Redbox jumped on board! Their streaming service is only $8/month and you get 4 DVD 1-night rentals with that. This is only in beta right now, but you can sign up here. I have no idea what Netflix and other competitors who charge more are going to do in response, but my best guess (with my fingers crossed) would be to lower their prices. Yay for competition!
2. Electric Cars
Maybe this is the year it will finally become more affordable to go green. Don't get too excited. The lowest projected price for this summer is $25,000 on a new Chevy Spark EV, but that's still a lot cheaper than the market's been. The reason prices are starting to fall? The demand hasn't been as high as anticipated and new competition is starting to crop up.
Oil prices dropped suddenly in September, and they're only supposed to get lower. I'm not sure how that will turn out; predicting the market, especially with a commodity surrounding by so much political instability, doesn't always work out the way we think it's going to. But if it does indeed start dropping again, that will supposedly mean that lower gas prices will get passed on to consumers. I don't believe that for a second. So here's Femme Frugality's prediction: if oil prices drop, we will not see a drastic drop in prices at the pump. If we demand one, we will see a rise in taxes to compensate for the lower price of oil that will somehow get siphoned off through a subsidy to help oil execs make even more money.
4. Travel Booked Mobile-ly
It's easier than ever to book travel, today. And there's about a bajillion apps for that. Two areas of travel that are expected to see price cuts because of the competition factor in mobile booking are last minute bookings and bookings that bundle the flight, hotel and car rental all together. When you're thinking last minute deals, think weekend getaways and places close to home as that is what will likely be marketed towards you. When you think of bundle destinations, think of beachy places like the Carribean or anywhere else where the hotel will be able to persuade you to spend more money on fun outings and tons of alcohol.
5. Wii U
There's going to be tons of electronics that go down in price. But I'm a Nintendo girl so this one particularly excites me. Nintendo originally priced their Wii U console for their fanboys; they knew they'd be buying it regardless of the price. But they also know that the pricing model isn't sustainable. Look for a price cut between summer and the holiday season of 2013.
6. Solar Panels
While I'm not sure Pittsburgh is the best place to harness solar energy, panels are falling in price. It makes it tempting to try it out. After all, if you're a home owner you'd get a deduction on your taxes and even if it's only a fraction of your energy bill, after the initial investment who wouldn't want to be self-sufficient and pay the electric company a little less each month? We're seeing the prices drop because manufacturers have made far too many, and the birth of subsidized solar manufacturing has forced many of them out of business. Whatever's left of their inventory is going really cheap driving the market value down. It's actually kind of sad. But as a consumer you can take advantage.
*This is a Frugal Tuesday Tip*