Is Bad Timing Losing You Money On Common Purchases? | Refresh Financial

Is Bad Timing Losing You Money On Common Purchases?

Time is money
Photo by Tax Credit

Let’s be honest. Most of you just go about your regular purchases without really thinking about timing much, don’t you? I mean, you work full-time, you have a bunch of kids, a lawn to mow, a dog to walk… Sure, if you had the time you might consider sitting down and snipping coupons to save a buck here and there. You might have a bunch of points cards in your wallet just in case one day you have the time to sit down and figure out what any of them are worth. For now, though, you just get gas when you need gas. You fill your fridge when it’s empty. You buy new socks when your old ones sport holes. It’s more about necessity than it is timing, am I right? Who has the time to worry about timing?

What if I told you that you could save a ton of cash by doing just that, though? What if, by the simple act of keeping what I am about to tell you in the back of your mind as you go about your day-to-day purchases, you could spend less on some of the more repetitive expenses in your life?

That seems pretty simple, right? So, let’s give it a shot. Let’s take a look at the best time to buy some of your most common purchases:

  • Gas. Buy it Wednesday morning before the gas station operators have a chance to check competitors prices and raise their own to match. Weekends are when prices really rise, especially long weekends, so the further away from a weekend you buy it, the cheaper it will be, making hump day the best day to feed your old clunker.
  • Beer! We’re Canadian, so this definitely matters. Grab a couple beers for less at the bar on Friday during happy hour. This applies to many drinks, the idea being, if they can lasso you early enough on Friday, you’ll sit there like Cliff Claven all night and spent a mint. We’re telling you though, get in and out before happy hour is through, and you’ll have some extra loonies in your pocket and a clear head the next morning.
  • Shoes. We’re talking about sneakers or anything sporty. If you’re eyeing a new pair of Jordans, get ‘em at the end of spring. Most people are shopping for summer footwear, like sandals and flip-flops, so sneakers or trainers usually go on sale. Just keep your eyes peeled starting around April and you should be able to get a great deal.
  • Clothing, especially suits. Buy these in January! If you head out in early January, you may still benefit from some of the post-Christmas boxing week sales. Clothing manufacturers and retailers also see a significant drop in sales during the month of January and lower their prices to attract business. Suit retailers in particular experience fewer customers and lower revenues and tend to have really great sales. If you’re looking for winter clothing, however, wait a couple of months until March. The end of the season is the best time to buy clothing for said season, whether it be winter, spring, summer or fall. You’ll usually find these items of clothing in the clearance section to make way for the new season’s collection. Pop your earbuds in, listen to your favourite podcast and just browse. You’ll save a ton!
  • Electronics. Did you know that Japan has a different financial year from Canada and the USA? It does! Their financial year ends in March. Japan is where many of our favourite brands of electronics come from, from televisions and audio systems, to kitchen appliances and handheld devices. At the end of every financial year, manufacturers tend to want to flush out the last year’s models to make room for the new year’s models. You’ll find great deals all the way across the Pacific on this stuff in March thanks to our fiscal differences. Now, if only this applied to sushi...
  • Groceries. The trick is finding out when your favourite store begins their new sales as announced on fliers. Many begin their sales on Wednesdays, so shopping at these stores on Wednesdays will ensure you can take advantage of the new sales, and chances are, last week’s sales will still be honoured as well. You’ll also have a better chance of getting everything you need as the store makes sure to have fresh stock for it’s newest flier.
  • Wine. I know you care… don’t act like you don’t. Fall is the best time for wine. It’s the end of the grape growing season and new wines will be hitting the shelves. It’s time to clear out the old and the best way to do that is to offer you the juice at a discounted price. Take advantage, my friends. Sip happens!

Most of what you buy regularly goes on sale from time to time. If you pay attention to these trends, you can pop a few more bucks a month into your savings account. That, my fiscally responsible friends, will earn you a proverbial gold star in our books.

Are there any items I missed? Any timing tricks you know about? Let me know in the comments.

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