Tips to shop smarter during the holidays

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich (WOOD) – Before you break out the credit cards and complete your holiday list, make sure you listen to the “smart shopping tips” from Jerri Schmidt of Adventure Credit Union, a WOTV for Women crew member and expert in finances and smart money management.
SMART SHOPPING DURING THE HOLIDAYS
 
Never Miss a Deal
Organize your internet searches or email alerts based on stores you know you’ll shop in. Almost every store, whether online or in person, will be offering discounts this season. A little organization and planning will allow you to take full advantage of each sale, saving you money and a headache later on!
 
Clarify with Pictures
For relatives who insist on a copy of your Holiday List in order to get you what you really want, you might want to include pictures or a link to the item. You don’t want to get your niece a large Big Wheels bicycle when all she really wants is some Hot Wheels cars!
 
Guard Your Identity
Internet shopping is more popular than ever this holiday season. Take precautions when entering personal and credit information online. Make sure you trust the store you’re buying from and know your rights when it comes to identity theft.
 
Pick your plastic
If you plan on charging your holiday purchases, choose the credit card you want to use that gives you no fees and low interest options, like at Adventure Credit Union.  Remember, it’s safer to shop on-line with your Credit Card rather than your Debit Card.
 
Get Organized
Once your shopping is finished, keep your receipts organized! You never know if you’ll have to return a duplicate gift or maybe that new electronic you bought doesn’t work right. Having your receipts easily accessible will make this process much easier.
 
CYBER SECURITY:
 
Protect Your Money.  Scammers pick up the pace with the frenzied holiday shopping season, so you have to be prepared.   

Emails
If you get an email that looks like it’s from your credit union or bank or a familiar site and it’s requesting information from you, treat it skeptically.  Scam artists often operate by masquerading as legitimate business and pursing the victim to share personal information, especially during the busy holiday season.

Enticing Offers
Remember the old saying “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”  Be wary of special offers or “just for you because of your good track record with us…”  Make sure any offers you receive that you look at carefully.  Don’t be fooled.

Audit Your Accounts
Most of us experience a big shock to our budgets over the holidays, but you can help prepare for the seasonal expenditures by reviewing your typical monthly spending carefully.  While following your budget, make sure you are monitoring your credit union or bank accounts frequently.  If you see unusual activity, immediately contact your financial institution.
 
It’s easy to monitor your account with alerts, mobile banking, and online banking like Adventure Credit Union offers.   If you are the victim of identity fraud or a hacker, at Adventure we have a recovery service available to members and their families called ID Safe Choice.
Keep your Computer or Device Updated
Microsoft no longer provides security updates or technical support for older versions of Internet Explorer.  Regular security updates help protect computers from malicious attacks, so upgrading and staying current is important. 
NEW ADVENTURE WEBSITE
We designed the website to be reactive to every screen for ease of use no matter which kind of device you use when visiting and accessing Adventure online. 
·         Easy access to all your accounts
·         Interconnected with Social Media channels
Adventure Credit Union Branch Locations
10 Branch locations plus 24 hour Contact Center
GRAND RAPIDS, 7 locations:
 
630 32nd Street SE
45 Ottawa SW, Arena Place
1240 Chicago Drive, Jenison
2355 Health Drive SW, Metro Health Village
4211 Plainfield Avenue NE
6750 Kalamazoo
3286 Alpine Avenue NW
 
LANSING, 3 locations:
 
6025 N. Hagadorn Rd., East Lansing
6250 S. Cedar Street
2250 Lake Lansing Road
 
CONTACT Adventure Credit Union:
 
800.323.2129
24 Hour Call Center