The best & worst things to buy in October

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Hanna Horvath, CFP®

Hanna Horvath, CFP®


Hanna Horvath is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and managing editor for growth at Policygenius. She helps produce the Easy Money newsletter, and owns all growth initiatives for Easy Money. She recently passed her exam to become a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ in November 2020.

Hanna's work has appeared in NBC News, Business Insider and Inc. Magazine. She is regularly quoted in top media outlets, including CNBC, Best Company and HerMoney. She has also appeared on the Money Moolala podcast and All's Fair podcast.

Prior to Policygenius, Hanna wrote for KNBC in Los Angeles and WNBC in New York. When she isn't writing, she's (often) running, (usually) cooking and (sometimes) doing photography.

Published October 2, 2018|3 min read

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October is a time for picking pumpkins, drinking apple cider and enjoying the crisp fall weather. It’s also a good time for shopping (and freebies!). With the holidays right around the corner, you may want to get ahead on your shopping. To help, we've got some insights on what you should buy (or avoid buying) in October.

What to buy now

Halloween costumes & candy: October 31 is fast approaching, meaning it’s time to plan for costume contests and trick-or-treating. Trae Bodge, smart shopping expert with Slickdeals, said waiting too long may save you money but cost you options.

“The closer you get to Halloween, the lower the prices will be, but the selection will thin,” she said.

If you already have an outfit mentally picked out or have a favorite seasonal candy, you may want to purchase earlier in the month and pay a little bit more to guarantee you get what you want.

Bodge said large retailers, like Walmart and Target, offer rolling deals throughout the month for Halloween-themed items. You can also check out Halloween pop-ups like Spirit of Halloween for additional savings.

If you love planning ahead, hit up the Halloween clearance rack in early November to get what you'll need for next year.

Cookware & small appliances: As you are gearing up to entertain over the holidays, look out for deals on small appliances and cookware at larger retailers like Bloomingdale’s and Home Depot, said Bodge. She said shoppers could expect discounts between 15% to 25%.

Travel: If you haven’t booked a trip home for the holidays yet, now may be the time. Bodge said budget hotels like Hilton and Marriott offer travel rewards and other deals during this month, and travelers should expect to see discounts on rental cars as well.

And if you are looking to get away from the holiday craziness, Bodge suggests considering a cruise: Many lines offer deals during this month.

Athletic footwear: If you have a sneakerhead to buy a holiday gift for, this may be the month to get them some shoes. October will have plenty of deals at retailers like Finish Line, Foot Locker and Timberland. Bodge said this has been a trend for the past couple of years, and shoppers can expect to see wide ranging discounts, from 10% to 50%.

It's not cheap being a sneakerhead. Here are some other ways to save while shoe shopping.

What to skip

The new iPhone: In case you missed it — Apple released their newest, most expensive phone yet — the iPhone XS — in September. But, don’t go running out to get it yet: Prices are their highest right after the release, and will continue through the holidays. Other iPhone models, like the 7 and 8, will reach their lowest price during the holiday season, so go for older version or wait until next year to grab the XS.

Electronics: The same goes for most electronics, including TVs, Kindles and Amazon Echos. Though they are popular items for holiday shopping, wait until Black Friday and Cyber Monday at the end of November to get the best deals on tech.

October isn’t just a good time to spend — it's also a good time to check in with your finances, especially with the holidays coming up. Check out this guide to get your budget on track.

Image: CherriesJD