Credit card shopping can be fun.

How to Shop Wisely During the Holidays?

Credit card shopping can be fun.
Shop wisely, save money, and treat yourself!

No matter your discipline, the holiday season is always the season of spending. You probably have trips scheduled with your family, fancy dinners to prepare for, new outfits to get, and of course, some presents to get.

So, how can you spend more wisely?

  1. Create a list: This might seem a little silly, but a simple list can go a long way. Write the names of everyone you’re planning on getting presents for and how much you will spend on each of them. Collect and take advantage of coupons, sales, and time. Try not to leave your holiday shopping for last minute, the earlier you go, the more sale items you will find.
  2. Keep in mind your Cash Reward Cards: If you’re purchasing gifts with a credit card you have to keep your rates and rewards in mind. Some cards will allow you to have a little extra spending with all the benefits they provide. Some cards will make you go over budget with all their high rates. You must be careful!
  3. Buy gift cards: Some people find gift cards a bit cold and impersonal. However, gift cards are ideal to save money and to give people the choice of buying exactly what they want.
  4. Save for the big gifts: If you’re planning on getting a 65” flat screen for your significant other, save money ahead of time. You can start by putting $20 aside every 2 weeks on a separate account, so by the time you find something you like, you won’t overspend.

Remember, your spending does not have to become a headache. So, enjoy the holidays with your family and feel thankful.

Security Alert

5 Ways to Shop Safely Online

BSCU offers identity theft protection
Protect Yourself From Identity Theft!

The modern way to shop requires computers, tablets, and phones. We no longer make long lines at the store, or wait for a customer service representative to help us. Technology allows us to shop for our favorite items at the comfort of our  home. In addition, we can choose to have an online chat with a representative if we need help. But, it is not all fun and games in the online world. With the expansion of the online world came a different kind of danger. A danger that can seriously affect our financial life, this is called identity theft.

The following tips can help your shop safely online.

  1. Look for a lock padlock: A secure online shop can be difficult to find, you need to pay attention. Secure sites contain a secure sockets layer (SSL), which is an installed encryption that allows you to shop safely online. This appears as a locked padlock placed at the bottom of your web browser, or next to the URL in the address bar. Try to shop on sites with a secure ‘lock’ only.
    TIP: Never give your credit card number through an email address.
  2. Protect your PC: Hackers don’t just sit and wait around. They use phishing emails, impersonate your social media friends, and send viruses to scan your computer. In order to prevent this, you should always keep your computer protected with an antivirus and pop-up blocker. Avoid clicking on anything that may look suspicious, such as emails directly asking for your personal information.
  3. Check your statements: Be careful and check your statements constantly. Do not just wait for your bill at the end of the month to check your expenses. If you see any unusual activity in your  call your financial institution and to help you fix the problem.
  4. Avoid public computers and Wi-Fi: Public computers and Wi-Fi are great if you are reading a book or gossiping on social media. However, shopping online is risky on public outlets. It makes it easier for hackers to steal your private information and go on a shopping spree with your money. Have patience, wait until you’re home or a friend’s house to start shopping.

Take advantage of these tips and shop safely online this holiday season. Good luck!