If your new year involves making smarter shopping choices, January is the month to start strategizing.
Sure, you can let go of shopping altogether, but some experts say it’s also helpful to know when things in Canada go on sale. It’s also useful to have an idea of how much you can actually spend every month outside of your day-to-day costs.
“Everyone loves to make a budget in the new year with the intention of actually using it, but at the end of the day, if you’re not tracking what you’re spending, how on Earth are you going to know if your budget is working or not?” Jessica Moorhouse, a personal finance expert and speaker, told Global News.
“The best way to stick to your budget is to track your spending every week or every month. That just means downloading your debit and credit card transactions from your online accounts, copy-pasting them into a spreadsheet and then comparing to your budget.”
She added that another way to stick to a budget is to make reasonable goals.
“It could be that you want to save up three months’ living expenses for your emergency fund or maybe pay off that credit card from Christmas. Whatever it is, setting clear goals will give you that motivation to be more sensible with your spending and stay on budget.”
Even though we’re a full week into the new year, it’s not too late to start a budget, Moorhouse says.
“Remember, a budget is just another word for spending plan,” she said. “How do you want to spend your income? That’s all it is! Don’t think of it as something that will restrict you but as a way to afford what you really want in life.”
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If you need help getting started, Moorhouse has created a free budget spreadsheet on her site.
Depending on where you live in the country, some of these sales may not apply to you, but for the most part, these are general month-to-month breakdowns of when common household items and travel deals go on sale.
Below, Moorhoouse and personal finance and travel expert Barry Choi of Money We Have help us break down the best time of year to buy everything from clothing to electronics to flights.
Gym memberships: Gyms often try ways to get new clients at the beginning of the year.
Fitness apps: There are usually big discounts to get new clients for the new year.
Holiday decor: All those pop-up Christmas stores will be slashing their prices, as will bigger retailers.
Winter apparel: Stores want to push their winter apparel to make room for spring.
Tax software: Lots of tax software companies are pushing their products before tax season.
Indoor furniture: Furniture stores want to clear out their stock to make room for new styles.
Luggage: Stores like to slash prices to entice people to buy new luggage for their spring break or upcoming summer vacations.
Chocolate: Valentine’s Day leftovers will be on sale.
Flights, hotels, travel packages: Both experts agree this may be a good time to start looking into fall and 2020 vacations. Typically, the months between November and March are considered “cheap travel times,” and booking six months in advance may help you find a cheaper rate.
Vacuum cleaners: New models tend to come out in June.
Cookware: Retailers also like to get rid of older models before summer.
Clothing: Lots of retailers do their semi-annual sale in June.
Jewelry: Retailers will be making room for fall fashion.
Summer clothing: Retailers will be making room for fall fashion.
Sporting equipment: Retailers will start clearing out some of their early summer stock.
Back-to-school supplies: The best time to find deals is as students head back to school. End-of-summer sales are also popular for back-to-school gear.
Patio furniture: End-of-summer discounts will be in effect.
Second-hand items: People often clear out their garages, storage or homes and start selling items they don’t use anymore.
Laptops: Handy for back-to-school, big box chains start offering discounted laptops before school starts.
Grills and BBQs: Summer clearance.
Kitchen appliances: Summer clearance.
READ MORE: 6 painless ways to save $50 a month in 2019
Luggage: Summer clearance.
Outdoor gear: Summer clearance.
Travel: September and October are a good time to start looking into flights, vacation packages and hotel deals for the next year.
Denim/jeans: Discounts will be in effect as retailers clear denim out from fall fashion.
Camping gear: Discounts from stock in the summer.
Electronics: Get further deals on Cyber Monday.
Clothing: Get further deals on Black Friday.
Travel: Sites often start Black Friday deals and offer discounts for the upcoming year.
December (Boxing Day)