What to Buy (and Avoid Buying) in April
For some, April is sunny skies and green grass. But in many parts of the US, there are all sorts of issues with the weather. Is it time to buy for summer, or spring, or winter? Well, let's take a look at the bargains and budget busters that are in stores right now.
First, What to Buy…
Well, most people have done their taxes by now (if you haven't, you better get cracking!). If you have a refund, here are some items that will give you more bang for your buck. (See also: 50 Smart Ways to Use Your Tax Refund)
1. Xbox One, FINALLY!
If you've been biding your time waiting for the latest gaming system from Microsoft, you can start shopping. The price of the Xbox One has dipped below $400 recently, and that means you can expect to see continuing discounts as retailers look to move their stock and start selling more Xbox One games. And with a discounted premier system comes further discounts on the Xbox 360. You may see prices as low as $100 for a bare bones system.
2. Easter Goodies
Easter Sunday this year is on April 20th. So for the first few weeks in April, you won't see any good deals on Easter candies and other goodies. But the last week of April will be a great time to stock up on hugely discounted eggs, themed treats, cards, wrapping, and other festive stuff. If you have the storage space, stock up on non-perishable items now, like baskets, plastic eggs, and filling material. It will save you big time next year. (See also: Easter Baskets for Grown Men)
3. Spring Fashions
As we mentioned in past posts, the stores are way ahead of us when it comes to seasonal fashions. That means big retailers are starting to discount their spring clothing and fashions in favor of summer stock. The beginning of April won't show you big discounts, but by the end you can expect deals of up to 40% off. And in May, you can see even bigger savings. Of course, the longer you wait, the less choice you'll have. (See also: Frugal Spring Wardrobe)
4. TVs, Electronics, and Gadgets
The end of the fiscal year for Japanese manufacturers is March 31st. That means new models will be coming out in April, and you can expect big discounts on last year's models. Expect to see big screen TVs drop even lower (is that even possible?), and you will also score great deals on stereos, TVs, DVD players, Blu-ray players and more.
5. Snow Blowers and Other Winter Equipment
There may still be snow in the forecast for some of us, but winter is almost done. And that means stores are clearing out their inventory to make way for spring and summer stock. Get bargains on snow shovels, ice melters, snow blowers, snowball makers, sleds, and anything else needed when Jack Frost comes visiting.
6. Office Furniture
What is hot one year is not the next, and vice versa. Last year, it was wise to hold off on office furniture. This year, there are going to be more deals around. Once people start spending their tax refunds, they'll start looking at business purchases like desks, chairs, and tables. If you need to revamp your home office, or business, do it this month.
7. Car Parts and Accessories
It's a little too cold for most of us to get under the hood and do some improvements. Summer is a time for car care, and that's why you'll see incentives to start moving some of those car parts now. (See also: Simple Ways to Keep Your Car Running Longer)
Mother's Day is Sunday, May 11th (unless you live in Britain, like my mum does — March 30th this year). The jewelers will be trying to part you from your hard earned cash with deals on sparkling necklaces, earrings, and brooches. If you wait too long, you'll be paying top dollar for the same items in May. Don't be one of those last minute shoppers; it will cost you.
And What to Avoid…
With the spring weather taunting you, you'll be tempted to spend big on the following items. Don't fall for the marketing. There are much better deals coming in a few months...
Last year, laptop computers were in our April buy list. This year, avoid them. New processors and higher demand for more portable technology has not worked in the consumer's favor. Of course, everything is relative. The kind of laptop you can get today for $500 would have been three times that price just a few years ago. But it you're looking for deals, this is not your month.
2. Patio Furniture
Just like the grills, you'll see store displays featuring patio furniture, deck boxes, hose reels, and other outdoor gear. Again, wait a few months if you can. If you want to start enjoying the spring weather right now, you'll find good deals on Craigslist from people who are buying the new stuff right now and need to dump the old.
3. Vacuum Cleaners
April means that it's time for spring cleaning, and that means the tools needed to do those jobs are at full price, or very close to it. Wait a while, or pick up a decent used vacuum on Craigslist. June is officially the month for new models to come out, and so you'll start to see older model vacuums and rug shampooers going on sale at that time.
The next big holiday on the calendar is Memorial Day, and that's when mattress companies like to put their wares on sale. So, if your bed is giving up the ghost, throw a few blankets and towels on the bed until Memorial Day comes around. Your wallet will thank you. (See also: 5 Best Mattresses)
Are you planning to make any big or small purchases this month? What's on your list?