Christmas comes the same time every year, but somehow, it often seems to sneak up on us. Whether you’ve already made your list and checked it twice or you’re still trying to decide the perfect gifts for the ones you love the most, eCO Credit Union wants to help you stay in budget, while also protecting your personal financial information.
Here are five tips to make your Christmas season smart, safe, and stress-free:
1 — Make a list.
If you haven’t already made a list of all of the gifts you need to purchase for Christmas, sit down and do it now. From your constantly growing family, full of nieces and nephews, to your kids’ favorite teachers, be sure you don’t forget anyone. And while you’re at it, don’t forget about all of your holiday parties. Whether you’re playing Dirty Santa, participating in your office Secret Santa exchange, or need to bring a host or hostess gift, these extra presents can add up!
2 — Set a budget.
Once you’ve made your list, assign a dollar amount to each person or gift on your list. After you’ve set your dollar amounts, add them up to be sure you’re prepared to spend that amount. And remember, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to show someone that you love and appreciate them; often times, it’s the gifts that come from the heart that mean the most.
If you find you can’t quite make your long list and budget work together, eCO Credit Union can help. Instead of racking up high-interest debt on a store credit card, check out our Holiday Loan with a low 7.99% APR.
3 — Take advantage of the deals, BUT only buy what’s on your list.
Black Friday… Cyber Monday… and Holiday Sales—it can be overwhelming, and let’s be honest, tempting. While you can find some great deals on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, is an item really a good deal if it’s not on your list? The answer is NO. Do your research and only purchase deals that make sense based on the list you created and budget you set.
Side note, a new pair of boots for yourself probably isn’t on the list.
4 — Don’t use your debit card.
Remember that budget and list we talked about? It’s in place for a reason. It can be tempting to overspend when using your credit card, BUT it’s much safer, especially online.
If your information is compromised, your personal liability can’t exceed $50, but if you use a debit card, you could be liable for $500 or more, depending on how quickly you report it. eCO’s VISA Credit Cards have a great, low rate and can help give you a peace of mind when shopping online.
5 — Monitor your accounts.
As more people are out shopping, thieves are also hard at work trying to compromise shoppers’ accounts. With Online Banking, Mobile Banking, and e-Statements, it’s easier than ever to track your transactions. If you notice anything suspicious, report it to your financial institution immediately.
APR- Annual Percentage Rate | Loans and credit cards are subject to credit approval.
The preceding post was paid for by eCO Credit Union