Now that it’s near the end of the year, some of us will be looking forward to the sales season. Was there something you wanted to get a few months ago but found that it didn’t fit your budget? Or are there things you really need to restock or replace, like medical supplies, your children’s school supplies, or a damaged phone?
With many things on sale at this time of the year, it can be easy to spend too much and buy things you might not actually need. So here are some tips to help you make the most out of your money when you shop:
- Know how much you can (and should) spend
Keep your needs in mind before your wants. Then, figure out how much money you have to spend on the things you need – use our budgeting guide and calculator to help you! Don’t forget to also set aside some money for emergencies, especially in this pandemic. Once you’ve planned your budget, then you can see if you have enough money left for shopping.
- Compare prices of e-commerce platforms and retailers
Many retailers are getting rid of stock this time of the year, so look out for bargains. Different retailers and platforms can charge different prices for the same item. For example, you might be able to get a phone cheaper at an electronics retail outlet compared to the official store.
- Beware of paying less for things that don’t last long
Things that last in the long term can be expensive, like a good pair of shoes or headphones for your mobile devices. So maybe you’ve decided to buy a cheaper product that didn’t fully fit your needs. But cheaper products can end up costing more in the long term if you need to keep replacing them.
Instead of just buying the cheapest item, compare the prices for what you need and choose the best quality item you can get with your budget.
- Monitor prices daily
Some e-commerce platforms offer their members different discounts on different days during sales seasons. If you’re a member, check your app or inbox for discounts every day. Prices can fall even more around the Christmas period, so keep your eye on the price of those expensive appliances you’ve been dreaming of throughout the month of December to catch the best deal. Some platforms also let you choose to get an alert for price drops, so be sure to sign up for that, too!
- Buy in bulk
Need to stock up on health supplements? Buying in bulk may require you to pay more money upfront. But along with the end-of-year sales, some e-commerce platforms offer an additional discount for items bought in bulk. If you can afford it, you could pay more upfront to buy in bulk but save money over the long term.
With Covid-19, slower business activity and more options for online shopping, it’s a great time to get discounts online and in physical stores (although with the pandemic going on, online shopping would be safer). But always remember to pay your bills or loans, set aside some savings and spend on the things you need first before going on a shopping spree!
If you’re interested in learning more about planning, budgeting and saving, check out our guides on how to plan a budget and setting savings goals. Happy holidays and always remember to stay safe, whether you’re shopping online or in-store!
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