January has long been know as the month to buy:
• Christmas decorations
• winter clothing
• fitness gear
Why are there so many January sales, deals and promotions? Because merchants are trying to clear out the fall/winter inventory and free up space for Spring inventory. But a deal is only a good deal if it meets
My Top 5 Tips for January Sales
1. Make a list.
Yes, finance advisors always tell you to make a shopping list, whether its for groceries or electronics. Why? Because too many people are impulse shoppers, and spend more money than they budgeted, but don’t purchase the things they need. A shopping list will keep you focused on your priorities. As list doesn’t have to be limited to what you need today. For example, great deals today on Christmas wrapping paper will save you money next December.
2. Create a Gift Drawer and Event Calendar
Set aside a drawer, a closet, or a box under the bed to purchase gifts year round. Make a calendar of family and friend birthdays, graduations, weddings and other special events and keep that list in your wallet or smartphone. That way, when you find a great price on designer calendars or the hot new video game, you can stock up and buy enough for all your occasions in the coming year.
3. Set a Budget
Its not a bargain if you purchase something you don’t need and won’t use. And its not a deal if you spend more than you can afford, and have to make cutbacks for the following 2 months. If you know yourself too well, and know you can’t stick to a budget, then find ways to reward yourself when you do follow a budget. For example: if you stick to your clothes budget in January and February, reward yourself with an extra $50 in March. Silly, but it works!
4. Keep an Open Mind
You created and are shopping with your shopping list. But then you see a special discount on a sale item with an additional BOGO! Is it a cute little purse hook that all the ladies in your wine club will love? Are you saving 75% today, and you’ll buy the same item in Novemeber – at full price? Buy it. Lists are excellent guidelines to help you plan and budget your purchases. But use commonsense: and go off-list when the price is right, and the need is there.
5. Shop Online
I’ve found its easier to manage my shopping online. In addition to the flexibility of hours, ability to comparison price, finding coupon codes, and avoiding crowds, I’ve discovered my secret online shopping weapon:
the shopping cart
When I find an item I like, and put it in my shopping cart, I continue shopping for a few hours … or even days… before I hit BUY. This allows me time to come to my senses and reconsider a potential impulse purchase, realize I already have 2 pink purses in my closet, look in my gift drawer and discover I already shopped all the graduation gifts for the coming year.
And remember, before you buy anything online, make sure you always HaveDeals!