What Is Identity Theft?

Written by Nicole Soltau

One ofrepparttar prime axioms in life is just when you think it couldnít happen to you, it does. This is a sad fact, and even more so when you considerrepparttar 146655 crime of identity theft. You take years to establish your financial and individual identity and reputation, and in one momentrepparttar 146656 illegal act of another washes it all away wreaking havoc on your financial life. The reasons for identity theft are as varied asrepparttar 146657 circumstances ofrepparttar 146658 unsuspecting victims. There are ways to protect yourself. Being diligent and using common sense can go a long way in preventing this troublesome event from happening in your life. Following are some steps to consider:

1. Protecting your information.

Keep your social security card separate from your other identification, leaving it at home if at all possible. Have a sheet with all of your credit card numbers and companies listed and in a safe place, so inrepparttar 146659 event of theft you can call quickly to cancelrepparttar 146660 accounts.

2. Limit preprinted check information

Checks are another potential bonanza for an identity thief. Even though it may make checking out a little harder, only put your basic information (name, address, maybe a phone number) on your checks. This will prevent an ID thief from getting your drivers license or social security number off a check left lying around.

3. Properly dispose of sensitive information after it no longer is needed.

The identity thief is not above digging in a dumpster for information that can get them something on someone elseís tab. Credit card and banking statements, applications for credit cards, phone bills and utility bills all need to be shredded to prevent anyone from getting your information. Checkbooks need to be treatedrepparttar 146661 same to get rid of your account numbers on them.

4. Share sensitive information with care

Giving information out overrepparttar 146662 phone is sometimes required for security purposes, and some companies that call you might ask you to verify personal information to make sure that they are speaking torepparttar 146663 right person. If you are unsure ofrepparttar 146664 callerís identity, erring onrepparttar 146665 side of caution is advised. This can prevent inadvertent sharing of sensitive information with someone that has misrepresented their intentions or identity. Ask for a call back number and check it out if you have any doubts at all.

5. Avoid easily decipherable passwords

When choosing a password for your sensitive accounts try to avoid any word and or number combinations that can be easily discovered. Some examples include your motherís maiden name, your house number or birth date. If possible, place security questions, to which only you knowrepparttar 146666 answers on your account.

Stretching Your Grocery Dollars

Written by Nicole Soltau

Shopping for groceries is an inevitable fact of our ever busy lives. We may imagine that we are saving time by dashing in, roamingrepparttar aisles and throwing whatever looks good intorepparttar 146654 cart. Most often, what we end up with is repetitive, nutritionally unbalanced meals and ballooning grocery bills. Or worse, frequent fast-food stops and pizza calls. Brighten your meals and save time and money by planning ahead Ė an added bonus you may even save a few calories.

Some money saving tips:

ē Before you visitrepparttar 146655 grocery store each week, check outrepparttar 146656 Sunday circulars. Clip coupons while you watch television or get your children to lend a hand. Organization isrepparttar 146657 key torepparttar 146658 coupon game, so invest in an accordion coupon file. Trust me, itís infinitely easier than rifling through small slips of paper or finding yourself withoutrepparttar 146659 coupon you need when you get torepparttar 146660 store. You can find some very user friendly organizers for around $10.00 at sites such as www.galison.com. ē Look throughrepparttar 146661 food section of your local newspaper. Youíll get some great ideas about bargains to look for as well as what produce, seafood, etc. is in season. The circulars andrepparttar 146662 food section are two places to begin building a weekly menu, that isnít boring, on a budget. Itís also a good idea to combrepparttar 146663 Internet. There are a wealth of sites offering ideas for budget menus.

ē Consider joining a shopping club such as Samís or Costco. If you donít haverepparttar 146664 storage space, but would like to benefit fromrepparttar 146665 savings and convenience of buying in bulk sharerepparttar 146666 bounty with a friend. You can each take a turn shopping from a list once a month or so.

ē Keep your receipts for a month or so and noticerepparttar 146667 high, low and average prices onrepparttar 146668 items you buy most. Whenrepparttar 146669 price hits its low, buy a few so that you can skip it when it slides intorepparttar 146670 high range.

ē Experiment with 5 ingredient meals. There are a number of books, videos and web sites that help you make great meals with only a few ingredients even on weeknights.

ē Check out sites like www.cutouthunger.org/get_coupons!.htm; www.refundsweepers.com; www.refundcents.com; and www.aplusfreestuff.com for information on rebates, refunds, freebies and other savings. If you do take advantage of rebates, complete forms meticulously and keep copies of receipts, UPC, proof of purchase documentation and contact information forrepparttar 146671 vendor.

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