Monday AM December 1st, 2008

As the holiday shopping season approaches, a survey by Compass Bank reveals customer anxiety in viewing monthly banking statements. They're offering a series of holiday spending and saving tips, as Ed Mayberry reports.
image of holiday sale tagThe survey finds 41 per cent of respondents admitted to fears about holiday spending. And retailers are making an aggressive push to lure shoppers. Ed Bilek with Compass Bank says given the current economic setting, it's more important than ever to carefully plan and adhere to your holiday budget.

"People are very busy with their schedules with all the holidays and family coming in and all the shopping. If we can take just a few minutes to plan out what we want to do over the next 30 days, you know, definitely it helps keep things a little hectic for us during the seasons."

Bilek says shop when you have a healthy amount of time and when you don't have distractions.

"Yeah, you know usually if you go in and you're rushed and there's a lot of people in the store, you're gonna rush through things and you're not really paying as much attention as you'd like to. And you know, with the Internet now, if we can shop around a little bit we can do some comparison shopping and we might be able to save ourselves some money by doing that."

Bilek says check your bank statements often.

"You know, make sure you keep your receipts. Know your credit card (and) debit limits. If you have online banking, you know that you can review the purchases that you've done during the day and you'll see if there's any unwarranted purchases."

And it might be too late for this year, but...

"We make this suggestion in our holiday tips, is maybe setting up a savings account, and that way, each month during the year, putting some money aside. And that way when you do get to Christmas time you've got a little fund set aside to pay for those gifts that way."

Less frequent trips to out-of-bank ATM machines will help reduce withdrawal charges.

Ed Mayberry, KUHF Houston Public Radio News.
Bio photo of Ed Mayberry

Ed Mayberry

Local Anchor, All Things Considered

Ed Mayberry has worked in radio since 1971, with many of those years spent on the rock 'n' roll disc jockey side of the business...