Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Shopping Tips for the 25 Days of Christmas: Tip #11

As a retail management veteran, I have seen the emergence and importance of consumer credit in the retail industry. One retailer I worked for focused on credit cards as a profit center, after all, when a retailer owns the debt, they also profit from the interest that you pay on revolving that debt! Another retailer focused on credit as a way to drive the average ticket. They did not "own" your debt, so they did not profit from your interest payments. However, they knew that if you used a credit card you were apt to DOUBLE your total transaction dollar...if not more!


Pay cash, or use your debt card. Keep your credit card for any online shopping in which you can find amazing prices, free shipping, etc.

Cash is king, and if you are on a budget this holiday season, you will be surprised at how much you can save if you pay in cash, or use your debit card. Credit is a wonderful thing, without a doubt, for those who manage it well. However, statistically, you will spend more per transaction when using a credit card. Period. Most of us have a completely different mindset when we have to hand over those dollar bills!

I do use one credit card that is specifically for online transactions. I recommend this as if your credit card number or credit information was somehow compromised online, you have one card to track, and one card to manage. I have found some fantastic online offers, items that even after (FREE!) shipping have been less expensive than instore prices. I definitely won't pass up on that deal! However, I have a post-it note on my computer that has a budget at the top, and I minus out the online credit transactions, and then I have to stop. So, I am balancing not only my cash budget, but also my limited credit budget!

p.s. Have company coming? Fortunoff is a wonderful resource for your home (including that cocktail bar for company!) with great holiday pricing and shipping offers!



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