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Thursday, 11 January 2018

Pay attention.

Hello. Have you ever thought about how carelessness and familiarization with your surroundings can impact on your bank balance? Can you see the connection with everything in it's place and a place for everything, equals saving money? Or, lacking in organizational skills can lead to more bills, more expenses to pay out?

I have been thinking about how every day activities can be linked with either money spending or money saving. The things we do automatically without thinking may not always be the best way. We can get into sloppy habits because we are not paying attention. Here are some of my ideas.

Where do you keep your car and house keys, any keys for that matter? It's easy to come into the house and sling them in the nearest kitchen drawer. Easy to pick them up again before you leave the house. They will always be there, mostly they are, but not always. Don't tell me that you hang them on a hook on the wall just inside the front door, that is just asking for trouble. Thieves know the most likely places to find keys. Only a few weeks ago a house near here was broken into, they found the keys to three cars on the drive, they were all gone in a matter of minutes. I hide my keys in another room of the house. I know where they are, no one else does. They would have to ransack the place before they find them.

Same with purses, wallets, and handbags. In the kitchen cupboard? In the office? Don't make it easy for thieves, hide things away out of sight, somewhere where they might not think of looking.

There are desperate people out there who are not getting any benefits and will resort to robbery to fund their lifestyle. You think you are safe in your own house, but you are not if you leave a door unlocked. Opportunist thieves will try doors until they find one unlocked, and woe betide anyone who is inside. You don't want that to happen, so lock your doors.

Next, walking about in towns, anywhere, you are carrying money, keys, phone, and cards. Keep them safe in zipped pockets, always check that the zips are fully closed after making a purchase. Do not leave the shop until you have checked your change and have your card stowed away safely. If you have to carry a bag use a small across the body bag with a shoulder strap. Put it on over your clothes but under your coat or jacket. While walking about check that you still have all your valuables in your possession. Pick pocketing is rife, bag snatching is rife, and now we have hoodies riding about on mopeds looking for victims who are yakking into their mobile phones while not taking a bit of notice about what is going on around them. It only takes a split second for a snatch to take place.

You think you are safe while driving about in your metal box, but you are not. When you get in your car what is the first thing you do, chuck your bag on the front passenger seat or in the front footwell, then drive off. That's a no no. At least hide your bag, your purse, but better still, lock all your doors. Bags have been stolen while a car is sat at traffic lights on red. It takes no time at all for someone to come alongside. open the door and make off with your valuables. It happens. They could be on foot or on a bicycle, they will escape through the crowds, and you are stuck in a traffic jam in your car.

As for parking your car, try and leave it in a busy street, not somewhere hidden away. Park near houses if you can, and lock it. Thieves will try car doors in the middle of the night even when your car is on your own driveway, they have been caught on CCTV cameras. Do not leave anything in your car when you lock it and leave it. Last week Humberside police tweeted that a car had been broken into, cards found and a substantial amount of money had been spent on them within hours. Who would be so daft as to leave their cards in their car? I do despair. Do not leave anything in your car.

Yet another case of stolen dogs has come up on my Facebook this morning, it's happening all the time. They are stolen from back gardens on a regular basis. Apart from the mental anguish that follows from a pet disappearing, there is also the monetary loss as well. Six dogs were stolen from the back of a Transit van recently. Only a couple of weeks ago someone left their two dogs in the multistory car park at Manchester which went up in flames, while they went out for a meal. The brave fire brigade went in and got them out before they died. I suppose you could put it down to the owner making a mistake and leaving them for a few minutes, but it shouldn't happen. You have to be aware of why dogs are stolen. People see dog breeding as an easy way of making money. They will steal a dog, impregnate it, or use it (male) for stud, keep it in squalid conditions until it gives birth and then kick it out. Often a stolen dog will be sold on to an unsuspecting buyer. Some of them are finding their way back to the original owner because of chipping, but not all are chipped. So my message here is, do not let your dogs out of your sight, make sure they are in a safe place at all times.

And the connection to money saving? Every little mishap, every mistake, every time complacency takes over and you are not watching what you are doing, you walk zombie like into disaster. Your purse is gone, the cash is gone, you have to phone the bank and cancel the cards and order new ones. Your car is stolen, or damaged, you have to contact your insurance to claim, your premium goes up the following year. You have to replace the car or get it repaired. Your mobile phone is gone, all your details are in there, your contact numbers, you are in danger of someone stealing your identity, the repercussions could be horrendous.

And losing a beloved pet has to be the most painful of the lot. Nothing is as bad as that. Material things can be replaced, but finding that your best friend has been taken by strangers, who will probably not treat it very well, is enough to make you say, why did I not take more care of it.

Something to think about. Pay attention, take care of your possessions, and I don't mean become paranoid about it. Just get into the habit of taking simple precautions.

I'm off. Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip

40 comments:

  1. I agree that the most painful of the above is having your pet stolen. I still see so many dogs tied up outside shops waiting for their owners. There was a little toy poodle tied up outside our local co-op barking its head off recently. The owner inside seemed embarrassed due to the barking as I struck up a conversation with her. I said it wasn't safe to leave the dog tied up, to which she replied " well I'd know if he'd been taken as the barking would stop"! Stupid woman. Only takes a second!!

