Dallas College News Update



Contact: Debra Dennis; ddennis@dcccd.edu

For immediate release — Dec. 17, 2021

(DALLAS) — COVID and the ongoing supply chain nightmare are not the only Christmas Grinches. Thieves are ignoring home security devices and shopping from your front porch. It’s enough to make those most optimistic celebrants scream “humbug.”

But the holidays can be celebrated without overspending or indulging too many headaches.

Dallas College experts are offering tips that can keep everyone safe and bank accounts solvent as we move into a new year.

Regina Brown, who teaches accounting at Eastfield Campus, recommends setting up a budget and sticking to it.

“No one should go broke buying gifts,” said Brown, who recommends sentimental pieces like gift-wrapped candies that carry more meaning — but less expense. Such gifts, she said, go a long way with the recipient.

“Do everything in moderation,” Brown said. “If it’s a great sale and interest free, buy it, but you have to measure whether or not this item will go on clearance in January. You don’t want to make a lot of charges because you’ll end up paying more for these gifts because of the interest rates. Buy — but measure.”

Is it too late to make a budget?

Not so, said Brown. The holidays are an opportunity to make financial responsibility a real goal.

“You can spend and save. You just don’t go broke. If we want to move from paycheck to paycheck, we have to save. You can start that now.”

Shoppers, Brown said, can take advantage of no interest fees — but only if paying off those purchases in one billing cycle.

“If you charge, charge smart,” said Brown. “If you do not have self-control, don’t buy a lot of things. The bills will come due, and you must remember that. Delay gratification and practice self-control. You know the prices will go down.”

Dallas College Police Chief Lauretta Hill warns that while this is the season for merriment, it is also a prime time for thieves. Consumers, she said, must be protective of their homes, their social media posts and their wallets.

For instance, homeowners should use timers to turn on your lights and thwart burglars, she said. Porch pirates and piracy are growing, but they can be outsmarted. While it’s impossible for police to prevent these types of crimes, homeowners and neighbors have to look out for each other.

Hill warned against carrying lots of cash while shopping and said consumers should be vigilant about their purses and wallets. Shopping during the daylight hours is optimal, and carry only the credit cards or enough cash to make purchases, Hill said.

Going out of town? Hill suggests paying close attention to your social media posts and only displaying photos after you return from your trip. Other tips:

  1. Notify a trusted neighbor.
  2. Have postal service temporarily halt deliveries.
  3. Use smart security features (motion lights, camera, alarms).
  4. Notify the local police department that you wish to be placed on a vacation list (they will provide periodic patrols by residences).

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