Okay, enough tips on how to save, invest, and be responsible in 2006. How about some advice on how to spend your hard earned dollars? Here are five tips from Money Magazine…
(1) “Buy a Hybrid this Winter.” If you buy a hybrid car, you’ll get a federal tax credit of up to $3, 400. But because of the way the law is written, the credit for cars from Toyota (or Lexus) is likely to be cut in half next September. It remains unclear whether or not you actually have to take delivery before the cutoff but, since many markets have long waits for hybrids such as the Prius, you may want to get in line early.
(2) “Buy an SUV in the Spring.” Actually, the best advice would be to skip an SUV. But if you really need one, then Money suggests that you wait until the snow melts. Apparently GM will begin rolling out redesigned models in January, including full-sized SUVs with a cylinder shutdown system that results in better than 20 mpg on the highway (or so says the EPA).
(3) “Buy a TV in the Fall.” If you’re in the market for an oversized flatpanel TV, wait until fall. Competition will be heating up throughout the year, with LG.Philips and Samsung beginning production of large-screen LCDs this spring, and Sharp opening an additional plant in the latter half of the year. The end result should be sharply lower prices by fall.
(4) “How about a game player for that TV?” As almost everyone knows by now, Microsoft just launched their Xbox 360. While it currently lists for $399, console prices drop fairly rapidly following their introduction. This is particularly true as price wars heat up. So if you’re interested in saving a few bucks, wait until fall when both the Sony PlayStation 3 and the Nintendo Revolution will be out.
(5) “Pick up a phone…cheap.” Cell phone companies are constantly coming out with phones and plans boasting fancier and fancier features. Even better for someone in the market for a simpler model is the fact that these new phones are driving down the prices of older models So be on the lookout for deals as the major players (Verizon, Sprint and Cingular) roll out their next-generation, high speed networks.