Month : July 2013

Money Management

4 Tips to Protect Yourself From Identity Theft

Protecting yourself from identity theft is an important way to protect your finances. Identity theft can be disastrous to your finances, family life and credit score. If you want to one day reach your goal of financial freedom, you also need to protect yourself from identity theft. Here are a few helpful tips to help keep your identity safe.

Watch What You Share

Identity thieves use personal information like your social security number, name or birth date to open new accounts in your name. They can then use these accounts to rack up a lot of debt that they don’t intend on paying. If you are really careful with your personal information it will be more difficult for these thieves to steal your identity. You might even find that they target an easier victim instead. This can save you a lot of hassle and a lot of heartache. Shred personal documents before throwing them out, remove your name from preapproved credit card offers (1-888-567-8688) and be very careful when providing information online. Social networking sites can be a special area of concern, so make sure you are aware of what you share.

Create Strong Passwords

I know it is tempting to use the word password as your password, but this is a really bad idea. Avoid using passwords that are easy to decipher and avoid using the same passwords on every account. Using your phone number, social security number, significant other’s names or a series of consecutive numbers is not a good idea. Instead create unique passwords by using letters, numbers and symbols. Plus, once you create these strong passwords, don’t share them with others.

Don’t Keep Your Wallet in Plain Sight

While no one likes to think about it, your friends and family might be the ones to steal your identity. In about ¼ of the identity theft cases, information was originally obtained by a family member or a friend. Don’t keep your purse or wallet lying around at work. Put them in a locked drawer whenever possible. It is a good idea to do the same thing at home. Additionally you might want to consider password protecting your computer to keep roommates and house guests from accessing your personal information.

Monitor Your Credit Reports

You should also take advantage of your yearly right to review your credit reports. This is a free service that you are entitled to once each year. It won’t take that long and can alert you to potential problems before they spiral out of control.

There are many ways to protect yourself from identity theft and to take care of the problem once it has happened. Check out the FTC’s great resource on identity theft. After all why work on protecting your credit and your finances just to have them ruined by someone else?

What do you do to protect your identity from theft?

 

Business

Customer communication protocols

People running businesses sometimes fail to understand how inter-personal skills and business etiquette can help or hinder the acquisition and retention of customers.

Why?

Dealing with some types of business problem is relatively easy. 

Obtaining capital injections can typically be achieved through people such as www.wongaforbusiness.com and it’s always possible to take business development advice from centres such as your local chamber of commerce or even the government’s own websites.

Yet business protocols are less frequently discussed – sometimes with potentially disastrous results. 

So, here are a few basic business courtesy tips that it might be advisable to adopt:

  1. stay polite but formal with customers unless you have worked with them for a long time.  That means avoiding immediately starting to use forenames. In fact, you should normally ask the customer if they mind you calling them by their forename before doing so; 
  2. be cautious with humour.  Unless you know the other party well, it is easy to offend or be entirely misunderstood; 
  3. switch your mobile phone off when you are dealing with a customer.  Nothing infuriates people more than when you keep checking your mobile and pushing buttons while they are trying to talk to you about business matters; 
  4. dress smartly.  Don’t make the mistake of thinking this is old-fashioned. Looking as if you have just come straight off of a demolition site when dealing with customers is hardly likely to fill them with confidence – even if you are trying to sell them demolition services; 
  5. respond promptly to email and phone messages. People typically understand you may not always be able to respond immediately but they will expect at least an acknowledgement of their communication within a sensible time period; 
  6. don’t horse around. You may think your antics are amusing but you may be perceived as being either juvenile or flippant – neither normally considered to be desirable characteristics by customers; 
  7. under no circumstances should you lie to your customers. Leaving aside the ethics of telling lies, human beings can frequently detect when someone is lying to them by their body language, voice patterns or logical inconsistencies / implausibility in the story being told. If something has gone wrong, tell the truth, apologise and put it right quickly – but don’t lie! 

Even in our typically modern and informal world, the above practices will normally be very well received.

Insurance

Bike Insurance is a Must for All the Bike Owners

Amongst various methods of protecting bicycle, one is bike insurance. The insurance cover for the bike is an important step towards the security of one`s beloved vehicle. One of the main reasons of road bike insurance is that one cannot find an alternate means of transportation which is so economical in case ones bicycle gets damaged.  A  bike is one of the ultimate means of transportation as it does not demands any sort of extra expenses to be incurred over it. Resultantly more and more people are embracing bicycles for moving from one place to another.

Road bike insurance is the only way to provide one with the certainty of its protection. Some of the State laws have also turned it mandatory to get the private vehicles insured. The law specifies the cancellation of license if one fails to get the bike insured.  Bike insurances are of various types. They differ from country to country.  Bike insurance is also subject to various factors. Before opting for any insurance cover, one must comprehend that how the insurance premium is calculated and how to attain an eminent bicycle insurance cover which is within budget.

