I recently conducted a survey (click here if you’d like to weigh-in), and one respondent said this, “I like earning [money], but don’t care much for managing, investing, budgeting, etc.”

Too bad this isn’t an uncommon sentiment.

Too bad it’s becoming a more costly one to have.

Last Friday, I appeared on HLN to talk about the consumer impact of Target’s data breach. The retailer was back in the news because earlier that day, they announced that the number of consumers affected jumped to 70 million – up from the initial reporting of 40 million.

JmT-HLN-Jan1014-RSBy the time the evening news rolled around, consumers’ sense of safety would be jolted once more. Target’s number had morphed to 110 million!  And as if that wasn’t enough, the tony retailer Neiman Marcus released a statement that, it, too, experienced a security breach of customer data during the 2013 holiday season.

The *Real* Wake-up Call

It’s easy to watch the news or read the papers and focus on the hackers. After all the rising number and sophistication of these cyber crimes are scaaary!

It’s easy to view this is as a call-to-action for retailers and financial institutions. No doubt, they do need to up their game and get better at working together to improve what they do to protect our financial and personal data. Especially when so much of what they collect is used by them to evaluate your creditworthiness and mine. And let’s not forget the bottom-line: the costs associated with these breaches will eventually trickle down to you and me in terms of higher cost of goods.

But the real wake-up call is for you and me as consumers – especially if you’re a consumer who suffers from a consistent dose of financial apathy.

You might not geek out about the numbers like I do. You might not enjoy digging “behind” the numbers for the story about what’s really going on. But these recent breaches are a reminder that it doesn’t matter if you find managing your money boring, or uninteresting, or down-right unpleasant…

YOU can’t afford not to care about the aspects of managing your money you don’t like.

Making the shift from financial apathy to being fully engaged doesn’t have to be burdensome. Here are a few easy habits to make it so:

  • Daily
    • Use the mobile banking feature for your banking accounts and check your balances and transactions
    • Set up daily email alerts on your banking accounts to notify you when your balance goes beneath a certain amount and/or when a transaction above a certain threshold hits your account
  • Weekly
    • Check your credit cards to confirm the transactions shown are yours

And as soon as you finish reading this, head to www.annualcreditreport.com to pull your credit report to review and confirm the accuracy of what’s reported.

The unfortunate reality is that the recent breaches will likely become more frequent, not less. And the hackers are betting on you and me to be complacent when it comes to our money management and monitoring.

Don’t you think there’s too much at stake to let that happen? I do.

p.s. would you join a membership program that fuses together financial coaching, training, and planning? Click here to let me know.

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