safety http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/6787/all en-US Your Car Was Recalled. Now What? http://www.wisebread.com/your-car-was-recalled-now-what <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/your-car-was-recalled-now-what" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/car_shaped_note_on_cork_notice_board.jpg" alt="Car shaped Note on cork notice board" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you feel like you hear about car recalls constantly, you're right. In 2016, there were almost 53 million recalls, according to Roadshow by CNET. And although we're only just into 2018, Cars.com reports some 50 million Takata air bag inflaters are currently under recall. With car parts constantly being tested and updated, you're bound to get a recall letter yourself at some point. But what should you do when you are on the recall list? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bookmark-this-save-money-with-an-easy-to-follow-car-maintenance-checklist?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Bookmark This: Save Money With an Easy to Follow Car Maintenance Checklist</a>)</p> <h2>First, there's no need to panic</h2> <p>You're driving along in your car, maybe getting groceries or picking the kids up from school, when you hear the news on the radio &mdash; XYZ automaker is recalling four million cars. You have that car, and it's only natural that it scares you a little. After all, your car is not only your primary means of transportation, but if something is wrong with it, could your life be in danger? Fortunately, probably not.</p> <p>Most recalls are minor, and have very little impact on the way the vehicle operates. If it's a voluntary recall from the manufacturer, it's likely not a big issue. If the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) gets involved, it could be more serious. And although a recall is only issued when it is a safety hazard, those risks can be very small.</p> <h2>Find out exactly what kind of recall has been issued</h2> <p>As soon as you get the chance, call your local dealership or check the internet and find out what kind of recall has been put in place. It could be something as simple as a software update. Maybe one particular part has broken on some models, and the manufacturer is replacing them all as a precaution (most err on the side of extreme caution rather than risk a lawsuit).</p> <p>You should have also received a letter or email from the manufacturer, and you can verify your issue by typing in your VIN (it's on the driver's side dashboard) to a site like <a href="https://www.nhtsa.gov/recalls" target="_blank">NHTSA.gov</a>, <a href="https://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/owners/SearchSafetyIssues" target="_blank">Safecar.gov</a>, or <a href="https://www.cars.com/recalls/" target="_blank">Cars.com</a>.</p> <h2>Read what's detailed in the recall notice</h2> <p>The chances are that you'll be notified about the recall in several ways, including local and national news reports, a call from the dealership, email, and a physical letter. The letter and email will highlight several factors about the recall, and will include:</p> <ul> <li> <p>a complete description of the defect or issue.</p> </li> <li> <p>what you should look for to see if your car is already experiencing issues.</p> </li> <li> <p>the dangers the defect presents.</p> </li> <li> <p>what the manufacturer will do to resolve the problem.</p> </li> <li> <p>how long you can expect the repair to take.</p> </li> <li> <p>the name and address of the nearest approved repair facility.</p> </li> <li> <p>contact information should you have additional questions.</p> </li> </ul> <h2>Find out if the recall is covered by the warranty or manufacturer</h2> <p>A lot of people assume that the recall is covered. After all, the manufacturer made the mistake, so shouldn't they pay for the repair or replacement? Timing is a big factor in the answer to that question. As DMV.org points out, there is a 10-year window for recalls. That means 10 years from the original purchase date of the new car, not 10 years from the day you bought it. So if you bought it used when it was 11 years old, you're not within the recall window.</p> <p>If you aren't covered, you have to weigh the time and expense of the repair against the seriousness of the issue. For example, if it's a faulty wiper blade motor and it hasn't failed you yet, maybe wait until it starts giving you issues. A recall doesn't mean the part is guaranteed to break.</p> <h2>Make an appointment with an approved garage</h2> <p>If the recall affects only a small percentage of cars, you likely won't have an issue finding an appointment time. In many instances, active recalls are checked when you bring your car in for an oil change or tire rotation, and can often be repaired during that appointment.</p> <p>However, if it's a large recall, or requires a specific part, call ahead and make an appointment for that specific issue to be repaired. This will give the service manager time to order the parts needed to complete the recall. While the majority of recalls can be dealt with quickly, some can have the local garages backed up for months. Hopefully, you can still drive the car safely until then.</p> <h2>If the car is unsafe to drive, make arrangements until it is repaired</h2> <p>Most of the time, the recall isn't going to make the car undrivable or unsafe. However, if the issue poses a serious risk to you and your family, are you really expected to drive it until the repair can happen? In some instances, the waiting list is long. What do you do for transportation?</p> <p>In some cases, the auto manufacturer may offer to pay for a rental vehicle to customers affected by the recall. However, this varies from case to case, and in some instances it's possible you will have to cover the cost of a substitute vehicle while your recalled car is waiting for repairs.</p> <h2>Stay vigilant</h2> <p>Drive the car and see if everything feels the same as it did before you took it in to be repaired. If you have issues, or something else has come up that wasn't there before the recall, contact the repair facility and voice your concerns.</p> <p>Even if everything turns out great, that does not mean you are free and clear forever. There may be other recalls issued during the time you own the car, and you should make a point to check in with the NHTSA periodically to ensure your car is not part of a different recall. Parts fail. Problems happen. Be vigilant.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fyour-car-was-recalled-now-what&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FYour%2520Car%2520Was%2520Recalled.%2520Now%2520What_.jpg&amp;description=Your%20Car%20Was%20Recalled.%20Now%20What%3F"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Your%20Car%20Was%20Recalled.%20Now%20What_.jpg" alt="Your Car Was Recalled. Now What?" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-car-was-recalled-now-what">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-easy-diy-car-repairs-to-save-big">8 Easy DIY Car Repairs to Save Big</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-hidden-costs-of-a-luxury-car">4 Hidden Costs of a Luxury Car</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buying-a-rental-car-heres-what-you-need-to-know">Buying a Rental Car? Here&#039;s What You Need to Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-smart-ways-to-boost-your-gas-mileage">11 Smart Ways to Boost Your Gas Mileage</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-questions-to-ask-when-buying-a-used-car">8 Questions to Ask When Buying a Used Car</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation auto manufacturers driving maintenance recalls rental cars repairs safety vehicles Thu, 22 Feb 2018 09:30:05 +0000 Paul Michael 2105358 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Best Neighborhood Features for New Families http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-neighborhood-features-for-new-families <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-best-neighborhood-features-for-new-families" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/parents_teaching_children_to_ride_bikes.jpg" alt="Parents Teaching Children To Ride Bikes" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>What you look for in a neighborhood changes as your life changes. When you are first out on your own, having an apartment or house that is within walking distance of local night life is a big draw &mdash; but it becomes more of a big drag if noise from the local clubs and bars keep your baby from sleeping through the night a few years later.</p> <p>But just because you know that you want a more family-friendly neighborhood doesn't mean you know what to look for. Here are five features you'll want to keep an eye out for as you find the home your family will grow into:</p> <h2>1. Good schools</h2> <p>Your little peanut may only be a baby right now, but preschool and kindergarten are just around the corner. Choosing a neighborhood that has good schools is an important part of finding a home that will serve you well for years to come.</p> <p>Websites such as GreatSchools.net allow you to search schools by ZIP code, city, district, or school name. You'll learn information about test scores, student-to-teacher ratios, and student demographics, which can help you figure out if the local schools will be a good fit for your family.</p> <p>Don't get hung up on ratings and test scores, however, because there is more to a good school than that. For instance, though I love our current house and my son's elementary school, I wish I had thought about the fact that our school district has no bussing. That means I will be on the hook for school drop off all the way into high school.</p> <p>This is why it's a good idea to make sure you fully check out the schools and/or districts you're interested in to make sure you know what to expect from them. A good fit for your children and for your family's needs is a crucial part of a good education. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-evaluate-a-neighborhood-before-you-buy?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Evaluate a Neighborhood Before You Buy</a>)</p> <h2>2. A community of other families</h2> <p>It may be cliché to say that it takes a village to raise a child, but it certainly does make parenthood easier if you have a local village handy when your kids are small.</p> <p>My current home is on a street that includes about a dozen other families with small children, which is not only great for my kids in terms of making friends, but it has also been a major boon to my husband and me. For example, last week I was running late to pick up my seven-year-old from school, and I was able to call my neighbor whose daughter goes to the same elementary school. She picked up both kids and I didn't feel stressed at the thought of my son waiting forlornly by the playground until I made it there.</p> <p>You can look for evidence of whether a neighborhood will welcome a family and small children. Are there bikes and toys in yards? Are there children outside playing? Do you see families going for walks? If you see a community of families enjoying their time outside, there's a good chance this will be a welcoming community for your own little family.</p> <h2>3. Low traffic</h2> <p>One of the first houses my husband and I looked at when we moved last year was on the corner of a busy street. Before we went to look at the house itself, we sat in our car and counted the number of vehicles that passed by over the course of five minutes. Dozens of cars drove past, going faster than I was comfortable with. We turned down the house, even though it was otherwise exactly what we were looking for.</p> <p>It's not enough to pass on homes that are near busy streets. You also need to make sure your sleepy neighborhood street isn't used as a shortcut during rush hour. Long neighborhood streets that offer a straight shot from one high-traffic area to another can be abused by rush hour commuters who just want shave a few minutes off their drive. You can avoid this problem by looking for a house on either a cul-de-sac or curving street, or just checking out the traffic on the street of a potential home. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-things-youll-hate-about-your-next-house?ref=seealso" target="_blank">14 Things You'll Hate About Your Next House</a>)</p> <h2>4. Sidewalks</h2> <p>Though the absence of sidewalks may seem like a minor detail when you are looking at a new home, having them can go a long way to making a neighborhood more family friendly. Not only do sidewalks make it more possible for families to get out for walks in nice weather, but they encourage children's independence, since you know your kids can safely get to a friend's house several doors down without needing to hold your hand. Sidewalks also make an ideal spot to learn to ride a bike, work on sidewalk chalk art, and hold a lemonade stand &mdash; all staples of a happy childhood.</p> <h2>5. Nearby parks or playgrounds</h2> <p>Having a park or a playground within walking distance can ensure that you find a family-friendly neighborhood. Even if the street you end up on doesn't have a lot of families with similar-aged kids, making the nearby park one of your regular haunts will help you to meet other young families in the neighborhood and build the kind of caring community you're looking for. And that's not to mention the benefit of having a nearby destination where you can take the kids to get their wiggles out without having to get in the car.