"Santa and Jess”
This is the "Santa & Me" photo contest winner sent by Barbara from Palm Bay.
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In the New Year, you will be faced with higher grocery bills, lower mortgage rates and cheaper gas. Here are a few predictions consumers can expect in 2013:
Anticipated Price Hikes:
Grocery bills: The U.S. Department of Agriculture predicts grocery bills will rise 3-4 percent in 2013, due to higher feed costs.
Overdraft fees: Banks are looking for ways to raise revenue without inciting customer backlash, meaning higher overdraft fees and charges for using out-of-network ATMs.
Luxury items: Smartphones, cars and other luxury goods will also be more expensive in the New Year.
Copper: Prices on copper could rise, causing a ripple effect because it’s used in several consumer products like wire, pots, residential water pipes and industrial equipment to brew beer.
New regulations on debt collectors: As of January 2nd, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will regulate the country’s large debt collectors, an industry widely criticized for harassment, deception and other illegal tactics to get people to pay.
Good news for home buyers: Mortgage rates are expected to remain low in 2013.
Gas: Gas prices should continue their slow decline. The average is expected to be $3.43 per gallon, which is down from 2012’s average of $3.63.