To say that 2020 has been a weird year is an understatement, and while many people may wish for New Year's Eve to be here now, it won't solve all our problems. January 1, 2021, will bring a new year, but also a new list of items that you can expect to be more expensive.
For a full rundown of what will be more expensive in 2021 and why, check out our guide below. (And if you need some good news after reading, see our list of items that will be cheaper in 2021.) Just remember that while these categories might be pricier overall, you should still be able to find great savings — and DealNews will hunt down the best discounts to make your online shopping even easier.
6 Things That Will Get a Price Increase in 2021
Clothing sales have taken a hit in 2020, especially when it comes to office wear. For example, while clients of stylist Jessica Cadmus continue to look for new shirts, they're not asking for trousers, shoes, suits, and the like, Cadmus told CNN. And it should come as no surprise that the popular clothing items of 2020 have been more like loungewear.
While those of us working from home have embraced things like joggers and comfy T-shirts, other types of clothing — whether for the office or not — have languished on store shelves. But retailers like Nordstrom were quick to adapt in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, by leveraging deep discounts on items and not buying as much new merchandise as they would in a normal year. Both moves were part of an effort to clear shelves early on and make up for losses in the first quarter of 2020.
However, not all stores took the same approach. Because of the shift in trends, stores like Gap chose to "pack and hold" their unsold summer and fall clothing in 2020. We'll likely see those items sell for closer to full price — if not full price entirely — when they're brought back in spring 2021. As for other retailers that have followed similar tactics, we can expect them to have fewer sales in 2021, at least early on.
Home Fitness Equipment
When wide-reaching lockdowns started earlier in 2020, consumers everywhere were forced to abandon their gym routines. Consequently, home fitness equipment like mats, weights, and resistance bands became harder to find, and in many cases prices went up, as well.
Take free weights as an example. Dumbbells and weights that were going for less than a dollar per pound two years ago "now go for $2.50 to $3 (or even more) per pound on the resale market," according to Vox. With costs like that, creating a home gym setup became pricier than it was before 2020.
Unfortunately, the situation doesn't look better for January. The first month of the year is always a good time for buying fitness gear, and 2021 should bring opportunities to save. However, the savings overall may be less than what we're used to seeing. We also expect that finding equipment will continue to be difficult — at the time of writing, we were still seeing items with limited stock or that were sold out entirely.
Video Games and Consoles
The latest generation of Xbox and PlayStation video game consoles arrived in November, so we don't expect discounts on those anytime soon. But those consoles — the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 — have also been in high demand, likely due to some consumers still spending most of their time at home. If the supply of those consoles continues to sell out quickly, we could see more units being sold on third-party-seller sites in 2021 — and with higher prices, to boot.
SEE ALSO: 5 Things That Will Be CHEAPER in 2021
However, it's not just the latest consoles that are being impacted. Nintendo Switch consoles have been flying off the shelves, as well. We only saw a couple of Switch bundle deals around Black Friday, and we don't expect any discounts in general for the first half of 2021. While we might not see the same markups as before, we could very well continue to see bundles being sold at list price.
Health Insurance Premiums
According to PwC's Health Research Institute, employers' medical costs could rise anywhere from 4% to 10% in 2021. And that could translate to higher health insurance premiums for their employees. A drop in employer health care spending occurred during the first half of 2020, and there was significant uncertainty surrounding the second half of the year. As such, PwC is projecting the costs in 2021 relative to the 2020 estimated health care costs, "normalizing for COVID-19," instead of the actual costs in 2020.
Either way, consumers should be prepared to spend more next year. Health care costs in general have been increasing, so it stands to reason that the insurance itself will see a price increase in 2021.
With many consumers still spending most of their time at home due to the pandemic and further lockdowns, it should come as no surprise that some are seeing higher utility bills. These increased costs will likely continue throughout the winter and into 2021, as people avoid going out because of the continued risk of contracting the coronavirus.
Spending more time at home means more time running the air conditioner and heat, as well as having lights on more often. Because of that, consumers may be seeing higher bills than what they're used to. (Looking to pay less for heat? Check out our guide on how to lower your heating bill.)
As a general rule, the prices of "food away from home" — also known as restaurant dining — increase around 2.5% to 3% every year. While the U.S. Department of Agriculture's forecast for 2021 is similar, at 2% to 3%, there's a chance we could see more of a price increase. Restaurants have suffered widely from lockdowns and other restrictions in 2020, and there's a good chance we could see even higher prices in 2021 as they try to recover.
Readers, what else do you expect to increase in price in 2021? Let us know in the comments below.