Back to School Money Safety – How your Credit Card Can Work for You & Not Against You

Recently, I was contacted by a site called Credit Cards (a.k.a creditcard.com) who reached out to me in lieu of a post, posted  a couple of weeks ago entitled “Back to School Savings” – since July was “BTS” (Back To School Prep) for me and every other parent in the U.S. I thought I’d offer a couple of saving tips, affirmations to get my and other kids (as well as parents) off to a good start and end it up by detailing some “family” time/fun outings that parents can do with the kiddos before school starts back (in which were suggestions by my own rambunctious two! =)

However; it’s one thing that credit card.com brought to my attention that I didn’t think of and that’s BTS Scams and frauds. Sadly, people; individuals as well as companies take advantage of times such as these to scam parents and/or lure them into “too good to be true” deals. And with parents scrambling to find the best deals (cheaper ones, I should say) to maximize their shopping experience; most of us don’t pay attention to the deceit that linger below these advertisements.

Fraud Torn Paper Concept

According to creditcards.com/Daniel Smith, head of security at Radware, this is a global cyber security company. Parents, teachers, and students are all potential targets for back-to-school scams and all three can be targeted in different ways. Knowing how to recognize scams is the first line of defense – Using a credit card is the second one.

Related Post: Whose the SCAM NOW!!

With millions of people using credit cards every day to do most of their shopping and who could blame them – with the convenience of not ever having to leave your house; it’s no wonder the credit card business is booming and consumers are enjoying every minute of it. Of course, paying for items with cash is also a great protection as well but with many “online” deals saying this and saying that – it’s easier to pull out the credit card and punch or swipe.

online purchases
photo source: bing/creditcardfraud

While you may feel hesitant about using your credit card a lot of times; I know I do…It’s actually not a bad thing and if you have the right “protection” features on your card. It actually can serve as a safety net for your life as well as your money. Listed below are a couple of things (if you don’t already) that you should have on your credit card in which serves as an added BONUS for being safe online as well as in store.

Basic Protection:

The basic protection plan is a basic feature given to all credit card holders. The plan protects the cardholder involving any dispute in regards to goods and services that were purchased using your credit card. For more info on this, please view the Fair Trade Credit Billing Act.

The FTC can also offer up some good advice when it comes to those ever so alluring “paid commercial ads” that promise you a 30-day free trial and the guarantee to not touch your card until 30days are up (all you have to do is call and cancel before that time) in which we all know is NOT that easy and next thing you know; you’re paying for a product that might don’t even work.  According to the FTC “free trials” aren’t always free and might come with hidden fees and other strings attached.

Purchase Protection:

Helps prevent against loss or theft, however – not all purchases qualify. It’s best practice to reach out to your credit card company to see what’s covered and not in case of a theft or loss. Items that may be covered include clothing, electronics, home and garden products and personal care items, but again – every credit card company is different and the items mentioned may not be one of the items a credit card company acknowledges. Do you have purchase protection? If so, do you know what it covers?

Return Protection:

Extends the life or adds life to an item purchased. Most stores have return policies on some items or offer very limited ones to others. Having a return protection on your card; gives you a little more extended time on a purchase, should the one at the store doesn’t. Most credit card companies do not offer this feature but for the ones that do such as (MasterCard & AMEX) they may or may not tack on shipping charges for your return. Check with your card company and see…

Zero Liability Guarantee:

Visa has this feature and gives the consumer its word that you won’t be charged or made responsible for unauthorized charges made with your credit card. You’re protected should your card is lost, stolen or fraudulently used (whether online or off). So, to sum it all up:

 PROTECT YOURSELF!

This time of year is most critical with parents trying to maximize the best deals and save loads of money in the process as we all Back to School shop. While getting the best deal is “keen” it’s also very important that you read and check out a company before you pull up, out or swipe your credit card – especially if you don’t have added protections in place. Knowledge is definitely POWER!

Speaking of knowledge – Please head over to credit cards.com and check out their blog post entitled “How cards can protect you against back-to-school scams” it’s filled with a plethora of other helpful financial safety tips and information for parents regarding fraud surrounding the back to school season.

I want to give a special thank you to Blake H. for reaching out to me in regards to this helpful info; in which help me to spread the word to you…

Safe Shopping

 

ROSHONDA N. BLACKMON

Creator of A Blog, A Magazine. It’s JustsumInspiration, Author, Speaker & Encourager

 

 

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Back To School – OH NO!, Savings – OH YESSSS!!

photo credit above: bing/backtoschool

I’ve never been the parent that school shopped early for my kids – I was the one, just like millions of other parents, fighting the long lines and busting through the aisles trying to purchase every item on their school list. We all know (for those of us that have kids) how that time of year is – It’s almost like Christmas shopping except this occurrence happens months earlier when the weather is dreadfully hot.

