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December 23, 2008

Tough Times

Times are tough here in New Zealand, much as they are worldwide. Unfortunately, some people try to take the easy way out and steal from others. I thought these security tips from my local paper would be a good reminder to everyone, especially with the holidays coming up.

1. Shut and lock all doors and close and lock all windows when no one is at home.

2. Do not “hide” keys outside your home. Burglars know this trick and will look for them.

3. Make sure valuables can’t be seen from outside.

4. Make your home look occupied when you’re away by using timers on radios and lights. Cancel milk, papers and mail deliveries. Have a neighbor collect junk mail.

5. When you buy new items like TVs, DVD players etc don’t leave the empty boxes out for rubbish collection or if you do, turn them inside out so you’re not advertising.

6. Hide or lock away passports and official documents because identity theft is on the rise. Note to self – don’t hide things so well you can’t find them later. I’m still looking for my car keys! :blush:

7. Don’t leave car keys near doors or windows.

8. Consider engraving your property. This puts thieves off because the resale value isn’t as good.

9. Keep a list of valuables (an up-to-date one) including serial numbers.

10. Deadlocks make it harder for burglars to get your belongings out if they enter via a window. Also lock internal doors such as those between the house and garage.

11. Window locks deter burglars because smashing glass attracts attention.

12. Visible alarms and security lighting is a good deterrent.

13. Invite neighbors to use your driveway and clothesline to make it look as if someone is at home.

14. Join a neighborhood watch.

Do you have any other good security tips to add? We might as well talk budgeting tips as well because as I mentioned, times are tough. What is your best money saving tip?


  1. Christina Phillips

    Very good advice, Shelley. Last week my niece’s house was broken into and they took her brand new flat screen tv – they had the nerve to pack it back in the box and take it out through the front door. They also ripped open all the Christmas presents under the tree, and took the ones they liked. It makes you really sick :evil:

  2. Shelley Munro

    Aw, Christina, that’s terrible. I’m so sorry. A burglarly like this always makes one feel so violated. Unfortunately, I’m hearing quite a few stories like this.

  3. Debby

    What good tips! I am going to get my kids to follow them.

  4. Deidre

    Get a good guard dog.

    Saving money, decide what things are most important and necessary, trim on the rest.


  5. Julie Robinson

    Christina, How terrible. Sometimes we get so caught up in the joy of the Christmas Spirit that we forget that not everyone has the same perspective.

    Shelley, great tips. Thanks for posting them.

    Answer to question: Don’t spend.
    Ha! Yeah right!

  6. Shelley Munro

    Deidre – good idea about the guard dog.

    Julie – someone stole our credit card number and the credit card company canceled it, which is good, but it took us two weeks to receive new ones. We only got them today so we haven’t used our card for ages!! A bit radical. :grin:

  7. Julie Robinson

    That’s terrible, Shelley, but Wow, two weeks without your credit cards??!!
    I should try that—without having your bad luck first.
    Hope you’re having a Merry Christmas eve.

  8. Michele N.

    Wow! Hugs Christina! Hope your insurance company is a good one….
    My sis ordered stuff online on Black Monday, the busiest online shopping day of the year. Her purchases were witness by a neighbor as being delivered. A few hours later, when she got home from work, they were gone.
    Over $1, 000 in Christmas gifts gone.
    A few days later, she heard from the police that she was not the only victim There was an organized theft ring targeting communities and her’s was but one that day.

    Talk about sad and ruining the holidays for hard working people!

    So my advice is…when ordering items to be delivered… TRACK your packages and either BE home for the delivery or if you are lucky, have a trusted neighbor looking out for it and as soon as it’s delivered, have them take it for safe keeping.
    OR, if you are lucky, my sis isnt’, have it delivered at work.

    That’s all I can come up with and this advice can be used ALL year long…

  9. Karin

    These are some great tips. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Michele N.

    Thanks, Julie, for your thoughts of my sister.
    She will still freshley upset when I first spoke to her but I guess some of the stuff was from Best Buy and they were honoring her purchases, because I guess they ship things insured. But the rest? I have no idea. I’m seeing her this week, she’s driven up from Florida and I can’t wait to see her.

    And I agree, it made me mad that anyone should have their holiday ruined by someone else’s inconsideration for others, their greed and their Scrooge Mentality.

    Are there STILL places where you can leave your door unlocked and trust your neighbors and community??

    It sure seems like we’re becoming LESS civilized…scary thought…

  11. Shelley Munro

    Michele – that’s terrible! I can’t understand someone stealing like that. It’s good that your sister will at least get some of her stuff.