Home Personal Finance The 3 Worst Things to Buy in February

The 3 Worst Things to Buy in February

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Apparently George Washington was a big fan of home appliances.

Key points

  • New consumer electronics tend to debut in the spring, making February one of the worst times to find deals on smartphones and computers.
  • Buying spring fashion in February may be trendy, but it’s bad for your budget as it will likely be at its most expensive.
  • You can find occasional deals on used gear, but new fitness equipment likely won’t see good discounts in February.

For pretty much everything, there is the best time to buy it — and the worst. Taking the time to ensure you’re buying at the right time can make a big difference for your personal finances.

Thanks to its holidays (both official and unofficial), February can be a great time to buy things like TVs and appliances. But it’s also the worst time to buy these three things.

1. Smartphones and computers

Although February can be a great time for buying some electronics — namely TVs and appliances — it’s actually one of the worst times to pick up smaller consumer electronics, like smartphones, tablets, and computers.

Why? Because the new models tend to debut in the spring. If you wait until the newest iterations hit the stores, you’ll be more likely to find some deals (both on last year’s models and even on the new releases).

Pro tip: When you’re ready to buy the latest smartphone or tablet, consider opening a new credit card a week or two beforehand. A $1,000 smartphone could get you most or all of the way to a nice sign-up bonus! Many no-annual-fee cards have decent bonuses with lower spending requirements, making them a great option.

2. Spring fashion

This time of year is when we start to see the spring fashion hit stores — and social media feeds. It’s never a good time to buy fast fashion, but it’s especially expensive to be among the first to sport next season’s threads.

Instead of looking towards spring fashion, plan ahead even further. February can be a great time to pick up fall and winter clothes at a nice discount. Look for well-made pieces with timeless style that will last you many years to come.

3. Fitness gear and memberships

One of the most common New Year’s resolutions is to get into better shape. Retailers are well aware of this trend, so they offer tons of sales focused on fitness gear, workout clothes, and gym memberships all throughout the month of January.

But by the time February hits, the sales are done and the gyms are full. (In fact, many gyms will oversell memberships in January knowing that people will cancel or won’t show up after that initial motivation wears off.)

All this means February is often the absolute worst time to make fitness-related purchases. If you missed out on the January deals, you may be better off waiting until the weather improves; you may see some deals pop up again as people start getting back outdoors and begin prepping for swimsuit season.

The only exception? If you’re buying used equipment. People who upgraded in January may be looking to pass on their older gear to make room.

February deals to watch out for

Although February isn’t the best time to buy the things on our list, there are other sales to keep an eye on. For example, TVs tend to see big sales in the week or two leading up to the SuperBowl.

However, the biggest sales tend to be around Presidents’ Day, which is the third Monday in February (that’s Feb. 20, 2023). Presidents’ Day sales make February the best time to pick up things like furniture, including mattresses, as well as many major appliances.

February can also be a good time to look for tax software and service deals. Most companies are required to send out tax documents by the end of January, so companies look to nab the early filers with discounts and promotions starting in February.

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