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F5-best-neighborhood-features-for-new-families&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%2520Best%2520Neighborhood%2520Features%2520for%2520New%2520Families.jpg&amp;description=5%20Best%20Neighborhood%20Features%20for%20New%20Families"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/5%20Best%20Neighborhood%20Features%20for%20New%20Families.jpg" alt="5 Best Neighborhood Features for New Families" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-neighborhood-features-for-new-families">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-research-a-homes-location-before-you-buy">How to Research a Home&#039;s Location Before You Buy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-money-moves-to-make-after-buying-your-first-house">6 Money Moves to Make After Buying Your First House</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-things-youll-hate-about-your-next-house">14 Things You&#039;ll Hate About Your Next House</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/house-hunting-these-features-will-save-you-big-over-the-long-haul">House Hunting? These Features Will Save You Big Over the Long Haul</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-you-need-to-know-about-homeowners-associations">What You Need to Know About Homeowners&#039; Associations</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing children community evaluating families homebuying homeownership neighborhoods new house safety school districts Thu, 14 Dec 2017 10:00:06 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 2068619 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Money Moves to Make After Buying Your First House http://www.wisebread.com/6-money-moves-to-make-after-buying-your-first-house <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-money-moves-to-make-after-buying-your-first-house" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/happy_woman_holding_keys_to_her_new_house.jpg" alt="Happy woman holding keys to her new house" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You bought your first home. This is an exciting conclusion to what was likely a long and winding road. As you are unpacking your boxes, settling in, and decorating your new digs, there are some smart money moves you should make immediately to keep the good times rolling.</p> <h2>1. Adjust your last will and testament</h2> <p>Now that you have a new home, you need to update your will. In this time of excitement, updating a will might feel like putting a damper on the fun, but it's critically important. You need to be responsible for protecting the future of your loved ones and your home. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-make-these-5-common-mistakes-when-writing-a-will?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Don't Make These 5 Common Mistakes When Writing a Will</a>)</p> <h2>2. Get rid of PMI as fast as you can</h2> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-is-private-mortgage-insurance-anyway?ref=internal" target="_blank">Private mortgage insurance</a> (PMI) is a necessary fee for most people who buy a home with less than a 20 percent down payment. This can be a significant expense, sometimes costing thousands of dollars each year. Do whatever you can to get to that 20 percent equity mark so that you can drop the PMI payments.</p> <h2>3. Make a plan to pay a little extra every month</h2> <p>At the beginning of a mortgage, you are mostly paying interest and very little principal with every monthly payment. That ratio of interest to principal will decrease eventually, but it will take a few years.</p> <p>To more quickly pay down your mortgage, set aside a little extra every month for your mortgage payment. Why? Anything you pay above your monthly payment goes directly against the principal. (Just be sure those extra payments are going to principal; check with your mortgage lender.) The faster you reduce your principal, the faster you will pay off your home. A lower principal will also make it easier to refinance the mortgage down the line if you choose to do that in the future. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/whats-faster-for-mortgage-payoff-100-month-extra-or-1-payment-year-extra?ref=seealso" target="_blank">What's Faster for Mortgage Payoff: $100/Month Extra or 1 Payment/Year Extra?</a>)</p> <h2>4. Replenish your emergency funds</h2> <p>Many people use a substantial part of their cash savings, if not all of it, when they buy their first home. It&rsquo;s crucial that you begin to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-fast-ways-to-restock-an-emergency-fund-after-an-emergency?ref=internal" target="_blank">rebuild this emergency fund</a> as soon as you can.</p> <p>An emergency fund is necessary if you lose your job for any reason, have unexpected bills, or if you need to do emergency repairs on your home. Experts in the consumer finance field have varying opinions when it comes to how much to set aside in an emergency fund, but many suggest having three to six month's worth of expenses saved. Some more conservative advisers even suggest saving up enough to cover one year of expenses. Consider your lifestyle and personal risk profile to find the best target amount for you.</p> <h2>5. Reconsider your life insurance policy</h2> <p>Now that you have this beautiful new home, you will need to make sure the mortgage can be covered by your life insurance. You don&rsquo;t want your heirs to struggle to figure out what to do in the event that an unforeseen circumstance occurs.</p> <p>How much insurance do you need? Generally, the guideline for life insurance is 10 times your annual income plus any large debts like a home mortgage. Talk to your insurance company and/or financial adviser to get their perspective, and make any necessary adjustments. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-why-life-insurance-isnt-just-for-old-people?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Reasons Why Life Insurance Isn't Just for Old People</a>)</p> <h2>6. Change your locks and install deadbolts</h2> <p>Safety is a huge part of homeownership, and it has financial implications. As soon as you have the keys in your hand, contact a locksmith to get all of the locks on your doors and windows changed, and install deadbolts on doors where you currently don&rsquo;t have them. The previous owners likely gave copies of their keys to neighbors, friends, family members, the dog walker, or people who did work on the home. You don&rsquo;t want those people to have access to what is now <em>your </em>house. You may also want to consider a home security system.</p> <p>All of these safety measures may provide a financial deduction on your homeowners insurance. Contact your insurance company to find out if you qualify for a reduction in your rate. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-times-to-update-your-homeowners-insurance?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Times to Update Your Homeowners Insurance</a>)</p> <p>There is a desire to rest on our laurels after completing the purchase of a home. You should definitely bask in the glow of new homeownership, but this is also a time to remain financially vigilant. Remember that when it comes to your personal finances, remaining responsible and forward-thinking is the key to lasting success.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F6-money-moves-to-make-after-buying-your-first-house&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%2520Money%2520Moves%2520to%2520Make%2520After%2520Buying%2520Your%2520First%2520House.jpg&amp;description=6%20Money%20Moves%20to%20Make%20After%20Buying%20Your%20First%20House"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/6%20Money%20Moves%20to%20Make%20After%20Buying%20Your%20First%20House.jpg" alt="6 Money Moves to Make After Buying Your First House" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christa-avampato">Christa Avampato</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-money-moves-to-make-after-buying-your-first-house">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-neighborhood-features-for-new-families">5 Best Neighborhood Features for New Families</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-estate-planning-questions-everyone-should-ask">5 Estate Planning Questions Everyone Should Ask</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-safeguard-your-financial-future-with-just-200">5 Ways to Safeguard Your Financial Future With Just $200</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-times-you-need-to-update-your-will">6 Times You Need to Update Your Will</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-money-moves-to-make-after-you-pay-off-your-mortgage">4 Money Moves to Make After You Pay Off Your Mortgage</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing emergency fund estate planning first house homeowners insurance homeownership last will and testament life insurance new house private mortgage insurance safety Thu, 28 Sep 2017 08:01:06 +0000 Christa Avampato 2027477 at http://www.wisebread.com Don't Buy a House With a Pool Until You Can Answer These 7 Questions http://www.wisebread.com/dont-buy-a-house-with-a-pool-until-you-can-answer-these-7-questions <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/dont-buy-a-house-with-a-pool-until-you-can-answer-these-7-questions" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-469932560.jpg" alt="Asking questions before buying a house with a pool" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Having a built-in pool on your property comes with plenty of perks &mdash; like providing respite from the summer heat and elevating your kids' social status. But this luxury isn't all splash battles and cannonballs. Pools, among other things, require costly maintenance while also introducing a laundry list of liability and safety concerns into your life. Keep your head above water when considering buying a house with a pool by asking these eight important questions.</p> <h2>1. Does everyone in the family know how to swim?</h2> <p>This may seem like a silly question to ask yourself before buying a house with a pool, but you might be surprised at how many pool-owners either can't swim themselves, or have children who can't swim. Both of these scenarios could end in tragedy. And if you can't swim, there's <a href="http://www.usaswimming.org/DesktopDefault.aspx?TabId=1796" target="_blank">only a 13 percent chance</a> your child will learn how to swim. Not the best odds to have when a life is on the line.</p> <h2>2. Does everyone in your family know CPR?</h2> <p>If you're planning to own a pool, it's a wise decision to be trained in CPR. The few minutes' time between on-the-scene CPR and that which is administered by EMTs, who may take several minutes to arrive, is literally life and death.</p> <h2>3. How old is the pool?</h2> <p>Keller Williams Real Estate agent Jen Teague provides a few important construction questions to ask, including:</p> <ul> <li>What company installed the pool and is it still in business?</li> <li>Is it under warranty?</li> <li>Has there been any major work done to the pool over the last year?</li> <li>Are there any consistent issues (leaks, etc.) the owner has had with it?</li> </ul> <p>You're specifically looking to find out how much longer the pump life is, as well as any maintenance that may be needed for the liner or granite. After a while the chlorine wears down the liner and it will be more prone to tearing. Granite cracks over time as well.</p> <p>Three-decade pool industry veteran Michael Kern of MGK Pool Service in Lowell, Massachusetts adds, &quot;Cement pools need to be replastered every six to nine years; above ground pools need the liner replaced every four to eight years; and in-ground pools need the liner replaced every 15 to 20 years.&quot;</p> <h2>4. Is the pool surrounded by a fence?</h2> <p>A fence around your pool isn't to keep your kids in, but rather other people out &mdash; like wandering toddlers and even pets. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission's (CPSC) Pool Safely campaign, which focuses on drowning prevention and water safety (a <a href="https://www.poolsafely.gov/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Safety-Barrier-Guidelines-for-Residential-Pools.pdf" target="_blank">must read</a> if you're planning to become a pool owner!), suggests that the fence stands at least four feet high, surrounds the pool on all four sides, and includes a self-closing, self-latching gate. Adding an alarm to the door is an extra layer of protection so you're alerted to unauthorized visitors.</p> <h2>5. Does the pool have a safe drain cover?</h2> <p>The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool &amp; Spa Safety Act, named after a little girl who died in 2002 when the suction from a spa drain trapped her under water, mandates drain covers for public spas and pools &mdash; but homeowners also should practice this safety measure. A pool technician can tell you whether or not your drain cover needs updating, which is generally about every five years. The ZAC Foundation, an organization working to strengthen pool safety legislation and educate children on water safety, <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CULPxBSa_10" target="_blank">explains the difference in drain covers</a> and why having a compliant drain cover is important.</p> <h2>6. How much will maintenance cost?</h2> <p>Most homeowners have a general budget in place for day-to-day home expenses, plus a little extra to cover emergencies. But those who have never owned a pool may not be prepared for the added expense. Be sure to ask your agent about how much annual maintenance the pool will need so you can get a good idea of whether or not you can afford its upkeep.</p> <p>This is also a good time to ask the previous owners what pool necessities will be left behind and what you may need to buy when you assume ownership.</p> <h2>7. How much will your homeowners insurance increase?</h2> <p>Your swimming pool is a liability, for sure, and your insurer will consider that when pricing your policy. Before you jump in head first, hammer out the details of the policy and its cost. Additional umbrella insurance is always recommended for homeowners with a pool.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-buy-a-house-with-a-pool-until-you-can-answer-these-7-questions">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-added-costs-that-come-with-a-bigger-house">7 Added Costs That Come With a Bigger House</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-money-moves-to-make-after-buying-your-first-house">6 Money Moves to Make After Buying Your First House</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-questions-to-ask-during-an-open-house">20+ Questions to Ask During an Open House</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-times-to-update-your-homeowners-insurance">7 Times to Update Your Homeowners Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-affordable-water-parks-you-can-drive-to">10 Affordable Water Parks You Can Drive To</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing drowning expenses home buying homeowners insurance kids maintenance pools safety swimming Wed, 05 Apr 2017 09:00:12 +0000 Mikey Rox 1917660 at http://www.wisebread.com Pay with a Selfie: How Safe Are the New Ways to Pay? http://www.wisebread.com/bots-chips-and-selfies-how-safe-are-the-new-ways-to-pay <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/bots-chips-and-selfies-how-safe-are-the-new-ways-to-pay" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-512291874.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In 2016, more than half of all <a href="https://consumerist.com/2016/06/08/ups-survey-online-shopping-has-surpassed-in-store-buying-for-the-first-time/" target="_blank">purchases in the U.S.