Simplify your Finances.

On 10/07/2009, in Cash Management, by Jordan Wilson

20 moves to simplify your finances is an example of a common sense article. It has some very good points and a few I differ slightly on, but definitely worth reading.

I fully agree on scanning important documents to cd. Many people already back up their files to an external hard drive and think that is sufficient. They are aware of the threat of theft and take precautions to some extent. All good.

My bigger concern is damage. For most, their birth certificate, passport, etc. are in the same room as their computer and back up hard drive. If there is a fire, flood or other natural disaster, everything is gone. Scan to a cd, store it elsewhere (friend, relative, safe deposit box, etc.) and the risk is minimized. Being a worst case scenario guy, I would avoid storage too close to the originals. Think New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina. I would also keep the originals in a safe deposit bank or fire/waterproof box at home.

Using cash has its merits, but I prefer a bank/debit card. Risk of loss is less than with cash. Debit cards are accepted almost everywhere. If not, you can easily structure your habits to frequent stores that accept cards. With my bank, I am charged for ATM transactions at non-network banks, but am not charged a fee for “cash-backs” when using my debit card. This saves on transaction costs.

With gift cards, Ms. Hunt’s example makes sense. But, in some jurisdictions, gift cards still expire based on time or time and the amount of the card. Also, there might be a fee charged should you need to replace a lost card. So before buying cards for significant amounts or that you may not use for long periods, check the terms and conditions.

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