Best Times to Buy 2017

Best Times to Buy 2017

When you’re mulling over a major purchase, the right price can often tip the scales. If you’re patient, willing to research and time your buys just right, you can save quite a bit of green. Here are the best things to buy during each month for the rest of the year!

February: Prepare for winter

Now’s a great time to take stock of your existing cold weather gear. If you’ve got a coat that’s seen its final winter, now’s a great time to replace it. Retailers are looking to clear out the last of the season’s merchandise to make room for spring clothes, so you can snag a deal on thermal clothes. You can also find a bargain on heaters and humidifiers to make your house more comfortable.

March: Get in shape

If you’re looking to reboot your New Year’s weight loss resolution, March is a great time to pick up exercise equipment at a discount. Treadmills and ellipticals are past their peak buying time, so retailers are looking to get rid of them. Sports equipment, like golf clubs and athletic wear, are also facing deep discounts.

April: Tech out!

Japanese manufacturers’ fiscal year ends in March, so they’re typically ready to roll out new product lines. If you’re OK with being a year behind the latest and greatest, you can pick up a fully functional digital camera, laptop computer or big-screen TV in April. Tax refund-themed sales may also make it cheaper to upgrade your technological goods.

May: Around the house

Now that the weather’s getting nicer, many home improvement shops will begin running sales on tools and other supplies. It’s also graduation time, which means dorm-stocking essentials will get some discounts. Check out basic pots, pans and cooking appliances in May.

June: Think thrifty

Everyone’s gotten a chance to get their spring cleaning done. That means thrift stores are stuffed with donated second-hand goods. Be on the lookout for bargains of all sorts, but especially for used furniture and clothes.

July: School supplies

The end of July marks back-to-school time, which means this is the month retailers start to gear up for school shopping. Look for promotions, like tax-free days, if you’re in the market for a computer or peripheral. Otherwise, you can stock up on pens, paper and other standard office essentials.

August: Beat the heat

If you’ve managed through the heat of the summer with a busted AC, August may provide some much-needed relief. Major appliance retailers are looking to shift their inventories from cooling to heating. Look for discounts on window AC units, dehumidifiers and other cool appliances.

September: Big-ticket

The new models of most major appliances start to roll out in October and November, making September an excellent time to grab last year’s model. If you need a new dishwasher or refrigerator, try to hold out until September. Also, new Apple accessories, like iPads and iPhones, typically come out in November or December, so September can be a great chance to upgrade your device, too.

October: Cars and cruises

The new model year begins for cars toward the end of summer, so there are a lot of leftovers from the previous year that need to go. Dealers are desperate to move inventory, so you can get a good price on the current year’s models. October is also a quiet season for cruise lines, so many of them run specials and sales during the month.

November: Game on

Christmas season is in high gear, and major retailers are competing for gamer bucks. Expect to see the best bundles with the hottest games for the lowest prices in November. Whether you’re trying to surprise a gamer in your life or just get the newest games for yourself, November is the time to buy.

December: Cheers!

In a paradox of economics, champagne demand is very high, so the price goes down. Champagne companies are competing for the New Year’s crowd. If you’ve got a major event coming up, like a wedding or anniversary, December can be a great time to stock up on bubbly.

Your Turn: What’s your best deal-nabbing tip? How do you find the lowest prices for the best stuff? Share your bargain hunting wisdom with us in the comments!

SOURCES:

http://lifehacker.com/5973864/the-best-time-to-buy-anything-during-the-year

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/money/best-time-to-buy-things/index.htm

http://www.businessinsider.com/the-best-time-to-buy-almost-anything-in-2017-2016-12/#july-7

Credit Cards Or Debit Cards – What’s The Smartest Swipe?

Credit Cards Or Debit Cards – What’s The Smartest Swipe?

Most people own at least one debit card and at least one credit card.  Although it may not seem like it, there are many differences between the two.

Each time you use a credit card, you’re borrowing money. You’ll need to pay that money back to the credit union along with interest.

A debit card, on the other hand, simply transfers your own money from your checking account to the vendor you’re paying. The funds are taken directly from your account similar to the way that checks do – only quicker. Some processing terminals will require a PIN and some will require a signature.

Both credit and debit cards are convenient, quick and easy. They’re also safer than cash, because cash cannot be replaced if lost or stolen.

Which one should you use? The answer depends largely upon your lifestyle.

1.) Budgeting

Credit cards allow you to buy now and pay later. This can quickly turn into a budgeting nightmare. If you think you’ll be tempted to overspend, regular credit card use may not be ideal for you.

However, it’s nearly impossible to incur thousands of dollars of debt through debit card usage. Most credit unions will cover purchases that put your account into the red, but only up to a few hundred dollars. If this happens, you’re accountable for your purchases and charged an overdraft fee.

