Dec 12, 2011

Holiday Tips for the Last-Minute Shopper

How’s your holiday shopping going? We know some of you go-getters already have your presents wrapped and under the tree, but most of us still have a few gifts to get.


Here are some reminders as you finish up your shopping:

Make a list and set a budget: Heading to the mall without a plan is one of the surest ways to overspend during the holidays. Take a little time to figure out who needs a gift and then think about how much money would be appropriate to spend. Most stores have new sales starting every few days, so check the Sunday paper for deals. If you have a certain item in mind, you can even search online to make sure you’re getting the best price.

Beware of credit cards: Recent reports show more shoppers are using credit cards during this year’s peak holiday shopping season. Part of the draw could be the rewards and extras many credit card companies offer, but Consumer Reports reminds you to keep an eye on spending tiers, expiration dates, hidden caps and missed-payment penalties. Of course, using credit cards also means the potential of paying for your holiday purchases for months to come. That’s especially true with store credit cards, which often carry APRs of 20% and higher.

Use your debit card instead: Buying gifts with your Bank of Luxemburg Debit Mastercard will help you stay on budget because you can’t spend money you don’t have! Using the debit card is also faster, easier and safer than carrying cash or writing checks. Plus, you can use it anywhere MasterCard is accepted. Our Bank of Luxemburg debit cards do not have any fees for our customers -- NO monthly, annual or usage fees. We also offer fraud protection in case you find yourself the victim of identity theft.

Giving gift cards? This may be one of the best ways to give your loved ones the perfect present – the ability to buy what they want! Make sure this straightforward option doesn’t become complicated; read the fine print before you buy. This includes checking on fees, expiration dates and the procedures if a card is lost or stolen. Also, verify which locations will accept the gift card and what services or products the card will cover. You don’t want to spend money on a gift that can’t be used!

Buy local: What better way to spread the holiday spirit in your own neighborhood than by keeping money in the community? Bank of Luxemburg just participated in a Buy Local holiday shopping promotion in Kewaunee County, but it’s not too late to support businesses in your community! Visit Buy Local Kewaunee County to find helpful resources and business listings.

Check out our Bank of Luxemburg YouTube channel for more holiday tips from Chief Operating Officer Rebecca Edler.

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