It’s likely you’ve heard advice similar to this: work hard for your money and then make it work for you. But these days, you also have to protect your hard-earned money. Here are three ways you can keep your money safe in order to have the financial future you desire.
Safeguard Your Savings
We can be our own worst enemy when it comes to saving money. Too often, we jeopardize our long-term financial goals in favor of short-term expenses. Therefore, an important part of saving is paying attention to spending. Create a budget, make sure it includes regular savings contributions, and stick to it.
It may seem unconnected, but tracking your spending on a frequent basis (even daily) can be a powerful measure to protect your money from yourself. Another simple but effective trick to curb overspending is to stop using credit cards. Many studies have found that people really
Protect Your Information
Unfortunately, the threat of identity theft is now a part of life, with 1.4 million fraud reports processed by the Federal Trade Commission in 2018, totaling almost $1.5 billion in losses. It’s no surprise that you need to protect your information from criminals who want to gain access to your financial accounts. Events like Wells Fargo employees opening millions of fake accounts and the 2017 Equifax data breach prove that it’s wise to take widespread measures to protect your information and your money.
These tips can help you keep your personal information safe:
- Check your accounts every day – Regular monitoring of your accounts can help you catch problems early, especially with credit cards.
- Never share banking information – Don’t share sensitive information via email, text, phone, social media, or any messaging app.
- Use paper statements – It may not be as green, but if the electronic services you use get hacked or wiped out, then paper statements give you hard copy proof if you need it.
- Choose a bank with good customer service – Sometimes a credit union or local bank can give more personal service and attention than a larger bank. And if something goes wrong, that customer service will be essential.
- Use strong passwords and two-factor authentication – These extra steps can help protect you against criminals who are watching you without your knowledge.
- Understand your protections against fraud – Credit and debit cards carry different protections, so make sure you know what they are. No matter what, report any suspicious activity immediately.
- Don’t access your accounts from insecure locations – While mobile banking is incredibly convenient, it also makes it easier for others to snag your info if you use an unsecured device or unprotected Wi-Fi network to log in.
- Lock your devices – Keeping your devices locked and secured is one of the easiest ways to keep your information safe.
Monitor Asset Managers and Financial Advisers
Financial advisers and asset managers can be invaluable partners in helping you reach your financial goals. But that doesn’t mean you simply hand over your money and stop paying attention. As Ken Fisher of Fisher Investments points out in his book, “How to Smell a Rat: The Five Signs of Financial Fraud,” innocent people can also be scammed by financial advisers.
There are sneaky people everywhere, and that applies to the investing world as well. Make sure you are alert and following your money even when giving it over to an asset manager or financial adviser. If anything feels fishy or off about the investment or returns, it may be a red flag as well. Do your own due diligence and keep close tabs on anyone who is handling your money.
Keeping Your Money Safe Is Up to You
Ultimately, you are the best person to keep your money safe. Regulating your savings, protecting your information, and monitoring financial advisers and asset managers who have control of your money can help you better protect your money so it’s ready for you to use how and when you want.