Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson wants Hoosiers to be more responsible with their money this holiday season and has offered useful tips on ways to save. Lawson says her office has put together a smart shopping guide and will be releasing helpful tips on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest over the next five-weeks.
Secretary Lawson’s Top Five Tips
1) Don’t assume the best deals will be found on Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Some items – like toys, brand-name TVs, and Christmas decorations – drop in price much closer to the holiday. Exercise equipment, winter clothes, and international airfare prices drop in January and February.
2) Beware of restocking fees! You may have to pay for a returned item to be repackaged and replaced. Some retailers charge up to 25 percent or more, so it’s important to check the retailer’s return policy.
3) Don’t be afraid to ask for price adjustments. Hold onto your receipts and watch ads to see if the items you’ve purchased drop in price. Most stores will credit you the difference if you show them your receipt.
4) Pay with cash or use a debit card. When you run out of money, you’re done shopping. If staying on budget is important to you, then leave the credit cards at home.
5) Beware of free holiday lunches or dinner investment seminars! Scammers exploit emotions of loneliness during this time of year by providing free meals.
Secretary Lawson's office teaches Hoosiers about investment fraud and financial literacy through Indiana Investment Watch. The education program is funded primarily from fines imposed on violators of securities laws. Indiana Investment Watch has educational materials covering various types of fraud, as well as general financial literacy tools. Workshops and outreach events held throughout the state provide more in-depth information on detecting and avoiding scams. Secretary Lawson believes the most effective form of investor protection is investor education.