How to avoid Holiday money traps

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Financial expert Rachel Langlois with Cyprus Credit Union shares a couple things to watch out for this holiday season.

  • Payment plans: do not be tempted to buy something you cannot afford, no matter what a great deal it is. Remember to differentiate between wants and needs, which are often blurred this time of year and sensibility in spending is often overthrown by emotional purchases.
  •  Layaway: wait until you can purchase it outright. It`s better than putting on a credit card but it`s even better to just wait until you can purchase it outright and save yourself the service fee. Some additional considerations:
     Cancellation fees
     Minimum purchases
     Short grace period if not paid before it`s cancelled
  • Pay-Day Loans: Extremely high interest rates
     Average is 400% APR which is like $15 per $100
     Average payday borrower remains in payday debt for 212 days of the year
  • Black Friday Sales
    o Do prep work: check mailers and use coupons. Make a list.
    o Just because it`s a great deal doesn`t mean you should buy it.
    o Read the fine print, make sure it`s actually what you want
    o Research: use a price comparison app, what may be 'on sale' at one store may be found cheaper elsewhere.
  • Impulse Buys
    o Stores create beautiful displays and endcaps to tempt you into impulse purchases. Do you really need another snowman cookie jar? Make a list before going in to help you stay on budget.

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