How to Keep Boxing Day Within Your Budget

Q: Every year we plan to make a few purchases during the Boxing Day sales. Are the deals really worth it?

A: The sales and offers at this time of year can look very enticing -- and so they should, as retailers look to further enhance their bottom line. But the real bottom line you need to consider is your own. Ask yourself a few questions as you think about what you might still like to buy over the holidays:

  • Is this something I have planned to buy?
  • Do I need this item?
  • How much can I afford to spend?

It's very easy to be swept away by offers created for this time of year. But many of these sales will occur again early in the new year. Take advantage of the markdowns later and avoid standing in long, cold lineups only to miss out on the "one" item they had at the special, low price.

If you decide to hit the stores on Boxing Day, look at your budget. If you will be using your credit card, and you don't pay it off in full every month by the due date, it can add as much as 50 per cent to the purchase cost of everything you buy.

That $500 leather jacket will cost closer to $750 when interest and fees are added on. Is it still a good deal at the higher price?

Instead of buying into the frenzy, do things you don't have time for during the rest of the year. Go skating with your family, enjoy a coffee with a friend, invite your neighbours to help polish off the turkey or hit the slopes.

Boxing Day deals are only deals if you can truly afford more than just the box.