With spring comes the April 15th tax filing deadline, but the sooner you file, the sooner you will receive your tax refund. Though the temptation to spend the whole amount immediately can be overwhelming, take the time to plan out your purchases and make sure you are only buying what you will enjoy and need, in order to stretch your refund as far as possible.
Buy products in spring sale categories
Product categories are cyclical, meaning that there are consistent themes in when certain types of products are likely at their lowest prices for the year. Stocking up on winter clearance clothing and other winter items with your tax refund, for instance, could offer significant savings compared to purchasing similar products at full price in October or November. Similarly, pay attention to price fluctuations for the products you are considering, which can help you make a major purchase at the best possible time, even if that might involve a little waiting.
Consider online deals sites
Online sales sites, such as flash sale sites and discount sites like Groupon or LivingSocial, can offer great deals on new and often high-end products, but the disadvantage of using a discount service like this is that it is difficult to predict if and when the product you’re considering will go on sale. Look for past sales on these products to see if they have ever appeared on any major discount sites (which is a promising sign that your product might get listed at some point). If similar but not exactly-matching products have been sold on a deals website in the past, consider whether you are willing to purchase that version if you see it heavily discounted.
Compare and match prices
To ensure you are getting the best possible price on your purchases, some comparison shopping will be necessary. Learn the major sites and stores that sell the product you’re considering. Some of them may regularly hold sales or offer promotional codes to further reduce the price of the product. Also, pay attention to which sites offer free shipping and what requirements your purchase must meet to qualify. All these factors can add up to significant changes in your ultimate price.
Next, check each company’s price matching and price refund policies. If a site that offers free shipping will also match prices with a site that does not provide shipping free of charge, for instance, this site might offer a much better deal when you take the price of shipping into consideration. However, the stores a site will “match” with might be narrow: many price match policies exclude Amazon prices, for instance.
Similarly, check the price drop policies on the different websites you are reviewing. Retailers have different periods of time in which they will refund any price drops compared to the original purchase price. Services like Moolah can keep the price tracking and refund process as efficient and automatic for you as possible.
Final tips for tax refund purchases
Every year, advertisers urge watchers to buy a certain product with their tax refund. As a result, many tax refunds are spent every year on flashy, and often unnecessary, purchases, when the buyer could have saved money by planning out the best purchases instead of wasting that year’s refund on an impulse buy. In general, ignore the outside pressure and remember that your tax refund does not need to be spent immediately or all together. Making responsible purchases of products that you are sure you’ve found the best price on is one of the best ways to ensure you are spending your money wisely.