</a> were made online instead of at a brick-and-mortar store. From selfie-payments to Facebook Messenger bots, there is now a long list of unusual ways that you can pay the water bill or complete your grocery run for the week.</p> <p>But how safe are these new ways to pay? Let's take a closer look at how some of these new payment methods work, and what you can do to make them even safer.</p> <h2>1. Facebook Messenger Bots</h2> <p>Colorado-based <em>fintech </em>company BillHero was the first to leverage a Facebook Messenger chat bot to pay bills via chat commands. Later on in September 2016, Facebook enabled all of the 34,000 plus developers on the platform to support payments. The social media giant is working with several players in the credit card industry and fintech, including Visa and Braintree, to process all types of payment options.</p> <p>By opening the gates, Facebook allowed U.S. customers to complete a wide range of other transactions and purchases on Facebook Messenger. In a nutshell: The chat bot lets you know about a product that you might be interested in, and provides a &quot;buy now&quot; button. When you click it, it takes you to a checkout screen with your shipping information and payment method for you to review. Boom! Just like that, you're ready to pay.</p> <h3>But Is It Safe?<strong> </strong></h3> <p>Well, Facebook Messenger payment bots are covered by the same level of security as all other Facebook products. All transactions using a Facebook chat bot are encrypted or processed through a trusted third-party payment processor, such as PayPal or Stripe, to protect your payment information, such as your card number or CVV. Also, transaction confirmations from a bot will restrict your information, such as only showing the last four digits of your credit card number.</p> <h3>How to Make It Safer</h3> <p>Your first line of defense starts with your Facebook password. Facebook recommends building a password that has at least six characters and is a complex combination of numbers, letters, and punctuation marks. When a password isn't strong enough, the app will let you know. Also, make your Facebook password different from those you use for your online banking, investing, or retirement savings accounts. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-sneaky-ways-identity-thieves-can-access-your-data?ref=seealso" target="_blank">3 Sneaky Ways Identity Thieves Can Access Your Data</a>)</p> <p>A second tactic is to <a href="https://www.facebook.com/help/162968940433354?helpref=faq_content" target="_blank">turn on login alerts</a> so that you receive an automated alert when someone tries logging in to your Facebook account from an unrecognized device or browser. A third is to <a href="https://www.facebook.com/help/610199629080802?helpref=faq_content" target="_blank">require a password or PIN</a> whenever sending money or making payments in Facebook Messenger.</p> <h2>2. MasterCard Selfie Payments</h2> <p>Speaking of passwords, MasterCard believes that they cause too much hassle and presents the option to pay with a selfie. The &quot;selfie pay&quot; technology was first tested in the Netherlands, the U.S., and Canada and will be rolled out gradually across the world throughout 2017.</p> <p>Through a smartphone app, shoppers can confirm a purchase by taking a selfie and letting the facial recognition software verify their identity. According to MasterCard, 71% of users rated &quot;selfie pay&quot; highly during trials.</p> <h3>But Is It Safe?<strong> </strong></h3> <p>To prevent somebody from just holding up a picture of you and getting away with a $1,000 shopping spree, the app requires you to snap the picture after you blink or shake your head. Then, the app compares the selfie with stored algorithms of your face to identify you. During the trials, 73% of users believed that &quot;selfie pay&quot; will reduce fraud and 90% of them would use it in the future.</p> <h3>How to Make It Safer</h3> <p>Since &quot;selfie pay&quot; is still in the process of being rolled out, there's little that we can do as of right now. If taking selfies isn't your cup of tea, MasterCard also plans to provide a fingerprint confirmation option with the app and is currently testing voice and cardiac rhythm recognition.</p> <h2>3. Amazon Dash Buttons</h2> <p>Connected to your home's Wi-Fi, the <a href="http://amzn.to/2iTpixh" target="_blank">Amazon Dash Button</a> allows you to reorder many of your favorite products with a simple click. To set up each Amazon Dash Button, you'll need to download the Amazon app on your Android or Apple device, connect the Dash Button to Bluetooth, and also enter your Wi-Fi information. Some Dash Buttons don't support Bluetooth connection, and use your smartphone's Wi-Fi connection or speakers instead.</p> <p>Currently, the button is only available for Amazon Prime members, costs $4.99, and provides you with a $4.99 credit after your first order. There are hundreds of products to choose from including Charmin, Doritos, Greenies Dog Treats, and Red Bull! Once you click the button, an indicator light will turn green when your order is successfully placed, or red if there was a problem.</p> <h3>But Is It Safe?<strong> </strong></h3> <p>A device that connects seamlessly to your Wi-Fi, smartphone, and Amazon account &mdash; what could go wrong? While there are plenty of folks that have hacked their own button to do anything from <a href="https://medium.com/@ecaron/why-i-stopped-hacking-the-amazon-dash-button-and-learned-to-solder-84386a38bbd1#.wmcfdj5do" target="_blank">turning on lamps remotely</a> to <a href="https://medium.com/@brody_berson/hacking-amazon-s-5-dash-button-to-order-domino-s-pizza-9d19c9d04646#.j6d2iycep" target="_blank">ordering pizza</a> with one click, there are currently no reports of malicious hackers tapping into another person's Amazon Dash Buttons.</p> <h3>How to Make It Safer</h3> <p>Turn on the &quot;order protection&quot; feature on your Dash Button to prevent a new order from being placed until your prior order is delivered. This way you can prevent your spouse or son from tripling an order of detergent on the same day.</p> <p>Consider turning on the email notifications of your Amazon orders so that you can cancel any orders that you don't recognize.</p> <p>And it should go without saying, but set a strong password for your Wi-Fi and update that password at least once a year.</p> <h2>4. Chip Cards</h2> <p>No other new form of payment has generated more discontent from American consumers. From the confusion about swiping or inserting, to the awkward conversation with cashiers while waiting for your card to be processed, there is a list of reasons these metallic chips are considered an annoyance by many.</p> <p>However, the reality is that chip cards are far from being a new way to pay. They have been reducing fraud in over 130 nations around the world for several years. So, the U.S. is just playing catch-up. As of April 2016, Visa had issued <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2016/04/19/some-major-merchants-see-dip-counterfeit-fraud-thanks-chip-cards-visa-says/83194722/" target="_blank">roughly 265 million</a> U.S. chip-enabled credit and debit cards, and MasterCard had upgraded about 70% of its U.S. debit and credit cards to the chip format.</p> <h3>But Is It Safe?<strong> </strong></h3> <p>The evidence clearly indicates that chip-enabled cards reduce fraud. Visa has reported that among the U.S. merchants who were suffering the most instances of card fraud at the end of 2014, those that began accepting chip debit and credit cards saw instances of card fraud fall 18.3% as of the fourth quarter of 2015. On the other hand, some of the U.S. merchants who opted not to upgrade payment terminals to process chip cards experienced an increase in instances of card fraud of 11.4% for the same period. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-chip-credit-cards-make-life-easier?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Ways Chip Credit Cards Make Life Easier</a>)</p> <h3>How to Make It Safer</h3> <p>Simple: Opt to use your chip-enabled cards over those without a chip, and choose merchants with chip-enabled payment terminals over those who are still holding out. As with everything else, strength comes in numbers. Only when chip cards have become the norm across the nation can we all reap the enhanced security benefits of chip technology.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bots-chips-and-selfies-how-safe-are-the-new-ways-to-pay">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-apps-that-monitor-your-credit-for-you">7 Apps That Monitor Your Credit for You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-ssn-can-now-be-accurately-guessed-using-date-and-place-of-birth">Your SSN Can Now Be Accurately Guessed Using Date and Place of Birth</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everyones-using-spare-change-apps-are-they-really-worth-it">Everyone&#039;s Using Spare Change Apps — Are They Really Worth It?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-apple-watch-apps-thatll-save-you-money">8 Apple Watch Apps That&#039;ll Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-apps-turn-saving-money-into-a-game-are-they-worth-it">These Apps Turn Saving Money Into a Game — Are They Worth It?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Technology Amazon apps bots buying chip cards Facebook fraud payment methods safety selfie Fri, 17 Feb 2017 10:31:16 +0000 Damian Davila 1890386 at http://www.wisebread.com Solving the World's Problems Could Win You Millions http://www.wisebread.com/solving-the-worlds-problems-could-win-you-millions <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/solving-the-worlds-problems-could-win-you-millions" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-492846156.jpg" alt="Woman solving the world&#039;s problems and winning millions" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>How are your problem-solving abilities? Do you regularly come up with ingenious ways to make life better? Are you and your close friends the kind of people who, when they put their minds together, can accomplish anything?</p> <p>If you're nodding yes to all these questions, you could well bag a huge prize (some are $1 million or more) for solving one of these super hard problems.</p> <h2>1. The Water Abundance Challenge ($1.5 Million Grand Prize)</h2> <p>Can you create water from thin air? That's the problem put before you on this challenge, which has a massive jackpot prize of $1.5 million. The reasons behind the competition are scary. Half of the global population lives in areas where water tables are rapidly falling, and by 2025, it is estimated that 1.8 billion people will live in areas affected by water scarcity.</p> <p>However, there is a solution. Well, a possible one. There are over three quadrillion gallons of untapped water in the Earth's atmosphere. That's enough water to meet the needs of every person on the planet for a whole year, <em>if </em>someone can figure out a way to extract the water from the air in an energy efficient way. And that's the real challenge. The solution must extract a minimum of 2,000 liters of water from the atmosphere per day, using 100% renewable energy, at a cost of no more that two cents per liter.</p> <p>Clean water, from the atmosphere, using renewable energy, with minimal costs. That's quite the challenge, and the reason the prize pot is so big. Registration closes on March 15, 2017, so if you have the chops to take this problem on, <a href="http://water.xprize.org/about/overview" target="_blank">get your entry in</a> as soon as possible.</p> <h2>2. NASA 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge ($1.1 Million and $1.4 Million Prizes)</h2> <p>This problem centers around making a 3D printed habitat for a NASA astronaut. If you've seen the movie <em>The Martian</em>, you'll know how important a dependable, lightweight living environment is to a NASA crew member. The advent of 3D printing has led to a whole new direction for innovation in this area. And now you could be a part of it.</p> <p>The big hurdle you will have to get over is raw materials. Rather than bringing them on the mission (which adds weight and cost to the project), the idea here is to &quot;print&quot; a habitat using the local indigenous materials, or recycled materials. As you can imagine, if the habitat is to be based on the moon, or Mars, that does not leave you with a lot of options.</p> <p>Phase 1 of this contest is already over, but you can still register for Phases 2 and 3 of the challenge. Each brings a substantial prize to the winning design.</p> <p>Phase 2, known as the Structural Member Competition, focuses on material technologies needed to create and build the habitat. Phase 3 is the actual printing and building of the scaled habitat design. Both offer over $1 million to the winner, so if this kind of engineering problem is your thing, <a href="http://www.bradley.edu/sites/challenge/description/" target="_blank">you should get started ASAP</a>.</p> <h2>3. Wearable Alcohol Biosensor ($200,000 First Prize)</h2> <p>Alcoholism, and alcohol-related problems, are a major cause for concern in the United States. A report published in 2014 showed that the top 10% of alcohol drinkers consume an average of <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2014/09/25/think-you-drink-a-lot-this-chart-will-tell-you/?utm_term=.de52bf918239" target="_blank">74 drinks every week</a> (that's more than 10 drinks per day). That's over two bottles of wine every day, or three 24-can cases of beer per week.</p> <p>Knowing the severity of the problem, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism wants to help Americans get off their booze addiction. So, they have issued a challenge, with a top prize of $200,000.</p> <p>You are being tasked to create the prototype of a sleek, unobtrusive, noninvasive, wearable, real-time blood alcohol monitor. Imagine a smartwatch that gives you an instant read of your blood alcohol content, or perhaps some kind of digital patch or piece of jewelry. This would become a self-monitoring device that people can use to chart their alcohol use, and something the local doctor can use as a reliable indicator of alcohol use (and abuse).</p> <p>If you have something in mind, get over to this site <a href="https://niaaa.nih.gov/challenge-prize" target="_blank">before May 15, 2017</a> and submit your prototype. You could win a lot of money, and save a lot of lives.