Do you often feel like there are so many good deals out there that it’s hard to know when to buy, and when to pass? You’re not alone. Here was one such query I got from a KOAB reader recently:
How do you manage to take advantage of the different sales especially kids clothes and toys and presents for friends all while staying within your monthly budget? It seems overwhelming to me.
It definitely can be overwhelming. The price may be right, but you find yourself wondering: Will this great deal really save me money? I think you guys know by now how much I love finding good deals for my readers; but even more, I love knowing that they only purchase the ones that are truly a good deal for their family.
As I’ve said many times before, it’s not a bargain if you can’t afford it.
End of story.
If you’re going to “save $100” by putting some great deal on your credit card and figuring out how to pay for it later, I’ve got news for you: You’re not doing your budget any favors. In fact, you may be doing the exact opposite of saving: You could be costing yourself far more money in future interest and fees!
So how do I balance all the unreal deals with a very real budget? Here’s my not-so-secret strategy: I don’t buy every deal I post. I don’t even buy most of them (to my six year old’s chagrin, who seems to want everything she sees me posting on the blog!)
In fact, sometimes I mean to buy something, but I’m so busy posting that by the time I go to order it, the price has already changed.
C’est la vie! If there’s one thing I’ve learned in five years of blogging it’s that deals and sales come around, go around and come back around again. Very rare is the one-time-only-ever-in-your-whole-life sale.
It may be the lowest price we’ve seen yet. Or we may not have seen that price in over a year. So, yes, there is a component of timeliness. But if I don’t have room in my budget today, I pass.
When my budget is especially tight, I shop thrift stores and garage sales instead of retail clearance. Over Shabbat, I wore a top I got at Savers for less than $3 and got a ton of compliments on it! 90% of my son’s clothes for camp came from Schoola. During particularly austere months (with variable income, we definitely have our ups and downs), we put a total freeze on all non-essentials.
When it comes to the grocery store, it can be a real challenge to balance your current needs with your desire to stock up at rock bottom prices. But even with food, it’s important that you fit stockpiling into your budget, not the other way around.
Still not sure if you should buy or pass? Have you checked out the four questions I recommend asking yourself before you make any purchase!