Charter One Offers Shopping Tips for the Holidays

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SOUTHFIELD — Charter One Bank Retail Director, Karen Minghine is offering shopping and spending tips to help consumers manage their finances and avoid overspending during the holiday season.

“Whether you are the kind of shopper who has already gotten an early start or someone who plans to wait until after Thanksgiving, the excitement of the holiday season can make it easy to break the family budget,” said Minghine. “We encourage everyone to plan ahead and to adopt a disciplined approach to shopping that can prevent overspending and unplanned debt. And these measures will pay dividends all year long – not just during the holidays.”

Minghine suggests the following guidelines to help consumers manage their money;

  • Build a budget by referring to last year’s credit card statements to understand your spending habits;
  • Make a list of the people to buy gifts for with a spending limit next to each name;
  • Keep track as you spend, creating a list of each gift and the amount you spend;
  • Use credit cards responsibly using only one or two for gift purchases;
  • Use debit cards instead of cash to easily view where you have spent your money;
  • Keep debit and credit card information secure, by keeping a list of all your credit and debit card account numbers and phone numbers in a safe place;
  • Comparrison shop by paying attention to coupons, sales, and online versus in store pricing;
  • Consider a donation to a charity organiztion as a way of gift giving;
  • When shopping online verify the web address begins with https and check to see if a tiny locked padlock symbol appears on the page;
  • Involve your children to share in the experience of budgeting and gift giving; and start a 2014 holiday saving plan
     

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