</p> <h2>4. Women's Safety Challenge ($1 Million Grand Prize)</h2> <p>The statistics behind this challenge are terrifying. Globally, one in three women have faced physical or sexual violence in their lifetime. Geographically, it can be much worse in some areas. In New Delhi, a 2012 study revealed that 92% of women experience some form of sexual violence in public spaces. And despite the growth of technology, including smartphones and wearables, the statistics are not changing. Although most of us carry a communication device, it's not helping the problem.</p> <p>The challenge here is to use modern technology that will help keep women and communities safe. How can devices like smartphones, coupled with a community of people ready to help, create a network that protects women from the dangers of society? The winning solution will autonomously and inconspicuously trigger an emergency alert, transmitting information to a network of responders, all within 90 seconds and at an annual cost of U.S. $40 or less.</p> <p>This is something that can have a real impact on your own community, and the world. You can <a href="http://safety.xprize.org/about/overview" target="_blank">read more about the challenge</a>, and the prize.</p> <h2>5. The Medical Treatment Free Time Challenge ($20,000 Top Prize)</h2> <p>Hopefully, you never have to be the beneficiary of the solution to this challenge. It is based around the amount of time that some people have to spend basically sitting idle while they receive medical treatments. A typical example of this would be kidney dialysis, which requires patients to sit still for around four hours, three times per week. But as the challenge states, this is for anyone receiving medical treatment that has free time to spare while undergoing the procedure.</p> <p>Instead of reading a book, listening to music, or watching TV, what could the patient do that is more beneficial to his or her recovery? Could this time be better spent doing something that actively helps in the treatment itself, or something that works to better the attitude and outlook of the patient?</p> <p>If these questions are already getting your mind to work overtime, <a href="https://www.innocentive.com/ar/challenge/9933817" target="_blank">take a look at the details</a>. You will have to register for free, but it could be well worth it for you, and the people your solution helps.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/solving-the-worlds-problems-could-win-you-millions">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-surprising-ways-a-3d-printer-can-save-you-money">5 Surprising Ways a 3D Printer Can Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-ssn-can-now-be-accurately-guessed-using-date-and-place-of-birth">Your SSN Can Now Be Accurately Guessed Using Date and Place of Birth</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-ultimate-list-of-hangover-cures">The Ultimate List of Hangover Cures</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bots-chips-and-selfies-how-safe-are-the-new-ways-to-pay">Pay with a Selfie: How Safe Are the New Ways to Pay?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-3d-scanners">The 5 Best 3D Scanners</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Technology 3d printing alcohol engineering grand prizes medicine problem solving safety science water Thu, 02 Feb 2017 10:30:35 +0000 Paul Michael 1878110 at http://www.wisebread.com Beware These 6 Phony IRS Calls and Emails http://www.wisebread.com/beware-these-6-phony-irs-calls-and-emails <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beware-these-6-phony-irs-calls-and-emails" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-509629604.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="143" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Most people aren't really thinking of filing taxes just yet, but they are starting to collect the information needed to file by the April deadline. That means the scammers are out in force again, ready to trick millions into submitting personal information, or to make payments that will go into the pockets of thieves.</p> <p>These six scams are the biggest offenders, and once again, they'll be used widely this year. Watch out for them.</p> <h2>1. The &quot;You've Got a Refund&quot; Email</h2> <p>Who doesn't love getting money back from the IRS? When you get this one in your inbox, you could certainly be fooled into thinking it's legitimate. Unlike many of the phishing emails, it appears to have decent grammar, it's well formatted, and it has something of an official look to it. What's more, the <a href="https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-utl/phishing_email.pdf" target="_blank">refund isn't huge</a>. If it had stated you were getting many thousands back, you may pause for thought. But a small sum, under $100, is less likely to trigger alarm bells. It all seems legit. But, it's not. And by clicking the link in the email, you are going to a fraudulent site designed to collect personal and banking information.</p> <p>As the IRS clearly states on its website, it will never initiate contact with taxpayers over email, text messages, or social media channels. The main contact is snail mail, and while you may get actual calls, they will be easy to verify (more on that later).</p> <p>Do not look at the &quot;from&quot; email address, either. These can be simulated to look like they have come from an official agency. Look at the link address in the email; this will definitely be going to a site that tries to look official, but isn't, such as <a href="http://www.irs-gov.com/refund" title="www.irs-gov.com/refund">www.irs-gov.com/refund</a>. The bottom line: Any kind of &quot;you've got a refund&quot; email from the IRS is a scam, and should be <a href="https://www.irs.gov/uac/report-phishing" target="_blank">reported to them immediately</a>.</p> <h2>2. The &quot;The Bill Was Lost in the Mail&quot; Call</h2> <p>If you receive a call from the IRS saying you owe money, it's a scam. That's just a hard fact. The IRS clearly states on its website that it will never call you if you owe taxes, without first sending you a bill in the mail. Of course, thieves are getting wise to this being common knowledge, and are now saying that the bill must have gotten lost in the mail.</p> <p>At this point, you may well be put into a world of self-doubt; and that's when the scammer jumps on the opportunity. They hear the hesitation in your voice, and start alarming you. They will say that as the bill has been long overdue, you are now in serious trouble. You have to pay the back taxes immediately or risk going to jail. It's at this point that many people become so scared that they pay up. This is all a con, and you can easily verify this.</p> <p>For starters, a real IRS agent will not ask for money over the phone. If this is the request, hang up. They also will not threaten you with arrest or deportation. You can also ask for their IRS badge number and call back number. The scammer will hang up on you.</p> <h2>3. The &quot;Affordable Care Act&quot; Email</h2> <p>One of the downsides of the Affordable Care Act is that it is still quite new, and therefore, has many unknowns. There is even a page on the IRS website dedicated to the intricacies surrounding the <a href="https://www.irs.gov/affordable-care-act/individuals-and-families/the-affordable-care-act-whats-trending" target="_blank">new health care law</a>; and that is perfect fodder for a scammer. Where there is doubt, there is a chance to profit.</p> <p>The scam will come as an email (and in some rare cases, a letter) alerting you to something called a CP2000 notice. It's worth noting that this is, in fact, a real type of notice. But in this case, it's completely fake. The big giveaway is that it is issued from an Austin, Texas address, with a phony payment voucher number called a 105C.</p> <p>The scam uses language designed to scare you into paying the bill, and here's another huge red flag &mdash; the check should be made payable to &quot;I.R.S.&quot; at an Austin Processing Center address. If you receive anything like this via email, forward it to the IRS. They are currently <a href="https://www.irs.gov/uac/irs-and-security-summit-partners-warn-of-fake-tax-bill-emails" target="_blank">investigating this nasty scam</a>.</p> <h2>4. The &quot;Please Verify Your Tax Information&quot; Call</h2> <p>Not all IRS scams are designed for immediate profit. This one is designed to harvest your personal information, which can then be used for identity theft, or to actually grab a refund owed to you before you even claim it. In 2013, the IRS paid out over <a href="http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-15-119" target="_blank">$5.8 billion in stolen tax refunds</a>, and the problem is not going away.</p> <p>As the scammer is not asking you to pay a bill, it can feel much less threatening. The fake agent will be very polite, and will say that the IRS needs to verify some information on a tax return you previously filed. They may even have some personal information that makes it sound like they have your file right there in front of them. But, the information they really want, like your SSN or bank details, will not be available.</p> <p>Questions will start out simple: &quot;I have your name as John S. Doe, could you spell that please?&quot; But this will quickly lead to &quot;And could you verify your social security number for me?&quot; At this point, the scammer won't have anything to work with, and is hoping you simply parrot back the response.</p> <p>Remember, the IRS will not call you asking for this kind of information. If you do have an issue with a former return, you will get an official notice in the mail, asking for the information to be verified. And if you doubt that, call the IRS directly.</p> <h2>5. The &quot;IRS Taxpayer Advocate&quot; Email</h2> <p>In 2014, the IRS warned of a new scam that was designed to solicit personal information, leading to identity theft and stolen tax refunds. This is known as the &quot;<a href="https://www.irs.gov/uac/newsroom/irs-warns-of-new-email-phishing-scheme-falsely-claiming-to-be-from-the-taxpayer-advocate-service" target="_blank">IRS Taxpayer Advocate Service</a>,&quot; and comes complete with a legitimate-looking case number, and language designed to grab sensitive personal and financial information.</p> <p>The email, which comes with a &quot;from&quot; address designed to look real, tells you that a former tax return you filed was flagged for review due to a document processing error. Once again, you will always be notified of any problems like this via regular mail, not email.</p> <p>The email will then say that you must click on a link to submit the missing or erroneous information, which will expedite the filing of the return to avoid any fees or charges. Of course, that link leads to a page hosted by the scammer, designed to collect and abuse your information.</p> <h2>6. The &quot;Federal Student Tax&quot; Call</h2> <p>A new tax scam surfaced last year, and it sadly tricked a few unsuspecting people into handing over iTunes gift cards, W-2 information, or tax return data. If that sounds a bit obvious, it's all done in a way that makes it feel legitimate.</p> <p>The scammer will call a student and tell them that they owe &quot;Federal Student Tax,&quot; which must be paid immediately. There's no such thing as the Federal Student Tax. It's a complete fabrication.</p> <p>However, the scammers have become much more sophisticated. For example, they are using caller ID spoofing to make the call look like it is coming from an official government line. Plus, information made available on the dark web can give them all sorts of information about the student's background. Together with a very professional sounding &quot;agent,&quot; this can all work to convince the student the tax must be paid. And often, they request the money in the form of gift cards, which is another huge red flag. Again, the IRS won't call and ask for money. If this is happening to you, or someone you know, tell them to hang up and <a href="https://www.irs.gov/uac/report-phishing" target="_blank">report the incident to the IRS</a>.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beware-these-6-phony-irs-calls-and-emails">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-tax-scams-you-should-know-about-for-2018">5 Tax Scams You Should Know About for 2018</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-when-you-suspect-a-scam">What to Do When You Suspect a Scam</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-spot-a-charity-scam-from-a-mile-away">How to Spot a Charity Scam From a Mile Away</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/most-popular-ways-americans-spend-their-tax-refunds">Most Popular Ways Americans Spend Their Tax Refunds</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-choose-the-best-tax-preparer">How to Choose the Best Tax Preparer</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Taxes emails fraud IRS phishing scams safety scams tax refunds theft Wed, 25 Jan 2017 11:00:08 +0000 Paul Michael 1878111 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Avoid Theft While Traveling http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-avoid-theft-while-traveling <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-avoid-theft-while-traveling" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_wallet_theft_187934619_0.jpg" alt="Woman avoiding theft while traveling" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Travel can be a beautiful and life-changing experience, however, it does come with its own set of risks. By setting out in a prepared way, you can reduce the chance of having a horror story to bring back home with you. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-protect-yourself-from-theft-while-traveling?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Ways to Protect Yourself From Theft While Traveling</a>)</p> <p>While some destinations have reputations for being dangerous, petty crime like pickpocketing and theft can occur in pretty much any major city in the world. It exists in Paris, just as it does in New York. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-when-your-belongings-get-stolen-abroad?ref=seealso" target="_blank">What to Do When Your Belongings Get Stolen Abroad</a>.)</p> <p>You may want to research your destination before you leave home to get an idea for the major concerns that you will face on arrival, and to develop the strategies you might follow once you're there. It helps to have a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-surprising-reasons-to-always-use-your-credit-card?ref=internal">credit card that offers purchase protection</a> insurance against theft or accidental damage. While it doesn't help to be suspicious of everyone, you do need to be aware of some basic procedures and guidelines for safety. