Holiday Shopping Safety Tips - 2018




Holiday Shopping Safety Tips - 2018


Today's brisk cool wind reminds me, another summer with its warm sunny days is in our rearview mirror ...

Brrrrrrr!  It also reminded me that the Holidays are just around the corner!  


Of course, that means holiday commercials will soon be running on our TVs 24/7 ... and Holiday shopping will once again be on our minds.  

Experience tells me that one thing is inevitable during those upcoming holiday shopping trips.  You'll be asked if you want to apply for a new credit card while checking-out at store registers.    

Because of that, each year I've written posts warning of the credit and financial "dangers" that lurk while Holiday Shopping.  Each year I've urged ... just say "NO" to new credit offers unless one of the following applies: 

  • Your Credit/Credit Score can withstand a new credit inquiry
  • You can handle the new debt caused by the new card
  • You can make monthly payments on time, consistently, and faithfully
  • You will NOT be making application for a mortgage
  • You are NOT already in the mortgage process
  • You are NOT hoping to buy a home in the near future
  • You are NOT maxed-out on present credit cards
  • You have NOT already applied for other stores/credit cards
  • You know ALL the terms of the new credit account associated with the offer
  • You know what other credit obligations you have and the total of ALL your debt
  • The "enticement" offer is so valuable it offsets the negatives of taking on more debt
  • You have NO credit history and are trying to establish one for a future home purchase

As a Mortgage Originator, this year I remind you once again ... stay alert and strong regarding your finances and credit standing as you do your holiday shopping.  This is especially important if you're presently in the home buying/mortgage process ... or if you're planning on doing so within the next year.

But this year I'm adding an additional timely warning to my annual message:  This warning addresses the need for heightened awareness for your physical safety during holiday shopping trips.

It's sad to say, but women are especially vulnerable to the dangers that exist during holiday shopping excursions.  One reason is that they typically carry purses while shopping.  (Purses are quick easy marks for thieves.)  And many times, they have children with them causing distractions and making them more vulnerable.

After reading a recent article describing the many dangers that exist during the holiday shopping period, I decided to do a bit more research on the topic.  That research resulted in my list of shopping safety tips offered below.  

Please share these safety tips with family and friends.  That way they too can have a safe secure happy holiday season.

Holiday Shopping Safety Tips

Tips Specifically for Women:
  • Consider using a travel pouch instead of a purse while shopping 
  • If using a purse, keep it zipped/closed while shopping
  • If using a shopping cart, lace the cart's child safety straps through your purse straps
  • If no straps exist on the shopping cart, use a carabiner clip to attach your purse straps to the cart
  • Carry purses close to your body in cross-body fashion
  • Do not leave your purse unattended anywhere ... in a shopping cart, on the top of a car, on a trunk top, etc.
  • Get your keys out of your purse prior to leaving the store.  (The keys can act as a weapon if need be and the panic button can act as an alert)
  • Carry your purse on your side opposite of the traffic portion of an aisle
  • Walk with confidence at all times
  • Park your car in a well-lit portion of the parking lot
  • Lock your car door immediately upon entering it
  • Don't linger in your car while in the parking lot  
  • If possible, shop with a friend(s). There is safety in numbers
  • Leave flashy expensive jewelry at home
  • Wear casual - "walking" shoes, as they make a flight from danger easier
  • Carry pepper spray or another personal safety deterrent
  • Trust your "gut".  
  • Don't hesitate to seek the assistance of a security guard if alarmed in any way
Holiday Shopping Safety Tips for all ...
  • Carry only what you need when you go out shopping.  Example:  Driver's License, Debit/Credit Cards you'll use, phone, car keys.  
  • Carry no/limited cash
  • If you carry cash, carry it in a front pocket
  • Always keep one hand free
  • Don't overload with packages
  • Lock packages in your trunk
  • Be and stay aware of those around you
  • Walk with purpose and confidence
  • Park in well-lit areas 
  • Avoid parking garages, if possible
  • Keep your car locked at all times
  • Shop during daylight hours, if and when possible
  • Trust your instincts
  • Remain aware of your surroundings and those around you
  • Locate, then carry your keys with you as you return to your parked car
  • Use the "panic" button on your car keys when alarmed
  • Don't linger in the parking lot
  • Save cell phone conversations until you return home
  • Try to avoid shopping alone.  There's safety in numbers
  • If you lose a debit or credit card, report it to the credit card company immediately
Awareness is always your best defense.  Stress, time constraints and pressures, crowds, and distractions allow for dangerous situations to develop.

Plan and prepare for your holiday shopping excursions ahead of time.  When you do so, you'll remain safe and secure ... physically, financially and credit-wise.

Shop smart and enjoy your Holiday Shopping!


* Hoping to Buy or Refinance a Home or Investment Property in New Lenox, Will County, or elsewhere in the Chicago - Chicagoland area, IL or WI?

Contact me!

I'll put my 40+ years of Mortgage experience and expertise hard to work on your behalf.
I'm easily found at:



Gene Mundt
Mortgage Originator - NMLS #216987 - IL Lic. 031.0006220 - WI Licensed #216987

American Portfolio Mortgage Corp.
NMLS #175656



Direct: 815.524.2280
Cell or Text: 708.921.6331
eFax: 815.524.2281


  

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