Certain deals and sales and the pressure of the holiday shopping season can occasionally lead to buyer's remorse. Getting that eight-foot-tall on-sale teddy bear or picking up a discount canoe may seem like a great idea in the heat of the moment. In reality, either of those purchases (and plenty of others) can end up as expensive junk cluttering up your house.
That's not to say that any purchase is always a bad idea. There are some items out there that rarely -- if ever -- lead to regrets. These four purchase ideas usually make sense, assuming you're making smart budget choices and only buy things you can actually afford.
1. Big-screen TVs
Televisions tend to be loss leaders for retailers during the holiday shopping season. On Black Friday, you may see very large televisions sold at absurdly low prices.
These may not be the top-tier models with the highest resolution. Black Friday TV deals tend to focus on offering the biggest screens at the lowest prices. If that's what you care about -- and for many people, screen size is the most important thing -- you should be able to pick up a TV that will be the centerpiece of your living room for years to come.
2. Amazon devices
Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) generally offers its lineup of devices at big discounts on Black Friday. There will be deals on Echo, Fire TV, and Kindle tablets. These items are generally not all that expensive in the first place, and they offer a lot of value. If you've held off on buying an Alexa-enabled device, the holiday shopping season offers an opportunity to pick up an Echo Dot and a Fire TV Stick for $41.99 right now, with lower prices possible on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
3. An experience
Buying your family tickets to the theater, a sporting event, or some other sort of experience may offer more value than buying more stuff. Doing this also extends the holiday season, giving everyone something to look forward to beyond when gifts are opened.
Be creative. You might take everyone to a play or bring one family member who always wanted to ride a zip line to someplace that offers the experience.
4. Something you need
It may not be exciting to buy a new stove, refrigerator, or other household appliance, but if you need one, this is a smart time of year to give yourself that gift. Do extensive homework to make sure that you're paying a good price and getting all the features that you want.
For some bigger-ticket items, you may find deals that come with gift cards or cash back. In those cases, you might be able to buy something needed and boring while also getting a gift someone actually will be excited by.
Don't forget your budget
It does not matter how much money you "save" if you can't afford what you buy in the first place. Set a budget before you spend a single dollar. Make a list of items you intend to buy and of things you need that make sense to purchase if the price is right.
This time of year can create financial problems that take months -- maybe even years -- to dig out from. No gift is worth that, so use restraint. If you can't afford it and have to sit out the holiday shopping season, do so in order to protect your long-term financial health.