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/follow-these-5-credit-card-rules-when-traveling-abroad?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Follow These 5 Credit Card Rules When Traveling</a>)</p> <h2>Be Aware, Not Afraid</h2> <p>While you're traveling, you may find yourself at times out of your comfort zone. This is a completely normal part of traveling and it can arise from something as simple as not speaking the local language. Your discomfort does not mean that you're in a particularly risky situation.</p> <p>However, regardless of how you're feeling, it's important to project an attitude of confidence. If you do find yourself in a situation that you're uncomfortable with, confidently take action to get yourself out of that situation.</p> <p>If you appear to be frightened, you may make yourself seem like an easier mark for petty crime. Instead, you should focus on having a good time while always being aware of your surroundings.</p> <p>Be especially alert when taking public transportation as this is a common place for pickpockets to strike. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-and-money-carrying-decoy-wallets?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Use a Decoy Wallet When Traveling</a>)</p> <h2>Keeping Your Stuff Safe</h2> <p>What kind of bag did you choose to bring with you? The most secure bags for traveling always close securely. This means they have a zipper or a front flap that closes tightly so that pickpockets can't get their hands into them easily (or at all!).</p> <p>Avoid walking around with valuables or money in your back pockets. Instead, put your stuff in your front pockets where you'll notice if anyone's trying to grab it.</p> <p>Sometimes pickpockets work in groups, so there may be someone chatting with you as a distraction. This doesn't mean you need to be wary of every person that comes your way to talk to you, but if the situation doesn't feel comfortable, listen to your intuition and find a way to get out of it quickly &mdash; and confidently. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-and-money-how-to-get-and-carry-cash-safely-and-securely?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Get and Carry Cash Safely and Securely</a>)</p> <h2>Understand Your Surroundings</h2> <p>Travel is amazing because it means you get to check out uncharted territory. However, it's always a good idea to either research online or talk to locals once you get there. If there are neighborhoods that they avoid, for example, it's better to know about them before you end up wandering there.</p> <p>Some places will be perfectly safe to walk around during the day, but are better off avoided at night. Know how and where to get a reliable taxi. You can ask the receptionist or concierge at your hotel and they will likely give you an informed answer. Just make sure you take the time to ask; then you can explore in a carefree and safe way.</p> <h2>Avoiding Theft at Your Hotel</h2> <p>If there is a safe in your hotel, it's a good idea to store your valuables (cash, passport, credit cards you won't be using) there. If you don't have a safe, consider another secure place. Remember, your wallet may not be the best choice since it's the most obvious place that a thief would check for cash.</p> <p>If you're staying in hostels, they will usually have a locker where you can put your belongings. Remember to travel with your own lock since sometimes a hostel won't provide them, and if they do provide them, you have no way of knowing who else has a copy of the key. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-keep-your-laptop-safe-when-traveling?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Keep Your Laptop Safe When Traveling</a>.)</p> <h2>And During Transport</h2> <p>Airlines rightly recommend that you never check valuables. Tablets, cameras, and computers all need to be packed into your carry on bag. The reason for this is straightforward; a checked bag will be out of your eyesight and in the hands of strangers for the majority of your time in transit. Keep them close.</p> <p>For train and bus travel, be cautious especially during overnight trips. Again, the bag that you check under the bus or at the end of the aisle of a train car is the bag that's at a higher risk of going missing.</p> <p>For overnight buses or trains, consider a money belt that you can tuck into your pants while you sleep. This will give you peace of mind and a reasonable defense against pickpockets or thieves who will look to target you in your sleep. You are at a higher risk while traveling alone, so you may want to find a travel buddy, even if it's just for a few days.</p> <h2>To Money Belt or Not?</h2> <p>Outside of those overnight journeys, you may want to use a money belt for daily use, too. This is a personal choice and there are solid arguments on either side of it. Some people will never use a money belt because it feels clunky. You can argue that when you pull out or otherwise show the money belt, it will pinpoint you as a tourist and may make you a more likely pickpocketing target. If locals aren't using money belts, why should you?</p> <p>However, if you feel comfortable hiding money on your person in this way, there's nothing wrong with that either.</p> <p>If you're keeping money in a bag, be sure that it's in a zipped compartment. You may also want to consider separating your money, so maybe you have some in your pocket and some in your bag. This way if some of it does get stolen, chances are that not everything will get lifted. Also consider keeping some emergency cash or credit card with a list of contacts somewhere very safe, in case you do lose everything you're carrying. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/smarter-security-and-no-foreign-transaction-fees-the-best-credit-cards-to-use-while-on-vacation?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Best Credit Cards to Use While Traveling</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-avoid-theft-while-traveling&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%20to%20Avoid%20Theft%20While%20Traveling.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Avoid%20Theft%20While%20Traveling" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Avoid%20Theft%20While%20Traveling.jpg" alt="How to Avoid Theft While Traveling" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nick-wharton">Nick Wharton</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-avoid-theft-while-traveling">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-protect-yourself-from-theft-while-traveling">7 Ways to Protect Yourself From Theft While Traveling</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-sneaky-vacation-costs-that-add-up-quickly">10 Sneaky Vacation Costs That Add Up Quickly</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-protect-your-luggage-on-your-next-trip">9 Ways to Protect Your Luggage on Your Next Trip</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/pay-your-bills-and-5-other-things-you-must-do-before-you-leave-on-vacation">Pay Your Bills and 5 Other Things You Must Do Before You Leave on Vacation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/vacation-safe-11-tips-for-hotel-safety">Vacation Safe: 11 Tips for Hotel Safety</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel luggage money belts out of town pickpockets protection safety theft transportation vacation valuables Mon, 16 Jan 2017 11:00:11 +0000 Nick Wharton 1870055 at http://www.wisebread.com Follow These 5 Credit Card Rules When Traveling Abroad http://www.wisebread.com/follow-these-5-credit-card-rules-when-traveling-abroad <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/follow-these-5-credit-card-rules-when-traveling-abroad" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_beach_credit_card_100441963.jpg" alt="Woman following credit card rules while traveling abroad" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Traveling around the world can be an exciting time. However, if you are not careful with your credit card use, your trip can dig you into deep money trouble. Keep your money safe and your budget on track with these five credit card rules.</p> <h2>1. Only Use Cards With No Foreign Transaction Fees</h2> <p>Using the wrong credit card for your international shopping could cost you a lot more than you think. Most cards will charge a one to three percent foreign transaction fee for each purchase made overseas. This might not seem like a big deal, but it can add up quickly. If you end up charging your hotel, all of your food, shopping, transportation, and events internationally, that can easily add up to hundreds of dollars in foreign transaction fees alone. Bring a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/smarter-security-and-no-foreign-transaction-fees-the-best-credit-cards-to-use-while-on-vacation">card that has no foreign transaction fees</a>.</p> <h2>2. Avoid ATM Machines</h2> <p>Do not use your credit card for cash withdrawals at ATM machines. It will be processed as a cash advance. Cash advances come with higher APRs, and interest starts accruing immediately. It's not wise to use cash advances at home, and it's definitely not wise to use them abroad.</p> <p>The best way to get cash abroad is to sign up for a bank that provides ATM usage with no or low fees, or has a vast network of ATMs in the country you're traveling to. Keep in mind that while some banks offer zero fees for ATM usage, they may still charge you a foreign transaction fee for getting money in local currency. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/capital-one-360-review">Capital One 360 Checking</a> offers ATM usage with no fees and no foreign transaction fees.</p> <h2>3. Just Say &quot;No&quot; to Debit Cards</h2> <p>A credit card will be safer to use abroad than a debit card. It would be horrible to run your debit card at a small souvenir shop, only to have your bank funds drained from card theft. Even better, use a credit card with the new chip technology that reduces fraud and identity theft.</p> <p>Often a hotel or car rental agency will put a hold on your card, so if you are using a debit card, it may take time for your cash to be available to you again. And if you ever run into problems with the funds release, you'll be stuck without access to your money. With a credit card, however, you can talk with your credit card company about removing the hold or helping you resolve the issue, without having to actually pay for it and wait for the funds to be returned.</p> <h2>4. Bring Multiple Credit Cards</h2> <p>Don't rely on just one card for your trip. Bring two or three cards altogether, allowing yourself a backup. It is a good idea to vary your cards, too. For example, don't make them all Visas. Try to have another card that is a MasterCard or American Express. If you run into an issue using one of them, you'll have another to fall back on.</p> <h2>5. Set Up Spending Alerts</h2> <p>No one wants to think about fraud and identity theft while they are on vacation, but it is a good idea to check over your purchases and make sure you have all of your cards and identification daily. Sign up for spending alerts so you get an email or text for each purchase. It may seem excessive, but you don't want to take any chances while you're traveling. Also, it's better to get these alerts than to log into your credit card account through public Wi-Fi. You can also call your credit card company to review recent charges.</p> <p>Traveling abroad is an adventure, so don't ruin your trip with unwise money moves.</p> <p><em>What is your favorite card to use when traveling abroad? </em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/follow-these-5-credit-card-rules-when-traveling-abroad">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-to-avoid-bank-fees-while-traveling">11 Ways to Avoid Bank Fees While Traveling</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-avoid-credit-card-fraud-while-traveling">7 Ways to Avoid Credit Card Fraud While Traveling</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-when-your-belongings-get-stolen-abroad">What to Do When Your Belongings Get Stolen Abroad</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">The Best Travel Reward Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards">The Best Sign-up Bonuses for Airline Miles Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Travel atm machines foreign transaction fees fraud protection identity theft overseas protecting money safety traveling abroad Fri, 19 Aug 2016 10:00:12 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1775194 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Ways to Protect Yourself From Theft While Traveling http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-protect-yourself-from-theft-while-traveling <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-ways-to-protect-yourself-from-theft-while-traveling" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_theft_wallet_50012006.jpg" alt="Man learning ways to protect himself from theft abroad" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Vacation is a time for rest and relaxation. But your good-time getaway can quickly turn into a living nightmare if you're the victim of theft while you're away from home. Lock down your loot and guard your identity <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-to-avoid-bank-fees-while-traveling" target="_blank">when you travel abroad</a> with these helpful tips on how to protect yourself.</p> <h2>1. Keep Your Money Hidden</h2> <p>Listen, we all know you're a baller with the big bills on vacay, but let's keep that our little secret. The less money you flash around in public, the fewer chances a would-be thief has to target you.</p> <p>&quot;I always kept my money hidden, and never ever pulled money out,&quot; says frequent traveler and blogger Stephen Roe, who lived in Tijuana, Mexico for five years without becoming a victim of theft. &quot;Other Americans would pull out a wallet to pay. I would always choose to select the money in my pocket and only pull out the amount I needed. That way, potential criminals wouldn't know how much I had.&quot;</p> <p>Roe adds, &quot;In addition, it's best to pay in the local currency whenever possible. Whipping out American dollars, even if it is accepted, can mark you as a potential target.&quot;</p> <p>Travel author <a href="http://amzn.to/29WGmnO">Susan Schenck</a> suggests a similar strategy with your debit card.