Plan your 2018 purchases now, while you still can. Here’s how.

Behold, the buying calendar.

It’s the ultimate consumer tool. If you’re planning to spend money in 2018, you need to get organized. Why? Because businesses are.

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They know when you’re likely to buy and are constantly trying to manipulate you with a barrage of ads and armies of highly trained sales associates who don’t take “no” for an answer.

“Every year brings with it a few big-ticket purchases, ranging on the scale of need to want,” says Jennifer McDermott, a consumer advocate for finder.com. “Many things can be planned in advance and tracked to ensure you’re buying at the right time for the best price, leveraging sales periods and known best time to buy.”

“To make the most of your budget without compromising quality, plan your large purchases ahead of time.

But enough talk. Here’s the sales calendar you need.

January

Air conditioners
Boats
Carpeting and flooring
Exercise equipment
Furniture
Homes
Linens and sheets
TVs
Winter gear and clothing

February

Humidifiers
Gardening tools
Mattresses
Motorcycles
TVs
Winter gear and clothing

March

Boxed chocolates
Digital cameras
Humidifiers
Exercise equipment
Air conditioners
Sewing machines
Boats
Outdoor grills
Sports gear
Road bikes
Winter gear and clothing

April

Carpet
Desktop and laptop computers
Digital cameras
Car accessories and parts
Universal remotes
Media streamers
Houses
Office furniture
Snowblowers
Winter tires
Vacuum cleaners
Robotic vacuums
Sewing machines
Slow cookers

May

Desktop and laptop computers
Paints
Mattresses
Strollers
Cookware
Small appliances
TVs
Houses
Mattresses
Patio furniture
Refrigerators
Sewing machines
Vacuum cleaners

June

Camcorders
Exercise equipment
Cookware
Dishes
Indoor furniture
Summer sports gear
Gym memberships
Houses
Tools and hardware

July

Camcorders
Decking
Paint
Siding
Summer clothing
Desktop computers
Furniture
Broadway tickets
Suits

August

Air conditioners
Backpacks
Dehumidifiers
Outdoor furniture
Snowblowers
Camping equipment
Tents
Sleeping bags
Desktop computers
Dehumidifiers
Laptops
Linens
Electric blankets
Patio furniture
Storage containers
Swing sets

September

Desktop and laptop computers
Digital cameras
Paint
Lawn mowers
Printers
Snow blowers
Big appliances
Dryers
Large appliances
Air purifiers
Space heaters
Dehumidifiers
Cars
Holiday airfare
Lawn mowers

October

Desktop computers
Digital cameras
Air conditioners
Outdoor grills
Lawn mowers
Tires

November

Camcorders
Gas grills
TVs
Cookware
Small appliances
Microwaves
Desktop computers
Universal remotes
Media streamers
Recreational vehicles
Trees, shrubs, bulbs
Wedding dresses

December

Camcorders
E-Book readers
Gas grills
Headphones
Kitchen cookware
Major appliances
TVs
Used cars
Universal remotes
Media streamers
Motorcycles
Pools
Small appliances
Microwaves
Sewing machines
Water filters
Tools and hardware
Electric drills
Chainsaws
Generators
Wedding dresses
Weddings

Source: Consumer Reports, Wisebread, Elliott

This exclusive calendar lists the lowest prices on the most popular consumer products. Businesses don’t like buyers who have a plan. They’re harder to manipulate. Which is exactly why you need this calendar.

Here are a few trends many businesses would prefer you don’t know:

  • The most favorable conditions for buying products are late and early in the year.
  • Generally, businesses like to up the ante from September to January, first with back-to-school specials, then Black Friday, and finally a desperate sale at the end of the year.
  • While some products follow an intuitive, seasonal cycle (like apparel), many don’t.

Finder.com crunched the numbers and identified some patterns, too. The earlier months of the year such as January, February and March, offer the best discounts on winter clothing as well as outdoor appliances such as barbeques, because they’re out of season.

“Once June rolls around people are most likely to forget all about their New Year’s resolution to work out more and gyms become more aggressive in their enrollment offers,” says McDermott. “Discounted monthly subscriptions and waived joining fees are all par for the course during this period.

There are also the classic Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales that come around every November. Although a lot of the deals seem exaggerated, you may still be able to sift out a bargain.
Interestingly, large companies are getting into the act, publishing their own deal calendars. But beware: These can easily be turned into a misleading marketing effort that guides you to making a purchase at the wrong time. If you find a calendar, compare it against an objective one provided by a neutral third party like Finder.com, or, ahem, yours truly.

Perhaps the best use of the buying calendar is that it allows you to plan ahead. When you can sit in quiet, asking yourself: Do I really need new lawn furniture? Do I have to have a new boat? That kind of contemplation can be good for your bank account, because it allows you to separate needs from wants. At least in theory, it can save you hundreds, maybe even thousands of dollars.

4 thoughts on “Plan your 2018 purchases now, while you still can. Here’s how.

  1. As someone who just bought furniture I can attest to your January savings. They were willing to come down to a figure I was willing to pay for what I bought.

    1. What stupid generalisations !!!!

      How you pay is probably more important in many cases. The cash economy is booming around the world & there are no records of this anywhere.

  2. Beyond these traditional gimmicks, it is useful to make a “capital plan” of sorts. Have an excel sheet of what you might need to replace, a budget, and keep an eye out for where you will buy it. Do some pre-work to understand if you have special credit card coverage, ebates or portal discounts, or unconventional retailers (i.e. Costco Auto). Get quotes for certain things like new a/c during your next service (usually no additional charge to quote you).

    If you have a plan for things like lost/broken cell phone, car tires, air conditioning, etc. then when it does need replacing, which is usually at the worst possible time, rather than wasting time researching or making a bad impulsive decision, you can just execute your plan — lower stress and better deal.

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