How to BEAST the After-Christmas Sales
Phew! Christmas 2016 is officially in the bag. Time to kick back, relax, and … start planning for those After-Christmas sales!
This is a great time of year to buy new stuff while also maximizing your savings. Retailers are left with a bunch of merchandise left over from the holiday season—these are the items they need to get out the door now before they get a whole new shipment for 2017. That pressure on the retailer translates to low prices and great discounts for the customers. Huzzah!
If you want to kick off the new year on the right financial foot, then an After-Christmas sale might just be the ticket. Here are some tips and tricks from OppLoans to help you out.
Look for these items…
Because After-Christmas sales are closely linked to overstocked items, there are certain categories of goods that will be more heavily discounted than others. If you’re looking to get the best deals, be on the hunt for…
By late December, most people have already purchased their coats, sweaters, hats, scarves, boots, and gloves, and retailers already need to be thinking about the spring clothes they’ll be selling in a few months. If you and your family need new winter outfits to keep you warm (or if this is the last year you’re going to be able to get by wearing that same Gap parka you’ve had since high school), this is a great time to buy. Winter coats will be cheaper closer to the spring months, but you can still get a great discount without having to wait nine months to actually use the stuff you buy.
This might surprise you (that’s a lie: this definitely won’t surprise you), but major retailers tend to sell a lot of toys over the holiday season. And once that season is over, the demand for these dolls, action figures, and whatever a “Hatchimal” is, plummets. And when demand drops, prices do too. Toys aren’t a necessity, so be careful how much you’re spending on them, but toys you were going to buy anyway (or maybe toys you’ll want to put under the tree next year) are usually much cheaper post-Christmas.
You know how you keep promising yourself that this is the year you’ll get in shape? Well, retailers know that too. Offering sales on exercise equipment and fitness gear can spur big spending sprees from folks with New Year’s resolutions. Don’t go on a spree—and don’t buy anything in anticipation of “finally getting in shape” for the new year—but do consider taking advantage of these sales. If you do workout, now’s a great time to stock up on new gear. And if you don’t, those gym pants are comfortable for couch surfing too!
In a world where every year brings a new wave of phones, laptops, headphones, digital cameras, etc., the end of the year is the perfect time for consumers to make off like bandits. Save a little on new tech or save a lot on slightly older swag. If it doesn’t matter to you whether you have the brand-spanking newest pair of wireless headphones, why not score a great bargain on a slightly older pair? This goes the same for DVD and Blu-Ray players, videogame system and e-readers. Stay ever so slightly behind the curve, and you could save a bundle. After all, it’s not like newer Xbox or Playstation models make the old ones any less fun—just less expensive!
Cooking and Baking Supplies
Need some Santa Claus-themed dinner plates or some Krampus-shaped cookie cutters? Of course you don’t. But hey, ‘tis the season. Or ‘twas. Now that Christmas is all wrapped up, now’s the time to stock up on any Christmas-themed kitchenware you might want to use next year. And the same goes for …
This one’s pretty self-explanatory. Do yourself a favor, buy all your wrapping paper, twinkling lights, ornaments, and other decorations now, when retailers are practically begging you to take them off their shelves. A year from now, you’ll look back on your present self, and say “Thanks, me!”
Don’t let discounts lead to extra spending.
When you’re seeing great deal after deal, it can be easy to lose sight of the big picture. And in this case, the big picture is your household budget. Don’t let discounts lead to you spending more than you should.
It can be especially easy to overspend if you let yourself be swayed by deals you see in-store. (Three hamster wheels for the price of two?! Wow!) You can combat this by making a list of what you’re going to purchase before you arrive at the store. If it helps, you can also build in a limited budget for impulse-buys.
Don’t forget about coupons!
Even when items are on sale, you shouldn’t let your quest for savings end there. Scan the local newspapers and your junk mail for coupons you can use to bring those prices down even further!
When you’re shopping at major retailers, check to see if they have an app (like Target’s Cartwheel App) that lets you check for additional offers in-store.
But also don’t forget to read the fine print!
This Is the flip-side of using coupons.
Many deals can’t be combined with other discounts, offers, or promo codes. It stinks, but it’s true! Make sure you check (then double check!) the fine print on any promotional offer or coupon you use to maximize your savings.
Skip the credit cards …
There’s always going to be that holiday temptation to splurge now and pay later, especially when you can just put that purchase on a credit card.
The same holds true for After-Christmas sales. Because you’re saving money through those discounts, you might talk yourself into charging hundreds of dollars on your credit card and paying down the balance over the next six months.
Here’s the thing: if you’re charging those purchases on your credit card, then you’re getting charged interest. And every time you get charged interest, you’re essentially paying more money on that purchase. If the point of After-Christmas sales is to spend less money, then charging purchases to your credit card is a 100 percent no-go.
… Unless you have a plan
Using your credit card is not without its risks, but there is a way you can use one without overspending. All you have to do is pay off your balance within 30 days. That way, you can take advantage of the cards 30-day, interest-free grace period and pay an effective interest rate of 0 percent.
Doing this is going to require some advance planning. So take a look at your current budget as well as your budget for January 2017. Make sure that next month’s spending plan has the room to accommodate your After-Christmas purchases.
Do not simply make the purchases and “figure out the details later.” Make a plan, and stick to it. That way, you can maximize your savings and start the new year without having to worry about old expenditures!
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