Financial Fitness


What to buy and not to buy in September

Posted at 11:58 AM, Aug 22, 2018

Before you embark on fall shopping, consult our guide on what you should buy (and skip) in the month of September.

Buy: Mattresses

In the days leading up to Labor Day on Sept. 3, you’ll see significant discounts on mattresses, which is ideal given that you’ll have plenty of time to test out the various models over the long weekend.

Last year, Bear Mattress offered an online coupon code for $100 off any size Bear mattress. Mattress Firm gave away a free adjustable base with select purchases of $1,299.99 and above. J.C. Penney marked down mattresses and bedding.

While you’re scoping out Labor Day mattress sales, visit the rest of the home department. Furniture and appliances will also be discounted over the holiday weekend.

» MORE: What to buy every month of the year

Skip: TVs

There are a few excellent times to buy a TV. One is in late November when Black Friday deals begin to roll out (last year Best Buy had a 50-inch Sharp LED smart 4K Ultra HDTV in-store for $179.99), and another is in late January or early February, ahead of the Super Bowl. Because of this, we suggest waiting to do your TV shopping for a few more months to maximize your savings.

Buy: iPhones

It’s rumored that Apple plans to announce new iPhones in September, which means two things. First, there will be new technology on the market, so if you like the latest and greatest, hold off on buying until then. Second, retailers will likely discount last year’s models. If you’re still using an older version of the phone, this might be the perfect month to upgrade to last year’s model.

If the savings are anything like in the past, Apple will reduce the subsidized cost of the older phone by $100. Shortly thereafter, it’s likely that other retailers such as Best Buy and Target will offer their own deals.

Skip: Halloween costumes

It’s that time of year when retailers pull out holiday displays way too early. In September, stores are already pushing Halloween costumes, fall decor and all things pumpkin spice.

If you can resist the temptation, your best bet on savings is to shop for seasonal decorations and candy after Halloween is over, so if you can wear last year’s costume again this year, go that route. If you don’t want to reuse, wait for Halloween sales in October.

Buy: Plane tickets

Don’t limit yourself to items you can place in a shopping cart: There are plenty of other areas where you can save money, including holiday airfare.

According to the Holiday Cheap Flights Report 2018 from online travel agency, fares for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s flights are expected to increase in October, November and December. If you can book now before they do, go for it.

Bonus: Coffee

Sept. 29 is National Coffee Day. Play it right and you can treat yourself to your favorite cup of joe for free in honor of the caffeine-centric day. Check for this year’s deals on social media.

Looking ahead: Columbus Day

If you miss out on Labor Day sales, you’ll still have a shot at discounted clothing, home decor and appliances. Oct. 8 is Columbus Day, and department stores use the holiday as yet another reason to offer sales.

Courtney Jespersen is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: Twitter: @CourtneyNerd.