While shopping online certainly saves valuable time, it’s not always safe. According to LifeLock, a leader in identity theft protection, 11.6 million Americans were victims of identity theft last year, with a large percentage of cases taking place online. Luckily, there are apps that can help prevent identity theft. With the holiday season in full swing, check out some of these apps to make sure your transactions are safe and secure.
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Each calendar month is dedicated to building awareness about a particular cause (or causes). The most popular being American Heart Month (February) and Breast Cancer Awareness Month (October), but do you know what April brings awareness to? April is National Financial Literacy Month. It’s an entire month dedicated to promoting financial education across America.
Not too long ago, more than 40% of adults admitted they had no clue about personal finance (The 2012 Consumer Financial Literacy Survey). In fact, they gave themselves a C, D, or F on the subject. With stats like that, it’s not hard to see why National Financial Literacy Month is so important.
What Does This Mean for You?
Throughout April there will be a variety of free financial events to take advantage of. They vary by location, so check with your township or city for events going on in your area. If you don’t feel like participating in a club or talking to a financial advisor there are some things you can do to better educate yourself from the comfort of your own home.
Check Your Credit Report
Experts suggest you check your credit report at least once a month. The more you know about your finances, the easier it will be for you to spot errors on your report. If you see an error, be sure to dispute it. You can check your credit report for free at Quizzle.com or the government site, annualcreditreport.com.
Build a Budget
It’s hard to believe but experts suggest more than 50% of adults do not have a budget to help manage their money. Budgets can help you gain control over your money. Start small and keep things realistic. If you already have a budget, update it. If you’re working with old numbers you may not be getting the most accurate results for your current situation.
This is a whole lot easier said than done. Set aside a reasonable amount of money each month for something that you want (summer vacation, new car, or a new home). When you work hard and save for something it makes it that much better when you finally get to enjoy it.
Here’s an idea to get you started. Have you ever heard of the Mason Money Jar Challenge? It’s pretty easy… for each week of the challenge you save a dollar.
Week 1 =$1
Week 2 =$2
Week 3 =$3
And, so on. If you complete this challenge, you’ll have more than $1,300 saved up in one year!
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