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4 things experts say will cost you less in 2013

10:13 PM, Dec 31, 2012   |    comments
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As the economy recovers, rising prices can seem inevitable, but they're not universal. Experts say some items and expenses are bucking the trend, and may actually be cheaper in the new year.

Hear are four things that will cost you less in 2013:

1. Automobiles

Used car values have been up in recent years, thanks in part to a short supply after the 2009 Cash for Clunkers program. But after peaking in 2011, used car prices are going down again.

Experts with smartmoney.com expect prices to be 1 to 2 percent lower in the first part of the year, and 3 to 4 percent lower by the end of 2013.

2. Cable television

While the cable bill itself isn't getting any cheaper, there may be less need to pony up for a subscription.

The trend of ditching paid television subscriptions in favor of a combination of free and cheaper streaming options are on the rise. Providers like Netflix and Amazon.com are bigger than ever, and thanks to them, many people can pay less for cable programming.

3. Flat-screen TVs

It's cheaper than ever for manufacturers to make large flat-screens.

Average prices for 32-inch sets have dropped nearly 50 percent since 2010. The average price is now just below the $300 mark. Plus, fewer of us are in the market for a new TV, and the competition among manufacturers and retailers is likely to fuel further drops.

4. Digital media

Prices for electronic editions of popular books already often edge out their print counterparts.

For example: Barnes & Noble sells the novel Gone Girl in hardcover for $14.34. The e-book is $12.99.

Smart Money says the gap could widen in 2013. In recent months, four publishers reached settlements with the justice department in a lawsuit alleging that they and Apple had conspired to raise e-book prices. The settlements give retailers even more pricing flexibility.

For more on the four things that will cost you less in 2013, check out the Smart Money article.

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