Money Experts Say These 8 Things Will Cost Less in 2024
Your best bets for a deal in the new year
Do you find yourself searching for great deals yet keep running into dead ends? Forget the cheapest thing in the world—these days, we’d all be happy if basic necessities were even slightly affordable. Unfortunately, inflation has made just about everything more expensive lately. In fact, Consumer Price Index (CPI) data from September 2023 showed that prices in all major categories rose 3.7% in just one year. And prices that seemed to remain constant were also an illusion, caused by a phenomenon known as shrinkflation.
In 2023, people tried all sorts of budgeting tricks, finding creative ways to save money on groceries and learning how to negotiate and how to get coupons. Despite their best efforts, though, many felt the pinch and are hoping the coming year promises more money in the bank. So what will 2024 hold?
“There is a lot of uncertainty regarding how the economy will look in 2024, and for good reason. Rates continue to grind higher, and inflation remains a problem,” says Adem Selita, CEO and co-founder of The Debt Relief Company. “Due to this, I still see the price of consumer goods continuing to rise in 2024, although I think this will finally be a high-water mark for the increase in prices that have left consumers heavily vulnerable to a fluctuating cost of living.”
The good news is, not all consumer goods prices will continue to rise. Due to a variety of factors, like lower consumer demand, supply increases and weather forecasts (seriously!), certain goods will cost less in 2024. We spoke with financial experts to find which items we can expect to get a break on in 2024. While some list prices may not be radically lower, there are lots of ways to be savvy, save money and find merchandise and services that cost less, ultimately helping you keep more cash in your wallet.
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Have you been dreaming of eating pasta in Italy? Or maybe you’ve been dying to take the kids on that Alaskan cruise. Well, 2024 could be your year! “In an expensive economy where the cost of living increases, consumer demand for travel will continue to wane,” says Selita. And lower demand means lower prices.
So what, exactly, can you expect? “Hotel accommodations will definitely see prices decrease in 2024 due to less demand and less business travel in general since the pandemic,” he says. And if cheaper travel isn’t good enough, you can save even more money on vacation by using a travel credit card.
Sometimes it’s cheaper to buy a replacement appliance than to fix one, but that wasn’t always the case during the pandemic. Global supply-chain disruptions, including factory closures and customs delays, wreaked havoc on appliances, creating supply issues and jacking up prices well above the norm. “It has taken time to replenish normal supply since inventories shrunk and prices rose,” says Tracy Bell, the director of equity strategies at First Horizon Advisors. “But manufacturers now report stable supply levels, with retailers experiencing slower sales on large-ticket items.”
Translation? While prices for appliances have remained relatively stable over the past year, they are now falling on a monthly basis and will continue to fall in 2024. In other words, this is the best time to buy household appliances.
Used cars have never been the cheapest thing in the world, but similar to appliances, parts needed for the production of cars were hard to come by during the pandemic, slowing the production of new cars and causing used car prices to skyrocket. Thankfully, “new car and truck production has stabilized, so the pressure is off the used vehicle market,” says Bell. According to the CPI, used vehicle prices are already down 8% from a year ago and should continue to fall in the coming year. That makes 2024 a great time to buy a car.
“TVs have been about as low as they could be for several years now, but you can increasingly get higher-end models in bigger sizes for lower prices,” says Stan Horaczek, executive gear editor in charge of commerce for Popular Science. “It’s not out of the question to get a 55-inch TV for $300 or less without a shopping holiday like Black Friday.”
Experts expect this trend to continue in 2024, due to supply-chain bottlenecks clearing up, excess inventory taking up space in warehouses, consumer spending tightening and newer and better models being released in record time. Consumers looking for even steeper discounts on TVs can also opt for older models.
Over 2.3 million electric cars were sold in the first quarter of 2023, about 25% more than in the same period a year earlier, which means demand is up for electric vehicles. While they’re not the cheapest thing in the world, Selita expects the prices of EVs to decrease in 2024, thanks to cheaper battery production.
“An estimated 20 to 40 million tons of lithium were just recently found in the U.S. along the Nevada-Oregon border,” he says. That’ll help decrease the cost of producing lithium batteries and therefore electric cars. What’s more, the U.S. Department of the Treasury recently released a proposal that would make it easier for people to get a $7,500 tax credit for new electric vehicles.
But if you’re not ready to upgrade to an electric car, you can still keep more cash in your wallet by using these tips to save more money on gas.
Once upon a time, eggs were practically the cheapest thing in the world. But remember when prices shot up last year, turning an omelet into a luxury breakfast item? That was the result of a bird flu outbreak that severely impacted the health of farmers’ flocks, says Bell—and fewer laying hens meant a smaller supply of eggs and exorbitant prices. But in time, farmers have been able to regrow their chicken populations, leading to a bigger egg supply.
According to the August CPI data, prices were down 18.2% compared with a year ago, and they will continue to decline in the new year. So go ahead and plan for omelets in your future. And if you really want to save more on your next grocery trip, keep an eye out for these supermarket buys that are a waste of money.
Good news for those cold winter months coming in January and February: According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s Natural Gas Monthly, natural gas prices are down 11% from a year ago and are expected to continue to fall throughout the next year. “Although the decrease might not be substantial, temperate weather, a milder forecasted winter and increased supply of natural gas should mean lower prices in 2024,” says Selita.
Much like the cost of used cars, the price of furniture was boosted by pandemic spending. “We were all stuck inside, and many decided to redecorate,” says Bell. On top of that, supply-chain problems made it challenging to get some items. But those prices have slowly started to trend down, falling 4.3% over the past year, according to the CPI.
“Spending has since subsided, and available inventory went up,” she says. So the price of furniture should continue to fall well into the new year, making 2024 a smart time to buy the furniture you’ve had your eye on. Will it be the cheapest thing in the world? No, but it’ll probably cost less than it would’ve this year or the couple years before.
About the experts
- Adem Selita is the co-founder and CEO of The Debt Relief Company. With more than a decade of experience in debt consolidation relief and personal finance, Selita has helped countless Americans achieve financial freedom.
- Tracy Bell, CFA, is the director of equity strategies at First Horizon Advisors, with more than two decades of expertise in investment management, including institutional portfolio management, equity research and high-net-worth individual portfolio management.
- Stan Horaczek is the executive gear editor in charge of commerce for Popular Science.
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: “Consumer Price Index September 2023”
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: “Consumer Price Index by detailed expenditure category”
- International Energy Agency: “Electric car sales break new records with momentum expected to continue through 2023”
- U.S. Department of the Treasury: “U.S. Department of the Treasury, IRS Release Guidance to Expand Access to Clean Vehicle Tax Credits, Help Car Dealers Grow Businesses”
- Natural Gas Monthly: “U.S. Natural Gas Residential Price”