Scams are popping up everywhere. There is even a coronavirus scam that is starting with Robo Callers on the West Coast, but it will probably make it to the East Coast. I have a link below about the coronavirus scam.
Scammers have tried to defraud three of my clients as well as myself in the past month. Here are their stories:
One of my clients was trying to sell a Power Chair through Craigslist. Let’s call her Ann. One of Ann’s Helpers listed it for her. Someone contacted Ann gushing with excitement about purchasing it. The woman sent Ann a check for 3 times what she was selling it for. The check was mailed overnight by Fed Ex. The check was from a country club in the northeast. I called the club and asked about it. I took a photo of the check and texted it to them. They told us please do not cash that check because they did not know anything about it and the bank listed on the check is not the bank they use. It’s a scam.
I was contacted by a scammer wanting to hire Simple Solution Organizing LLC. Luckily, my NAPO colleagues had shared their experience online. I knew it was scam immediately. The person texted me asking if I did home organization. I texted back “yes, we do” and could I call them back in the evening. They answered back that they would send a check for our service, but she could not be there because she was going to have lungs surgery. Not just lung, but lungs.
You might be wondering how this scam works. When I heard about it… I was really confused. The scammer sends a check for significantly more than the Item or service is listed for. Then they ask for the overage back. It takes 2 to 3 days before your bank discovers that their check is bad. The bank usually sends a letter so it could be a couple weeks before you are notified. The scammer has already charged your credit card or cashed your check. That is how it works.
One of my clients received an email saying it was from Apple Support. It included a link to a fake Apple website. I told him not to answer that email. Always look up phone numbers and websites of companies yourself. You can always call back to find out if the email or phone call is legitimate.
Last week another client received a call from someone claiming to be Apple Support. She gave them access to her computer. There are programs where you can invite someone to view/access/control your computer by giving them an access code that shows up on your screen.
They were able to access her username and password to her checking account. Luckily, one of her helpers walked in on her conversation and unplugged her router to stop transmission of additional information. They called her bank immediately and they told her the scammer tried 20 times to gain access to her bank account. I called all three credit reporting agencies and froze the credit reports for her and her husband.
Another popular scam: Text messages from Federal Express that you have a package. I got this scam message. Lots of people have. If you question it, Call Fed Ex yourself by looking up the number. Never use the number the possible scammer provides.
These scammers keep getting more and more sophisticated. They know that people are short on time and patience. Don’t let this happen to you. These people go to work to scam us. They can change phone numbers so it looks like they are calling from inside the U.S. or in your town, but they might be calling from another country.
I want everyone to be aware of potential scams. Be safe online. Working to keep my clients safe is one of the most important responsibilities I have as a Daily Money Manager.
Be skeptical! It may save you a lot of money, headaches and heartache.
Simple Solution Organizing LLC
Daily Money Manager * Professional Organizing * Senior Downsizing
Federal Trade Commission
Federal Trade Commission 2
Coronavirus Scam – Yahoo Finance
Coronavirus Scam – U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Here I am at The White House Press Room. My family had a private tour over the Christmas Holiday. This is my favorite photo.
How To Make a Habit Stick
It’s a new year and decade. So, what do you want to change or improve this year? My gym has been really crowded since January 1. I wonder how long it will last. New Year Resolutions and intentions are easy to make but hard to keep.
I listened to a really good Podcast recently:Creatures of Habit by Hidden Brain published December 30, 2019. The theme of Creatures of Habit is about Will Power. Will Power does not determine how successful we are at achieving our goals and New Year’s Resolutions. Well... what does? Making your goal a habit. Making a new habit involves consistency so it has to be easy and uncomplicated for you to do it consistently.
The Scientist interviewed on the Podcast gave some examples. Exercise goal: Research revealed if the gym is 3.5 miles away then most people went to the gym 3 times a month and if the gym was 5 miles away they only went 2 times a month. Wow! That’s not much at all. I love exercising and I belong to a gym with 2 locations. I have no problem driving to the gym that is 10 miles away but this is a long standing habit for me.
When the Scientist wanted to begin a new exercise routine she had to figure out how and when she could work it into her busy schedule. She had a full time job and a family. The only time she could exercise was first thing in the morning. She slept in her exercise wear to make it easier for her. She decided on a time that did not conflict with work or her children and by sleeping in her exercise clothes she minimized the effort to get out the door. She was successful because jogging became a habit for her.
Just like anything else it takes planning to figure out how to make it work for you. Removing obstacles from derailing you. Another goal is getting better organized. It’s important to be specific not vague.
My one word for 2020 is Positivity. What’s yours? My intention for 2020 is to add weights to my workout routine 2 times a week. I also want to spend more time on my finances. I scheduled a recurring appointment into my own calendar for every Friday to work on Mint and Quickbooks. I also want to try more variety in my diet. I want to try different fruits and veggies. I plan to buy an interesting looking fruit or veggie one to two times a month. If I don’t like it, I never have to eat it again.
I hope you have a positive and prosperous 2020. Contact me for Professional Organizing, Professional Downsizing, and Daily Money Management services.
Daily Money Manager, Professional Organizer & Downsizing Expert
Simple Solution Organizing LLC
New Year New Office
Here is a photo of my new home office. I used to have my office in our Bonus Room and it never felt quite right. I love my new office. The morning sun streams in through the large window. I'm usually working at a Clients Home or Office so I don't get to enjoy it that much.
