Personal finance expert Erica Sandberg offers shopping tips for the holiday season.

Before venturing into the stores this holiday season, develop a shopping plan and remember the best plans start with knowing your budget.

Protect the gifts that matter to you and the people you care about this holiday season with extended protection plans.

Electronics and jewelry are expensive gifts and vulnerable to breakage. Consider protecting them with an extended warranty.

Do your research and take advantage of both online and in-store deals for the most sought after gifts this season - wearable tech, tablets and gaming systems - and consider protecting these expensive items with extended protection plans.

Personal Finance Expert Erica Sandberg Offers Tips for a Sane Holiday Shopping Season

It is hard to keep sane and stay within budget during the annual holiday season. To keep from blowing the bank, personal finance expert Erica Sandberg suggests you spend smart this season and focus on how you:

  • Plan: Make a budget and stick to it.

“A good shopping plan starts with doing things in the proper order,” said Sandberg. “Budget should always come first and paying bills should never be a struggle because you spent too much on presents. And don’t forget to include travel, decorations and holiday meals as part of your holiday budget.”

When planning your holiday list, remember to budget first. Don’t forget to include all your holiday spending in your plan including food and travel.

  • Purchase: The best deals aren’t always online.

“Increasingly, shoppers are going online to complete their lists,” Sandberg said. “Online shopping is great for comparing prices, but traditional in-store shopping still has a lot to offer. There’s something very festive about shopping in the store during the holidays. And these days, stores are working hard to combat the online shopping trend, so you may find your best deals inside the store.”

“The trends high on this year’s wish lists include electronics, wearable technology and jewelry,” she continues. “Tablets and gaming systems are dominating electronics spending. And there are some interesting cameras out there this year that open up creative possibilities that you can’t get with your smartphone camera.”

Trends this year include wearable tech, tablets and gaming systems. Do your research and take advantage of both online and in-store deals.

  • Protect: Consider purchasing a protection plan.

“You may have been offered an extended service contract or protection plan. You may also have been advised against purchasing these plans, and heard that they aren’t worth the money. I’ve heard those reports too, but protection plans offer a great deal more than you might think,” said Sandberg. “Electronics and jewelry are expensive…and they are just the type of purchases that are most vulnerable to breakage. We’ve all experienced the frustration of devices that mysteriously stop working after the manufacturer’s warranty ends, and all too often the manufacturer’s warranty won’t cover the problem. That’s when a good protection plan can really come in handy.”

“There are a number of protection plan providers out there. It’s a good idea to make sure the provider you choose is highly reputable with a long history of protecting consumers, like Assurant Solutions for example,” she added.

Protect the gifts that matter to you and the people you care about. Choose an experienced protection plan provider. And make sure you understand all the features and benefits the plan has to offer.

For more information about holiday shopping and protection plans, visit EricaSandberg.com or AssurantSolutions.com.

Plan. Purchase. Protect.

Be smart about your holiday purchases so the gifts will last a long time.
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About Us

Assurant Solutions businesses develop, underwrite, market and administer specialty insurance, extended service contracts and other risk management solutions through collaborative relationships with leading retailers, manufacturers, wireless carriers, financial institutions, vehicle dealer groups, funeral homes and other entities. With operations in 23 locations, including executive offices in Atlanta, Assurant Solutions serves clients and their customers in 12 countries throughout North America, the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe and Asia.

Assurant Solutions is part of Assurant, a premier provider of specialized insurance products and related services in North America and select worldwide markets. Its four key businesses - Assurant Solutions, Assurant Specialty Property, Assurant Health and Assurant Employee Benefits - partner with clients who are leaders in their industries and build leadership positions in a number of specialty insurance market segments in the United States and selected international markets. Assurant, a Fortune 500 company and a member of the S&P 500, is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol AIZ. Assurant has approximately $29 billion in assets and $8 billion in annual revenue. Assurant has approximately 14,500 employees worldwide and is headquartered in New York's financial district. www.assurant.com.

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Patrice Eastham 
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