No matter what you’re shopping for, rising prices are a fact of life. It’s called inflation, and it affects pretty much everything.
But the key words there were “pretty much everything.” Because as it happens, there are some common consumer goods whose prices aren’t just stable, they’re falling… at least if you consider what you’re getting for your money.
For example, according to the Bureau of Labor statistics, over the last 10 years, cell phones service has gotten cheaper, and long distance is a fraction of what it was in 1998.
And what about electronics? With an apples-to-apples comparison of features and quality, TVs have dropped nearly 80%. Computers nearly 90%.
Shoes have fallen close to 5%, thanks to cheap imports.
And when you consider the features you get, even cars are cheaper than they were a decade ago.
Toys average 44% less than they did 10 years ago, thanks mainly to China and cheaper electronics.
Lower cost imports are also behind the 11% decline in average clothing costs.
And last but not least, timepieces have fallen in price. Down 6% from 10 years ago.
So while inflation is alive and well, your personal inflation rate depends on the things you buy. And even if the stuff you like is going up in price, smart shopping can always help keep your costs under control.