I didn’t need to buy toilet paper this week. I have a 3 week supply and I could postpone the purchase for a least another 2 weeks but it was on sale this week at Costco and it might not be on sale when I need it.
Do you buy toilet paper when it is on sale or do you buy it when you need it? This 1 question could be the key to what you are doing wrong with your money.
It is more complicated than just watching for what is on sale and stocking up. Anticipating your need and buying before you run out and have to over pay is key to saving while spending. If you wait until you are down to the last 12 tea bags to start to shop for a bargain on Tetley then you will either be tealess waiting for a sale or you will have to overpay. I bought my favourite tea this week too. I still have enough tea to last me until January 2014 but it only seems to go on sale at Costco every 3 months or so. I bought a box and I am set until the next sale.
True savings can come from not wasting money on shopping when there is need. Shopping should be done in anticipation of need. If you are buying when you need it then you are probably wasting money. If you can’t figure out the best times to buy toilet paper then my guess is you are making other shopping errors too. Big errors can occur when you are feeling rushed or pressured or under a time constraint.
Every year in February and March all of the Canadian financial institutions heavily advertise that the RRSP (registered retirement savings plan) contribution deadline is looming and there is pressure to hurry up and invest. The people who fill the little bank cubicles in February and March to throw their money down on whatever mutual fund the bank guy is pushing are the same people who buy toilet paper when they need it instead of when it is on sale.
People wait until the last minute to make their investment decisions. Many have been saving all year but wait until the deadline to move the money in to an income generating RRSP. Why wait? If you are facing the RRSP deadline you can open an RRSP savings account. It won’t pay very much interest but it qualifies as an RRSP so you can take advantage of the tax credits without rushing in to an investment decision.
With Christmas coming I am watching for sales on butter and bacon. With the estimated end to my HELOC debt being April or May I am shopping for good investment opportunities and reading and researching companies and watching interest rates.
What do you need to buy in the next 2 to 4 weeks or even the next 6 months? If the answer is bananas then you might as well wait. If the answer is toilet paper or a new ETF then you had better start hunting for a good deal now.