Matt's Monthly Money Must Do's | August 2018

August 4th is Coast Guard Day.  Alexander Hamilton, along with the help of US congress, authorized the building of a fleet of Revenue Service Cutters.  The August to do’s all relate to keeping yourself safe and limiting your exposure to harm much like the Coast Guard does with boaters every day.

Protect your home

Summer is when burglaries are at its peak.  The FBI released data that estimated the average loss per burglary is $2,251.   This doesn’t mean you should rush out and buy the ADT Pulse® + Video at $58.99/ month.   Simple updates like moving to an Electronic Deadbolt Lock might be a better starting point.   Another easy fix is to notify your trusted neighbors when you are out of town, so they can keep tabs on your house.    Most importantly, do not post a lot on social media that you are out of town.  With the ability to access random profiles, burglars are able to easily track who is out of town and take the opportunity to steal those sweet trunks you bought last month.  

Protect your kids

Back to school is starting soon.  A lot of discussions will be around where to get the best back to school deals on laptops, school supplies, and school clothes.  The average family spends $501 per kid on back to school shopping.  The big point here is to buy the must haves early on and wait for any other supplies until a few weeks after school has started, which is when prices drop the most.  Instead, spend time to review what kind of documentation needs to be sent to your kids’ school.  More frequently, schools are request a lot of personal information.  Make sure you safeguard your child’s Social Security Number, limit what your kids share online, and use strong passwords on their devices.  Schools are a more common target for hackers, so make it as difficult for them to hack your information. 

Protect your financial accounts

There are many things outside of our control regarding your financial accounts.  There are a few things that are within your control: what kind of portfolio you choose, how you react to market performance, and, probably the last thing on your mind, what your passwords are.  August, being associated with the zodiac sign LEO, should be the month where you take charge and review the security protocols all of your providers offer.  Most financial companies have moved to two factor authentications.  Contact your providers to make sure they are using the highest security standards in the market.

Take some small steps in August to protect your house, your family, and your financial accounts.