We’re a long way from Christmas and the big money spending of the winter holiday season, but that doesn’t mean that your checkbooks, wallets, and credit cards get to go into hibernation until Thanksgiving. Needs and wants are a year-round affair, so you’ll probably feel the urge to buy a few new goodies during these hot summer months. As long as those items fit into your budget and make sense within the context of your long-term and short-term goals, then go for it. Unless, of course, now is simply not the best time to buy.
The market fluctuates with the seasons. The following are a few items you should consider skipping during the summer because the price will come down substantially later.
- Air conditioners. That’s pretty easy to see, right? Supply and demand. The time you would most want/need a new air conditioner is when they cost the most. If you’re able, try to hold out until October – stores will be looking to rid themselves of their bulky supply of AC units and you’ll reap the benefits. It won’t do much for you this summer, but by the time next summer rolls around you’ll have a brand new air conditioner and a little money left over as well.
- Camping gear. Summer’s the best time to go camping, so, as you might expect, it’s also the most expensive time to buy new camping gear. Wait it out. Buy the gear you need at the end of the season and use the money you saved to book a spot at the national park of your choosing.
- Bikes. Just like air conditioners and camping gear, people get the most excited about biking when the weather’s nice. Grab the bike of your dreams in between the end of summer and the beginning of the holiday shopping season to score the best deal.
- Footwear. Styles change constantly. Most new shoe designs and products debut right before spring, which means you can grab the outgoing styles at deep discounts in late winter, around February.
- Televisions. You should be outside anyway! The best deals on televisions usually show up during the winter holidays, so save your money and put up with that 24 inch flickering behemoth just a few months longer.
- Cars. It’s relatively common knowledge that new car models start showing up at the end of year, which means that dealers need to unload the current year’s crop ASAP. If your car is struggling, try to keep it on the road a little while longer.
- Houses. There’s an awful lot that goes into the pricing of residential homes, but one constant is that summertime is never the best time of year to go house hunting if price is one of your primary concerns. The best time to make an offer on a house is actually January. Why? Well, think about it. Does driving around looking at houses in January sound very appealing to you? Probably not. It doesn’t sound very appealing to most people, which means that your competition will be limited and you’re less likely to find yourself in a bidding war. Add in the fact that sellers often have sizable holiday bills to consider at this time of year and you can see why the advantage goes to the buyer.
- Out-of-season fruits and vegetables. Oh the wonders of the age in which we live! It used to be that in-season fruits and vegetables were the only kind of produce you could find. Now, thanks to various technological advances, produce can be transported thousands of miles and your diet doesn’t have to be affected by the seasons at all. That’s not the case for your budget, however. Out-of-season produce carries the cost of all that transportation, so if you want to eat healthy and affordably, stick with the summertime fruits and vegetables.
It’s awesome that we can buy anything at any time – whatever our hearts may desire in that instant. But if you’re living on a budget (and if you’re reading this, you likely are) it’s best to consider when you’re buying, just as often as you consider what you’re buying. Timely purchases can make a huge difference in the long-run.