Archive for Finances

6 Times A Bargain Is Not A Bargain

SaleIn the words of writer Franklin Jones, “A bargain is something you don’t need at a price you can’t resist.” And we couldn’t agree more. 

With the biggest spending season of the year looming ahead, it’s time to brush up on your shopping smarts. Don’t get caught springing for something you can’t afford! This year, give yourself the gift of an intact budget and a credit card balance that doesn’t haunt you for months or years to come. 

Here’s when that steal of a deal you can’t wait to show off to your friends is not such a bargain after all. 

  1. When you don’t need it 

The price might be right. But, if the heavily marked-down item is one you don’t need, you’re not getting a bargain at all. You’re just blowing money you could be using to put into savings or purchase stuff you actually do need. 

Those flashy signs and hyped-up ads are enough to blind the most discerning shopper, so think carefully before plunking down your money on sale items. If an item is marked down 75%, ask yourself: Would I ever buy this item at full price? Would I buy it if the price was slashed just 30%?

  1. When it’s a faulty product

Sometimes, it doesn’t pay to be cheap. If an item is retailing at a ridiculously low price, inspect it carefully. Hold it up to this checklist to determine its quality and durability:

  •   Where was it manufactured? If the product bears a designer label, but also has a “Made in China” tag stuck on it, you’re likely looking at a cheap knockoff that isn’t such a bargain after all.
  • Are there any noticeable defects or missing parts? 
  • Does the item appear to be worn out? You don’t want to be buying someone else’s heavily used returns.
  • Is the material cheaply made? Some clothing will start attracting lint and will sport unsightly “pimples” while still in the store. Unless they’re giving it away free, such poorly made clothing is hardly worth the price.
  1. When it’s going to go bad before you can use it 

Costco, we’re looking at you! Sure, that gigantic package of peanuts that looks like it can feed a herd of elephants is insanely cheap, but who are you kidding here? We both know there’s no way your family can eat it before they start going bad. And there’s no money saved when half of an item gets chucked into the trash. 

Before buying in bulk to snag a great deal, be sure the food won’t go rancid or get stale before you can eat it. 

  1. When the “sale price” is the highest the item’s ever been sold for at this location 

Retailers often use underhanded strategies to attract consumers. One of these tactics is featuring an item’s price as a “sale price” when, in reality, the store has never sold it for more than the tagged amount. 

Sometimes, the store operators will be basing their sale price on an inflated Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP). But if the MSRP was artificially inflated from the start, you’re not really getting a bargain, are you? 

Other times, the item will come with a pre-marked-down MSRP. The manufacturer’s label might read: “Original price: $49.99. Our price: $39.99.” Of course, the item was never sold at $49.99 and the retailer is just playing games with you. If an item is really marked down, you’ll see a new price tag slapped on top of the manufacturer’s label with the newer, lower price. 

  1. When you need to mail in a rebate to get the discount 

Rebates are a retailer’s best friend. Most of us are just too lazy or forgetful to mail them in. So, we instead end up paying the full price with the retailer getting the last laugh. For instance, in one TiVo subscription promotion that included a mail-in rebate deal, a whopping $5,000,000 was never claimed.

If you’re the super-responsible type who doesn’t know the meaning of procrastination, enjoy those rebate deals. But, for the rest of us mere mortals, it only pays to pick up a rebate item with an instant at-the-register rebate. Otherwise, consider the item as being marked at its regular price.

  1. When it’s part of a liquidation sale 

Avoid liquidation sales like crime-ridden neighborhoods. While shoppers sometimes snag great deals at these sales, liquidation events are ripe with rip-offs. Retailers post signs claiming “Everything Must Go!” – but that’s where the honesty ends. The “Rock Bottom Prices” they advertise are often as high as the original MSRP – or even higher. The store owners are depending on shoppers to assume that all items are bargain-priced just because they’re at a liquidation sale. Don’t let them pull the wool over your eyes! Stay away from liquidation sales or proceed with extreme caution.

Sometimes a bargain is just that. But too often, what we think is an incredible deal is just another item we don’t need with a perfectly ordinary price. 

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SOURCES:

https://www.fnbn.com/3199-2/
https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.forbes.com/sites/robertwood/2012/03/03/beware-sometimes-bargain-sales-are-no-bargain/amp/
https://www.consumerreports.org/shopping/why-a-sale-isnt-always-a-sale/
https://www.google.com/amp/s/lifehacker.com/5695886/how-to-figure-out-when-a-sale-isnt-really-a-sale/amp
https://www.section705fcu.org/borrow/loan-products/

Disaster Relief After the Historic Flood

Disaster Relief Loan Special: Available through Nov. 30, 2016.

 

The past week our community has really come together as one after the devastating results of the Historic Flood. Too many of our own are displaced, staying with family, or in shelters after the wrath of Mother Nature. We want you to know, that Section 705 is here for you and can offer disaster relief.  Below are some ways that we can help you during this extremely stressful time:

1) Loan Specials

One of the first stressors during a natural disaster is “How am I going to financially get through this?” Credit unions are in the business of helping people. The credit union motto is “People Helping People!” Section 705 has several loan specials that are going on right now that can offer some financial peace of mind.

  • Our Disaster Relief Loan was just put in place to help those affected by the flood.
  • If you need a boat, a camper, or a four-wheeler to aid in cleanup, the credit union has the Hunter and RV Loan Special available to you. 
  • Don’t want to get into anymore debt? If you already have a loan with Section 705, you might qualify for the Skip-A-Payment special. This could be one less bill you have to worry about paying while waiting on funds from your insurance company or FEMA. 
  • Spruce It Up Special: Starting September 1, 2016, the credit union has a special specifically to aid in home repair. Details coming soon to your mailbox and inbox!

2) Financial Counseling

The credit union has two certified financial counselors on staff! If you are concerned about your finances after this disaster, call or email them. Cassie or Malana can help you to make a financial plan and calm your nerves. 

3) Tell Us Your Situation!

If you were affected by the flood and are worried about paying a loan, tell us. We will work with you in whatever way that we can. Have loans with other financial institutions? Many, like Navient, are offering temporary deferments for loans in an effort to support South Louisiana. 

4) Your Family and Co-Workers Can Become 705 Members.

Do you have immediate family members or co-workers who were affected? They may be eligible to join the 705 family. We can help them through this tough time as well. 

As you weather this storm, your credit union family is here for you! 

Don’t forget to see what federal funding you and your family qualify for such as: FEMA, Food Stamps, and Temporary House.