Holiday Budget Planning – Avoiding the Holiday Overspend #YourChoiceMatters

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With the holidays just around the corner we are starting to think about our wallets. Our wallets get a lot of work out this time of year and it can be tough. Being that we live on a very set income every month, wavering can be rough. In the past the biggest mistake I made was relying on credit cards for my holiday shopping, and to this day I am still paying off last year’s spend. Crazy!

This year we are doing things differently. Instead of paying the dreaded interest on all my purchases I had to find another solution. Previously, I generally would have leaned towards using my credit card, but this year I am avoiding the hefty bill that let’s face it I won’t feel the urge to pay in full when I should. Instead I am using Interac Debit!

Interac Debit Helps My Family and Yours Save

Did you know using Interac Debit can save you and your local business money in the long run? Most don’t think about the fees local merchants get when we use credit cards for payment, which of course hikes up prices in the end. Fees for businesses are much less for purchases made with Interac Debit, which in turn, means overhead costs are lower, and ultimately product prices can be lower. I know, the fact I think about these things is amusing for most!

If all of us switched from credit to debit for our purchases, merchants all across Canada would save a fortune. Here is a little break down of how much we can save our local merchants.

When a customer pays with Interac Debit, a merchant pays around $0.06 per transaction to its payment processor – a single flat fee, regardless of retail purchase price. From that amount, Interac Association receives a fee of $0.006362. In comparison, if the person chooses credit, the merchant pays from around 1.5 to over 3 per cent of the item’s retail cost for interchange alone, not including other possible processing fees. As a result, on a $100 purchase, based on current rates, a merchant pays between $1.50 and $3.00 for the interchange on a credit card transaction, but only a flat fee of $0.06 for an Interac Debit transaction.
Can you say major savings? When a consumer pays using a credit card instead of Interac Debit at the point-of-sale, the merchant may pay up to eight times more in payment acceptance costs. For example, a small business with $1 million in sales can save more than $10,000 a year annually if their customers pay using Interac Debit or Interac Flash for their purchases instead of credit cards. Wow. That is a lot.

Interac wants to show Canadians the difference that choosing Interac Debit or Interac Flash instead of a credit card can make to local merchants, so the company has createdvideos sharing the stories of local merchants and the difference that choosing Interac Debit makes for them. Share the videos to help spread the message!twitter party

Even better, to help showcase some of the benefits of Interac products, Interac is hosting a fabulous Twitter party that you won’t want to miss! Come join in the #YourChoiceMatters Twitter party on December 3 at 9pm EST to chat about the benefits of paying with Interac Debit and Interac Flash when holiday shopping. You’ll have the chance to win some amazing prizes too! RSVP below and get ready to join in the fun!

Spend Within Your Limits

One of the upsides to using my Interac Debit versus my credit this holiday season is I am only spending what I can afford. My budget has no pull beyond what I have saved, and that is that. No unexpected high credit bills coming in the mail, no over budget spending, it is all right there where I need it.

Setting a budget is smart. Sure, it is nice spoiling the wee folk but they are spoiled all year. Setting a limit is important, for both our wallets and our families. It may seem like fun to spoil our kids at the holidays, but life continues after the holidays and so do bills. Going absolutely broke and unable to pay my bills is something I want to avoid this holiday season.

I know many of us have been told credit is safer than debit, but this isn’t the case. Interac Debit is a secure payment acceptance option for merchants and you as the consumer. Chip-enabled Interac Debit and Interac Flash cards are extremely secure and are protected from fraud tactics such as skimming, duplicating and electronic pick-pocketing.

Given the possible available data is payment transaction codes, not account-related details, and transactions are online and in real-time, no information can be captured by criminals to conduct fraudulent transactions or create identity theft. You are also protected under Interac Zero Liability policy.

Let’s just say, this holiday season the credit cards won’t be getting a workout but my Interac Flash will be!

Open to Canadian residents who participate in the ‪#‎yourchoicematters‬ Twitter Party administered by SJ Consulting on Wednesday, December 3rd between 9:00 and 10:00PM EST, using the hashtag #yourchoicematters.

Disclosure: I am participating in the Interac campaign managed by SJ Consulting. I received compensation in exchange for my participation in this campaign. The opinions on this blog are my own.

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