</p> <p>&quot;When going to an ATM, have the card in a money belt,&quot; she relays. &quot;Make sure there are no loiterers around the area, though often they are even across the street. Go into the bank to count the money. There is a security guard there, often with a gun. Then place it all in your money belt. This is critical. I have so many friends who stuck the money in a pocket only to find it was gone when they got home. Pros can pickpocket you without your feeling anything. Keep the money belt well hidden under your pants.&quot;</p> <h2>2. Use Credit Cards Wisely</h2> <p>First, never use a debit card abroad. If it gets stolen, your funds can get depleted and it will take time for the bank to release the funds, if they decide you weren't responsible. Trying to settle these types of matters while you're on vacation abroad is definitely not ideal.</p> <p>Travel expert Ferdinand Goetzen suggests avoiding using your card in questionable places. &quot;This is especially important when traveling in less developed nations,&quot; he says. &quot;Payment security infrastructure can often be lacking so it's best to avoid using your card unless it is a trusted venue or bank.&quot;</p> <p>But credit cards can be helpful when used in safe environments, and can be a better alternative to carrying cash around. It's better to lose a credit card than cash. Credit card companies typically don't hold you accountable for fraudulent charges, as long as you report it quickly. Keep track of your cards carefully so you know if you've lost one, and set up alerts to notify you of purchases so you can see right away if someone has stolen your card information.</p> <h2>3. Use Caution When Taking Taxis</h2> <p>Taxis and nefarious taxi drivers can cause unnecessary trouble if you don't keep your wits about you. Schenck advises to write down the cab number before you get in for reference if you accidentally leave something behind. When exiting a cab, if you have luggage in the trunk, <em>do not </em>get out of the cab until the driver does; they've been known to high-tail out of there with your valuable belongings in tow. And never ask a taxi to wait while you go to the ATM if you leave stuff in the cab. &quot;One friend lost her laptop that way,&quot; Schenck says.</p> <h2>4. Use a Dummy Wallet for Fake-Outs</h2> <p>Want to trick the trickster? Have a fake wallet with outdated credit cards and maybe $20 in it that you can hand to anyone who holds you up. They want a quick getaway and aren't going to sit there and check the dates on the cards, says Schenck.</p> <h2>5. Keep $20 Where the Sun Don't Shine</h2> <p>Well, maybe not in the sense that you're thinking of, but it's not a bad idea to keep a $20 bill in your socks, bra, or other safe, close-to-your-body area in a hidden garment in the event that you're robbed. Twenty dollars goes a long way in many countries, and you'll at least be able to get home or to the nearest police station.</p> <h2>6. Bring a Separate Small Backpack for Valuable Objects</h2> <p>&quot;One of the most common thefts occurs when people leave valuables in their main luggage and leave it in the hotel lobby or in the baggage compartment on buses or trains,&quot; Goetzen warns. &quot;I always bring a small backpack with all of my most important belongings because I don't like to let them out of my sight.&quot;</p> <p>Also, stop assuming that your belongings will be safe with the friendly, nice-looking people next to you at transportation hubs while you go to the bathroom. Even friendly, nice-looking people steal things, and you'll be quite S.O.L. (and super P.O.ed) if they gang the bag with your tickets, passports, and wallet while you're taking a whiz.</p> <h2>7. Use Common Sense</h2> <p>Don't travel to areas that aren't policed, stay out of dark alleys, and don't go anywhere with anybody you don't know. Don't drink so much when you're in unfamiliar territory either. It makes you do stupid things and make poor decisions, and you become a sitting duck for criminals. Your mom totally would've told you so.</p> <p><em>Do you have tips on how to protect yourself when traveling abroad? Let's discuss in the comments below.</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F7-ways-to-protect-yourself-from-theft-while-traveling&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%20Ways%20to%20Protect%20Yourself%20From%20Theft%20While%20Traveling.jpg&amp;description=7%20Ways%20to%20Protect%20Yourself%20From%20Theft%20While%20Traveling" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script><p></p> <script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/7%20Ways%20to%20Protect%20Yourself%20From%20Theft%20While%20Traveling.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-protect-yourself-from-theft-while-traveling">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-avoid-theft-while-traveling">How to Avoid Theft While Traveling</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-get-taken-how-to-evaluate-an-exchange-rate">Don&#039;t Get Taken: How to Evaluate an Exchange Rate</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/once-in-a-lifetime-experiences-ive-earned-with-credit-card-rewards">Once-In-A-Lifetime Experiences I&#039;ve Earned With Credit Card Rewards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/vacation-safe-11-tips-for-hotel-safety">Vacation Safe: 11 Tips for Hotel Safety</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-best-websites-for-last-minute-airfare-deals">7 Best Websites for Last-Minute Airfare Deals</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel abroad cash caution money pickpocket safety theft thief vacation Tue, 26 Jul 2016 09:30:37 +0000 Mikey Rox 1757847 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Expenses You Should Never Cut http://www.wisebread.com/8-expenses-you-should-never-cut <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-expenses-you-should-never-cut" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_holding_heart_000071794005.jpg" alt="Woman learning which expenses she should never cut" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Over the years, I've come up with hundreds of ways to trim proverbial fat from nearly every aspect of your budget. And I stand by those tips, tricks, and strategies because most of us have areas where we can pull back on the spending a bit.</p> <p>But some things are nonnegotiable. There are necessities &mdash; sometimes rather costly ones &mdash; that are required for us to live decent, healthy, and satisfying lives. What are they? Take a look at these eight expenses you should never cut, and let me know some of the areas where you just can't or won't shake out savings in the comments below.</p> <h2>1. Health Care</h2> <p>First and foremost, it's critical to have health insurance. It's required in the United States, whether from a private provider or via Obamacare, and without it you run the risk of either being denied care or racking up serious medical bills that could put your finances in dire straits for the foreseeable future.</p> <p>Aside from that, when you're sick or need medical attention, you want the best care you can get. Some prescriptions are expensive, too, and health insurance can greatly reduce those costs. You should never let coverage lapse because you're generally healthy or you don't think you'll fall ill anytime soon. Murphy's Law dictates that it's in that scenario you'll need medical attention, and you'll want to have insurance on your side.</p> <h2>2. Personal Hygiene</h2> <p>Soap, shampoo, and toothpaste are essential &mdash; and readily available, like on nearly every corner of your neighborhood, for not much money. Which is weird, because I know plenty of people, perfectly well-off individuals at that, who don't seem to use any of it on a regular basis.</p> <p>If you're one of those folks who likes to gripe at the cost of personal hygiene products and therefore use that as your excuse to skimp on washing yourself on a regular basis, you'll be happy to know that bargain brands, like Suave for example, do a bang-up job of keeping you clean. Not to mention that there are always coupons available for hygiene products, especially toothpaste, that can help reduce the cost of these items. Find the items on sale plus pair them with coupons and you'll spend oftentimes less than a dollar on what you need per item.</p> <h2>3. Personal Safety</h2> <p>Most of us practice personal safety consistently. We try to avoid automobile accidents, we look both ways when we cross the road, and we never run with scissors. Those are all subconscious decisions that don't cost a dime, which is why you might be asking yourself how personal safety costs you actual dollars and cents.</p> <p>For starters, the car that you drive should be rated for safety. When you're strapped for cash and need an inexpensive vehicle, choosing a cheap car that gets you from A to B may seem like an ideal option. Certainly there are times &mdash; and financial constraints &mdash; that call for this type of decision-making, but you'll almost always regret it in the long run. Instead, I recommend loosening the purse strings just a little more so you can buy a vehicle that will protect you if you're in an accident, opposed to one that's already falling apart.</p> <p>Another example is safety on the water. Life vests are cumbersome, and nobody likes to wear them. But you know what? They save lives, and there are millions of people in this world who will tell you that they regret not buying or renting life preservers during an outing that resulted in someone's harm or death. It could have been prevented if they had just sprung for the darn things. Thus, spring for the darn things.</p> <h2>4. Healthy Food</h2> <p>It's true, food is expensive, especially the healthy stuff &mdash; but you shouldn't be making cuts to your budget that include reducing the amount of healthy food you're eating by replacing it with less expensive, toxic food &mdash; like that microwaveable junk that comes from the freezer section or the stuff you grab at the drive-thru window.</p> <p>It's okay to indulge in it every now and then &mdash; who doesn't like to dive headfirst into a bag of Doritos from time to time? But most of your food should be fresh and nutritious. You owe it to yourself &mdash; and your longevity &mdash; to eat healthy, and there are lots of ways you can cut down on your healthy food bills if you put in the legwork before going grocery shopping. Wise Bread can help you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-easy-ways-to-stretch-your-grocery-dollars">save a substantial amount</a> on your supermarket bills if you do a little digging for advice.</p> <h2>5. Mental Health Care</h2> <p>Mental health is a hot topic of conversation nowadays, though we should have started talking about it seriously a long time ago. Personally I've suffered from depression and anxiety &mdash; and still do from time to time &mdash; and I've known too many people who have committed suicide because they weren't able to figure things out. Which is why it's my duty to tell you that your mental health is worth every extra penny you can afford. If you need medication, get the medication. If you need someone to talk to &mdash; which can help immensely when you're troubled &mdash; go see a therapist. If you have decent health insurance, prescriptions and therapy should be covered so you can afford to help yourself.</p> <p>And it goes without saying that if you feel like there's no hope left, please believe me when I tell you that there is. People care about you, and you can talk anonymously about whatever you're feeling by calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-273-8255. You matter; whether you believe it right now or not &mdash; <em>you matter</em>.</p> <h2>6. Insurance</h2> <p>By law in most U.S. states you're required to have car insurance. So if you're thinking about cutting it because you don't drive very often or very far, you're in for a rude awakening if you have the unfortunate luck of being in an accident &mdash; and you'll probably go to jail on top of whatever expenses the crash racked up.</p> <p>Homeowners and renters insurance are also areas where it's not wise to be a miser. You don't have to have super-premium, platinum, Superman coverage, but you should have enough coverage to fully cover the things you own &mdash; so they can be replaced quickly and efficiently &mdash; in the event of an accident.</p> <h2>7. Debt Repayment</h2> <p>If you're already pinching pennies because you're in debt, it can be easy to brush it to the side and try to forget about it. You're in so deep that you'll never pay it off, so why worry about it, right? Wrong.</p> <p>In this case, you have few options to stay on track, but you may be able to cut something less important from your budget to continue making payments, or &mdash; and I know this is an offensive idea to some &mdash; pick up an extra job or side gig to start earning more income. The problem with debt is that it will never go away, and it's your responsibility to pay off what you've accumulated. You alone made those purchases, and you alone need to pay them off. There are assistance programs out there that can help, and I recommend researching your options in that regard, but whatever you do, don't act like it doesn't exist. It does, and it will follow you around like a black cloud for the rest of your life until you address it.</p> <h2>8. Things Your Kids Depend On</h2> <p>There's a buzzword that's being tossed around willy-nilly right now with regards to children and teenagers (and even 20-somethings). We hear it a lot: Entitlement.</p> <p>While I contend that American children tend to be somewhat entitled, there are some things to which they're <em>actually</em> entitled &mdash; like a proper education and health services. If your child needs a tutor, hire a tutor. If your child needs a therapist, seek therapy. Hopefully you had children for the right reasons, because you wanted to have a family to love and care for. If you're trying to be over-thrifty in these areas, you may not be doing the best job of holding up your end of the parenting bargain.</p> <p>Find areas in your own grown-up budget to eliminate &mdash; like one of your many memberships perhaps, or that adults-only vacation &mdash; and help your kid stay on the right path, physically, emotionally, and mentally. You owe them that much.</p> <p><em>What costs do you refuse to skimp on?