The policies of the companies mainly vary as per the protection they need to bestow upon the vehicle. One of the most common types of restriction is that the vehicle will be given a smaller amount of claim in case it happens to get damaged at some other place. Thus if one wants to get ones bike fully secured then one must opt for an appropriate insurance cover before visiting any place. The amount to be paid for such insurance cover solely depends on time type of services opted

 The premium also depends upon the accessories of the bike and its age. For instance, a ten year old bike will be insured by considering the depreciated value of the bike in ten years. Thus it is clear, that the premium which needs to be paid by the insurer basically depends upon the amount of risk involved.  A higher amount of premium is required to be paid for the bike which is exposed to higher risk. Before getting ones bike insured one should take the photo of the bike with all the accessories present over it. A two-wheeler can cost one with thousand dollars since the high-tech models available in the market are very high in prices. One should opt for the best policy to protect the vehicle even if it is little expensive.

The companies avail various reasonably priced insurance covers for the bike.  A Quality insurance cover can be obtained without compromising with the quality. For example one can choose for the medical cover along with the damage compensation. Such policy shall serve one in a dual manner. Firstly any damage done to the bike shall be compensated by the company and secondly, all the medical expenses shall be borne by the company if the customer meets with an accident while riding the insured bike. 

Debt Management

Are You A Poser?

Le Penseur

Do you have a credit card? Sure you do. Everyone has a credit card. Do you use it like a credit card is supposed to be used? I hope not because it’s designed to make you a poser.

Credit cards are meant to buy you things you don’t have the money for. That’s why they were invented and that’s how they make you a poser. If you use your card like that then you need to look deep inside of you and realize that it’s not what you have on the outside that makes you who you are. I may be cliché when I say this but It’s what is on the inside that counts. Stop being a poser and be your true self.

No one is going to like you less because you don’t have the newest thing out there. In fact, if they do think that way then it’s because they want you to buy it so they can use it. You don’t need people around you that only like you for what you have and use you.

Stop being a poser and start paying off your credit card every month. That’s how people who refuse to give into the system use them. They don’t let the system use them; They use the system for their benefit. They are getting better credit to save them money so they don’t have to be a poser.

Learn to use credit wisely and don’t let others dictate how you should live your life. That’s just going to make you miserable in the end because eventually, when it’s too late, you’ll realize that everyone around you has drained you of everything you are and have moved on to their next victim. It will be a slow process so you won’t see it happening until it’s too late. But when it does you will realize that you should have stayed true to yourself and shouldn’t have been a poser.

Learn this lesson early and you will be better off I promise.

What do you think?

photo credit: garromeister

Money Management

5 Apps to Help Manage and Track Your Finances

Does the sheer number of apps available make your head spin? Don’t worry, here are the five mobile apps you need to keep up with everything financial. Many are free, and the paid ones are quite affordable. This list is composed of the top consumer rated apps, and those that are available on the most devices.

1. Create Expense Reports Easily With Expensify 

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Image via Crunchbase

Expensify is a powerful expense report app, which allows you to log all your expenses on the go and generate or manage expense reports. It can capture images of your receipts and even read them to fill out expense details for you. Expensify is capable of creating new expense records, or it can attach expenses to bank statements or credit statements you import.

2. Track Your Spending With the Mint App

Mint is one of the most versatile and highly rated finance apps available; the best part, though, is that it’s free. It tracks your spending for you, helps you create and stick to a budget, and easily manages all of your accounts in a single place. Now available for both the BlackBerry 10 smartphone and the PlayBook, Mint’s tablet version lets you create charts and graphs to easily see where your money is going.

Mint handles all types of accounts, including checking, savings and credit accounts. Mint is capable of categorising your transactions and has the unique capacity for helping track cash spending. The tablet version also allows you to view your finances offline. Passcode protected, it offers you the ability to shut it down if the device is misplaced or stolen.

3. Get on Top of Shopping Lists With Grocery Gadget

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Image via Grocery Gadgets

If you’re drowning in lists, Grocery Gadget is your saviour. It keeps up with all your shopping lists (grocery, business, household, clothing, whatever), allows you to organise these lists and also keeps up with your coupons and receipts. The app isn’t free, but it does include a free web portal so you can use the lists and information on all your devices.

4. Find the Best Prices Around With RedLaser 

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Image via Softpedia.com

RedLaser is a shopping app that helps you find the best prices available on any product you’re looking for. It works with online products, but does especially well finding prices in brick and mortar establishments. Though it doesn’t always provide you with information on shipping or applicable taxes, the app is free and is now available on smartphones that run the BlackBerry 10 OS.

5. Organise All Your Bills in One Place With Manilla

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Image via downloadatoz.com

Free for download, Manilla allows you to consolidate all your bills into a single place, so you can take it with you wherever you go. This app is ideal for frequent travelers, allowing you to see all your bills in a single glance. It even sends you email alerts when your due dates approach. Although Manilla can’t process your payments, it does allow you to log onto the website of your creditor.

These five apps give you the power to do everything related to money all on your mobile device, whether it’s for your business or just your personal finances.