Potential Financial Trends in 2018 

January 6th, 2018 by Bunch & Brock

As a new year begins, it is an excellent time to assess your financial situation and plan for the future. To help you as you plan, here are some of the financial trends that may impact your personal finances in 2018.

The Job Market Will Stay Strong

At the end of 2017, the job market was strong. The demand for workers is high, especially in the fields of technology and healthcare. This trend is expected to continue through 2018, putting workers in a good position to negotiate better pay and benefits.

Wages May Go Up

As an employee, the wages you earn have a dramatic effect on your financial situation. According to the most recent predictions, wages will most likely increase during 2018. The labor market is expected to be tight, causing companies to raise pay in order to attract and keep employees. However, it is important to note that this increase may not occur if a significant number of people who have remained out of the workforce in recent years decide to rejoin it during 2018.

The Housing Market May Find Balance

The housing market in 2017 was characterized by a low inventory of houses for sale, which led to higher prices for homebuyers. However, in 2018, we can expect to see a lower demand for homes, which may help to lower prices and make home buying more affordable in most parts of the country. The demand for homes is expected to be especially low in areas that are prone to natural disasters, such as floods or wildfires.

In addition, changes to the tax code may also have an impact on the housing market. For example, a smaller deduction for property taxes and mortgage interest may make it harder for sellers in areas with high property taxes and/or expensive homes.

The Tax Bill Will Change Withholding

The tax bill that recently passed Congress goes into effect during this year. The most immediate change will involve withholdings, which are expected to be adjusted during January. As a taxpayer, you may see the effects of these adjustments in February. Other consequences of the tax bill, including the changes to certain deductions and adjusted tax rates, won’t affect you until you complete your 2018 tax return in the following year.

Gas Prices May Increase

Throughout 2017, gas prices remained low, especially compared to the prices charged from 2011 to 2014. During 2018, consumers may see a moderate increase in gas prices overall. As in other years, the exact price of gas will vary, based on the time of year and the location. In addition, any natural disasters or disruptions in the economy can impact gas prices during 2018.

The best way to protect your financial wellbeing is to plan in advance for the expenses you will face. By reviewing these trends, you can prepare for 2018 and make sure you have the best chance of financial success during this year.

For some consumers, however, financial turmoil may be unavoidable even with the best planning. If you are unable to pay your bills, bankruptcy may be your best option for eliminating your debts and getting back on your feet. To learn more about bankruptcy and find out if it is the right choice for you, please contact Bunch & Brock today by calling 859-254-5522.