This week we discuss protecting yourself from identity theft and a free way to manage your personal finances. Check out this episode of the Business of Dentistry podcast to hear about the two resources I use to assist me in both of these areas. And for the record, this is episode 048 not 047! (I totally lost count).
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We’re taking a different tack this week. Rather than think about something inside of our practice, we’re going to think about and talk about our money. Specifically I’m going to share some of the personal tools that I use at home, the tools that help me track and monitor the money I’ve paid myself from my practice.
There are two tools I like in particular: Lifelock and Mint.com. Lifelock and Mint have both helped me tremendously, in terms of tracking where my money goes, and monitoring the accounts I currently have open. They also help me know how much I’m spending and on what.
Lifelock is something I began using after an incident a few years ago. While i was serving in the Navy, my wife got multiple notices of an overdraft on an account. She emailed me about it, but I had thought the account was closed. Obviously it wasn’t.
But there should have been no activity in it. Somehow someone had gotten ahold of the account details and was using it to pay their bills. It was clearly identity theft. Fortunately, we caught it early enough that we were able to shut it down without too much trouble or any damage being done to my credit.
After another incident of account theft with our credit cards, I found Lifelock. It’s the safeguard I found that I like best of all. Some of the benefits they offer are tracking of your credit score, providing you with a monthly summary of your accounts and overall finances, notifying you when a new credit account is opened in your name and when a credit check is done on you.
They also notify you of any sex offenders in your area who are within a certain radius of your zip code.
They have multiple tiers and options so you can add your spouse and/or your kids. Even kids aren’t immune to identity theft so it’s good to protect all of your loved ones. My entire family is on my Lifelock account.
The second tool that I’ve found so useful is Mint.com. Mint.com is a web site where you plug in your loan information, bank account details, credit cards, investments, etc. The site brings all of that information into one place and helps you track everything.
It helps you track where you spend your money, and how you spend it. It also helps you create a budget, then track your expenses against that budget. It will also notify you of service fees that you are charged, and ask you to be sure the fees are valid and cannot be waived by your financial institution.
And Mint.com does all of this for free. To maintain a free program, they advertise on the site by offering lower interest rate credit cards, auto loans, etc.
Now that you’ve heard about my two favorite financial tools, do you have other programs you like? I’d love to hear from you. If you email me with links to the apps and programs you like, I’ll add them to the show notes resources below!
Thanks for being here and for listening to episode 48 of the Business of Dentistry podcast.