This buying calendar will help you make smarter purchases in 2018

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.

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

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.

Christopher Elliott specializes in solving unsolvable consumer problems. Contact him with your questions on his advocacy website. You can also follow him on Twitter, Facebook and Google or sign up for his newsletter.

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