The good news? The Fed is now more optimistic about 2011, predicting that the economy will grow by 3.4 percent to 3.9 percent, according to Time. The bad news? Food and clothing prices are going to rise much higher.
Time published another article that says we can all expect clothing prices to go up 10 percent in the spring even though clothing prices dropped in the past decade. Price tags will get even higher in the second half of the year. The cost of cotton has skyrocketed, labor rates have increased and the demand for synthetic blends has grown. We can expect less embellishments on clothes, less colors to choose from, more synthetic fabrics and higher prices in general.
Food prices are also on the rise. According to Business Insider, food prices have risen 15 percent from October through January. Costs of sugar and edible oils have grown significantly in recent months. “The price of corn, which is used to feed the cattle, hogs and chickens that populate the meat shelves at your local grocery store — has surged 73 percent in the same period,” says Business Insider.
Are you ready for prices to go up? If we all get huge raises this year, we’ll probably be OK, but if our income stays the same or close, we may need to prepare our budgets and spending accordingly. Read on for my list of my top 10 favorite personal finance blog posts from the past week.
1. LenPenzo.com discusses why no preset spending limit credit cards actually have a spending limit and can hurt your credit score.
2. The Consumer Boomer warns readers of debt relief scams and tells what to look for.
3. Mighty Bargain Hunter questions if a mortgage counts as consumer debt and wonders whether people would sell their house and rent in order to be truly debt free.
4. Lazy Man and Money explains how to get your credit score for free.
5. My Dollar Plan discusses whether credit card rewards are taxable.
6. Enemy of Debt offers nine tips you can use to achieve financial happiness in your marriage.
7. On the same note, Free From Broke reveals some ways you can overcome money disagreements in your marriage.
8. Couple Money questions whether store credit cards are worth the short-term savings in the long run.
9. Squirrelers explains how you can equate time with money so you can analyze how many hours you work to buy something.