Smart Shopping In The January Sales

Posted: 6th of January 2017 by Tom Clover

Money is one thing that most of us could do with having more of. It is the reason so many people get up and head out to work every day and is certainly an important factor for any career or promotion that you may go for. Your career choices may be motivated by money or you may be dedicated saver (you really should try and save some money). However, spending money is also an important part of having it. You can imagine that money is really just tokens that allow you to swap your time, effort, and skills for things you want or need. How you spend your money is as important as how you earn or save it – spend it wisely and there will be more to go around - waste it and you could find yourself struggling to get by. Of course, this is all made tougher by the many marketers and advertisers whose job it is to get you to part with your money – so how do you stay smart with your shopping – especially right now with all the temptations of the January Sales?


Everyone likes a bargain and right now there are money-off savings and special offers galore – both online and on the high street. However, there is a difference between choosing to buy something and being sold it. The easiest way to stop yourself from buying something that you will later realise you didn’t really want or need is to give yourself time to ‘cool off.’ Don’t hand over your money right away, but instead think things through. Shops will try to convince you that you won’t be able to buy what they are selling for much longer, and certainly not at such an ‘unmissable’ price. You have to decide how true that is – could you find the same thing elsewhere? Could you find it cheaper? Taking your time not only allows you to shop around for an even better deal, but it also gives you time to consider your purchase and whether you really want it.


  • When Is A Bargain Not A Bargain?


Let’s say that you wanted to buy a bicycle right now. You may have a look around and find that one you liked has been reduced from £600 to £400 – saving you £200. This is, of course a bargain. You were looking for a bike and found the one you liked on sale. However, if you weren’t really looking for a bicycle in the first place, then you haven’t so much saved £200 but spent £400. You don’t have to take advantage of a sale if you don’t really need what is being sold. It may sound obvious, but it is something that people fall for all the time.


  • Credit?


You should also be careful with buying things on credit. Again, you may be tempted to take advantage of a sale and decide to use a credit card. Unless you can afford to pay the balance off in full (like giving yourself a payday loan), you will accrue interest which may actually end up costing you more than you saved on the original purchase! Credit is something that you should be careful of, and as a general rule, if you have to borrow money to buy something, you probably can’t afford it anyway. It may sound boring, but so is being skint - don’t mortgage your wages with credit when you can save for something instead.


  • Pay Monthly?


A lot of places, such as gyms offer deals that are paid for on a monthly basis, but be careful not to be taken in by these apparently appealing talk. That £40 a month gym membership is actually £480 across the course of a year, which is quite a lot to sign away all at once – especially if you aren’t going to keep going! Look at the total cost of something rather than how much it is in instalments to work out how much money you are actually spending. This is especially true of buy-now-pay-later deals which may add on interest.


  • Get A Better Deal?


Don’t forget that the January Sales are on because shops want to move stock, this is especially true of clothes shops, who will be thinking about next season, but is true for most outlets, whether online or on the high street. While shopping online allows you to quickly compare prices, you may actually be able to get a better deal on the high street. Sales staff are trying to get you to spend your money with them and may have a little leeway when it comes to offering you a better deal. This might be even more money off or even something else thrown in as a bonus. It might take a little bit of front to ask for a better deal, but you don’t get if you don’t ask, right?


Overall, when it comes to spending your money wisely at this time of year, or any other, just remember to ask yourself three questions:


Do I Need It?

Can I Afford It?

Is This The Best Deal I Can Get?


If the answer to all three is definitely ‘yes,’ then go ahead, if not you may be about to make a costly mistake.

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