It goes without saying that money is an important part of people’s lives. Many work hard to ensure that there will be enough of it to afford all the amenities that make life comfortable. We’re taught at a young age to not take money for granted. Those who do take their financial well-being for granted quickly discover the folly of their ways when times of need overtake them. Folks who manage their money and save for the future enjoy a much greater level of stability when tough times come along.
In addition to the common sense basics pertaining to money matters there are some “signposts” that individuals should be on the lookout for in regards to saving and spending. Here are a few things that you should look for when saving, spending, or even borrowing money that can, not only, protect your money but also save you anguish.
1. Insured Savings
Savings accounts. Most folks are familiar with savings accounts. They are a fairly simple principal. Money is entrusted to a bank for safe keeping. The money thus deposited is utilized by the bank and accrues interest for the owner of the account.
Note that I stated the word entrusted. As a bank customer, you are entrusting your money to an institution that has a reputation for safeguarding and producing a return on money entrusted to them.
Unfortunately, there are unforeseen events that even a bank cannot protect against such as robbery and economic calamity either without or within any given institution. Likewise, bank workers are only human and prone to mistake, miscalculation, or, in some cases, corruption. What happens to your money when such a disaster occurs? Needless to say, one may very well guess. Rather than going through the plethora of possibilities let’s take a look at what you can do.
Look for our first “signpost”. It’s the FDIC logo. It is advertised widely by and financial institution that has ties. You most likely have seen the logo or heard the name on the radio following a finance-related commercial. The FDIC, or Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, ensures that depositors, at a covered bank, are insured up to at least $250K. That means, should disaster strike your chosen bank, your money is covered up to at least 250,000 dollars. Why would anyone deal with someone who isn’t covered by the FDIC?
2. Direct Lending
Our next “signpost” involves borrowing money from a payday loan or cash advance lender. Some emergencies can strike when we least expect or before we have sufficient time to prepare. When those emergencies cost money, and they often do, many people will seek out a payday loan. What some folks may not know is that not all lenders are the same. There are basically two types.
The first type may be a “third party” lender. What that means is they only serve as a middle-man for the true lender. They often perform this service for a small commission. A few unscrupulous third-party lenders will add to their profits by selling borrower information to other companies often leading to the borrower receiving a flood of telemarketer calls and spam emails.
All this can be avoided by dealing with the second type of lender. This is the “direct lender”. A direct lender does not involve a middle-man but is part of or owns a financial institution from which the money loaned comes from. The direct lender deals personally with the borrower. Only borrowing from a direct lender can avoid the risk of countless telemarketer calls or a torrent of spam emails.
3. Online Security
Our last “signpost” regards online purchases and information. Naturally, there are big-name websites that are respected and can be counted on to be safe. Occasionally, we see something we like on a much smaller company’s site. This is where we need to be more discerning in how we conduct our business with this particular company.
The internet is full of great companies but, there are also information-hijackers and eavesdroppers as well. It can be an unnerving thought. It may even be enough to make us shy away from doing business with lesser known entities if we didn’t have our last “signpost”.
Anytime you may be required to enter in personal or financial information, it is vital to check the address bar. On many pages it will begin with “http” (hypertext transfer protocol). Whenever there is a place to enter your information the address bar should display a padlock symbol and begin “https” (the s stands for secure sockets layer). This means this site protects communication between your device and website’s server with encryption. This is a large step in protecting your information online.
Look for these signposts as you deal with these different businesses. You and your money will be glad you did.