You can’t trust everyone to put your financial interests and needs first. Unfortunately, there are many illegal scammers, dishonest companies, and people who will rob, cheat, and steal to get what they want from you.
Therefore, you have to put the protection of your funds at the top of your priority list.
While it’s great to think about how to keep your money safe, you should also think about how to make it work for you.
Here are 5 tips to help you do that:
1. Use an FDIC or NCUA Insured Account
When you deposit your money at a bank or credit union, you want the reassurance that your funds are protected. The best way to do that is to ensure your bank or credit union is FDIC or NCUA insured, respectively.
FDIC stands for Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and NCUA stands for National Credit Union Association. Both of these organizations protect the money in your account with up to $250,000 in insurance per account per user.
2. Use More Than One Account
Have you ever heard the saying, don’t put all your eggs in one basket? The same goes for your money. You don’t want to store all of your money in one account. Instead, spread it out amongst different accounts so if one account is compromised, you’re not entirely at a loss.
For example, if your account is jeopardized and all of your money is in one account, you’re stuck between a rock and a hard place while your bank remedies the situation. You’ll either have to borrow money, use your credit card, or go without what you need.
However, if you spread out your money between different accounts, you have other resources available in case something happens.
3. Choose The Best Account For Your Needs
Sometimes you have to consider how to keep your money safe from yourself. Impulse shopping and bad spending habits can wreck your finances. Since all accounts aren’t created equal, you want to look at your financial status along with your money goals and practices to choose the account that’s best for you.
For example, if you know you regularly withdraw money from your savings account unnecessarily, put a set amount into a Share Certificate for a set period. You’re less likely to want to pay the penalties associated with early withdrawal.
If you know you overspend, then open two checking accounts, one for your main bills and one for your fun money. Only keep a debit card on you that links to your fun money. These are examples of how you can use your accounts to keep your money safe from yourself.
4. Don’t Rush Decisions
Making an impulse decision reduces the odds that you’ll consider the pros and cons of your options. Instead of rushing to buy or sign up immediately, give yourself time to research, review, and think about whether the offer is best for you.
Many companies rely on the fact that you’ll rush into a decision without considering all angles. When that happens, by the time you realize it was the wrong decision, it’s too late. Before making an important decision related to your finances – whether it’s opening a new account, signing up for a credit card or enrolling in a program, take 24 hours to do your due diligence.
During this time you want to consider whether it’s an offer that will benefit you, support your financial goals, and keep your money safe.
5. Be Safe Online
These days just about anything can be done online. With the endless options, instant access, and anonymity that completing transactions online provides, you have to take care to ensure that you keep your money safe.
Be sure to protect your personal information, such as your social security number and account numbers. If you receive an email that appears to be illegitimate, trust your instincts, and do your research on the company. Google whether the information you received has been linked to a known scam.
Only shop with companies you know. If you’re buying from an unknown company, check their reviews and use a payment method that offers some form of protection in case of fraud.
Keep Your Money Safe & Put It To Work!
Your financial security should be a top priority for you because if your finances are compromised, it can throw you into a whirlwind of stressful and difficult times as you remedy the problem.
At Atlantic Financial Federal Credit Union, we care about your financial safety, and we want you to always think about how to keep your money safe. Here are a few resources you can use on your journey to financial security: