financial
Photo By CC user Images Money on Flickr.

What kind of grade would you give yourself when it comes to protecting and operating your finances?

For many consumers, the thought of identity theft hitting their homes is all but a foreign concept.

Sure, they may know it is out there, but they oftentimes figure they are immune to it. If identity theft seems immune to you, you very well could be the next victim.

That said identity theft is but one of the challenges you face in managing your finances.

Bad purchasing decisions, not saving enough money for retirement, and not looking to pay down debt are but three of the mistakes you could very well be making.

So, when you stop and think about it, are you making the best financial calls?

Protecting Your Money

In this day and age when many people are struggling paycheck to paycheck, it behooves you to do whatever you can to avoid money pitfalls.

Among the practices you should be following:

  • Savings – First and foremost, are you putting whatever amount of money away you can for later down the road? If not, that is a practice that should definitely change moving forward. While you undoubtedly have expenses in the present day to deal with, keep in mind that many Americans live longer these days. As a result, it is important to think about tomorrow and not just today;
  • Privacy – Are you making sure that your personal identity is as protected as it can be? Unfortunately, identity theft is a real and dangerous problem, one that too many individuals do not take as seriously as they should. Remember that there are online identity theft protection services out there to assist you. Knowing how to find the best one can prove a little daunting at times, but that doesn’t mean you cease looking. With a review of ScoreSense and other such programs, you can stay on top of your credit report and so much more. A strong credit report goes a long way in helping you achieve a number of purchases in life, be it a new home, new vehicle for you and/or the family, extended lines of credit etc. Always remember to look for any inconsistencies not only in your report, but with your bank account, credit card statements etc. If something seems fishy, be sure to act on;
  • Loans – As much as you may want to help others in your life (outside family members, friends, co-workers etc.), be sure to think long and hard about loans. In many cases, those you loan money to will in fact repay you sooner rather than later. Others, however, will not get the money back to you in a timely manner (if at all). As a result, you can be stuck with no financial compensation. While loaning someone a few bucks for lunch etc. is no big deal, make sure to draw up an official contract when it comes to significant transfers of money. The other individual/s may think you are being a tad too formal, but this protects you and ultimately the relationship.

Deals Truly Do Matter

  • Deals–Are you someone always on the lookout for deals? If so, you are doing yourself a service when it comes to trying to save money. That said many other people just go with the flow and pay whatever the listed costs are. If you are someone saving money on things like groceries, health expenditures, items for around the home etc. keep it up. While you do not have to be obsessive about it, savings here and there certainly do add up over time;
  • Advice – Finally, having a financial guru to advise you from time to time is a great idea. No matter what their official title is, he or she can provide you with sound advice, advice you can hopefully take to the bank. A trusted person at your local bank, a financial advisor with your retirement plan etc. can make a positive difference in how you spend and save money.

At the end of the day, are you making the best financial calls possible?

If so, what advice would you have for others in need of financial tips?