When it comes to managing money and personal finances, I think most of us can agree that we’re a sucker for a good sale. And retailers, of course, know this. It’s the whole reason things like “Black Friday”, “End of season clear-out”, and “Final sale” even exist. When any of us see these things going on, especially if they are from one of our favourite stores, it’s hard not to give in to temptation and go on a spree. And, if you’re anything like me, it’s easier to focus on how much you’ve saved, rather than how much you spent (many store receipts put this right on the receipt!)
Over time, I’ve learned a better way to help manage finances, and it all started with a very simple statement: “A sale is not really a sale unless it is something you intended to buy to begin with”.
Taking advantage of sales just for the sake of taking advantage of the sale is not doing yourself any favours financially. If you’re flipping through the fliers, and see a great deal on a BBQ, as an example, and your BBQ is still completely fine and functional and you haven’t been considering replacing it, buying a new one is actually costing you money, not saving you money.
What I started doing is thinking of every sale purchase using the six-month rule. When I see a great deal on something, I ask myself if this particular item is something that I would be buying within the next six months even if it wasn’t on sale. If my answer is no, I try not to buy it. I was going to say “I don’t buy it”, but there are still times I succumb to the shiny word “SALE” and get something I really don’t need. But more often than not, I try to follow the six-month rule.
Some purchase considerations are easier than others, especially if you’ve already planned, or thought about, replacing something. Others may not be so cut and dry, but at the very least, if the six-month rule gives you the opportunity to pause and really consider a purchase, you can count that as a win.
What are some tricks of the trade you have when it comes to saving money and resisting impulse buys? We’d love to hear from you!
Image by Coffee Bean from Pixabay