Some people, my past-self included, buy things in the January sales in preparation for next Christmas, mainly motivated by a desire to save money. Why pay the extortionate prices in December when you can get things at a cut price now- right? But I’m here to tell you why you should avoid jumping from one Christmas right into another by buying things for twelve months in the future. 

Image courtesy of Unsplash

Image courtesy of Unsplash

There is no buying respite: Christmas costs money- even if you cut back on the last one- it always costs more than your average month in gifts, food, activities and travel. By going from this expenditure (even if it is less) right into another in the form of a sale, you never get a break from the retail conveyor belt. Once Christmas is over, this should be a time to reevaluate your finances, pay off any debt that you have accrued and spend time doing anything other than shopping, just to break the cycle. Give yourself a chance to focus on something else. 

Tastes change: Buying gifts in the sales is a risky business as you may buy something that is suitable for a person now, but who knows what they will want or be into in 12 months time? Especially children- Peppa Pig might be flavour of the month now- but in a year, they may favour Paw Patrol. I understand the reasoning behind not buying everything in December as wages might not stretch this far but a few months in advance is the safer option to make sure you are buying relevant gifts. Try a wishlist instead (most online retailers offer this now) which you can revisit in October/November/December time. 

Values change: What if you buy all your Christmas cards in January only to decide that you want to stop sending them altogether and donate the money to a charity instead? What if you buy all your wrapping paper half price only to realise the plastic content is too high and want to switch to brown paper when the time comes? People evolve a lot through the course of a year and what you did last year might not be something you want to repeat this coming year. 

You forget what you have bought: Perhaps you are good at keeping track of what you buy, but for most people- they purchase things throughout the year, put them somewhere ‘safe’ and then forget about them. This results in buying MORE nearer the big day so you spend double the money you intended to in the first place. 

MORE: Minimalism: Seven things you can declutter in the fourth week of January

Sales aren’t always the bargain they appear to be: Cards that have been discounted from £10 to £5 are still expensive when you could pick up a pack full price in the supermarket for £2 in December this coming year. Sales are often comprised of the things retailers couldn’t shift when they first came out- why would you want to spend money on things other people rejected just because they have money knocked off?

You have to store it: Whatever you purchase in January, you have to find space for for twelve months! The more you buy, the greater the area in your home you have to dedicate to these items. Could you use this space for something more meaningful? If so, save your shopping for later in the year. 

Sales encourage you to buy what you wouldn’t normally: Ask yourself- would you buy it if it were it’s original price? If the answer is ‘no’ then why would you want to buy it now? Just because it’s cheaper doesn’t make it more desirable, more useful or even needed. Sales are seductive and suck you into buying things that you didn’t even know existed a lot of the time so always go shopping with a list of things you NEED outside of the sale period.

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