The 7 worst issues to purchase in January

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Patience often pays off.

Important points

  • Most major household items such as appliances, furniture, and mattresses are for sale during Presidents’ Day. Wait until February to buy these things.
  • January is usually peak winter – and peak travel time in winter. If possible, wait until the end of the season before collecting winter equipment and luggage.
  • January is a hot time for gym equipment and gym memberships. But if you’re not yet a regular at the gym, you might want to skip those pricey gym contracts this month.

It can take weeks to recover from vacation time. And the same goes for your personal finances. But just because you spent a little too much in December doesn’t mean your needs — or wants — will go away in January.

When you’re done shopping for everyone else, it can feel like it’s finally time to tackle a few items on your own to-buy list. But while January can be a great time for some shopping, you might want to avoid buying any of these seven things.

1. Large appliances

The holiday season can certainly highlight flaws in your home appliances. But while your oven may have hobbled through the Christmas cookie season, it’s not — quite — time to buy a new one. Instead, consider waiting just a few more weeks.

Why? Three words: Presidents’ Day Sales.

What our former executives have to do with household appliances, we may never know. But the nationalist February holiday is one of the best times to find deals on everything from dishwashers to washing machines.

2. Furniture

Again, it might pay off to wait a few more weeks. As with home appliances, furniture stores often have big sales around President’s Day. A little patience this January can save you hundreds, if not thousands, in February.

3. Mattresses

Yes, you guessed it: mattresses are another big sale in February, so wait to replace yours until the sale starts next month.

We’re just weeks away from the peak of winter for most of the country (yes, even in the south). And that means peak demand for snow gear and tools. Unfortunately, now might also be the worst time to pick up winter gear that you may need to replace. Unless you’re in dire need of new skis or a snow blower, it might be better to wait until March when end-of-season deals drop.

5. Jewelry

Before the wrapping paper hits the floor on Christmas morning, your favorite stores have already started stocking up on Valentine’s Day essentials. But while the aisles are lined with pink hearts and chocolate goods, the big sales events probably won’t start until February.

At the very least, it may be late January before we see the best deals on Valentine’s Day go-tos like fine jewelry. If you have your eye on something glittery this year, waiting until next month will likely get you the best price.

Pro tip: Don’t waste your budget on jewelry and never buy fine jewelry on credit. Most jewelry is like a new car: it will never be worth as much as it is when you buy it. And that doubles when you pay interest charges on it! A thoughtful, carefully chosen gift is always better than an expensive piece of jewelry that you had to go into debt for.

6. Baggage

Some things, like televisions, go on sale during periods of high demand (think Superbowl sales). Other things – well, not.

Luggage is cheapest when travel demand is off, which is typically the off-season (that’s March/April and August/September). And with most holiday deals coming to an end, picking up new luggage this month is unlikely to get you your best price.

So unless you’re one of the many people whose airline lost their bags last year, wait until the end of the season to pick up your new set.

7. Gym Memberships

Okay, so this isn’t as simple as “don’t buy this”. That’s because January can actually be a great time to join or renew a gym membership if you’re already someone who goes to the gym regularly. There are usually some great promotions when gyms try to capture the New Year’s Resolution crowd.

But – if you are a member of the New Year’s Resolutions? You might want to wait.

A lot of people (and I’m not saying you will be, but I’m not saying it either) tend to jump headlong into an expensive gym contract while their motivation is high. Then, as the enthusiasm for the “brand new me” wears off, that gym membership is used less and less. But if you’ve signed on the dotted line, you’re still on the hook for the fees – likely until next New Year.

Skip the January gym membership unless you know you’ll be using it. And good news! January is a great time to get some home gym equipment. You can go a long way with a few exercise bands and a few weights.

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