Even with all the advantages of online shopping, nothing compares to going to the mall, walking around, looking at the windows, touching the merchandise, and trying stuff on…
Avoid charging to your credit cards, unless you know you can pay them back immediately. Those small charges add up very quickly and can become a very big and nasty amount to pay back.
Avoid charging to your credit cards, unless you know you can pay back immediately: those small charges add up very quickly and they can become a very big and nasty amount to pay back.
When you pay with a credit or debit card protect it and watch the retailer slide the card at the main console only. This is especially important with debit cards: protect your PIN number so that no one can see it when you punch it.
Check the return policy on sales. You may need to return an item and there may be limits if the item was discounted. If you are buying a present, make sure to ask for the special “gift” receipt.
Investigate different stores before buying, writing down prices in a notebook. I hate finding an item on sale in a different store for less after I’ve already bought it. Yes, you can return the purchase, but it’s a big waste of time, and nobody has time to waste during the holiday season.
Have you seen those electronics on sale for $100 with a $50 factory cash back? Sounds like a great deal, doesn’t it? Well, if the item comes with a factory cash back discount, be wary. Most of the cash back coupons never make their way through. This means that getting your money back will be very, very difficult. Don’t count on it.
Be cautious to avoid trouble especially during the holiday season. When going to the mall, don’t bring too much cash, don’t leave packages in the car, don’t leave your car open, watch for pick pocketing, be aware of your surroundings when you are in a parking lot, and don’t go the last two days before Christmas, unless it is really necessary.
And most important of all, don’t leave kids in the car alone, not even for one minute, not for one second, not at all, period!
Kids usually have big expectations for the holidays. Don’t spoil kids and don’t flood them with toys. They are no substitute for love. Do something special with them. Take them to a special performance, or make something for them yourself to show your love, like baking a special cake.
And at the end, reward yourself with a nice present, too.
Anna Maria Volpi
© Anna Maria