Now that spring is managing to peek through in most parts of the country, you’re probably looking forward to a summer full of your favorite activities. Financially, that may mean you have some additional expenses to plan for, but it’s good timing because you’ve probably managed to recover from any leftover credit card bills from the holiday season. As you do your spring cleaning and prepare for the coming year, plan how to use your extra money carefully to get the most out of each purchase.
Refrigerator: When you’re cleaning out your fridge, you may discover some scary things hiding in the back of the fridge, or perhaps you’ve noticed that it doesn’t seem to hold its temperature very well. Or maybe it’s just always completely full, which isn’t going to work out well during summer party season. The good news is that the best time to buy refrigerators is right around the corner. New models come out in the summer, so stores start discounting last year’s models in May. If you buy then instead of waiting for the new ones, you can get a great deal on a perfectly good fridge.
Outdoor gear: One of the targets of most people’s spring cleaning is that coat closet near the front of the house, which always seems to accumulate outdoor gear. As you sort through it, you’ll probably find all sorts of winter stuff that needs to get put away, and you can fill the space with summer gear. Although it seems counterintuitive, the best outdoor purchases to make right now are for winter gear and supplies, like skis, sleds, snow blowers and similar items. You can get summer items you desperately need, but you’ll save a lot of money if you hold off until they go on sale in the fall.
Holiday decorations: Your spring cleaning should also include an assessment of the area where you store your holiday decorations. Now that Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Easter have all passed in quick succession, take a look at what you may want to replace before they roll around next year. You’ll save a lot of money by buying out of season, especially if you need to replace something big like an artificial Christmas tree or a spring wreath.
Budgeting for big purchases later in the year: As you’re making these purchases at great prices, you should also be thinking about what else you may need this year and how to budget for it. For example, cars are discounted starting in September when the new models come out. After you’ve made your big purchases now, start setting aside money in preparation for getting a good deal on something bigger later in the year. The more you can save, the less likely you’ll be to go into debt when you snatch up a deal later.
Seasonal purchasing is one of those strategies that everybody should use to make the most of every dollar. As long as you’re aware of what you’ll need later in the year, or even next year, you can usually find a great deal on it if you buy at the right time. Take some time this spring to assess your needs and make a strategy to budget for timely purchases.