Resisting the temptation of the January Sales
As much as we all love to pick up a bargain, it is more than easy to go wild in the January sales. Year after year we see people bumping into one another, sometimes fighting with each other just to grab the best bargains. Before you know it you’ve bought a shed load of stuff that let’s be honest, you might not even wear. Could 2014 be a wise year to break the mold and consider putting up a resistance?
A recent poll of about 3,600 people for homelessness charity Shelter suggests that more than a third of people in the UK are expecting to have problems paying their rent or mortgage this year and that those families with children are feeling the worst affected. Some 70% of these say they are already finding it difficult to keep up with payments or have already fallen behind. I would guess that in most cases people have finally exhausted their lines of credit and simply don’t have the money available.So what does this have to do with the January sales?
With the lure of cheap prices for cash strapped families the sales might seem like the perfect time to go shopping, buying up anything and everything while it’s cheap. While this ordinarily might seem like a good money saving ploy, common sense and the basic rules of spending still need to be employed. Rules like ‘Don’t spend money you don’t have’ and ‘It’s only a bargain if you can afford it’ may sound boring but resisting the temptation to shop in the sales could well prevent you from being unable to meet your household commitments in the coming difficult months. It might be wise to conserve your cash for the more important and unexpectedly expensive bills you may have dropping through your door over the next few months like energy bills or the ever increasing food shopping bill.
Even if you aren’t expecting to feel the pinch it’s good to keep in mind the raft of retailers and businesses who went bust in recent years after difficult holiday trading periods. Perhaps it would be a good idea to put any, or at least some of the cash you have left into an emergency fund to prepare for possible shocks to your own financial situation like an unexpected job loss.
Yes it sounds boring to just save your cash and miss the sales this year but do you really want to be kicking yourself in a months time when you’re short on a bill, all because you bought a few pairs of jeans that you didn’t really need and don’t even fit now that you’ve trimmed up after your holiday binge? Of course we all like a bit of a treat now and then so if you really can’t resist then maybe you could just limit your spending to buy one or two quality items rather than buying a trolley load of random things.
To sum up then, sometimes it can make sense to buy things while they’re cheap but it can also be a bit of a false economy if it means you can’t pay the bills and end up in financial trouble as a result, not to mention all the bank charges you’ll rack up if you start missing payments.