Today is the first day of a New Year, and I thought we’d start the year off with a new series to help you down the path to be debt free in 2013 (hopefully!) or at least on that path. Many people set resolutions, but instead of that, I’d encourage you to set realistic goals for a new financial lifestyle. Part of the problem, I believe, that people run into is that they just feel overwhelmed and may not know where to start. So, I am going to break things down into very easy steps to try and help alleviate some of the stress. Here are 5 things you can do today, on Day 1, to get started:
Nick’s company offers a corporate wellness plan that extends to the entire family. We must take a health survey each year, talk with a health coach occasionally, we get FREE wellness exams at the doctor, and discounts on fitness plans. We have a goal to reduce our BMI by at least one point each year, and if successful, get a significant reduction in the cost of our healthcare. It’s such a great way to motivate employees and their families to seriously take steps to live healthier lives, get preventative care, and reduce the overall cost of medical care. It’s nice to be a part of a company that has realized that by taking proactive steps to help employees and their families get and stay healthy, they will reduce overall medical expenses for everyone. I realize not every company is on board with this mindset just yet, but as more and more large corporate companies adopt this strategy, it is my hope that the mid size and smaller companies will also catch on.
As individuals who are employees or family members, we also need to realize that taking care of ourselves needs to be a priority. Today is always the best day to start taking that step. Medical expenses can and does literally bankrupt many families. Those expenses can’t always be prevented, but many of them can be. I would like to encourage everyone to start with just one small step of eating better and getting active, even if it’s just walking down the driveway and back. Every great journey starts with the first step. Getting healthy and going to the doctor for preventative care could help save you thousands of dollars if you are able to catch an illness or disease early. If you are the person in your family that is responsible for the insurance plan with your company, I’d also like to encourage you to talk with them about what corporate wellness options you have available, or what they would consider in the future. Discounts on health clubs, maintenance medications, or reductions in premiums for meeting certain goals is a great place to start!
This is a sponsored post however, all the points and views are my own.
Photo Credit: SecureChecks.com
As someone who formerly worked as a Bank Manager, I know first hand the importance of using safe and secure checks. The average customer doesn’t realize that bank tellers ARE trained to check for and recognize authentic checks from fraudulent ones. Yes, sometimes they miss things, and people do commit fraud with secure checks, but by purchasing checks with security features, you are getting extra protection. I know most people use their debit cards, or online payments in today’s times, but there are occasions when you need to negotiate checks. It’s crucial that you take precautions when ordering and negotiating checks to protect yourself against fraud and stolen identity situations. Let me explain what a few key protections are, to help you understand why it’s important to use secure checks:
- Secure Checks are made on paper that is reactive to many different types of chemicals. This is important because crooks can take checks written on unsecured checks and wash away the ink, then re-write the checks to themselves in the amount of their choosing – and it will still have YOUR signature on it. You want checks printed on paper that won’t allow this to happen.
- You want to order checks from a company that verifies your mailing address and account information with your bank before printing and mailing the checks. Ordering through your bank is always the most secure method, though it can be more expensive. There ARE reputable 3rd party companies, but it is important to research the company before you order to make sure they are secure and reputable.
- When you re-order checks – make sure you pay extra for tracking – or at the very least, watch for them daily until they arrive – know the estimated time of arrival. If they don’t arrive, it’s critical you notify your bank. Sometimes they will just stop payment on that series of check numbers to prevent those checks from being negotiated if stolen, other times, you will need to open a new account with a new number.
- Look for a padlock icon for reassurance that the checks are in compliance with Payment System Guidelines – you don’t want issues with legitimate checks not properly clearing the system.
- Check for the MP Signature Line on the front of the check and a protection for the back of the check as well to ensure that your checks will shows signs of photocopy. *Note: Sometimes YOU need a copy of your check for verification reasons after it has cleared. What you are trying to prevent is someone else photocopying and reusing the check. It needs to say VOID, COPY, or some other identifying mark on copies.
- Finally, I encourage everyone to use their bank’s online system daily to keep an eye on their account. At the first sign of unauthorized activity, notify your bank. The sooner you can shut down unauthorized activity, the better. You will need to visit your bank to sign affidavits when unauthorized transactions occur, so they can start the process of retrieving your money. If you delay, crooks can clean out your account, leaving you with overdrawn balances, fees, and returned checks to deal with.
This is a sponsored post for Safe Checks, however, all the points and views are my own.