Holiday Spending

first_imgThe holiday shopping season starts earlier every year. Long before Thanksgiving dinner has been reduced to leftovers, shoppers will be looking for bargains.Serious bargain hunters get excited about all the sales on the day after Thanksgiving. To make the most of the big day, they sort through advertisements and go online to compare prices. They plan to hit stores for time-specific sales and map out routes to cut down on time wasted in traffic or looking for a parking spot.Many others avoid the chaos by shopping early or online, and still others get caught up in the moment, joining the spending frenzy with no plan or shopping list.While shopping smart is important every month, the stakes are especially high after Thanksgiving. Start holiday shopping early. With a little forethought, even procrastinators can benefit from these shopping tips.Spend SmartDevelop a spending plan for the holidays. No one wants to start the New Year facing a huge credit card bill. Know how much money you can reasonably afford to spend and make a budget.A holiday spending plan is not just about the gifts. Remember to include parties, greeting cards and postage, charitable giving, clothes to wear to holiday functions and other things that add joy to the holiday season.Be creative. Belt tightening is in, and wasteful spending is out. Remember, the thought is what counts. Homemade gifts, whether food, clothing or crafts, may be appreciated more than something purchased at a local big-box store. Gifts of time for babysitting, car washing or house cleaning are also good options.Think carefully about each and every purchase. At the store, keep the spending plan and shopping list in hand. Avoid making a spur-of-the-moment decision about an item.Use sales circulars and advertisements to plan purchases. Compare offerings from different stores to find the best deals. Once a particular item is selected, compare features, quality, prices, installation charges, delivery and service. Sometimes the cost to use and maintain an item makes selecting a more expensive model the cheaper option.Conserve GasolineAvoid running from store to store. Instead, use your phone and the internet to scout price information before heading out. You may consider directly shipping gifts to out-of-town friends and family instead of buying them and shipping them yourself.  Shop online to locate special or unique gifts. Use a secure browser, shop with known companies and keep your passwords creative and private. Pay particular attention to shipping charges. Be sure to print out receipts and keep records of purchases.The best deals may come late in the season, and shoppers can wait for last-minute price cuts for items that are not in short supply. Retailers have rolled out holiday items earlier than ever this year, so the sales may also start earlier too.Expect to pay a fair and reasonable price for goods and services. Bargains that sound too good to be true are usually just that. Read labels, seals, tags and instruction booklets. Ask questions about the product. Ask questions about each store’s return policies, and save your receipts.Overspending can ruin the holidays and the months that follow. Plan ahead and stick to the plan. Spending only as much as you can afford will make the holidays better for all.last_img read more

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4 consumer auto purchase trends to watch to make you a smarter lender

