often packaged with eased credit conditions for buyers with moderate credit scores. As theprices of homes are plateauing around the country and new inventory becomes available, 2015 may be a good year to acquire a home.
What goes up, must come down. And gold is not an exception.
Gold is often used as a commodity to hedge against rising prices. Given that there are so many industries set to enjoy cost breaks throughout 2015, there are fewer concerns about inflation, thus reducing demand for gold. Goldman Sachs forecasts gold prices to drop $1,050 by December 2015, while SocGen expects a price of $950 in 2015's Q4.
To put things in perspective, the price of gold peaked at $1,923.70 an ounce in 2011. If there was ever a good time to pick up gold, it would be 2015.
So, the next time somebody tells you about the "good ol' days," you have eight reasons to let them know that the good ol' days for consumers are here now.