When do folks turn down a discount? Apparently when it involves filling out rebate paperwork. Along with other sales and specials meant to get us to open up our wallets over the next six weeks, retailers are rolling out holiday rebates. The the idea behind a rebate is pretty straightforward, according to Chicago bankruptcy attorneys. You pay the sticker price with the understanding that, once you're home, you can apply to get money back – a delayed discount of sorts. But stores know something that we don't – in reality, many of us are too lazy or forgetful to redeem those rebates. We go home with our purchases after a long day of holiday shopping, stash them in the closet to wrap later or, if they're for us, start using them. Then we lose our receipt. Or we decide we don't have time to apply for our rebate. Or maybe we send for the money, receive a check, and just never get around to depositing it. Perhaps we receive a rebate card, and wait so long to redeem it that hidden fees eat up most of the cash – or it expires. Sound familiar? In the end, only about half of shoppers actually redeem rebates, according to Promotional Marketing Insights. No matter how much the discount, it's not a good deal if you're not going to use it. In reality, rebates are more mind trick than savings tactic. Many retailers use them as an excuse to jack up their prices, knowing the discount will give the illusion of a lower overall price – and increase their chance for a sale. Can't afford to keep falling for stores' tricks year after year? Then ask yourself the three big questions when considering every purchase this season: Is this something I really need? Is it something I can afford? And, is this the absolute lowest price I can buy it for? If you can't answer yes to all three, you know it's time to either move on or find an alternative. Here's a real way to save money – lower your debt so you can keep more of your income instead of forking it over to creditors each month. And if your debt is out of control? Bankruptcy is a time-tested, government-sanctioned way to get it in check. Find out if a bankruptcy plan can finally make getting out of debt affordable when you try a free personal debt analysis with a Chicago bankruptcy attorney.
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