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Frugal Family: Prepare for Your Big Purchases of 2012

Tips, Tricks and Secrets to Saving Your Family Money

Although 2011 hasn't yet come to a close, some of you are probably anticipating some of the bigger purchases that you will make in 2012. Maybe you have your eye on a new car or know that your old refrigerator is unlikely to make it through another year. If you have read my other articles, you know one of the most important tips for saving money, is planning ahead. Sometimes it’s impossible to wait for the ideal time to purchase something (take the refrigerator example) but arming yourself with knowledge by doing important research can be done anytime. If you are able to wait for that right time, it’s helpful to know what season or month(s) to buy specific items. To help you plan for a more frugal 2012, I’ve completed a timeline and some best time to buy suggestions.

  • December and January – Houses. Winter tends to be a good time to get a good deal on a home. As a former real estate agent, I know first hand that people feel less secure about their curb appeal when the sky is grey and the moss is out in full force. Sellers also see that less people are looking around the holidays which makes them want to appeal to this smaller audience with a more attractive price.  As you can imagine, Spring is the worst time – while there is more inventory, the prices tend to be higher.
  • April and May – Electronics from Japanese based companies. The fiscal year for most Japanese companies ends in March. Often these companies discount old items to make room for the new models.
  • July – Furniture. Just like cars and electronics, there is a predictable time for old inventory to be on sale when it comes to furniture. New furniture lines hit the stores in August, so July is the best time to save.
  • September – Bikes. The summer is over and the new bikes are in! But don’t be tempted by the newest models. Last year’s perfectly good models are now on sale and it’s time to get that fall biking gear out for a great ride.
  • September and October – Cars. If you are willing to get last year’s model, this is an excellent time to buy a car. By this time, the new models have hit the lots and dealerships are dying to get rid of the old inventory.

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