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Shopping season prepared?

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hands of a young woman using mobile phone in modern shopping mall.

The most important weekend of the shopping season is just around the corner. It begins the same day of Thanksgiving, since many stores open with promotions on that holiday, and continues with Black Friday.

To this we must add the Small Business Weekend, which has been consolidated in the shopping agenda in recent years, and the Cyber Monday that remains despite the fact that almost nobody has to wait for the first day of work after the family and commercial festivity, to buy on the Internet.

In total and according to the National Federation of Retailers (NFR) it is expected that some 164 million people participate in this long weekend of shopping, that is, 69% of the country. Friday is still the day in which more consumers will be dedicated to this activity and 43% will do it on the weekend to support small businesses. Most of those who go out shopping do it for discounts although 23% consider that it is simply something to do with the time you have.

Now, are you ready or prepared? Before leaving, portfolio in hand, devote your time to do or consider the following:

  1. Do not leave without a budget. Make a list of the people to whom you want to make the gift, what you would like to give, its price and what can be spent. If the sum of what you want to spend and what you can spend does not add up, review it with the idea of lowering the cost of what you buy (the intention also counts) or prioritize who can give you the gift you want.
  2. Compare prices. Technology helps. The e-mails or communications of rebates in the applications of your favorite stores, not to mention pages where discounts and coupons are offered, come in handy to plan the expenses and the days in which it suits you to buy or how.
  3. Buy at once. Try to make purchases online at the same time so you can eliminate shipping costs in case you use the same commercial platform. It’s something that helps you organize better and saves.
  4. Use the credit well. This is one of the keys that can benefit or harm your accounts for months. According to Wallethub, a company that advises on the network on credit cards and other financial products, card issuers and affiliated stores “follow the tradition of merchants and offer their best promotions during these holidays.” This company has identified the ones that seem the best cards (you can see them at http://www.wallethub.com/best-credit-cards-for-holiday-shopping/ ) taking into account the best bonuses (with points, miles or money back), the best cost, the longest period with the 0% initiation rate, the best APR and the use guarantees.

If you are going to resort to credit, keep in mind that even if you have time to pay the bill, you have to pay for it so you cannot spend more than you can afford. Also consider a series of fundamental issues so as not to damage your credit history.

Requesting a card is to open a line of credit. If you have many you can damage your credit history because it will be considered to require many loans.

You have to look at your credit rating to see if you have it good enough to be granted or with a line of credit to compensate you.

If you cannot pay your expenses once you do not stop paying on time the minimum due to not spoil your credit rating. If you do not have a card with 0% rate promotion, try to pay as soon as possible what you owe so that your debt does not grow at the rate of interest rates.

Remember that the rates are those that show the APR (annual percentage) and tend to be higher in those issued with a store.

Cards issued by a merchant are somewhat easier to get but in addition to the higher APR (which is only a problem if you do not pay the entire amount at the end of the month) the discounts you have access to are only for that store when other general cards extend them to more purchases. Make sure the store you have the card with is the one you visit the most.

Eye with costs that arrive without realizing Remember that there are cards that have an annual renewal fee and that there is something called “deferred interest plans”. The latter must be taken into account because it means that if you have a period of months to pay with a rate of 0% and do not take advantage of it, you will be charged interest not from the day that the introductory period ends but from the time it was made the purchase.

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