</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F8-expenses-you-should-never-cut&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F8%2520Expenses%2520You%2520Should%2520Never%2520Cut.jpg&amp;description=8%20Expenses%20You%20Should%20Never%20Cut"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/8%20Expenses%20You%20Should%20Never%20Cut.jpg" alt="8 Expenses You Should Never Cut" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-expenses-you-should-never-cut">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-frugal-living-skills-you-should-be-teaching-your-children">7 Frugal Living Skills You Should Be Teaching Your Children</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-save-on-a-shoestring">25 Ways to Save on a Shoestring</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-easy-ways-to-start-taking-better-care-of-yourself-today">9 Easy Ways to Start Taking Better Care of Yourself Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/peanut-butter-the-poor-man-s-protein">Peanut Butter: The Poor Man’s Protein</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-late-starters-can-save-for-their-kids-education">Here&#039;s How Late Starters Can Save for Their Kids&#039; Education</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living budgeting children expenses family Health healthy foods hygiene necessary costs safety Mon, 30 May 2016 10:30:05 +0000 Mikey Rox 1717320 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Ways Being a Safe Driver Will Save You Big Money http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-being-a-safe-driver-will-save-you-big-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-ways-being-a-safe-driver-will-save-you-big-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_driving_car_000052861520.jpg" alt="Woman learning how being a safe driver will save her big" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>That speeding ticket can cost you &mdash; to the tune of an initial fine of $100 or more. That's bad enough, but then comes the hit to your insurance premium. You can expect the cost of your auto insurance to jump by at least 20% if you're caught driving 15 miles per hour over the speed limit, according to a study by InsuranceQuotes.com.</p> <p>But if you follow the speed limit, you don't have to worry about this financial hit. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-new-car-costs-the-dealer-is-hiding-from-you">10 New Car Costs the Dealer Is Hiding From You</a>)</p> <p>That's just one of the ways that being a safe driver can save you a load of money. Here's a look at the financial benefits that a safe driving record will bring you.</p> <h2>Lower Insurance Rates and Discounts</h2> <p>A clean driving record &mdash; one free of auto accidents, speeding tickets, or other moving violations &mdash; can dramatically reduce the amount you pay to your auto insurer each month.</p> <p>Insurance Quotes and Quadrant Information Services studied the impact of traffic incidents on insurance rates, and discovered that driving under the influence increased auto insurance premiums by an average of 93%. Reckless driving boosted it upward by an average of 82%. For speeding, the average increase varied, but those drivers going up to 15 miles per hour over the limit generally saw their insurance premiums jump by 21%.</p> <p>Another study by InsuranceQuotes.com, released in early 2015, found that drivers who make one accident claim will see their auto insurance rates jump by an average of 41%. Those who make two claims in a year will see their auto insurance rates increase by 93%.</p> <p>If you're a safe driver, you can actually be rewarded and save money by way of discounts. Allstate offers savings of 22% on policies after three consecutive years without any violations or accidents. After five years without any violations or accidents, drivers can reduce their insurance rates by 35%. Allstate also offers a defensive-driver discount. Under this program, drivers who are 55 or older and who complete six or more hours of defensive-driving courses can save up to 10% on their auto insurance.</p> <p>Don't have Allstate? Geico offers a discount of 26% for drivers who have been accident-free for five years. American Family offers drivers without accidents, violations, or claims a discount of 5% to 10%. Contact your auto insurance provider and see what safe driver discounts are available.</p> <h2>No Speeding Tickets</h2> <p>Getting a speeding ticket isn't much fun. It's costly, too. Last year, NerdWallet took a look at what a speeding ticket can cost drivers in California. According to the site, those drivers who were ticketed for going 15 miles per hour over the speed limit paid an average of $234 when fees and surcharges were taken into account.</p> <p>In 2013, insurer Esurance reported that the average speeding ticket costs drivers throughout the United States $150. That's a lot of money. And it doesn't even take into account how much your insurance rate will jump after a speeding ticket. Speaking of which...</p> <h2>Gas Savings</h2> <p>You might not think that driving the speed limit will save you money at the fuel pump, but it will. According to the Department of Energy's FuelEconomy.gov, aggressive driving &mdash; which includes speeding, rapid acceleration, and hard braking &mdash; can lower your car's gas mileage by 33% at highway speeds and by 5% when you're driving in town.</p> <p>By driving the speed limit, and by avoiding rapid acceleration and braking, you can save up to 21 cents per gallon in fuel costs.</p> <h2>Fewer Traffic Accidents</h2> <p>Car accidents are terrifying events. They're also expensive ones.</p> <p>Speeding, not paying attention, or driving under the influence can not only result in terrible injury or death, but tremendous economic impact. According to a 2010 study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the overall cost of motor vehicle crashes in the U.S. amounted to nearly $1 trillion. By being more aware, you can save yourself and others the costly financial burden of deductibles, auto and property repairs, rate hikes, and bodily injury.</p> <p>Driving safely and at the speed limit won't completely protect you from car accidents and their costs. But it will help.</p> <p><em>Do your driving habits help or hurt your wallet?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-being-a-safe-driver-will-save-you-big-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-car-was-recalled-now-what">Your Car Was Recalled. Now What?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-steps-you-must-take-if-youve-been-in-a-car-accident">10 Steps You Must Take If You&#039;ve Been in a Car Accident</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-and-not-do-when-youre-in-a-car-accident">What to Do (and Not Do) When You&#039;re in a Car Accident</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-what-that-ticket-you-got-will-do-to-your-car-insurance-rate">This Is What That Ticket You Got Will Do to Your Car Insurance Rate</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-times-when-bundling-insurance-doesnt-make-sense">4 Times When Bundling Insurance Doesn&#039;t Make Sense</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation auto insurance discounts driving rates safety tickets Tue, 05 Jan 2016 18:00:07 +0000 Dan Rafter 1629243 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Things You Should Never Buy Used http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-should-never-buy-used <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-things-you-should-never-buy-used" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/baby_in_crib_000052779812.jpg" alt="Learning the 10 things you should never buy used" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The trick to getting your money's worth at a garage sale is knowing what to buy &mdash; and what not to buy. The next time you visit a thrift store or garage sale, you really need to skip these 10 things. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-deals-in-every-thrift-store?ref=seealso">The 5 Best Deals in Every Thrift Store</a>)</p> <h2>1. Helmets</h2> <p>By purchasing a bicycle or motorcycle helmet at a thrift store, you could be unintentionally putting your safety at risk. You have no idea who owned it before you, how old it is, or why they got rid of it. According to the Bike Helmet Safety Institute (BHSI), your <a href="http://www.bhsi.org/replace.htm">helmet should be replaced</a> after hitting your head in any crash. They recommend never buying a used helmet because it may have been involved in an accident. Instead, purchase a new helmet and feel confident that your head is protected.</p> <h2>2. Mattresses</h2> <p>In most cases, you should steer clear of old mattresses and box springs at the thrift store. Mattresses naturally gather things like allergens and dust mites from the previous owner, and you'll never know what caused a stain. The bed bug risk is also always a worry. Apart from being gross, mattresses also conform to the first owner's body and sleeping position. This will leave the bed lumpy and uncomfortable for you.</p> <h2>3. Cribs</h2> <p>Cribs and car seats are constantly being updated with new safety features, and recalled when other features fail. If you purchase a used one at a garage sale, you risk purchasing one of the millions of cribs that have been recalled for safety reasons. The Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) found that a crib <a href="http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Safety-Education/Safety-Education-Centers/cribs/">more than 10 years old</a> will also have design flaws that put infants in danger. This is also true for many other used baby items, such as...</p> <h2>4. Child Car Seats</h2> <p>Car seats are only expected to last between <a href="http://www.parenting.com/article/car-seat-guidelines">five to nine years</a> (check your expiration date). If you buy one at a garage sale, you won't know if it was involved in a crash. Car seats are only meant to go through one accident, even if the child was <a href="http://thecarseatlady.com/aftercrash/">not in the seat</a> at the time. Go the smarter, safer route, and buy new.</p> <h2>5. Underwear and Bathing Suits</h2> <p>If they've touched someone's nether regions, you should take a pass. Bathing suits also wear out faster than regular clothing, so they may already be near the end. Instead of saving a few dollars on used underwear or bathing suits, just wait to purchase these essentials when they are on sale (such as during the winter, in the clearance bins, or during a semi-annual sale).</p> <h2>6. Cosmetics</h2> <p>If you don't know who's used it, you shouldn't be applying any cosmetic product to your face. In fact, in a study by LA Times, it was discovered that <a href="http://articles.latimes.com/2010/apr/18/image/la-ig-testers-20100418">100% of makeup testers</a> at a popular department store cosmetic counter were contaminated with E. coli, strep, staph, and other bacteria. If these issues run rampant in a department store, they are sure to be found in your local thrift store's makeup selection as well.</p> <h2>7. Bath and Beauty Products</h2> <p>You should stay away from bath and beauty products, including creams, lotions, and perfumes, because there is no guarantee that you will actually get what the bottle states. The seller could have replaced the contents with anything. Cosmetics don't last forever, so you may be buying something that's already expired and risk <a href="http://www.paulaschoice.com/expert-advice/skin-care-basics/_/When-to-Toss-Out-Beauty-Products">exposure to harmful bacteria</a>.</p> <h2>8. Running Shoes</h2> <p>If you buy used running shoes, the tread and cushioning are probably already worn out and you will end up injuring your feet, knees, legs, and/or back by running in them. Used shoes have already been molded to someone else's feet and it will be difficult to get them to re-mold to yours. As is the case with any used footwear, you are also at risk of <a href="http://health.clevelandclinic.org/2014/09/how-you-can-stop-foot-and-toe-fungus-in-its-tracks/">catching a foot fungus</a> or other bacterial infection from wearing someone else's shoes.</p> <h2>9. Electronics</h2> <p>You can already find a good deal on old or used items at most electronics stores &mdash; and these generally come with some sort of warranty. See what kind of deals you can get online or at your local electronics or home goods store before considering shopping at a thrift shop. You may also want to consider refurbished electronics, which have been professionally repaired by the manufacturer or an authorized dealer.</p> <h2>10. Puzzles and Games</h2> <p>Certain games (particularly vintage ones) can be a unique thrift store find at an affordable cost. On the other hand, puzzles and games with lots of pieces are never a good idea. If there's even one piece missing, you won't be able to play. Where's the fun in that?</p> <p><em>What are some of your favorite things to buy at a thrift store or garage sale? What </em><em>do you tend to avoid? Please share your thoughts in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-should-never-buy-used">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-furnish-your-home-for-less-than-the-cost-of-a-moving-truck">How to Furnish Your Home for Less Than the Cost of a Moving Truck</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-to-look-for-every-time-you-visit-a-thrift-store">10 Things to Look for Every Time You Visit a Thrift Store</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-you-should-always-buy-used">8 Things You Should Always Buy Used</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-car-parts-that-are-safe-to-buy-used">9 Car Parts That Are Safe to Buy Used</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tips-for-shopping-at-estate-sales">Tips for Shopping at Estate Sales</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping garage sales safety thrift stores used yard sales Thu, 05 Nov 2015 15:15:24 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1605800 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Affordable Ways to Deter Burglars http://www.wisebread.com/6-affordable-ways-to-deter-burglars <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-affordable-ways-to-deter-burglars" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/surveillance_video_000015585918.jpg" alt="Learning of cheap ways to deter house intruders" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Burglaries are decreasing in the United States, which is good news for homeowners, though the victims who experienced the <a href="https://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2014/november/crime-statistics-for-2013-released/crime-statistics-for-2013-released">1.9 million burglaries</a> in 2013 might not see the glass as half full.</p> <p>The average dollar loss per offense was $2,322 that same year. That number, along with the fact that <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-cheap-easy-ways-to-make-your-home-safer">protecting your home</a> with a home security system can <a href="https://usinsuranceagents.com/cheap-home-insurance">lower home insurance premiums</a>, may be enough to convince you to do something to deter intruders.