Man and woman leaning on a big piece of furniture that's wrapped in packaging tape, the guy is also about to toss a toy ball to a young girl

It’s no secret that certain days each year are prime for shopping — ahem, Amazon Prime day, for one. You’ve probably even held off on a purchase before so you could snag it at a discount with a Cyber Monday deal or a Labor Day blowout sale. But while specific days like those make it easy to scout out sales on smaller items, are there other ways you can use the calendar to your advantage when planning bigger purchases? From cars to furniture, to wedding rings and even houses, the answer is yes.

It’s all about timing.

When you’re gearing up to make a major purchase — the kind that you make every so often during your lifetime (like a house, a car, or that leather jacket that will be a closet staple for decades to come) — you shouldn’t rush into it. That’s because for most items, you can get a discounted price depending on when decide to you buy.

Need a new laptop? Besides Black Friday or Cyber Monday, back-to-school season could be your best bet. If you’re planning to put a ring on it, you’ll want to shop for the diamond after the holidays, but before Valentine’s Day. And when you’re in the market for a new home-sweet-home, you’ll probably be able to snag the best price in November.

Why is this? Let’s rewind to Econ 101 for a minute and talk about supply and demand.

All types of items, from different kinds of kitchen appliances, to bikes, boats and much more, go through sales cycles where consumers are more or less interested in buying them. When the overall demand for an item is lower than the supply, and sellers want to make a sale or get rid of their stock to replace it with a newer version, they’ll often lower the price.

For example, AC units are a hot commodity during the warmer months and less desired in the winter. Therefore, sellers may hike up the price to take advantage of the high volume of summertime buyers — and sell at a discount when they’re trying to move units off the shelves in colder months.

Regardless of what big purchase you plan to make, don’t discount the benefits of putting in a little extra research to find the best timing for your wallet.

A calendar depicting the best times of the year to make big purchases. January is a good month to buy appliances, game consoles and wedding dresses. January and February are good months to buy engagement rings. April and May are good months to buy vacuums. May is a good month to buy refrigerators and mattresses. June, July and August and September are good months to buy laptops. September is a good month to buy a bike. September and October are good months to buy appliances. September, October and November are good months to buy boats. October, November and December are good months to buy a car. November is a good month to buy a house. And lastly, December is a good month to buy mattresses.

Planning is key.

By having a clear idea of when to time your purchases, you can much more easily put a plan in place to budget and save in the weeks, months, or years leading up.

Think of it this way: If you know you want to buy a new car next October, you can tailor your budget with precision to make sure you have enough in your savings account by that time. But if you just think, “I’ll buy a car some time next year,” without a concrete timeline, you could end up scrambling for cash (or having to put your purchase off even longer) by the time you actually want to do so.

The longer you have to build up funds, the less you’ll likely have to stash away each month — and vice versa. Plus, if you are saving for multiple goals, having timelines for each one can help you prioritize how you divvy up your savings.

Save the smart way.

By planning ahead, you also have more room to implement different strategies and use different savings tools to your advantage. One tactic that works well when you’ve got time to spare? Microsaving. By consistently squirreling away micro amounts of savings (we’re talking a handful of change each day), you can amass significant growth in your savings account over time.

If the organizational side of keeping your long-term savings goals in line stresses you out, have no fear. If you have multiple long (or short) term savings goals, an emergency fund, or any other savings you want to keep separate, our buckets tool can help. Buckets are like customizable, digital envelopes within your Ally Bank Online Savings Account. They let you save up for multiple items at once and keep them separated — while still under one roof.

A visual of savings bucket categories. It depicts $575 saved for a new car, $200 saved for a mattress, $1000 saved for emergency funds, and $2500 saved for a down payment.

Don’t discount the calendar.

Planning a major purchase is exciting — and getting a good deal on something you’ve been saving up to buy for weeks, months, or years can be pretty sweet. So, when you have a big item on your wish list for the future, use the calendar to your advantage. From budgeting month-to-month to snagging discounts, it’s one of the best savings tools out there.

Save smart and reach your goals faster with buckets and boosters, available with an Ally Bank Online Savings Account.

Learn more.