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    1. Oh, I'm sorry, but I laughed out loud. When the barking stopped she was going to run outside in an instant to catch the thief? If that dog is ever stolen, let us hope it's by a decent human who wants a pet. And I salute you for trying to impart a little awareness to this woman. With regard to the whole issue, I often wonder why owners think it's a treat for their pet to drive around in a hot car and be leashed up to a newsstand waiting for their stupid owners to return. The dog would probably survive without your amazing presence if you left it in a safe and comfortable place at your home while you went shopping. (Unfortunately, I often think the same thing when I see small children dragged along on a shopping trip that is of no interest to them. You couldn't shop after they're in bed, or trade off with a neighbor who has children and each shop more quickly and efficiently without the crying little ones?)

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  2. This week I have had a leaflet delivered warning of criminals having a device to operate car keys inside your own homes even.It advises to put car keys away as far as possible from it in a metal can with a lid to block radio signals x

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    1. The new top of the range cars don't have keys, they have a plastic card with a chip in it. Cars are being stolen from the house by thieves with a reader which can pick up the signal.

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  3. This is great advice. People don't see danger in anything anymore.

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  4. I live in a small town where no-one locks a door unless they go on a trip. People think we’re nuts because we lock everything up. We had someone breaking into cars last Summer: it happens everywhere.
    Thanks for the reminder! I need to hide my purse better and my cash stash.

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  5. People were advised locally to tie a small bell to their handbags when out shopping to alert them to would-be pick pockets.
    Arilx

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    1. That's a good idea, I like that. I also think it's a good idea to have a bag that is very bright and colourful, and distinctive, rather than a black one which a thief can quickly tuck under their arm and run with.

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  6. Another one I see ALL the time in winter is people leaving their cars running to warm it up in a morning. Yikes.

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  7. All VERY good info and advice.

    Back when I was first married, my Mother in law taught all us girls to hide our purses (at home or visiting), just for the reasons you say. Her hiding spot was in the vacuum closet under the hoses.

    Also, I have often read that one should carry ones car keys in hand. A)to use as a weapon (poke eyes), or B) to get into car quickly. Recently read about a car jacking that has changed that advice, in my mind. A middle aged couple was getting close to their vehicle, he had keys in hand. The car jacker could easily see which vehicle they were going to, grabbed the keys and jumped in their car and was off.

    The VERY first thing I do when I get in my vehicle (whether I am driver or passenger), is I push the button to lock all doors. Three times I have had someone try to get into my car. The third time (after I quit being scared) was hilarious. I had a small black station wagon. I had a LARGE black dog. Dog was laying down in back of wagon. I had the window open about two fingers wide. I stopped at a red light. A unsavory looking man jumped out of his unsavory looking van (from behind me). He came up to my window and was yelling at me, and waving to put window down , and then waving that I should go through red light. I was so scared I actually forgot I had a cell phone with me. I look at my window open just a crack and debated if I should close it, but had the common sense to think "oh no, this is just the time I will push the button the wrong way and it may fully open"

    Any way, although I was scared spitless, my LARGE dog was not. All in the space of seconds (and I had not even called him I was so scared speechless), the VERY large dog leaped from the back of the wagon and was in between me and the window barking and growling at the man (a tight fit I can tell you). The look on the man's face was priceless. I swear he was so terrified he chit his pants. He turned and RAN back to his van. At that moment the light turned green and I sped off.

    You make a VERY good point...All these things often end up costing us money. Very good point that being more careful and attentive usually saves money.

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    1. I was parked & sitting in my car at a local market whilst on holiday once & a woman opened the door & sat next to me-then her daughter who was very big sat in the back of the car.She said she would read my fortune.It would cost £8.I was scared & politely told her I only had £3 she took that & told me I should be kind to myself & they both left.I am always vigilant now in a car x

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    2. flis
      scary stuff. glad you were ok.

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  8. Years ago I was living in a quiet court with no one about except the occasional neighbour going for a stroll. Early one Saturday morning (before 7) I was preparing to go away for the weekend and with the car sitting in the drive and the boot up I was running in and out of the house to load up. Just as I was nearly done I came out of the house to find a stranger in my drive looking through the boot. He took one look at me and quickly moved away and down the street. Luckily nothing was taken but it made me think twice next time. Regarding pets, I just recently heard that there are ways of removing micro chips.

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  9. I am afraid of having my three dogs stolen, as they really are apart from my husband my life. i live in a city were there have been a lot of dog thefts the result of this has been that I am extra vigilant while walking them. A great post thank you Ilona x

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  10. Not sure if the carts in the grocery stores worldwide are like those in the US but we are encouraged to strap and buckle in our handbags with the child safety strap provided in the carts.

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    1. We have trolleys which you can sit small children in, some of them have safety straps. But none specifically to fasten bags to. I would NOT leave a handbag in a trolley while I shopped, even if it was strapped in. I don't take a handbag anyway, I only need purse and car keys and those can go in my pocket. Women carry around far too much stuff.

