Even as the economy continues to improve, wage increases have been relatively modest in the last few years. The typical raise for workers will be 3 percent in 2017, just slightly higher than the meager 2.8 percent in 2016, according to Aon Hewitt.
While that increase is higher than overall inflation, the rising cost of big-ticket items like health care, college tuition and housing still has most Americans looking for ways to cut expenses.
However, while it may seem like the price of just about everything is going up, there are a few categories where falling prices could make a meaningful difference to consumers next year. Among the items that will cost less in 2017: beef, 4K televisions and cell phone data.
Every dollar helps, since even with recent income gains, the median American income is still 1.6 percent lower than it was in 2007, before the most recent recession, and 2.4 percent lower than its peak in 1999, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.