Should we get all excited with the post-xmas sales or should we just stay well clear of them?
Mary-Ann, Neutral Bay
Without a doubt there are some great bargains to be made during the post-xmas sales but I would put a big sign up saying "Buyer Beware".
Just as there is no such thing as a free lunch, there is no such thing as getting something for nothing. I always have a quiet chuckle to myself when I hear someone "saved" $100 when they actually spent money doing so.
I am sceptical about whether the discounts are truly genuine and that the quality is not diminished during these sales, so it pays to do some research before buying.
The post-xmas sales were designed, more than anything, as a marketing ploy to get people into the shops straight after the Christmas spendathon. It seems to have worked as the sales attract a lot of people to them. There is a buzz when you walk through the shopping centres in January. It is that "buzz" which creates an adrenalin rush amongst shoppers who seem to start buying on impulse.
And impulse shopping is the worst for any good savings plans, particularly when you can see a "50% Off" sign. To avoid getting caught in the moment, the best thing to do is to devise your own post-xmas sales plan.
Work out a budget on how much you can afford to spend. Make sure that you have allowed for the next credit card bill to come in after you hit it hard last month. If you can't afford to spend any more then you must be disciplined and go without. For those that can afford to do some shopping then leave your credit card at home and only take your budgeted amount in cash with you.
Make a list of things that you need (rather than want) as that will help you reduce the urge to spend thousands. Shop around for those items, particularly online. You will be surprised just how many unwanted Christmas presents will be for sale on sites such as eBay.
Finally, a quick tip for those buying next Christmas' presents now ... make sure you buy the right size, particularly for those growing bodies.