Seemingly, I always succumbed myself to this madness every single year. In 2016 I vowed that I would take a different approach the following year; but then again, I said that every year and still somehow found myself caught up in the masses of bogard shopping my way through the crowded stores and congested aisles.

grocery1
photo credit: http://stephie5741.blogspot.com

So, last year (2017) I remembered what I told myself that previous year and decided to break the “back to school” segments down. I had to come up with a way to do school shopping a little bit smarter without breaking the bank all at once, it was then that I decided to do my son and daughters school shopping by my pay period schedule. Whether you get paid once a week, every two weeks, twice a month or once a month – I came to the conclusion that back to school shopping had to be done strategically, especially if I wanted to save a little money.

I set out to come up with a plan; I get paid twice a month so therefore I laid out what I would purchase each pay period (starting in July), by the time August rolled around I had purchased everything the kids needed to go back to school; including their school supplies!!!! I was so excited and proud of myself for thinking smart this go round – while other parents were in the stores, scrambling for supplies. I was at ease because I planned my work and worked my plan.

Beginning with July’s first check, I bought the kids some shoes – the next check I purchased their school clothes, in which my two have to wear uniforms – so, thanks to one of my best friends advice, Old Navy has now become my one stop shop for that, check them out as they have good deals on uniforms. school listWith August’s Check, I purchased their school supplies in which you don’t have to wait until local stores such as Wal-Mart puts out the big box that contains the various school supply list for your child’s school.  You can get that list early, by visiting the school’s website– most times, they’ll have the lists posted in July or early August, that way you can get a head start on beating the crowd and shopping early because trust me, the stores will be putting out those items real soon. If they can put Valentine’s Day items out in late December, early January – you can bet, those school supplies will be out as well.

I used to order my kids backpacks, but after having a couple of “epic fails” with that – I started going to stores such as Staples and/or Wal-Mart to purchase those, the backpacks are usually purchased when I buy their shoes. I usually don’t mind spending extra dollars on  a backpack because I like for them to last “ALL” year – but even in that case, I still have had to either find myself stitching them up or buying a new one before year end…..SMH, and she lets out a very slow sigh.…

deep sigh

If you can’t afford to purchase supplies (I’ve definitely been there) then you might want to check your community  website or the local papers in which you’ll find churches and/or organizations whom have back to school rallies in which they give away backpacks and school supplies to children in need. You can also check those same sites to see how you can donate items to those same organizations to help children going back to school or maybe even hold your own “Back to School Drive” to collect supplies and give them to a local school; I know the teachers will be thrilled to receive them as well as the students.

borders-straight

** “A Word to the Wise Moment” **

If you can, maybe a month or two after school starts – this would also be a good time to buy a couple of extra folders, notebook paper, pencils, pens, glue sticks and etc. because if your kids are anything like mines? They go through those first round of items quick – next thing I know, I’m getting told “Mama, I need more paper, lead and etc. for my classes” and I’m looking like, did I just buy you a bunch of stuff?, which was in August and they’re telling me in February, I knew it wouldn’t last long – I just hate going out buying extra stuff, I know – lazy me. So, pick up some extra items either now or later to spare them the talk and you the headache.

borders-straight

While kids may have going back to school right now on the backburner of their minds; us parents and/or caregivers can use this time to take our savings game to another level. Maybe you already do the tips I suggested above and just want to know where to go for the savings, well let me help you out with that.

Listed below are some back to school sites/savings that hopefully will help you spend less and/or save more for your Elementary, Middle School, High School or University student:

Backpacks You Say?

Right now you can order a back pack from Wish, one of our church members just ordered one recently. It took a week to come back and she said that it was not only in good condition but a good size as well, so check them out. (You have to sign up with them in order to see the deals, but it’s worth giving it a shot)

Who Loves Coupons, Raise Your Hand!

I’m not a huge couponer, okay let me be honest – I hate coupons (please don’t judge me). I just forget them every time I go to the store; I’m the girl that uses the coupons on the frozen meals that says “Save 1.00 right now on this product!” and that’s the only time I really use coupons (true confession) However, there are quite a few people who use them religiously, so this part is for you! Here’s a link to get those back to school savings for the kiddos – Back to School Coupons – Right Here!

Not a Couponer?, Well Maybe this will Help!

Now, while I may not be very coupon saavy, A girl do love a good deal! So, for everything else you may need, including when the tax free weekend will happen in your state, you can check out the sites below and begin to save, save, save! – Just click on this link – Give me the Deals!

Well, as we continue to enjoy the summer and for us parents (secretly count down the days to Back to School happiness) hopefully this post helps you to spend less coins than you did last year. Because savings of any kind when you have children is an

aplus11

 

 

Roshonda N. Blackmon

Creator of A Blog, A Magazine. It’s JustsumInspiration, Author, Speaker & Encourager

 

 

Feel Free to Follow Me on These Sites5_ (2)