Each of us has a personal reason for saving money. I very much doubt that any of us does so just to be able to brag about having died with the most money in the bank. Whether you are frugal because you need to be frugal in order to make ends meet, or you pursue economical purchases because getting a good deal is a challenge, we all try to spend wisely so that we will have more money when we need it or when we want it.
In the spectrum of ways that we can decrease the money that we do have, nothing is worse than having your money or things of value stolen. If you make a bad purchase, you still have whatever you bought. If you give your money to charity, you have the good feeling of having done something good in the world. There is no gain of any kind that can come from having your money or your valuables stolen. We all know that but still we make mistakes that leave us open to theft. Keep in mind the following easy steps that you can take to avoid being the victim of theft and maybe it won’t happen to you.
Do Not Leave Valuables in Your Car
Every week, I am reminded not to leave anything of value visible in my car. When I go to my gym, I see signs telling me that the parking lot often is the site of automobile break-ins. The same message is given to me at church and at local youth sports events. Even if you are just going to be away from your car for a few minutes, that is enough time for brazen thieves (often teens) to smash a window and grab your pocketbook or wallet. Don’t let that happen to you – bring your valuables every time you leave your car.
Do Not Make your Car a Target for Car Thieves
Casual car thieves do not want to overcome challenges that you put in their way. Never leave your keys in your car and when you are not at home always park in a well traveled area. You should also consider getting a steering wheel club or a pedal lock. Of course, if you have a particularly valuable vehicle, you might also consider investing in Lo-Jack, but make sure you tell your insurance provider so that you can get the discount offered for having an anti-theft device.
Monitor Your Credit Reports
Even if you think you are doing a great job of protecting your personal data, plenty of people have access to your credit card and other personal data. Indeed, every time you use a credit card, you are giving access to your data to someone. Often you will not realize that you have become a victim of identity theft until long after it has happened. You need to check your credit reports regularly and make sure you research and report any suspicious activity. By law, each of the three credit reporting bureaus (Equifax, TransUnion and Experian) must give you one free report each year. That means that you can get one free report every four months as long as you stagger your request. Visit AnnualCreditReport.com to request a credit report today.
Protect Your Bike
It is always surprising to see an expensive bike leaning against a convenience store wall, unlocked and ripe for the picking. If you own a bicycle, you should also own a good lock and you should only leave your bike unattended if you have locked it up. You should also register your bike with the National Bike Register so that if it is stolen and recovered, the authorities will be more likely to trace it back to you.
Carry Only What You Need
Do not carry more cash than you need to carry and remove from your wallets anything that you will not need while you are out. If you lose your wallet or someone picks your pocket, you will want as little money as possible to be lost. Similarly, the fewer credit cards and other cards that you lose, the less damage the thief can do to you.
Don’t Travel with Expensive Jewelry
If you are traveling, wear your costume jewelry or very little jewelry. Nothing attracts the attention of muggers like a lot of expensive jewelry on people who are clearly tourists.
What other methods do you employ to cut down on your risk of being the target of a thief? Have you ever been the victim of a theft, burglary or robbery?