The January sales are in full swing, with high street and online shops throwing ‘50% off’ signs around. But are we really making big savings when we’re spending money on lots of things we don’t really need?
I had a mooch round the West End sales last night. I didn’t buy anything, but feel like I missed out. The people around me clutching their designer shopping bags saved hundreds of pounds on the original price.
Being prudent is boring.
To make myself feel better, I listed the reasons why my self control will pay off in the end:
- When my credit card bill hits the doormat in early February, I won’t be suffering a debt hangover. With average credit card rates over 17% (and many people paying rates of up to 40%), getting 20% off a pair of shoes in the sales will soon look like a false economy when the interest on your credit card wipes out the savings.
- Winter’s not over yet and a lengthy cold snap could drive up my gas bill significantly. Less spending now means less scrimping later.
- By making do with the clothes I’ve got, I’ll lessen my environmental impact. And shabby chic is bound to come back into fashion at some point in 2012.
- My stress levels will be much lower. Oxford Street isn’t the most calm-inducing place at the best of times.
Do you fall for January sales?
Of course, savvy shoppers can pick up a real bargain. Those with kids can stock up on cheap clothes for the year. And, if you’re really organised, you can buy next year’s Christmas cards now while they’re half price.
Still, that’s not what I’m talking about here – I’m thinking of those items that you wouldn’t normally buy and don’t really need.
Take the lovely red sweater I spotted in the Barbour shop. Those who know me well also know of my impressive jumper collection. I don’t need another one, but it had £60 off the original price! Very tempting.
Jessie J may well exhort us to ‘forget about the price tag’. But many of us have bought items in the sales not because we really needed, wanted or could afford them, but because we’re seduced by the 50% off sticker. Time for some willpower?