The recent blockbuster “Identity Thief” made light of a very serious, growing problem in the U.S. and around the world. Identity theft is growing at an alarming rate; and it can wreak havoc on your plans for environmentally sustainable housing, checking account, credit cards and
credit ratings, it can even impact your employment and employability if you are looking for a job. So what can you do to protect yourself? Practice good privacy protection habits first. In the movie, the victim simply gave his personal information over the phone to a caller claiming to be from a company holding one of his accounts. Giving out personal info to someone you don’t know and cannot verify is a major mistake. But if you are already taking all the smart privacy protection steps you can and want to know if there’s more you can do, especially if you feel you are at a higher risk of identity theft (say for example you know that your personal data was recently compromised); you may want to think about identity theft insurance.
While identity theft insurance can’t prevent a theft from occurring, it can make repairing your identity a little bit easier after a theft has occurred. Repairing your identity can be costly; so the insurance reimburses you for certain expenses associated with getting your identity back where it should be. You can be reimbursed for things like phone bills, lost wages, cost for notarizing fraud affidavits or other documents, and certified mail costs, and sometimes even pre-approved attorney fees. If you’re looking to purchase identity theft insurance, comparison shop policies first among multiple insurance companies. Make sure you understand exactly what you are getting; find out about policy limits, deductibles, whether it covers lost wages and attorney’s fees and what the policy will cost, most policies range from $25 to $65 per year.
Get more tips on purchasing identity theft insurance in the article, “
Do I Need Identity Theft Insurance?” on the Equifax Finance Blog, and while you’re there, you can find tons of information to help you protect your identity, as well as manage your personal finances, from retirement to taxes to credit and more.
Don’t want to go green because of the up-front costs? This insightful infographic from Digney York, interior renovation specialists for hotels and resorts, shows how the energy-efficient improvements in your home will pay for themselves and then some over time.
You can embrace the outdoors and upgrade your home with lots of improvements to boost your home’s outdoors. We often forget about our home’s exterior when we think about home décor, but outdoor upgrades can bring years of enjoyment or improve your home’s attractiveness to buyers while still keeping in harmony with nature. A recent
Equifax Finance Blog article discusses popular outdoor upgrades.
Fire pits – enjoy the glow of an evening fire with a fire pit spring through fall; these can either be built-in and permanent or you can purchase a portable fire pit at a department or home improvement store
Outdoor kitchen – these can get upscale with a grill, sink, stove/oven, bar, refrigerator and more. An outdoor kitchen makes entertaining outdoors easier
Patio – kick your basic patio up a notch with a concrete pavers, which come in all kinds of sizes, shapes and colors and add a focal point with a paved walkway or fountain
Landscaping – planting trees or flowers is a quick and relatively inexpensive way to add beauty to your home; a colorful planter filled with seasonal flowers will add to your home’s curb appeal
Paint – touching up or repainting your home’s exterior will not only freshen up your home’s exteriors but it will also help protect your home from the elements
Get more home improvement tips at the Equifax Finance blog, including tons more helpful tips on real estate, as well as other personal finance topics, like retirement, taxes, insurance, credit and
identity theft protection.
When it comes to recycling, many people underestimate how much benefit the act of simply recycling everyday products on a regular basis could have. Here are my top five favorite facts when it comes to recycling and how you can help reduce our planet’s waste:
- Recycled Metal: The most important resources that should be recycled are the earth’s metals. One company devoted to this task is Brilliant Earth, a conflict-free diamond company specializing in diamond and engagement rings that works to reuse silver, gold and platinum. The recycling process includes refining the metal back to its pure elements before molding it into different objects. Not only do recycled metals put less of a demand on the earth’s resources, but they are also less harmful on the planet, making Brilliant Earth a valuable company in relationship with the earth’s environment.
- Recycled Shoes: Nike, one of the largest athletic brands in the world, offers a recycled shoe program that accepts donated shoes. They use the rubber from each pair to make playground turf, which ultimately eliminates waste and saves thousands of dollars. Nike also uses all organic materials for its items, making it a leading brand in society.
- Cell Phones: Cell phones last an average of two to three years, which means the used ones have the potential to accumulate quickly worldwide. Fortunately, they can be recycled by disassembling the phone and removing the battery; both parts can then be donated by dropping them off at computer or electronic recycler units.
- Plastic Bags: Plastic bags can be seen everywhere, from packaging to grocery store bags. For the average household, the material often accumulates rapidly, and adds thousands of pounds of extra waste at landfills. Instead of throwing your plastic bags away, consider donating them to local grocery stores, so that they can be reused and remade.
- 25 Million Trees Can Be Saved Each Year: Saving a total of 25 million trees a year is much easier than most people think. If every household recycled just one-tenth of their newspapers, it would equate to this seemingly impossible number.
These few simple recycling habits are some of the easiest for households to acquire, and can largely contribute to solutions that will ultimately preserve the earth’s resources, making it a more habitable place to live for many generations to come.
Guest post written by Sophia Evans
Ashton Woods Homes’ newest community Stoney Creek opening in August is the perfect place to raise a family. Stoney Creek is only minutes away from Downtown Woodstock, the new Aquatic Center, J.J Biello Park and The Outlet Shoppes of Atlanta. Priced in the low $200,000s, this community is sure to sell out quickly.
Offered in the community will be four very unique floor designs, including the Melrose, Whitmore, Monroe, and Glenwood. Homes will have somewhere around 2,842 to 3,160 square feet and feature four bedrooms with two-and-a-half baths.
The energy-efficient homes are very spacious and there are opportunities for finished basements, third floors and outdoor living. Residents will not only enjoy their home amenities, but also the community cabana, pool and playground located around the charming community clubhouse. Continue reading