</p> <p>Installing a home security system, however, can cost a few hundred dollars (along with $15 to $100 for monthly monitoring). So here are six cheaper alternatives.</p> <h2>1. Set Up a Home Camera Yourself</h2> <p>For about $150, you can buy a camera that you can set up yourself to record your front porch, for example, and save on your computer. The upfront cost may equal what you'd pay for a security system, but you avoid the monthly monitoring costs.</p> <p>Another option is to set up a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00CWRXEVG/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00CWRXEVG&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=VMD43IRA6GXM4KF6">fake video camera</a> or webcam as a deterrent to potential criminals. Seeing a few &quot;security cameras&quot; over the garage may be enough to cause them to move on. And if you want the cameras to work, there are all kinds of apps to turn a <a href="http://www.ugolog.com/pages/25-applications-to-turn-your-webcam-into-home-security-system">webcam into a security camera</a>.</p> <h2>2. Put a Home Security Sign Up</h2> <p>Just as with a non-working camera, you can put up a security company's sign in your yard stating that your home is being protected, but don't pay for the service.</p> <p>A generic <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DT8JLI2/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00DT8JLI2&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=DRPOKSZXCZJHZPPY">alarm system sign</a> sells online for less than $25, although experienced criminals may well recognize the knock-offs. (Less than scrupulous vendors sell signs from well-known security services on eBay and elsewhere, but this trick seems unfair to the security firms who provide actual services.) Again, the point is to make burglars think twice before trying to break into your home.</p> <h2>3. Install Motion Sensors</h2> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=motion%20sensor%20lights&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Amotion%20sensor%20lights&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;url=search-alias%3Daps&amp;linkId=UIEK2HSFJNXEERC3">Motion sensor outdoor lights</a> are as cheap as $50, turning on whenever someone or something moves in front of them. Lighting the outside of a home is an easy deterrent for nighttime break-ins.</p> <h2>4. Leave the Radio On</h2> <p>If you're gone all day, leave a radio on so that anyone walking up to the house will hear it and think someone is inside. Leaving a small desk radio on for six hours costs an estimated <a href="http://www.duke-energy.com/pdfs/appliance_opcost_list_duke_v8.06.pdf">22 cents per month</a>.</p> <h2>5. Run a Fake TV</h2> <p>Burglars are looking for unoccupied homes, and a glowing TV screen is a sign that someone's home.</p> <p>For as little as $25, a small device called <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BTKGHDE/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00BTKGHDE&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=5O6AEGTHITP6432P">FakeTV</a> simulates the flickering light of real television. Close the curtains and from the outside, it looks like you're home watching TV. The device has a light sensor and timer, and uses the same amount of power as a night light.</p> <h2>6. Lock Your Doors</h2> <p>This is a simple tip, but one that many people may forget about once in awhile. Lock all doors and windows before going to sleep at night, and install deadbolts where you can. A chain lock on a door won't be enough to stop a determined intruder. A security door jam for a door or window can cost only $10 and should also be locked at night.</p> <p>Those are some of the cheapest ways to deter house intruders. If you really want something that makes noise when a burglar or anyone else comes to your house, consider getting a sometimes expensive but trustworthy burglar alarm: a dog. The barking may drive you crazy, but it can protect your home from burglars when you're away. And the mailman may even think twice before leaving you those pesky bills!</p> <p><em>Do you employ any of these or other cheap security tricks?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/aaron-crowe">Aaron Crowe</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-affordable-ways-to-deter-burglars">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-cheap-easy-ways-to-make-your-home-safer">15 Cheap, Easy Ways to Make Your Home Safer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-ruin-an-antique-how-to-tell-if-you-should-refinish-wooden-furniture">Don&#039;t Ruin an Antique! How to Tell If You Should Refinish Wooden Furniture</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-safest-cities-in-america-from-natural-disasters">10 Safest Cities in America from Natural Disasters</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-giving-burglars-the-key-to-your-home">Are you giving burglars the key to your home?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-you-should-never-do-when-camping">7 Things You Should Never Do When Camping</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Home burglary intruders safety security surveillance Thu, 22 Oct 2015 21:16:53 +0000 Aaron Crowe 1593625 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Things to Never Do When Traveling Alone http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-to-never-do-when-traveling-alone <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-things-to-never-do-when-traveling-alone" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_outdoor_adventure_000040799706.jpg" alt="Woman learning things to never do when traveling alone" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>For every parent, coworker, and well-meaning friend who warns you to never travel alone, there are plenty of seasoned travelers who proclaim solo travel to be the only way to truly experience the world.</p> <p>Alone, you get to pick your own itinerary. You get to drink in your surroundings without the distraction of chitchat or trying to get along with someone else. Solo travelers report feeling empowered by the ability to navigate strange places on their own.</p> <p>But the reality is that solo travel has its potential pitfalls, the top one being safety, especially for women. Here are some things to avoid if you want to keep solo <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/31-super-smart-travel-hacks">travel safer</a> and more satisfying.</p> <h2>1. Never Overlook Fellow Solo-ers</h2> <p>It might be tempting to think that someone traveling alone must be a weirdo to be avoided. But wait! <em>You're</em> traveling alone, and you're not a weirdo. So go ahead and form ad-hoc adventure teams.</p> <p>&quot;Backpackers and hostels are like the meccas of solo travelers, and you're guaranteed to meet a ton of people from all over the world if you just hang out in the lobby or coffee shop of one. You don't even have to stay there; just go hang,&quot; advises travel blogger <a href="http://mylifesamovie.com/5-reasons-why-youre-never-really-alone-when-you-travel-solo/">Alyssa Ramos</a>.</p> <h2>2. Never Be Shy</h2> <p>One of the biggest advantages of traveling solo is that, with no one else to talk to, you're much more likely to engage with locals. Even if this is hard for you (it is for me), push yourself.</p> <p>&quot;Travelling solo definitely enables you to speak directly to some locals and stop being shy with people,&quot; writes Agness Walewinder on <a href="http://etramping.com/10-benefits-of-travelling-solo-at-least-once-a-year/">eTramping.com</a>. &quot;In this way, you can make new friends and gain valuable insider knowledge about wherever you are.&quot;</p> <h2>3. Never Grin at Strangers</h2> <p>I know I just told you to be friendly, but there are right ways and wrong ways to do that.</p> <p>When I was 19, I left Wisconsin for a year abroad in Paris. The August day when I landed was hot, so I put on shorts and a bikini top and took a walk, smiling politely at anyone I passed, male or female.</p> <p>Before I knew it, a young man with black wavy hair was following me. Once I lost him, another man started walking alongside me. I learned that day that in Paris &mdash; as in so many cities worldwide &mdash; a big smile means more than the &quot;Hi there!&quot; it means in Madison, WI.</p> <h2>4. Never Explore Out-of-Sight Places</h2> <p>In the French village of Cordes-sur-Ciel, my travel companions and I stumbled upon a multi-story house with its door wide open. We walked in, and noticed it was full of art pieces but empty of people. As we climbed each flight of steps, we felt more intrigued but also more nervous, wondering what kind of place this was and whether we might meet anyone else there.</p> <p>In the end the curious art house was deserted, and it was a magical experience. But it's one that I would have skipped if I had been alone.</p> <p>&quot;Keep to open and public places, especially at night,&quot; The Independent Traveler firmly warns. If I had run into someone who meant me ill on the third floor of that empty house, I would have had a difficult time escaping.</p> <h2>5. Never Skimp on Research</h2> <p>&quot;Doing your homework about a new destination is especially useful when you're traveling solo,&quot; advises Amanda on <a href="http://www.dangerous-business.com/2015/03/why-im-not-afraid-to-travel-alone/">A Dangerous Business</a>. &quot;Before every trip, I do a little Googling and read up on things like cultural norms, common scams, and how I should dress as a tourist.&quot;</p> <p>Alison Vingiano narrowly escaped rape while hiking alone in Dharamsala, India, an experience that made her realize that despite her refusal to be grounded by fear, she could not ignore local safety issues either.</p> <p>&quot;Women should travel alone. It is not fair for us to live in constant fear, nor should we. However, we must also accept and adapt to the reality of wherever we travel, rather than challenging preexisting and culturally specific gender binaries we cannot control,&quot; Vingiano wrote for <a href="http://hellogiggles.com/women-traveling-alone-the-risks-and-the-danger/2/#read">Hello Giggles</a>.</p> <h2>6. Never Wander the Wilderness Alone</h2> <p>This is a tough one. The solo journeys of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0385486804/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0385486804&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=G77TDRBHZTDV52I2">Christopher McCandless</a>, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0671695886/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0671695886&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=FSTWMS5APWI6EKVC">Edward Abbey</a>, and <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0307476073/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0307476073&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=6PH7PGVY2XUC7E3K">Cheryl Strayed</a> look mighty appealing, all alone with their packs in the desert or the back country. But remember that McCandless, the subject of the book and movie <em>Into the Wild</em>, died out there. Abbey very nearly died when a stupid climbing mistake stranded him on an isolated ledge (and probably lots of other times too). Strayed was okay &mdash; but after all, she stuck to the Pacific Crest Trail and even then she had some close shaves.</p> <p>Retired search and rescue expert Matt Fields bluntly urges backpackers to buddy up: &quot;A medical emergency could be terminal if you have no one with you to go for help or render aid until help arrives.&quot;</p> <h2>7. Never Lose Contact With Those at Home</h2> <p>Even though you are on the road alone, you should keep someone at home posted about your whereabouts. <a href="http://www.protrav.com/travel-411/solo-travel-safety/">Professional Travel, Inc.</a>, recommends that you leave a copy of your itinerary with contact information for points along the way, and keep your phone activated even if this costs you extra. Not only should people be able to reach you in case of emergency, but someone should notice if you don't show up at your next destination on time.</p> <h2>8. Never Get Wasted</h2> <p>I learned the importance of the buddy system while drinking back in college, and it goes double for tippling while traveling. Don't let yourself be overserved if you don't have someone you trust to make sure you get back to your room okay. Professional Travel goes so far as to advise you to stick to beer or wine instead of cocktails, because it's too easy to tamper with a mixed drink. That may seem paranoid, but travel blogs and the media contain plenty of accounts of travelers <a href="http://www.offbeattravelling.com/roofied-in-southeast-asia-how-a-friend-lost-his-phone-e500-and-his-memory/">drinking spiked drinks</a> and getting <a href="http://thechronicleherald.ca/novascotia/1193242-woman-i-was-drugged-raped-in-mexico">robbed or worse</a>.</p> <p>In fact, after reading these accounts, I suggest memorizing some <a href="http://www.travel-insurance.net/blog/2009/05/06/10-ways-to-protect-yourself-against-spiked-drinks/">tips for avoiding spiked drinks</a>, such as taking your drink to the restroom with you instead of leaving it unattended.</p> <p><em>Have you ever traveled solo? What precautions did you take?</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this post? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F8-things-to-never-do-when-traveling-alone&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F8%20Things%20to%20Never%20Do%20When%20Traveling%20Alone.jpg&amp;description=8%20Things%20to%20Never%20Do%20When%20Traveling%20Alone" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/8%20Things%20to%20Never%20Do%20When%20Traveling%20Alone.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-to-never-do-when-traveling-alone">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/where-to-do-9-popular-bucket-list-items-on-a-budget">Where to Do 9 Popular Bucket List Items on a Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-you-should-never-do-when-camping">7 Things You Should Never Do When Camping</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-protect-yourself-from-theft-while-traveling">7 Ways to Protect Yourself From Theft While Traveling</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-avoid-theft-while-traveling">How to Avoid Theft While Traveling</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/vacation-safe-11-tips-for-hotel-safety">Vacation Safe: 11 Tips for Hotel Safety</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel adventure alone safety solo travelers Tue, 29 Sep 2015 17:00:56 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1570364 at http://www.wisebread.com