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How to Save Money by Preventing Theft

By on November 10, 2016
How to Save Money by Preventing Theft

In any normal week, you are surrounded by advice on how to save money. You may see tips on paring back your spending online or on television. You may be targeted by banks offering to save you money on checking fees or offering cash back on new credit card purchases.

It’s all well and good to try to save some cash. But one of the most basic ways of saving your money sometimes gets overlooked. What is it? It’s preventing theft of your money, property and other valuable goods.

Nationwide, there were nearly 1.6 million burglaries in 2015. The total property loss the thefts caused totaled an estimated $3.6 million. The dollar loss on average was $2,316.

More than 70% of the thefts occurred on residential property, which leaves just under 29% of thefts happening in business. Thieves steal cash, valuables such as jewels and property such as televisions and bicycles.

How can you protect yourself in both your home and business? Here are some tips to ensure that thieves don’t undo all your work and savings.

How to Protect a Home

  1. Lock your doors and leave spare keys in safe places! This is a very obvious piece of antitheft advice, but it’s too often not heeded. More than one-third of residential thefts occurred because of unlawful entry rather than forced entry. In other words, burglars could get in either because doors were unlocked or they had a key. Don’t leave spare keys in obvious places like a flowerpot. The safest place to leave them is with trusted family members or friends.
  2. Landscape to deter thieves. Burglars look for places where they can break in unnoticed. Especially if your windows are low to the ground, don’t plant trees or heavy shrubbery in front of them. It’s too easy for thieves to hide as they open or break your windows.
  3. Lock and secure your garage door. Never, never leave your garage door up. Burglars know that garages are often entryways to houses. Also, things in garages are often stolen: bicycles, sporting gear and cars. If your garage door has a history of suddenly going up — many of them do as they get older — replace or repair it.

How to Protect a Business

  1. Use an industrial grade rolling garage door. As in homes, thieves may well target a garage door as a relatively easy entry point. Make sure that you have an extra secure garage door.
  2. Deposit cash and checks every day. If you are in a business where customers exchange cash and checks with you every day, do not leave these around, even in a locked drawer. It’s too tempting to thieves, both inside and outside your business. Make sure they are safe in the bank every day.
  3. Institute anti-embezzlement procedures. No one wants to believe their trusted employees would steal money in the form of embezzlement. Unfortunately, embezzlement is too common. Be sure you audit the books periodically, and do so at unpredictable times. An unexpected loss or write-off can be signs that embezzlement is occurring. Have all checks co-signed — never leave all the transactions to any one person.

Keep these tips in mind as ways to prevent theft and save money, both for yourself and for your business.

Scott Huntington is a writer from central Pennsylvania. He enjoys working on his home and garden with his wife and 2 kids. Follow him on Twitter @SMHuntington

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