2.) Safety

If you report suspicious charges within 60 days, credit card companies are obligated to investigate and restore the funds if the charges are fraudulent. They also offer consumer protection on purchases. You can always cancel a charge if you are the victim of an online scam. This makes credit cards the ideal choice for large or fragile purchases that will be delivered to your home for additional insurance on the purchase.

Liability for debit cards is $50 if you notify the credit union within two days of seeing the fraudulent charges. After two days, your liability increases to $500. If you report the activity 60 days or more after it happened, you may be liable for all of it. Although many credit unions have implemented voluntary plans to limit customer liability to $50, there is no federal law requiring them to do so.

3.) Rewards

One major draw for credit cards is the points awarded for purchases. That’s a strong advantage over debit cards. The ability to earn airline miles and the lure of a possibly free flight are attractive to many consumers. Of course, you may be paying for those miles with a high interest rate and/or an annual fee.

Don’t get hooked on the points. Research each card carefully to make sure you’re really getting your money’s worth.

4.) Credit History

Credit cards help establish or restore good credit. Occasionally using a credit card and paying your bill on time can really improve your credit rating. This, in turn, improves the likelihood of earning favorable terms for home loans, auto loans, personal loans and more.

5.) Annual Fees and Interest

Credit card’s annual fees and interest add up. If you’ve overspent one month and are unable to cover the entire amount due, you may need to pay only the minimum payment. More of your payment goes toward interest than toward lowering your bill. This makes the next payment higher.

If you don’t think you will be able to pay your bills in a timely manner, keep credit card usage to a minimum.

As a CGR Credit Union member, you already have access to fantastic rates and optimal security. To find out which debit or credit card is best for you, call, click, or stop by today!

YOUR TURN: In what situations do you prefer to use a debit card or a credit card? Why do you choose one over the other? Share your thoughts with us!

SOURCES:

https://www.incharge.org/understanding-debt/credit-card/debit-card-vs-credit-card

http://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/050214/credit-vs-debit-cards-which-better.asp

Don’t Let Your Right To Vote Be Someone Else’s Chance To Profit! Avoiding Election Day Scams

Don’t Let Your Right To Vote Be Someone Else’s Chance To Profit! Avoiding Election Day Scams

Democracy is a privilege. And Election Day is when our voices are heard.

 

Unfortunately, many people use voting season to make a dishonest dollar. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) are warning of an increase in fraudsters using the election as a pretense to get your money or personal information. Be on the lookout for these schemes!

 

1.) Last-minute campaign contributions

 

In this scam, someone asks you for another small donation before the election.

 

These funds never make it near your candidate’s campaign. At best, the crook keeps your money. At worst, they have your credit or debit card information, leaving you a huge bill down the road!

 

In most states, voter registration information is public. A quick search of your name or address reveals your party affiliation. From there it’s easy to guess your candidate preference. The scammer uses the candidate’s credibility to gain your trust. Don’t let them succeed!

 

To avoid this scam, give proactively. To donate money, seek out the candidate’s website and donate there.

 

2.) Voter re-registration

 

Going to vote means dealing with endless rules. Did you register to vote? Did you miss last election and aren’t sure about your registration status? This uncertainty forms the basis of this scam.

 

A scammer contacts you claiming your name has been accidentally removed from the voter rolls. They’ll promise to correct that mistake with some information, like your address and Social Security number.

 

You’ll soon discover that your identity has been stolen. The caller didn’t complete a voter registration form – it wasn’t necessary. They just collected your information and abused it.

 

Beat this scam using the same public records scammers use. A quick search on your state’s Secretary of State website will reveal whether you’re registered to vote.

 

3.) Opinion polling

 

Everyone wants a preview of election results, leading to thousands of pre-election polls. To incentivize participation, survey companies offer rewards for participation. That’s the “in” for this scam.

 

A fraudster will call and walk you through a general survey. Then, they’ll tell you you’ve earned a thank-you prize. You only need to pay a small “processing fee” using a major credit card or give them your account information so they can directly deposit the “prize.”

 

There is no prize, and there’s probably no poll. Scammers are using the pretext of a poll to gain access to your personal information.

 

Never give any personal information in a call you didn’t initiate and never trust anyone who asks you to pay a fee before they give you a prize.

 

Whoever you vote for, it’s your right to make your voice heard. Don’t let criminals prevent you from doing your civic duty!

 

Keep your information secure!

 

YOUR TURN:  Have you received calls, visits or emails from election days scams like these? Share them here and tell us what tipped you off so we can all help keep each other more secure.

 

SOURCES:

http://www.bbb.org/central-texas/news-events/news-releases/2016/10/election-related-scams-to-avoid-before-casting-your-vote/
http://www.scam-detector.com/telephone-scams/elections-donation-survey-vote
http://www.scambusters.org/electionscam.html