I know I’m a bit late to the party, but earlier today I was thinking of the TSA and how people have felt about them lately and I couldn’t help but to chuckle at the idea of writing a finance article relating to them.
So, while it’s a bit tongue in cheek, here are 5 tips to manage your finances and financial security like the TSA manages security! I hope it is both educational, and funny :-D.
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If you have a bank account, then it is never too soon to monitor it for suspicious activity. You should also watch for irresponsible spending. There are many tools to help you do this. One of my favorites is Mint.com, but there are other greats out there such as You Need A Budget that many prefer using.
Tools like Mint.com are an excellent way to check spending. You can even set Mint up to email alerts to you when you cross certain thresholds!
Don’t be too lazy to scrutinize every aspect of your finances. Try to look at your spending through from a different person’s perspective. What would your grandparents think of how you are spending the money that you work so hard for?
Using some of the aforementioned tools can help you find those little habits and see how much they really add up to.
I used to drink tons of energy drinks and the $2.00 a drink didn’t seem too pricey until I used Mint and saw that my energy drink consumption was costing us $70.00 each month! Without a tool like Mint, I might have continued this habit.
Look for Suspicious Activity
Crime has no bed time, and the same applies to the accessibility of your money! Remember, while the moon is out where you live, the Sun is shining elsewhere. While there is a lot of domestic credit card fraud, there is tons more fraud happening outside of your country.
Look for suspicious activity, especially a couple of small transactions that you don’t recognize, or transactions that appear to be from companies in a different country. This can be identified by the names of the companies appearing on your statements, especially if the phone numbers are international.
Often, criminals like to test cards with small sales in hopes to avoid setting off any fraud triggers with your bank, and in hopes that you will overlook small transactions. Once they know your card is good, that is when they’ll hit harder.
Sometimes, it becomes necessary to put on some rubber gloves and make people cry. Sorry, went to far with the analogy.
From a money management perspective, you need to be ruthless in your willingness to cut spending, and unnecessary luxury. Lowering the quality of life you’re living now will pay off in spades later. I’m not telling you to where a burlap bag, live in a tree and only eat cans of baked beans; it would creep out your family. But everyone has a little luxury they can do without.
From a security stand point, be ready to dispute transactions that you don’t recognize and report activity that just doesn’t seem correct. If you end up wrong, you’ll at least learn what the charge was for, and if you’re right you may have saved yourself a lot of heart-ache and phone calls.
Don’t Listen to Others
Finally, don’t listen to others. People might disagree with what you’re doing, but ultimately, you know what’s best for you. Giving into the spending pressures of current financial philosophies will only guarantee financial ruin. As Dave Ramsey has said “Live like no other, so that later you can live like no other.”
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