Easy Ways To Protect Your Money


moneyAre you doing everything you can to protect your money?

We spend most of our days working very hard to support our families and pay our bills, but a surprising few take the steps to ensure that their money and their credit is safe from those who want to abuse it. We currently live in a world where identity theft is rampant. Technology has advanced at a surprisingly rapid pace, and those who want to utilize it for harm can easily do so. So, what are we to do to ensure that our hard earned dollars are safe? Below are a few ideas.

1. Check your credit report every year.

It only takes a few minutes to get your credit report from AnnualCreditReport.com. This website allows you to view your reports from all three major reporting companies. You’re allowed to check it once a year free of charge, and you should. Just last year, I found out that I had a huge fee on mine for not returning an audio book to the public library. It’s a bit of a long story, but essentially, I moved and never got the notices. I was able to pay the fee and get it resolved on my credit report. That was a small blip on my credit, but there could be larger problems on yours caused by identity theft that you might want to rectify. That’s why you have to be vigilant about checking it every year.

2. Use cash.

We’re so used to swiping credit cards and debit cards everywhere we go, and that’s a great way to track your spending. However, this is the easiest way for someone to get your credit card information. Once, my husband paid for dinner at an airport, and the waiter wrote down his credit card information and tried to use it to spend $400 at Wal-Mart. Luckily, our bank blocked the payment, but the downside was that they froze my husband’s card. This meant that he had to wait for a new card to be shipped internationally, since we live outside of the U.S. This annoyance could have been avoided if we would have just used cash.

3. Use PayPal for Internet purchases.

PayPal certainly has pros and cons, but the biggest pro is that they provide a secure way for your to purchase items from people you don’t know. I’ve noticed over the past year or so that more and more companies are allowing PayPal as a payment option. While they do have plenty of fees, they also allow you a voice to contest payments and get your money back if you never received an item.

4. Keep your receipts.

There have been many times where I was able to get a few dollars back by noticing discrepancies between my online bank account and my receipts. All you need to do is carry a small envelope with you marked “receipts” and simply check them against your bank account once a week.

5. Store your documents in a safe place.

If you keep important records at home like your tax information, make sure that you keep them in a locked file cabinet or in a safe. If your documents are out in the open, your social security number might be visible to others and thus more susceptible to fraud. If you like keeping online records better, just ensure that your documents are kept secure with an excellent password that preferably has a mix of upper and lower case letters and symbols.

By doing the tasks above, you will be well on  your way to protecting your hard earned money against simple mistakes and indentity theft.

Another way to protect your money and your investments is to choose gold as an avenue for investing.  Consider US Money Reserve if you are thinking about breaking into the gold market.

Are they are any other methods that you can use to protect your money? Please share in the comment section below.

photo by MollyDG

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Written by Catherine Alford

Catherine Alford is a freelance writer who currently lives in the Caribbean with her husband and spoiled pup, Julep. She received a B.A. from The College of William and Mary and an M.A. from Virginia Tech. When she is not writing for various personal finance websites, she enjoys sharing her frugal and fabulous adventures on her blog, BudgetBlonde.com.

Catherine Alford

Catherine Alford is a freelance writer who currently lives in the Caribbean with her husband and spoiled pup, Julep. She received a B.A. from The College of William and Mary and an M.A. from Virginia Tech. When she is not writing for various personal finance websites, she enjoys sharing her frugal and fabulous adventures on her blog, BudgetBlonde.com.

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