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Stay Smart This Holiday Season

10 Holiday Shopping Tips

    1. Make a list and set a budget. Write down who you are going to buy for and how much you are going to spend on them. Include an idea you wish to purchase for each person on your list. Make sure you stick to your list and don't purchase on impulse.
    2. Do your research. Looking through store flyers and Web sites can help you research, compare prices, and plan more accurately. Taking the time to do this can save you lots of time, money, and aggravation.
    3. Everyone loves a bargain. Take advantage of days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. These popular shopping days can save you lots of money, especially on items like electronics, where you can save almost 50 percent. Makes sure to also look for special sales and store coupons before you begin your shopping!
    4. Say no to store credit cards. Although the store may offer you 10-20 percent off your purchase if you apply for a store credit card, it doesn't outweigh the potential downfall to your plan. Pay in cash or with your Campus Federal Debit or Credit Card. Most of us find it harder to deviate from our budget and plan when we have to hand over cash for something.
    5. Give the gift of savings. If you cannot come up with the perfect gift, you may want to consider a Visa gift card, cash or a savings bond. Although you may think these types of gifts are not exciting, they may be much more appreciated than you may realize. We offer Visa gift cards for purchase at all of our branches.
    6. Stay safe while shopping this holiday season. Carry as few credit cards as possible and periodically check to make sure you still have them. Avoid carrying your Social Security card and passport unless it is needed. Remember to dispose of credit card and ATM receipts properly.
    7. Keep your Debit and ATM Card safe. Keep your PIN to yourself. No company or individual needs to know your PIN; not even your financial institution. Memorize your PIN, and never write it on your card or store it with your card. Never let a cashier, teller or other stranger enter your PIN for you. Treat your card like cash and always store your card in a safe place.
    8. Always be aware of your surroundings. When using an outdoor ATM such as in a parking lot, look for suspicious activity before you begin your transaction. Make sure to remain alert and on guard when walking to your vehicle not only in the evenings, but also during the day.
    9. Shop carefully online. If you initiate an online transaction and must provide personal data, look for indicators that the site is secure, like "https" in the Web address or the closed padlock icon in the bottom frame of your browser. It is also wise to conduct financial transactions on wired Internet connections only. Wireless connections can be more vulnerable to attack.
    10. Get in the holiday spirit. Be joyful and merry! Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


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