first_img 27SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Crystal Bullard As Manager of Business Development for SWBC’s Financial Institutions Group, Crystal Bullard works with lenders to increase their interest and non-interest income through programs such as AutoPilot Lending and … Web: https://www.swbc.com Details A new record was set in 2016 when 17.6 million cars and trucks were sold in the United States, marking the seventh consecutive year of increased auto sales, according to Automotive News. 48,000 of our friends, neighbors, and credit union members are buying a vehicle every day. While some may have a great car buying experience, a majority find the process to be a hassle. When asked if they prefer the current car buying experience as is, or would like to see significant changes, only 17 out of 4,002 consumers prefer the status quo, according to Autotrader’s Car Buyer of the Future study. The entire car buying process is in flux, and with it, consumer needs are constantly evolving when it comes to purchasing a vehicle. As an auto lender, here are some things to keep in mind when it comes to auto loan purchase trends. Competitive auto loan rates are not the only thing that will help your institution remain top of mind when consumers are ready to finance a vehicle. Check out these four trends that will help you stay in tune with consumers and the marketplace, making you a smarter, more efficient, and more prolific lender.Convenience of Online ShoppingConsumers have become accustomed to finding the easiest, quickest way of doing something. Instead of running to the grocery store, you can now have your groceries delivered to your front door. Bills are paid online, without the need for stamps, envelopes, or even checks. Tasks that used to be completed within set business hours or at a certain location, like banking, are no longer bound to a specific time or place. Car buying is no different. The traditional process of visiting dealerships, negotiating a price, and dealing with the F&I department sounds like a headache most consumers don’t want to deal with. Many are looking at new options to purchase a vehicle online. This new (and many say improved) method of car buying is on the rise and likely to keep increasing each year. Keep an eye on car buying services such as Carvana, Shift, Beepi, and Tread, where a consumer can locate a vehicle, get an offer for financing, obtain products such as GAP and warranty, and even have the vehicle delivered to their home, complete with their choice of bow color. 80% of consumers are already browsing and doing their vehicle research online, according to an Accenture study, and as the tools become available to make the entire process even more convenient, more and more of the traditional car buying process will fall out of favor. Online shopping gives busy consumers the ability to shop with ease right from the palm of their hand.Changing Consumer DemographicsRemember when we were all focused on marketing to Baby Boomers? This generation once held a majority of the wealth in the U.S., and everyone wanted a piece of it. Well, the Boomers have met their match–here come the Millennials. In 2015, according to Goldman Sachs, there were 77 million Baby Boomers, and 92 million Millennials. Although, at that time, millions of Millennials were still unable to legally drive, 35% of all new auto loans were made to Millennials, according to Dealertrack. With so many options for getting from point A to point B, such as carpooling and ride sharing services, where it was once thought that Millennials weren’t interested in owning a vehicle, the data shows otherwise. According to Wards Auto, Millennials are only now entering their peak car-buying years. A possible reason for an increase in Millennial vehicle purchases could be the convenient lending and payment options that have been brought to the table. Eco-Friendly VehiclesIn recent years, the variety of eco-friendly vehicle options for consumers to choose from has increased. There are more fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly vehicles on the road now than ever before. From December 2010 to August 2016, Americans purchased a half-million battery electric vehicles and the market is on pace to double that number within just a few years. With gas prices not expected to decrease significantly, you can expect more consumers to jump on the eco-friendly bandwagon in the coming years. Marketing to this trend can be as simple as featuring eco-friendly vehicles in your advertisements, or as focused as developing cash back incentives or special rates for consumers looking for a hybrid or electric vehicle.Evolving TechnologyFrom smartphones to smart homes and everything in between, consumers expect that high-tech features will also carry over to the vehicles that they drive. Consumers have been trained to look for the newest model for enhancements and upgrades that make a new purchase worthwhile. With this being said, many consumers are opting to purchase new cars due to the fact that the older models don’t come equipped with newer technology. With upgrades like an eye-tracking system that detects when a driver is distracted coming to the market this year, along with advanced safety features that prevent common driving mistakes such as unsafe lane changes, consumers can justify their new purchase by showing the improved safety of their new car. But with all these new “bells and whistles,” vehicles with these upgrades become more expensive to purchase and more expensive to repair. Make sure your staff is ready to discuss GAP coverage on any new vehicle purchase, as well as knows the cost of repairing some common safety features such as adaptive cruise control sensors, 360 camera systems, and blind spot monitoring systems. That new technology can be costly to repair, and the investment in major mechanical protection now can pay off with just one visit to the shop. It’s obvious that consumers know what they want and what they want is convenience, choice, and the newest technology. In today’s environment, as more consumers are choosing the non-traditional way of purchasing and financing a vehicle, watching the market and adapting to the trends is key. These trends will continue to spill into the auto lending market giving your credit union the opportunity to capitalize on them to meet member needs, while boosting your auto loan growth. Listen to what consumers want and adjust accordingly. With a tool like AUTOPAY from SWBC, credit unions can gain access to more than 80 million new consumers through an automated, fully mobile direct lending platform. Click here to learn more about AUTOPAY!last_img read more

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Welder charged for escaping from Police, relieving cop of weapon

first_imgA welder on Wednesday appeared at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts slapped with five charges including robbery and escaping from lawful custody.Ceon Lampkin of Lot 33 Leopold Street, Georgetown, appeared before Magistrate Faith McGusty where the charges of assault, robbery and escaping lawful custody were read to him.It is alleged that Lampkin on April 16, 2019, at Main Street, Georgetown, attempted to commit a robbery on Jasira Allen.On the said day, at Main Street, Georgetown, the defendant allegedly robbed Janoy DeSantos of a handbag, among other items valued at $13,000. The prosecution’s case stated that the defendant tried to escape but was apprehended by public-spirited persons and handed over to the police.It was further alleged that on the same date, while being transported from Brickdam to Diamond Police Station, Lampkin jumped out of the police vehicle at High Street, Georgetown, and tried to escape. He was, however, apprehended a short distance away.During his re-apprehension, Lampkin allegedly assaulted two police officers and attempted to relieve one of the ranks of his service weapon. The man was then shot in his left side abdomen by the police rank during the incident.The 27-year-old was then taken to the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation.In court on Wednesday, Lampkin admitted to the escaping from lawful custody charge but denied the other charges.Police Prosecutor Ceon Blackman objected to bail on the grounds that the defendant is known to the law, he is a flight risk and the serious nature of the offences.In a bail application on his own behalf, Lampkin told the court that he was riding his bicycle along Main Street, Georgetown, when heard DeSantos scream “thief”. He said that was when he saw a few individuals running in his direction. He added that the persons began to beat him mercilessly and kept him until the police arrived.In a plea of mitigation, with respect to the escaping from lawful custody charge, Lampkin said that he escaped from the police vehicle since the ranks were hitting him to his head with their weapons. He denied that he attempted to relieve the officer of his weapon.Magistrate Faith McGusty upheld the prosecution’s submission and remanded the man to prison. The case will continue on May 15, 2019.last_img read more

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