Tags: Finances | Safe | Holiday | Shopping

NY Times: Keep Your Finances Safe While Holiday Shopping

By    |   Sunday, 30 November 2014 10:18 PM

With the holiday-shopping season upon us, you may be worried both about controlling your spending and preventing any fraud against your credit and debit cards.

The New York Times offers a few tips.

  • If you're using a credit card but are worried about spending too much, you can make a payment on your account balance as soon as you finish your shopping, rather than waiting for the monthly bill, Bankrate analyst Jeanine Skowronski notes to the paper. That way you won't spend any money that you don't have.
  • If you have credit and debit cards with chips in them, these cards are less vulnerable to fraud than the old-school magnetic strip cards.
  • If you're worried about the safety of shopping online, some credit cards offer alternative account numbers that you can use when doing so. If you don’t have that option, Richard Avery, president of the Northeast region for Securitas Security Services, recommends to The Times that you dedicate a credit card solely to Internet shopping. That makes your purchases easier to track, and if you have to cancel the card, it won't affect your automatic regular payments.

Meanwhile, given that the inequality of income is growing, it probably won't surprise you that the same trend is playing out for holiday sales. Many experts predict holiday sales will rise 4 percent or more this year, but little of that boost will likely come from those lower down the income totem pole.

People who earn less than $50,000 a year plan to spend $516.95 for the holidays, up only $5.15, or 1 percent from last year, according to the National Retail Federation. But those earning more than $50,000, will spend $1,055.39, up $46.75, or 4.6 percent.

"The spending divide among shoppers is widening," Steve Barr, U.S. retail and consumer practice leader for PwC consulting firm, told CNBC.

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With the holiday-shopping season upon us, you may be worried both about controlling your spending and preventing any fraud against your credit and debit cards. The New York Times offers a few tips.
Finances, Safe, Holiday, Shopping
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2014-18-30
Sunday, 30 November 2014 10:18 PM
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