For Immediate Release:
Monday, August 13, 2018
Department of Consumer Affairs Issues Tips to Get an 'A' in Back-to-School Shopping
NEW YORK, NY – The first day of school is just around the corner and stores are filled with back-to-school promotions. Below are tips from the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) on how to teach your children about budgeting and saving, protecting your money and improving your finances before the first bell rings.
“Back-to-school shopping is an exciting time for families, but with long supply lists and flashy marketing campaigns, parents know all too well the amount of money that can be spent during this busy time,” said DCA Commissioner Lorelei Salas. “With our tips, parents can create a plan and shop smart while teaching their kids about the importance of saving money and budgeting.”
- Ask for a receipt and save it. In New York City, you are entitled to a receipt for purchases of more than $20. Protect your personal information—by law, a customer's receipt must not show the credit card's expiration date or more than its last five digits.
- Check store refund policies. Stores must post a sign detailing their policy. If they don't, you are entitled to a refund within 30 days of your purchase.
- Look for prices. Stores must have prices posted on all items to ensure that shoppers are not charged at different rates for the same products.
- Make a list and create a budget. Get the teacher's supply list and then teach your children how to create a budget based on how much they have to spend and what they need to get. When you're shopping stick to the list and the budget. Help your kids make smart decisions when choosing which supplies to buy.
- Compare prices. Use websites, smartphone apps and social media to research products, compare prices, and find sales and discounts.
- Teach your children about credit and how it works. Explain to them that a credit card is not "free money" and that what you pay for with it must be paid back with interest. Tell them paying minimum balances versus the full balance and about the consequences of using a credit card irresponsibly.
- Be a role model and get financial counseling if you need help. Make smart financial choices when shopping; kids learn a great deal by observing adults. New Yorkers can get free, one-on-one financial counseling at one of the City's Financial Empowerment Centers, to help them reduce debt, build their savings, open a bank account, improve credit, and more. New Yorkers can book a free and confidential appointment with a professional financial counselor by calling 311, visiting nyc.gov/dca, or texting TalkMoney to 42033 (message and data rates may apply; check with your service provider).
DCA also offers student loan debt tips
to help people learn what their options are, as well as for young adults
to help inform them of their rights and responsibilities when enrolling in a school or training program, using a credit card, taking out a student or car loan, and learning about credit repair scams.
The NYC Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) protects and enhances the daily economic lives of New Yorkers to create thriving communities. DCA licenses more than 81,000 businesses in more than 50 industries and enforces key consumer protection, licensing, and workplace laws that apply to countless more. By supporting businesses through equitable enforcement and access to resources and, by helping to resolve complaints, DCA protects the marketplace from predatory practices and strives to create a culture of compliance. Through its community outreach and the work of its offices of Financial Empowerment and Labor Policy & Standards, DCA empowers consumers and working families by providing the tools and resources they need to be educated consumers and to achieve financial health and work-life balance. DCA also conducts research and advocates for public policy that furthers its work to support New York City’s communities. For more information about DCA and its work, call 311 or visit DCA at nyc.gov/dca or on its social media sites, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.
Christine Gianakis / Jade Acosta
Department of Consumer Affairs
(212) 436-0042 firstname.lastname@example.org