5 Ways To Stay Positive When You’re Tight On Money

When you're tight on money it can be hard to stay positive. Here are 5 ways to keep yourself positive during it all!

Can you relate to this? You just got your paycheck and you have a big chunk of money! Then you realize, bills need to be paid. After tallying how much you owe, you realize that you only have a few hundred dollars left. The feeling of all that money going away is daunting, and you may feel a bit depressed. I know personally, I’ve been in this kind of funk many times, but I always need to remind myself that things will get better as long as I keep working towards it!
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How To Protect Your Money From Credit Card Skimmers

Unfortunately there are card skimmers everywhere, and you really can't avoid them. But, there are ways to go around them to lessen the risk of your account being compromised. / protect your money / credit card skimmers / debit card skimmers

A couple weeks ago, I was just sitting at my desk at work about to leave for the day when I got this text from my bank saying they may have detected some fraudulent activity. Shocked and nervous, I logged into my bank account and found a charge that I definitely did not make. To make matters worse, it was a pretty large amount of money charged, leaving me out of money I needed. I immediately called the number that was provided in the text and confirmed to them that I didn’t make that transaction.

Luckily, they were able to reverse the charge, but they had to close the debit card. I was able to get a new debit card at the bank that same day, but it was definitely a hassle having to change any of my recurring bills that were linked to that card to a new card. It was a terrible experience to go through.

I learned a lot from this experience, and I wanted to share some tips to make sure you lessen the chance to becoming a victim to this. Unfortunately there are card skimmers everywhere, and you really can’t avoid them. But, there are ways to go around them to lessen the risk of your account being compromised.

Use a credit card instead of a debit card

As a frugal person who is paying off credit card debt, that is the last thing I want to do – run more debt. But, a credit card is a better alternative compared to a debit card in that your actual bank balance isn’t touched when using a credit card. It’s technically borrowed money so if you ever happen to become a victim of someone using your account it won’t affect your actual money. If you do use your credit card, make sure you pay off those transactions in full afterwards so you don’t put yourself in more debt.

Side note: You could use a debit card as a credit card but it would still affect your bank balance.

Use cash when making in store purchases

Using cash is another alternative to pay for your purchases, whether it be groceries, out to eat or fun shopping trips. Using cash is also a way to make sure you don’t go over your budget too. Of course, just be mindful of how much cash you are carrying on you, and only take out minimal amounts just in case you accidentally lose your wallet.

Use your card only if there is a chip reader

Chip readers were created because it adds another level of security.  It’s an expensive technology, which means not all businesses have them yet. When you swipe at a card terminal and put in your pin, you could put your account at risk because of card skimmers. The worst part is that you don’t know if they’re actually there. To be better safe than sorry, if you are making a purchase and their card terminal does not accept the chip yet, use a credit card or cash instead.

Use apps to make your purchases, if possible

Gas stations are the most common places to get your card skimmed by these criminals. I found out that the one gas station I frequent by my home had skimmers at the gas pumps! When it comes to purchasing at these outside places, don’t. Either go inside and pay there, or use an app like Exxon/Mobile does called Speedpass. I do this and it ties into my rewards points account called Plenti, which after a certain amount of points, you get money off your gas bill! The Speedpass app is good so I can pay for gas using my phone (which is tied to my Apple Pay account) and I won’t have to swipe my card. Hopefully more retailers allow you to pay using Apple Pay (which is more secure and you don’t have to even take your wallet out) to keep your account safe.

It’s annoying that these card skimmers can be anywhere and you wouldn’t even know it. This experience has made me more aware of where I use my debit card when I am out. Hopefully one day, this kind of crime can be eliminated for good!

Have you ever had your credit or debit card compromised? What have you done differently since that experience?

Unfortunately there are card skimmers everywhere, and you really can't avoid them. But, there are ways to go around them to lessen the risk of your account being compromised. / protect your money / credit card skimmers / debit card skimmers

5 Money Saving Steps To Efficient Meal Planning

Buying groceries can really add up, so I've really tried to find different ways to save money on our groceries. Here are some 5 money saving steps to efficient meal planning each and every week. / money saving meal planning / saving money meal planning
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A goal of mine this year is to save money on food. Our lives revolve around food, and it is something that is constantly on my mind. When it comes to what to eat whether it be breakfast, lunch, dinner and even snack, as a mom, I need to always make sure we have something to eat. We like to make meals at home, and on the weekends once or twice take a break and buy a meal somewhere. For the most part, we cook dinners at home during the school and work week. Read more

5 Free Apps To Help You Save Money

Did you know you can save money using your smartphone? Here are 5 apps that I use often and it essentially helps me save money on a regular basis.
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I have to admit something to you all. I love to shop. If I see a good deal that is hard to pass up, I will stop at nothing to get it. As a mom it is getting harder and harder to go out and just browse at the mall or even at Target to see what kind of deals I can find. In some ways it can be a good thing that I am shopping outside less, but then again, shopping online is way too easy.

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