Save money with these 3 holiday shopping hacks – Credit Sesame
The holiday shopping season may look a little different this year, only one thing that hasn't changed is the importance of saving money. Whether you're shopping on the web or in store, these pointers can help you cut back and set you up for long term financial success.
Know when you should use credit or debit.
“The answer to this depends in your individual financial situation,” said Shazia Virji, Vice President at Credit Sesame. “Purchasing items with cash or a debit card might help stop you from overspending or going deeper into debt, but paying with credit now enables you to save your cash for expenses that don't allow you to pay with credit, like rent or loan payments.” For those who have credit cards that provides reward programs, you might benefit from the additional points and discounts during the holiday shopping season. Among the potential downsides to using your credit is that you may accrue more debt. If you aren't in a position to pay your entire balance each month, you'll likely wind up paying more in interest over time.
“Your cash and credit are intertwined when it comes to your overall financial health, therefore it is important to find a balance between while using two,” said Virji. “In fact, Credit Sesame helps emphasize the relationship forwards and backwards by rewarding customers with cash rewards when they enhance their credit score.”
Be conscious of the downsides of retailer credit cards.
If you've shopped at a major retail chain or mall, you've likely been asked if you wish to save 10 percent in your purchase by applying for their charge card. Before you apply for any credit card, there are a few factors to bear in mind. First, you should make sure that you could pay off the balance on time.
“Oftentimes, retailer credit cards have higher interest rates and may cost you more over time if you do not eliminate them in full,” said Virji. Another consideration is if you'd take advantage of the perks of having this store charge card. If this sounds like an outlet you shop at frequently and would make use of the bonuses and discounts, it can be a good option for you. You'll want to remember that trying to get any charge card may temporarily decrease your credit rating with a hard inquiry.
Free shipping doesn't always pay off.
You've found the precise gift you’re searching for online, and you're ready to check out. Unfortunately, you're about $15 lacking the minimum total to qualify for free shipping.
“Don't feel pressured to throw another item in your cart to save $5.99 on shipping charges,” said Virji. “Chances are, you'll wind up spending a lot more than you'd save in free shipping for something you didn't need. If you are shopping from multiple online stores, adding some things here and there can really add up and blow your budget.” Instead, try to match up your shopping list to retailers offering promotions that do not need a minimum purchase. Your credit or debit card may also provide exclusive discounts, like Credit Sesame's Cash return Offers, where you can receive up to 15 percent instant cash back from thousands of national and native retailers on qualifying purchases.
“Remember, you don't have to jeopardize your financial health to show your loved ones that you simply care this holidays,” said Virji. “By managing your money and credit together and sticking to a budget, you can purchase quality gifts and keep your financial troubles at bay.”