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Holiday Shopping: Tips for 2022

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The holidays are coming fast, and, with inflation high and persistent supply chain issues, retailers are preparing for an unusual season. So should you! Here are some tips to help you save money and protect yourself this shopping season.

BE THRIFTY

With the cost of nearly everything rising, many of us have one eye on our wallet as we approach the holidays. This is a good time to remember that the point of the season is not to put yourself in the poor house! It is to bring friends and family together. Consider taking the initiative and talking with your loved ones about reducing holiday costs. Here are a few ideas to begin with:

  • Set reasonable spending limits.
  • Focus on games rather than gifts. You’ll find a lot of holiday-specific games online to make the day more fun.
  • Instead of getting gifts for everyone, consider going the secret Santa route, where each person chooses one person to shop for and set a spending limit.
  • If you absolutely have to give to everyone on your list, spread holiday cheer for less by giving DIY gifts or by making thoughtful cards rather than presents.

 

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START SHOPPING EARLIER

Supply chain issues may be easing, but they haven’t gone away altogether, so stores are stocking shelves and posting deals earlier than usual. This may not seem ideal, but it is a blessing in disguise because shopping early usually saves you money. For starters, the earlier you start shopping, the more paychecks you’ll spread your purchases over and the less likely it is that you will have post-holiday debt. In addition, if inflation continues its upward trend, buying now will be cheaper than buying later when prices are higher.

PROTECT YOUR IDENTITY

Though this year may be different than others in many ways, one thing will, unfortunately, remain the same: Fraudsters will be out in full force, looking for ways to take money that isn’t theirs. These thieves look for ways of stealing information in the store and online. If you’re shopping online, here are some basic tips to keep you safe:

  • Make sure your device is updated with current software to reduce the likelihood of malware intercepting your identifying information.
  • Make purchases on personal devices and on secure Wi-Fi.
  • Conduct due diligence to make sure the site you are on is legitimate and protected from fraudulent activity.
  • Use your credit card to make payments rather than a debit card. Credit cards offer more protections than your debit card.
  • If anything seems fishy, trust your gut. Don’t enter your card number into any site you don’t fully trust, and do not send checks or wire money until you have the product in hand.
  • Set alerts on your bank and credit card accounts so you are made aware of any purchases made with them.

ENJOY THE HOLIDAYS

These suggestions should help you leap over some of the economic hurdles we’re facing and protect yourself from financial loss. Now that you’re prepared for potential challenges, you can focus on enjoying the holiday season!

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Heidi White

About Heidi White

Heidi White is the content and communications manager at VSECU. She is responsible for communicating information and ideas through the written word for the credit union’s internal and external audiences. Her passion is helping people live more joyful lives through timely, useful, and compelling content. Heidi lives in Barre, Vermont.
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