Yesterday at the gym, I overheard a woman comment that she never bothered to get a lock for her gym locker. After all, she took her purse with her while she worked out and who would want to steal her clothes? While she may be right, I am still surprised at her attitude. Our gym has had problems with people rifiling through lockers (admittedly only in the men’s locker room) and even if I’m not worried about someone stealing my clothes, I still don’t want anyone else going through them looking for something to steal. Besides, it’s cold outside! What happens if someone steals my clothes? What will I wear back to the office?
Of course, I always lock my locker, so unless someone goes into the locker room with a bolt cutter, I should be okay.
But that made me think about how perhaps I’m not protecting everything that I own. I’m good about taking my GPS out of my car when I park it in the lot, as a visible GPS is a big temptation for a potential thief. But I’m frequently guilty of leaving my iPod sitting out on my desk in the office. Never overnight or while I’m at lunch, but I could be in a 2 hour meeting and it would just be sitting right there in plain sight. Right now, my purse is in a cabinet above my desk, but the cabinet is not locked. It has a lock, I just never lock it.
Now, I work in a federal government office building, and so we’ve got pretty good security here. Everyone in the office is either an escorted visitor or an employee or contractor. So it’s not as though there are people just wandering through, and my cubicle isn’t on a major walkway, so it’s a bit more secluded, but it’s not like I have my own little hidey hole.
While I’ve never heard of anything being stolen in the office (aside from filched office supplies), I probably should be more careful about what I own. While that doesn’t mean locking everything away, I should probably at the very least slide my iPod into a drawer when I walk away from my desk.
I must also take a moment to plug renters insurance. If you own your home, you probably have homeowners insurance. But for those of you who rent – is your stuff insured? Sure, you might not think you own very much, but what happens if a pipe bursts and floods your apartment and destroys everything? Even if everything you own came from Goodwill, it will still take you a significant bit of money to replace it all. Also, does your insurance cover your big ticket items? Did you initially get insurance as a poor recent college graduate and now that you’re making money, you’ve bought a nice new tv and stereo system? You might want to make sure you have sufficient insurance.
I have car insurance and renters insurance through the same company (State Farm, and while I’ve never had to file a renters insurance claim, their car insurance procedures couldn’t be easier), so I get a discount on both. My renters insurance runs me about $100 a year, and even though I didn’t need to file a claim all last year, I still consider it among the best money I spend every year.
Do you protect your stuff? Or do you not think about it?
Megan is a 30-something government employee in the Washington, DC area. She got interested in Personal Finance when she got out of college and realized that her paycheck wasn’t going to go as far as she had hoped. Since starting this blog, she has managed to buy a house and make a solid start on her retirement goals, and hopes to help others do the same. Here is her story:
In 2007, I was a gainfully employed 20-something with no debt but not a lot of knowledge about personal finance. It was a co-worker’s comment about Roth IRAs that sent me to the internet, searching for information. It was then that I realized that I really didn’t know a whole lot about personal finance and that my current financial situation was due a lot to inherent frugal tendencies, generous family members, a fear of debt, and good luck. While that was working for me, clearly I needed a better plan.
While I had no debt, I was also pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and not worrying about going over budget (I say this as if I had a real budget) because I had an emergency fund set aside to cover any overages.
Except that’s not what an emergency fund is for.
So I did a lot of research, read a lot of blogs, and decided that I needed a plan. I needed to budget. I needed to know what I was spending my money on. I needed to prepare for the future.
I decided to create a blog not only to make myself accountable to others but also to share the knowledge that I gained along the way. I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers, and I hope that my readers can find something useful in what I have to share as well.