Do you receive gift cards via email? I suggest creating a digital file folder labeled “gift cards”. Move them into that folder immediately. Do you get gift cards? I recommend creating a place in your office to keep them. It can be in a drawer, file, cubby, any container but put them all together and only in that spot. You may want to put them in your wallet immediately. I’m using the word immediately a lot but we had a gift card snafu happen in our family a couple of times and let’s just say it was a pain in the rear!! Don’t let this happen to you. You might be saying, “If I file them away I’ll forget I have them.” If you need them out keep them together but in a place you can see them: a couple of ideas are in an envelope tacked to a peg board or simply add it to your calendar as a future To Do: use my gift cards.
I find many unused gift cards when I’m organizing my client’s homes. Some of them expire so act sooner than later. The same goes for Gift Certificates. I sell Gift Certificates for my services and I put a 1 year expiration date on them. Contact me via phone or email to purchase a unique gift for someone this year. Services include: Daily Money Management, Professional Organizing and Senior Downsizing.
Gifts or Experiences
If given the choice I would choose experiences every time. This year my family is meeting in Washington D.C. for a couple of nights; then we are headed to New York City. We will exchange small priced gifts this year….NOT CLUTTER!!! We ask our kids and family what they want or need for Christmas. The last thing I want to do is give something to someone that is going to become CLUTTER. You may not be comfortable asking what people want. Why not give a gift card to their favorite Restaurant or Movie Theater? I love buying food and goodies from Trader Joe’s, Earth Fair and Fresh Market.
My best friends do a White Elephant Exchange every year. We have a party and always have a blast opening the White Elephants Gifts. I have 2 parties every year that does a White Elephant Exchange and they are so much fun. We save a lot of money this way and we get to spend time together which in my opinion is the best gift of all.
I hope you have a wonderful Holiday with your loved ones.
Most people do not like the word budget. Budgeting is associated with restriction and deprivation. Why would anyone want to follow a budget…right? Budgeting can be viewed as an awful experience or a liberating choice. Especially if you want to pay off debts. It takes a lot of discipline to follow a budget.
I think parents have a strong influence on their children’s financial viewpoint. Lifestyle choices and financial philosophy towards spending versus saving impact our children. My mom, Pat, paid cash for cars; she did not finance. Pat was frugal; she had to be, living on a Teacher’s salary in Louisiana. She shopped at Thrift Stores and did not buy a lot of stuff. She bought good quality furniture and our house was always neat and tidy (shocking I’m sure!). That was after my mom and dad divorced. My father, John, was the opposite—he was a Hoarder… he bought and kept lots of stuff. I’ll never forget that he purchased all the King Tut items from the New Orleans Museum of Art Gift Shop when the King Tut exhibit was there. I’m not exaggerating and unfortunately someone stole the items out of our home.
However, my dad taught me to pay bills when I was only 8 years old and he created a game: Transaction, that was sold to Colleges and Universities designed to teach college students or any adult how to “play” the Stock Market. He was an Inventor and Chemical Engineer. He also was a good delegator teaching me how to write checks, it was an important lesson. Little did we know that I would use this skill in my own business: Financial Organizing and Daily Money Management Services. I try to convince my clients to let me pay their bills electronically but if they are not on board with this idea, I fill out checks for them.
My parents had differing philosophies about finances and my husband’s parents were not the greatest financial role models. My father-in-law, Jerry, did not save any money for retirement and my mother-in-law, Susan, did not save enough. My husband, Karl, did not receive the financial education from his parents that he should have and schools did not teach Financial Literacy. My son, Connor, is a Junior in High School and his favorite class is Financial Literacy an Elective. I strongly believe that this class should be mandatory not an Elective. Everyone needs to know how to manage their daily finances, if they want to be successful in life.
I handle the financial duties in my household: paying bills, reviewing Credit Card Statements, Investment Statements, monitoring cash flow and renewing Insurance Policies. I have set us up with two Budgeting websites: Mint and Personal Capital. I prefer Mint for two reasons. 1) they have a tool that compares your spending with people of the same financial and age demographics. 2) Personal Capital has one of their Financial Professionals call to review options for Investing with them. I told them to take my name of their list and luckily, they have not called me sense. Both of these websites are free.
If you know that you will not follow a budget or maybe you are lucky enough that you don’t need to, I still recommend putting together a financial worksheet which includes:
This will show you the big picture: what you are earning versus expenditures. You also may be surprised by a few discoveries for instance how much money you spend on Starbucks Coffee or your local haunt… Jittery Joe’s where I live, lunches, or clothing. It’s never a good idea to bury your head in the sand when it comes to your hard-earned money. Knowledge is power. You can make informed decisions about spending and saving once you do this extremely important exercise. When you complete the above exercise, you will have the information you need to make a budget; if you choose to. Remember budgeting can be a positive experience and enhance your life significantly. When you take charge of your finances you decide where you spend your money.
I was Broke Now I’m Not, IWBNIN, is a great website with free budgeting tools and excel worksheet. According to I Was Broke Now I’m Not: “A written spending plan for your money (or a budget) that includes giving, saving, and spending is critical to achieving financial freedom. There is nothing more powerful than planning your spending BEFORE any of the money ever shows up and BEFORE the month begins.” IWBNIN lists these reasons to start a budget.
5 Reasons why budgeting is important
In addition to I Was Broke Now I’m Not, there are many Personal Budget Websites and Apps that can help you create and monitor a budget. Here are two that are very popular Mint and YNAB, You Need a Budget. Mint is free and YNAB has a small monthly fee. However, if you want to reach savings goals and get very detailed on your budget, I would use YNAB. Nerdwallet is a great website to research everything financial.
Do you want help creating a budget and/or setting up Mint or another program? Simple Solution Organizing LLC can help with this process. We are passionate about helping our clients achieve their goals.
Daily Money Manager, Professional Organizer & Downsizing Expert
Simple Solution Organizing LLC