The Best Things to Buy in March

If you’re looking for deals this month, here is a list of the items that typically go on sale during the month of March:

Jewelry and Perfume — Now that Valentine’s Day is behind us, demand for these items are slowing down. It’s a good time to buy presents for upcoming birthdays or even for yourself!

Chocolate – Stores that overstocked their supplies of Valentine’s Day chocolate will be trying to clear out their remaining inventory. Check their clearance sections for deep discounts on all Valentine’s sweets.

Exercise Equipment – Burn off those excess chocolate calories with new exercise equipment. Since the weather is improving, more people will go outside for their exercise. Retailers will begin discounting indoor equipment, like treadmills, hand weights, and yoga mats to move out old inventory.

Frozen foods – March is National Frozen Food month. Many brands like Dole, Green Giant, and Tyson will be offering discounts on their products. Look for multi-buys sales that require you to purchasing two or more of an item to get a discount.

Seasonal Produce – It’s time to harvest artichokes, oranges, spinach, avocados, grapefruit and carrots. Shop for these fruits and vegetables now when they’ll be at the peak of freshness and up to 50% cheaper than the rest of the year.

Craft Supplies – March is also National Craft Month. Look for sales, special events and classes at your favorite craft stores.

Cruises – Travel agents like to refer to the period from January through March as the Wave Season. That’s when you’ll find the best deals of the year.

Winter Sporting Gear – 
Prices on last season’s styles will start to fall, so if you want to have many choices at a discount, March is a good time to shop for skis, snowboards, and all the related gear.

Also, look for discounts on St. Patrick’s Day. Restaurants will be offering free items (likely colored green) on their menus. Check out amusement parks like Six Flags for special St. Patty’s Day discounts on their admission prices.

Copyright 2019 Credit Union National Association Inc. Information subject to change without notice. For use with members of a single credit union. All other rights reserved.

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Sticking to Financial Resolutions

Ohioans, like most Americans, entered 2019 hoping to better their finances, but many have likely already fallen off track.

In an Ohio Credit Union League 2019 consumer survey, 69 percent said their New Year’s resolution was to get on a budget.

That statistic isn’t surprising; many Americans looked critically at their financial situations as they headed into 2019. Statista, a platform providing statistical data on a variety of topics, polled 2,000 people about their New Year’s resolutions in early January. The survey found financial goals were the fourth most-popular New Year’s resolution, falling just behind dieting, exercising, and losing weight.

Americans had good intentions to get their finances in order in 2019, but that doesn’t mean they’ve necessarily stuck to their new budgets. According to research commissioned by GuideVine, a service that matches people with financial advisers, 70 percent of Americans with a budget struggle to stick to it.

And it’s not likely that making your budget a New Year’s resolution will make keeping with it any easier. According to the Ohio Credit Union League survey, 79 percent of Ohioans make incremental improvements toward keeping their resolutions each year, but fall short of keeping them. Another 14 percent have never kept a New Year’s resolution.

The average American doesn’t fare much better. According to a study of 1,450 Americans by Vitagene, 88.6 percent reported they’d likely keep their resolutions for a year or less. Another 36.6 percent of respondents said they usually keep their resolutions for a month or less, meaning they’d be off track by February.

Although your train may have gone off track, all hope is not lost. Here are some tips to help you attain your resolution of getting down to business, paying off bills, buying a house, opening an IRA for retirement, or getting on a path to better financial stability.

  • Use a budgeting tool. A successful budget must be recorded Many websites, including Consumer.gov, NerdWallet, and Mint, offer free Excel spreadsheet templates to help with recording budgets. If you’re looking for more mobile options, consider budgeting apps such as EveryDollar and YouNeedABudget.
  • Be realistic about spending and saving. Don’t set goals you can’t realistically achieve with your budget. Trying to spend too little or save too much each month could create frustration, which will increase the likelihood you’ll dump your budget altogether. Instead, map out incremental changes you can make that will add up to big financial gains over time.
  • Keep goals in mind. Reminding yourself how you’d ultimately like your money to work for you can help with exercising control over impulsive spending habits. If you have a hard time picturing your long-term goals when you’re tempted to splurge, consider making those goals visual. Try keeping a picture of your ideal retirement in your wallet or a list of all the reasons you want that new car stuck to the fridge.
  • Reward yourself. It is important to keep long-term goals in mind, but rewarding yourself for small budgeting wins along the way will keep you feeling positive about your budget. The more positively you feel toward a task, the more likely you are to continue performing it. After you reach certain budgeting goals, treat yourself to a small splurge. You earned it!
  • Seek help. If you’re struggling to stick with a budget, consider asking for help. Sometimes, aid can come in the form of a family member who shares household finances. Other times, however, you may require an expert opinion. Credit unions often offer free financial counseling to members and are happy to aid with budget set-up and maintenance. To find a credit union near you, visit YourMoneyFurther.com