When your favourite shops have sales, it can be really tempting to just go out and buy lots of things. This can mean that you end up with lots of new things at a lower price than had you bought them when they were full price. You might think that this means you have done a really fantastic thing and saved a lot of money. However, you only save money if you were going to buy those things anyway or if they were things you needed. It is often the case that we will buy items that are reduced because they are reduced and seem cheap, but that we do not really want. Or that we spend more money than we can afford and have to get a loan to pay for what we buy. Therefore, it is really important to be careful and take a sensible approach towards shopping in sales.
- Know what you can afford – it is so important to set yourself a budget before you start. You need to think about how much you can afford to spend before you start to spend and then you will avoid going into debt. Therefore, check your bank balance to start with. Look at how much money you have and also anything that you will need to buy before you next get paid. You will need to check carefully and you may need to look back at previous bank statements to see what you normally pay out for in order to work out what you are likely to need to buy.
- Make sure you are buying things you need – it is a good idea to also only buy things you need. Before you go think about what items you need and possibly even make a list. It could be that you have items that need replacing that are breaking or wearing out, for example. Think hard first. If you do not do this, you will just go and buy things that you like and it could be the case that you never end up using them and you regret buying them. It is so easy to buy lots of things, put them away and forget that you even bought them.
- Do not be seduced by the prices – it can be so easy to see things that have been reduced by a lot of money and feel that you have to get them as they are so cheap. However, if you do not need them, then you will still be wasting your money on them, even if they are cheap. It can be worth trying to change your attitude towards things like this and think about the fact that items only get reduced because people do not want them. This means that when you buy items in the sale you are just buying the items that no one else wanted.
- Try to take time to think – it can be tempting to start grabbing everything that is reduced as people get into quite a buying frenzy. It is easy to get carried away when others are all stuffing things in their baskets and snatching things in the fear that others may get them before they do. Try to have a calmer approach. If you are worried do pick things up, but before you buy have a careful sort through it all. Add up how much it costs and work out if that fits into your budget. Then look at the items and decide whether you really need them. Also look at the prices and decide whether they really are that cheap for what they are. If you have a smart phone with you, you could even look online to see whether those items might be cheaper in other shops. Some shops are just generally cheaper and you may even find that you can buy items at full price in some shops and they will still be cheaper than the sale prices in other shops.
So, there are a lot of things that you can do which will mean that sales can benefit you. It is well worth remembering that the retailers just want to get rid of stock they cannot sell and they are usually still making a profit even though the prices are lower. So, make sure that you are sensible and do not buy things because they are cheap, but buy things because you need them and you cannot get them cheaper elsewhere. Also make sure that you can afford them. Often sales are at a time when we do not have so much money, such as after Christmas and so we need to be really careful. Do not let the retailers take advantage of you, try to take advantage of them and make sure that you are benefitting from what they are offering.