The Best Time of Year to Buy Expensive Things

April 29th, 2019

The end of financial year (EOFY) sales are just one of those retail traditions that’s accepted by consumers as a financial fact of life. The grass is green, water is wet, and EOFY is the best time to buy cars, fridges and televisions.

Although we agree that EOFY is a great time to spend on big items, we have some other advice that might help. The trick to getting the most out of the EOFY period is taking the time to plan, budget and above all, do your research.

Follow these simple tips to make sure that the end of financial year leaves your bank balance healthy, and your tax bill as small as possible.

Prepare and stick to a realistic budget

Just because the savings are there, doesn’t mean you have to spend your hard earned pennies. Budgeting is hard, but there are some straightforward things you can do to make your budget work.  Sometimes, it’s best to be realistic about your ability to pay for an item – particularly if you’re looking to buy on finance.

The costs involved in paying for an item with your credit card or using store finance can quickly exceed any savings you might make, particularly if you are unable to meet loan repayments.

In order to make sure that you have the cash lying around to take advantage of those great EOFY sales, it can be really helpful to take the time to develop a budget strategy.

There are tonnes of great resources out there for budgeting – ASIC’s MoneySmart, software like Need a Budget, and dozens of books and videos. Our website has a whole heap of simple, accessible and proven tips for budgeting effectively – make sure to have a peek around!

Consider your tax return

The best part about EOFY isn’t the sales, but the juicy tax refund that you may get from the ATO.

Because the EOFY sales are predominantly targeted towards durable items like cars, tools, computers, televisions and other potentially work-related expenses, this is the best time of year to buy things that you can use as tax write offs. For instance, did you know that if you work from home, you can claim home office expenses on your tax return? If you’re a tradesperson, those heavily discounted knives, power-tools or even a new van or ute can be written off your tax bill.

In order to best take advantage of these opportunities, it is often helpful to enlist the aid of a registered tax agent. One great advantage of doing this, is that the work that a tax agent does for you is a ‘financial advice’ tax write-off, so that’s a win win, right?

Find out more about what you need to know for end of financial year here.

Shop around

Retail therapy works well for some and for others, not so much. Whichever camp you fall into, there is a distinct advantage to taking the time to check out several different retailers, particularly when it comes to buying expensive durable products like vehicles, power tools and other tech items.

While EOFY sales might look great on paper, salespeople use a number of tricks to maximise their profits and rack up sales before June 30th. Being aware of this, and looking around for great deals that won’t break the bank, is a vitally important strategy when it comes to saving money during the EOFY period.

Once you have zeroed in on a great bargain, use the stress of this period to your advantage. As a consumer, you have just a little bit more leverage, particularly with retailers with a consistent turnover of stock year on year, such as car dealerships and technology companies.

Gift giving is a go!

In addition to purchases for yourself, EOFY can be a great time to hoard gifts for Christmas and birthdays. These expenses are often forgotten about in your budget, and can take even the best-prepared of us by surprise. Buying your gifts ahead of time, when prices are low, can be a quick way to save money in the long run.

If you want to be really charitable, you can use this time of year to make charitable donations. Charitable donations are a tax write off in Australia, so by donating to your favourite charities, you can reduce your tax bill significantly. Just make sure that the charity in question is a registered charity, and make sure to retain a receipt!

Patient purchasing

If you’ve ever purchased something, only to see it go on sale at a reduced price a few weeks later, then this tip is for you. If you’re eyeing off a new car, phone or laptop, and you don’t need it right now, the EOFY sales period may be a great time to make your purchases. Rather than buying during expensive periods like around Christmas, deferring this type of cost until the EOFY sales could allow you to save a whole heap of money.

That being said, sometimes it can be nice to treat yourself a little bit. If you have the money available, and you’re in need of something – you don’t need to be a total scrooge. Succeeding in managing your finances is about balance – and sometimes we all need a bit of a splurge!

Take advantage of EOFY

So, there we have it – a simple guide to making the most of the EOFY period. Save your money, shop around and reap the benefits of long term financial planning – your wallet will thank you.

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