SIGN OF DIGITAL TIMES
DIGITAL FINANCE IN THE HOME OFFICE
Forget the filing cabinet and toss your stapler. Your home office is going digital.
WHAT IF …
Your office is a mess? Try using this acronym to decide what to do with all of that paper:
Throw it away or recycle it.
Refer it to someone else.
Act on it.
Save it in the place where it belongs.
Halt it (in the case of junk mail or subscriptions you don't need).
TAKE THE EASY WAY OUT
Using your computer to take care of your finances can save you considerable time and headaches. There are no stamps to lick, no paper cuts, no math errors, and you have an opportunity to save some hard-earned money.
CHOOSING FINANCIAL SOFTWARE
Most personal-finance programs allow you to pay bills online, organize your budget, track investments, print checks, and keep your expenses organized for taxes.
With just a few clicks, you can see where you're overspending, which investments are under-performing, or determine if it's time to refinance. With the powerful financial software available, it's almost like having a little financial advisor looking over your shoulder.
Note the contents on the CD, including the date, the file format, and anything else that might help you identify the disc later without having to pop it into your computer.
A laser-etched label can give your discs a polished look for eye-grabbing self-promotion, or simply more effective archiving. LightScribe Direct Disc Labeling technology and a specially coated disc enable you to burn professional-looking photo and text labels right onto your CDs and DVDs. Now all your important data files will be instantly identifiable, granting you a new level of convenience and efficiency.
PROTECTING YOUR PRIVACY
Take the same precautions with your digital data as you would with your Social Security number, credit card numbers, and other private information. When you burn your archives to disc, lock them up with your other financial concerns. Consider a fireproof safe, which protects your valuable information from both burglars and disaster.
GUARD AGAINST IDENTITY THEFT
You know one thing that won't protect your personal information? Your garbage can. The primary source of identity theft is not super-skilled computer hackers breaking into your computer from a telephone booth. It's dumpster divers picking through broken eggshells and banana peels to steal your bank and credit card statements, and other personal documents. The best way to fight identity theft is to put a shredder right next to your desk. You can even buy a shredder that will slice and dice old CDs!
WHAT IF …
Your home office is your second office?
A handheld computer can save you from having to enter data into a computer more than once. Handhelds can store contacts, schedules, to-do lists, e-mail, practically anything that their larger counterparts can—but they fit into your pocket or handbag. And by regularly syncing up with your computer, you can update the information anytime and access it from your office, too.
The benefits of moving your finances to digital media far outweigh the risks, and that's not even considering the extra space you'll free up in your office where that extra filing cabinet used to be!