What to Buy and What to Skip in January

Planning Your Future

Whew, another season of heavy spending is in the books.

If you aren’t planning a no-spend month and you have a little room left in your budget to splurge, January is a prime time to pick up a sweet bargain or two on items that may have been on your wish list.

Salesman shows TVs to man

Christmas decorations, TVs, fitness gear, and video games are among the products that go on sale this month. Closeouts, new year rates, hype-dying-down, and more abound at this time.

What to Buy 

  • Christmas decorations. Once the holiday season is in the rearview, there will be closeouts galore on those trinkets and knick-knacks. If you have extra space, it’s a good time to stock up on an artificial tree, ornaments, wrapping paper, and more.
  • TVs. Ironically, the end of football season is the best time for TV deals. But it’s not the very end. As the NFL playoffs ramp up in advance of the Super Bowl, retailers help shoppers get ready for their viewing parties with Black Friday-type deals.
  • Fitness gear/gym memberships. It’s no secret that getting in shape is high on the list of many New Year’s resolutions. January is also a great time to sign up for a gym membership, as many chains offer special new year rates. Prefer to stay at home? Fitness equipment is typically on sale, too.
  • Video games & tabletop games. The latest and greatest video games are usually released in November and December, just in time for the holidays. If you can wait a month, prices will have gone down.

What to Skip 

  • Toys. There’s typically a run on toys during the Christmas season, so don’t expect many deals the following month. Besides, don’t your kids have enough toys to last them until their birthday? You’ll have to turn the calendar a little more to get the best toy deals.
  • Mattresses. If you can live with your lumpy mattress for another month or two, late winter or early spring is a better time to upgrade. New mattresses start to hit stores at that time, meaning an older model or a model straight from the showroom floor will likely be a bargain.
  • Snow gear. Winter is just getting started in January, so skis, snowboards, skates, snowshoes, and other cold-weather gear typically remain at full price. Once spring has sprung, you’ll start seeing steep discounts. Or, if you can wait even longer, ski swaps in the fall are a haven for bargains.
  • A new car. Unfortunately, the best time to buy a car has come and gone. Toward the end of the year, salespeople are trying to meet their quotas and may offer big discounts. Then they hit the reset button, and prices go back up in January.


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