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EOFY 2024: Secret tax hack to make EOFY sales a gold mine

Businesses have a big bag of tricks to make you spend more than you intended. Don't fall for them.

End of financial year sales signt with people walking past
End of financial year sales are popping up online and in stores. Here's how to avoid the biggest mistake Aussies make. (Source: AAP Image/Dean Lewins)

Sales are like an ambulance. They can save you, but they can also run you over if you’re not careful.

Businesses offer big discounts at the EOFY because they have targets to hit and they hope that giving you 40 per cent off one product means you’ll buy something else. And maybe something else too.

Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to raid the sales and buy ONLY things you already needed and would have bought anyhow.

Bonus points if they’re tax-deductible.

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Here’s my guide to how hardcore money-savers come out on top at the EOFY sales.

Make a list of things you need to buy. Prioritise work-related expenses that you can claim in your upcoming tax return.

Then list items you’re going to need in the next few months anyhow so you can check if they’re heavily discounted in the EOFY sales. But don’t browse. This is what they want you to do.

Browsing can blur the line between ‘needs’ and ‘wants’. If you save $100 on something you need but you then buy something you only ‘want’ for $100, you ain’t fooling anyone - you haven’t saved a cent.

Shop Offline, Buy Online. This strategy is for those things that you really need to see up close or try on before purchasing, such as shoes and clothes.

Just because you try them on in the shop doesn’t mean you have to buy them in the shop, especially if they’re much cheaper elsewhere. After you leave the shop or even while you’re in the shop you can.

See the ‘shopping’ tab under the Google search bar? If you enter the name of a product there it tells you what every online retailer is charging for that product right now.

The first line of results are sponsored, but scroll down a bit and you’ll see the full search results and you’ll know if you’re getting the best price.

Here’s what a search for the iPhone 13 128GB phone looked like this week, showing some retailers are offering over $200 off:

iPhone search
Google Shopping can help you find the cheapest prices. (Source: Google)

Before you hit ‘buy’ online, just (cash)back it up a bit! Punch the name of your winning retailer into a cashback app and you might find you can get a discount plus cashback.

One day last week, for example, Temple & Webster was offering up to 50% off on their site plus 10% cashback - meaning you could have bought a desk at less than half price.

It’s what I call a “cashback stack” and it’s the gold standard for money-savers when shopping online. Here are a few more examples today at Cashrewards:

RETAILER

EOFY SALE

CASHBACK

Amazon

Up to 40% off

Up to 7%

Temu

Up to 30% off

Up to 40%

The Good Guys

Up to 30% off

8%

Lenovo

Up to 55% off

10%

HP

Up to 40% off

6%

Optus prepaid SIM

Up to $100 off

Up to $75

Vistaprint

Up to 40% off

13%

Maximise your work-related expenses

If you need to buy things for work, now is the time to do it because not only could you get an EOFY discount AND cashback, but you might be able to claim some or all of the cost on tax.

The sort of things you might be able to buy cheaper in EOFY sales include:

  • Phones, laptops, modems, printers and inks, headphones

  • Books, courses, magazine or newspaper subscriptions

  • Tools, stock, supplies, equipment, clothing

  • A pre-paid 12-month mobile data plan

  • New home office furniture

  • Income protection insurance

The ATO has a helpful list of industry guides telling you what you might be able to claim. Flight crew can even claim moisturisers and hair conditioners, for example.

Sales marketers have a big bag of tricks to make you spend more than you intended, but you can see them coming a mile off. Don’t fall for them.

Not sure if you need something? Wait 24 hours. It’s amazing how some ‘needs’ become ‘wants’ with the passing of time.

Don’t fall for sales ‘FOMO’. Remember: there’ll be another sale along in a couple of months anyhow.

Joel Gibson is the author of EASY MONEY and a regular guest on TODAY, 2GB, 4BC & ABC Radio. He posts about money to over 25,000 followers on TikTok & Instagram and is a money-saving ambassador for One Big Switch, Cashrewards & Whistleout.

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