If you don’t live under a rock, you’ve probably heard there was yet another corporate data security breach. This time it was at Anthem Health Insurance.
If you are an Anthem member, you can get two years of free credit monitoring. Anthem will be posting details here later today. Add that to my free year of credit monitoring at Home Depot and then another from Target and I’m going on four years of unpaid credit monitoring. Thanks a lot criminals!
On that note…go check your credit.
Do you work in Contra Costa county and carpool, take public transit, or walk or bike to work? If you get stuck in an emergency situation, 511 Contra Costa has you covered with a guaranteed ride home. You must pre-register to participate.
Thanks to hackers who breached their credit card files, Home Depot is offering free credit monitoring for U.S. customers who “believe” they may have used their credit card at HD from April 2014 and on. I “believe” you did.
You know I love my Target. I’ll still shop away, with very little abandon, even after the whole security breach thing. I feel like it could happen anywhere and to any retailer. It doesn’t mean you need to freak out and only pay in cash. You just have to be vigilant and check your accounts as much as possible. Use Mint to monitor your card activity. Also, use a credit card rather than a debit card. At least if there are unauthorized charges, your checking account won’t be instantly depleted.
Anyway, if you used your credit or debit card at Target between November 27 and December 15, 2013, Target is offering one free year of credit monitoring. Sign up by April 23, 2014 for an activation code. They aren’t verifying whether or not you actually used your card during that time period. Hint. Hint.
Although I love to shop, I’m always on top of my finances. As you may or may not know, I’m cheap. So I use the free budget tracking website Mint.com. It’s owned by Intuit, the same company that makes TurboTax and QuickBooks, so it’s trustworthy.
Set-up is super easy. On your first log-in you input all of your log ins and passwords for bank accounts, credit cards, loans, retirement accounts, mortgages, student loans, store cards, etc. Mint downloads all of your transactions and you (or Mint) assign a spending category to each transaction. On future downloads, Mint will use your previous category assignment to categorize new transactions. Mint also does a pretty good job of recognizing merchants and assigning the right category. You can always change the category and add your own. You have the option of splitting transactions into multiple categories, too. Cash transactions can be manually added as well.
After a couple months of using Mint regularly, the software gets to know your spending habits. It does some magical calculator math and determines your budget for you. Trust me, it’s a bit shocking. But it does make you more aware of where your money is going. You have the ability to change the budget limits and the software lets you set financial goals.
Mint keeps track of your payment due dates and alerts you on the site and by e-mail. It recommends ways in which you can save money. It also shows your your net worth. Eek!! Nothing like a good slap in the face from a stupid computer.
I fully recommend Mint. I’ve been using it for years and I’m 100% satisfied. I log in at least 5 times a week and I know where every penny goes.