Telco offers shopping savings tips

Due to the troubled economy this year, consumers are spending less during the holiday season.

Alabama Telco Credit Union offered consumers a few tips on how to spend — and save — smarter during the holiday shopping rush and after-Christmas sales.

-If possible, try not to shop with a credit card. Paying with cash or debit is the best way to avoid a huge pile of post-holiday debt.

One way to accomplish this goal is to set up a Christmas Club account. Save a little every month, so when December rolls around, you’ll have enough to use toward gifts, decorations and family trips.

-If you do shop on credit, always use the credit card that charges the lowest rate.

Plus, consider moving all your higher-interest rate balances to this same card.

Avoid department store credit cards that entice you at the point of sale with a one-time discount, as they often have higher rates.

-Stock up and save on decorations for next year by shopping the special store markdowns going on right now.

-Plan ahead. Shop after-Christmas sales for next year’s gifts and save up to 60-80 percent.

-Know what you want to buy. Have a list in hand and stick to it when hitting the stores.

This will keep you focused, and you’ll know exactly how much you will spend.

If you’re looking for a great last-minute gift to give, consider outerwear.

Most department stores and national apparel chains cut prices on outerwear by 15-40 percent in December.

These items are great “now” gifts since winter and colder temperatures are finally here.

Alabama Telco Credit Union is a full service financial institution with branches located across the state of Alabama. With assets in excess of $456 million, Alabama Telco serves more than 56,000 members with friendly and professional service.

For more information on Alabama Telco Credit Union, visit Alatelco.org or call 1-800-24TELCO.