Hello 2017. And Good Buys.

Whether you’re a long time homeowner, a soon-to-be homebuyer or just someone who cares about not running out of money, budgeting is uber important. (That won’t be that last time you hear us say that, by the way.) Budgeting ensures you can pay the bills you incur, it helps you plan for at least some of the things you want (versus need), and it ensures you address your financial responsibilities. (Trust us, your credit score will reward you for it.)
 
It’s also smart to capitalize on good deals when they arise. Is your back begging for a new mattress? Are you gunning for an elliptical machine to help achieve your New Year’s resolution? The way we see it, you might as well save money when making a significant purchase.
 
Consumer Reports was kind enough to highlight traditional patterns for great deals on a month-by-month basis. We couldn’t possibly keep the information all to ourselves (‘cause we love you too much!), so here it is.  
 
Historically Good Deals In January
Surely by now, you’ve heard the TV commercials shouting, “This holiday weekend, save xx%!”, especially for items like furniture and bedding. Yep, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, which translates to a three-day weekend for many folks, is as convenient of an excuse as any to have a sale. In addition to the aforementioned items, workout gear, bathroom scales, TVs and clothing are hot ticket items that often have deep discounts this month.
 
Read: Your Black Friday (And Beyond) One-Stop Shopping Guide for a list of great year round websites and apps for the bargain hunter. (That’s you!)
 
Financing Pitfalls
If a larger purchase like a couch or a washer/dryer set is on your radar, there are some things you need to consider before heading to the store or online retailer’s site.
 
For starters, 0% financing deals aren’t all they’re cracked up to be, unless you’re a bill paying rockstar. To have the deal truly be a good deal, you need to pay your bill on time every time, pay off the loan before the payoff date, and make darn sure you don’t skip a payment. Otherwise, that 0% could quickly turn into 20% or 30%. Ouch!
 
Be sure to divide the balance by the number of interest-free months offered, and be able to pay at least that amount every month. Also, set up automatic payments through the creditor’s website or your own bank’s online bill pay feature to ensure you’re always on time.
 
Surprisingly, doing all of the above may not even be enough to make 0% financing a sound choice. If your purchase maxes out your credit card, your credit will take a hit. That’s because the amounts owed versus the credit that’s extended to you makes up 30 percent of your overall credit score.
 
Lastly, store credit cards can handcuff your ability to negotiate a better deal. If you apply for a store credit card, the store already knows what you can afford, which makes wheeling and dealing nearly impossible. If you’re shopping at a retailer that entertains haggling, you might consider using a credit card you already have—the one with the lowest interest rate.
 
What About The Rest Of The Year?
We thought you might be curious about the traditional deals that other months boast so you can plan accordingly. Consumer Reports shines the spotlight on month-by-month deals to watch for. Happy budgeting, shopping and bargain hunting!
 
February
·      Humidifiers
·      Mattresses
·      Winter gear/coats
March
·      Boxed chocolates
·      Digital cameras
·      Workout equipment
·      Humidifiers
April
·      Carpet
·      Computers
·      Digital cameras
May
·      Baby high chairs and strollers
·      Mattresses
·      Paints & wood stains (interior and exterior)
June
·      Workout equipment
·      Indoor furniture
·      Summer sports gear
July
·      Decking
·      Paints & wood stains (interior and exterior)
·      Siding
·      Summer clothing
August
·      Backpacks & school supplies
·      Dehumidifiers
·      Snowblowers
·      Outdoor furniture
September
·      Computers and printers
·      Digital cameras
·      Lawn mowers & tractors
·      Paint (interior and exterior)
October
·      Gas grills
·      Lawn mowers & tractors
·      Desktop computers
·      Digital cameras
November
·      GPS
·      TVs
·      Gas grills
December
·      E-book readers
·      GPS
·      Headphones
·      Major appliances
·      TVs
 

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