Holiday Shopping Dangers

gift-250x187As the holiday season approaches many families will head out on weekends to get their gift shopping done. With an increase in holiday shopping also comes extra hassles and dangers. From traffic jams to package stealing, the holiday season has its fair share of drawbacks. Here are a few things to be looking for to protect your family and your gifts:

Theft

Ever wonder why you see an increase in police around shopping malls around the holiday seasons? Well, it isn’t just to help direct the large volumes of traffic. Theft and break-ins greatly increase around these times as well and having police presence helps reduce some of the chances you might be victimized. In order to better protect yourself, don’t leave purchased gifts in your car. If you absolutely must leave some packages in your car make sure you put them in the trunk and park in a well lit and close spot to the building.

Overpaying

Let’s say you do get in and out with all of your purchases without being victimized by a thief, chances are you were somewhat violated by the store prices themselves. The holiday season is notorious for price gouging and inflated sales. While it may appear stores are offering sales, they often inflate the price so much prior to the discount you aren’t actually saving anything. To avoid overpaying for gifts, plan out your purchases and do your research before buying. Many online stores like overstock.com and amazon.com can offer cheaper prices and free shipping on the same items you could buy for more in the store.

Credit Debt

One of the worst dangers we face during the holiday shopping season is ourselves. Failing to plan for purchases and set a spending budget, most people fall into the credit debt trap around this time. Rather than use cash or what they can afford in their accounts, too many people bring out their credit cards and promise to tackle repaying the purchase balance after the New Year. The fact is very few people actually revisit that purchase balance and simply carry this holiday’s seasons debt well into the following year. Don’t dig into debt this holiday season, stick with your budget and pay in cash.