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Car insurance.

Rates are now at an average of $1,000 per year, but going up faster than inflation. That’s especially so because insurers are adding on new high-tech monitoring abilities and passing along the costs. So not only are you going to pay more, but your privacy controls are going to go down.


There is a veritable chocolate crisis going on in the world, and that has as much to do with global finance as it does with weather. Cocoa is at a 30-year high, and demand is only growing. Expect to see fancier presentations even of basic chocolate — meaning smaller boxes for bigger prices.

VoIP services.

Now that taxes have hit the voice-over-IP market, rates will go up as fast — or faster — than those of traditional telephone service providers. It doesn’t help that new free VoIP services over smart phones provide killer competition. Expect struggling companies, like Vonage, to keep raising rates directly, and or just tacking on extra fees.


Even if you see an abundance of ads for $1 fares and the like, don’t believe the hype. The total cost for traveling on an airplane is going up, and will continue to go up in 2011. Airlines have had such success with added fees for baggage, seating, snacks and blankets that they’re not yet done imagining other things to charge you extra for.

Nintendo 3DS.

The 3DS is coming, and it’s not going to be cheap. The price will likely be in the $300 range in the U.S., based on the pricing announced in Japan for the February release of the device. That’s a lot more than any other handheld gaming device on the market. What will you get for your money? An 8-ounce handheld game system with great resolution, three cameras, and wireless connectivity.


The world’s coffee supply is contracting, and prices are soaring. Coffee futures jumped 40% last year, and there’s no end in sight for the rise. Even the smallest coffee shops are being hit by the price increases, meaning a more expensive cup of joe for you.


In all the great excitement about the Beatles finally coming to iTunes, it probably escaped the notice of a lot of people that individual songs were priced at $1.29, not the typical 99 cents of the last few years. Don’t think that’s just because it’s the Beatles. Apple starting raising prices in 2009, and you’ll be seeing prices edge higher throughout 2011 on digital music-buying sites.

Dollar menus.

This change has been coming for a while, but the fast-food chains have been reluctant to pull the trigger once and for all to up the cost of their value menus to more than a dollar. McDonald’s has already started to dismantle its dollar menu, and it’s going to happen wholesale pretty soon.

Sports tickets.

Almost every major league sport — and a lot of minor league ones too — is still passing along the costs of new stadiums and extras to their fans. For the Yankees, for example, that means tickets will be up 47% for non-premium seats in 2011. The most expensive field-level seats will be $260.


You might not think of ammunition prices as something to worry about, but if you’re a hunter or if you’re concerned about the budget of your local police precinct or the nation’s military, you might want to pay attention. Ammo prices have been going up steadily over the past several years, and will rise again in 2011, all because the metals they’re made of are going up in price and the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan are increasing demand.

Movie tickets.

Movie ticket prices go up every year, but 2011 could be a time of major increases for two key reasons: online streaming and 3D. The popularity of streaming movies through subscription services like Netflix has cut deeply into movie studio profits from DVD sales and from cable on-demand purchases, so they have to make up the difference somewhere. The advent of 3D means that studios can tack on extra fees for the experience, even if viewers would rather watch a regular 2D movie.

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