It’d be nice to be able to see the future, particularly as it pertains to your money, right? You’d know ahead of time how much you need for certain expenses, whether a product was worth your money and, of course, which numbers to play in the lottery.
Unfortunately, however, we can’t see the future, so we have to make do with predictions instead. When it comes to your money, here are four factors experts think could have a big impact on your finances in 2018.
Rising Interest Rates
According to economists, this won’t be a one-time rise. Instead, they expect the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates twice in 2018. This move is anticipated as the Federal Reserve tries to ward off possible inflation due to historically low unemployment rates. The current unemployment rate of 4.1 percent is the lowest since 2000. A potential rise in interest rates is good news for savers, however, as higher rates mean a better return on your savings.
Tax Time Impact
Your tax bracket is in for a change. How much does it affect you? Consult this chart from NerdWallet for single filers. You can find similar charts for joint filers here and head of household filers here.
Stable Energy and Gas Prices
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the prices for oil and gas should remain relatively flat throughout 2018 thanks to excess supply. OPEC is currently trying to lower its output to raise prices once again, but experts predict domestic production will mitigate that effect.
Inflation Will Rise
Yes, things will get more expensive in 2018, but not by much. To date, predictions expect an inflation increase of 2.1 percent this year, slightly ahead of the target goal of 2 percent. Healthcare is one of the key drivers of these increased costs, but experts state the housing market also plays a pivotal role in rising inflation.
So, there you have it. Four key predictions for how 2018 will affect your money. What does it mean to you? Be mindful of your money in the face of rising costs and, above all, save whenever you can. It’s a strategy that will have you ready for anything 2018 throws your way.