Smart Holiday Shopping Tips

Date November 2, 2012

Hard to believe, but the holidays are right around the corner. I’m sure you’ve already seen the Christmas decorations in stores, and it’s not even Thanksgiving! But this is a good time to think about your holiday shopping. Who will you be shopping for this year? How much can you really spend without getting into debt?

Here are some holiday shopping tips to not only make it easy for you, but help you not burn a hole in your pocketbook:

  • Make a list of everyone you need to buy gifts for. This may include the pool service, housekeeper, gardener, and your child’s teacher.
  • Establish a budget for gift-giving. Make sure you don’t overspend, and get yourself into debt.
  • Use the Internet to compare prices and find the best deal before you go shopping.
  • Take advantage of online deals, including free shipping offers.
  • Use sites like lovemycreditunion.com to shop online at retailers like Macy’s and Nordstrom and take advantage of rebates and discounts for credit union members.
  • If you buy gifts online, don’t get the $5 gift wrapping. It’s cheaper (and more gratifying) to buy wrapping paper and do it yourself.
  • Don’t carry a large amount of cash when shopping. You don’t want to give anyone a reason to rob you.
  • Try not to buy everything on a credit card, unless you know you can pay it off in a month and get some kind of reward, like miles or cash back.

If you don’t have a credit card, or choose not to make your holiday purchases on credit cards, you can always use a debit card (no interest to pay back) or get a small personal loan.

MCCU offers a low-rate Holiday (Personal) Loan for a low fixed rate of 9.90% APR*. You can borrow as much as $5,000 to be paid back within 12 months. That way, you don’t pay a lot of interest, and you won’t be paying it off for years. For example, if you get a loan for $2,000, your monthly payment would be approximately $176 per month, and will be paid off in a year. You can even apply online for a fast response!

And finally, when shopping in stores, be sure to lock your car doors, and don’t have anything visible from the outside, like packages, purses or electronics. The holidays are a prime time for thieves to break into cars, especially at malls.

Be safe, and have a responsible and fun holiday shopping experience!

*APR=Annual Percentage Rate. Rates subject to change. Loan based on credit and income eligibility.

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