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  11. I always lock my car door when driving and following a friend's advice, when I put my handbag on the passenger seat I thread the seatbelt through it too. At home, doors are locked and keys removed (you never leave your keys in the lock). Handbag and keys are taken upstairs with me and I would definitely hear someone getting into my home - everything creeks. Of course if they really wanted to get in they could but I think it's enough to deter an opportunist thief. Also, where I live here in France we have shutters on all doors and windows so I always shut them at night. Oh and the baseball bat I keep behind my bedroom door is reassuring too. I know you're not supposed to have "weapons" around but I just figure my ex is American and my kids genuinely used the bat for baseball so no premeditation there. Anna

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  12. AMEN to all of it, but ESPECIALLY the pets. They have no control over what their owners do. Don't get one unless you can treat it like your most prized possession - which it (they)should be. Keep up this excellent, common sense posting, Ilona!

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  13. There is no greater loss than that of a beloved pet

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  14. It is so different living in the depths of the countryside. A neighbour down the hill left his late-mum's car unlocked, and would you believe, the keys on the seat in plain view, and when she was alive I would walk past and find the car keys in the door, but rural crime in these parts is very low and cars seem not to be stolen (that I've heard of locally anyway).

    Any thieving is often heating oil removed from roadside tanks when folk are at work. That happened to someone up the valley several times. Dogs do go missing too, as they are used to wandering loose on a farm or smallholding and opportunist man-in-vans stop and bung them in the back. That also happens in reverse too, when over-age for breeding bitches (we are talking puppy farms here) get chucked out on a lane and just abandoned. A friend has a lovely Spaniel, Molly, that this happened to.

    We have been here 30 years and when we went on holiday whilst the front door was locked, there was no door on the bottom (derelict then) part of the house so any burglers could have just walked in, but never did . . .

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  15. Our lives are so complicated so much to watch out for and safeguard

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  16. I am cautious and do many of the things you suggest. However, I just want to say how sad it is that we even have to do it.

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    1. Yes, it is sad, it was never like this when I was a wee kiddie growing up on a council estate in the 50s/60s. We never had to lock doors if we were playing in the garden. But as someone else has said, a lot of crime is fueled by drug abuse, desperate people who will resort to anything to get their next fix.

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  17. Luckily, I already do most of the things that you have recommended. Also, put some lamps on a timer should you be gone from your home for a couple of days so that it looks as if someone is at home.

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  18. The responses to this post make me sad, but I also have somewhat ambivalent feelings. Perhaps it's my nature, or my up-bringing, but I learned young to pay attention. (Yes, that's somewhat tiring when you're old and have the habit.) I'm careful what streets I take in a strange city, and I always notice my surroundings--which also means I see some lovely scenes of flower gardens or children playing in the alley.
    I'm sure Ilona just means to be aware and sensible, but I hate to think of people living in fear when they needn't. Yes, lock your doors, but don't imagine someone is trying to break the lock (unless you have reason to think that might happen--then move). As for warming up your car in the morning, I would hope you have some sense of your neighborhood and can judge how likely it is that someone will hop in and drive away. I live in a country that has pretty much gone insane, but I always think that "fear is the mind killer." I'm pretty sure that Ilona's readers are sensible and observant, and would all be running to help any neighbor in need! Best regards to all of you from Kate in Oregon

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  19. Do not leave anything in your car visible. I used to put a £1 coin by dashboard for a trolley. This I now cover over with a tissue. Where I live a £1 is worth smashing the window for. I am very trusting and had to change my way of thinking, due to desperate people. Also a few years ago all my front garden ornaments and plants were taken, probably to a car boot sale. My garden and house contents are now minimal, I have nothing of great value to steal. EXCEPT my dog, these comments are true, the pain of losing him to a stranger is something I never want to go through. Unfortunately this is England inner city or countryside, a lot of the problem is drug abuse, the theft is not personal, the need for drugs blots out their emotions to stealing. Be safe.xx

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  20. Keys and wallet go with me at bedtime. If I go out leaving the car all keys go with me. When a postie, quite a few times I found keys in the front door lock early morning. Knocked on the door and people said "0h" I have been looking all over for them. I could have been a thief.

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  21. Well said Ilona! I would add that the police will always advise you that burglars target your bedroom first so don't leave valuables there.Think outside the box and don't keep every thing in one place ie jewellery,cash cards etc. Don't be fooled by strangers at your door either always be suspicious until proven otherwise. Dog theft is on the increase.. they are sold on in under hand situations and often used for badger baiting, drug deals, quick cash etc Never leave your dog anywhere unless you now it's safe. Rae x

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  22. Thank you Ilona, a lot of good tips here - but I have to admit that when it comes to car keys I deliberately leave them on a shelf in the hall. If someone is desperate enough to break into my home to steal a car I would rather they did so and then left as soon as possible. With children here I do not want desperate criminals searching through my home. The cars are insured and thus replaceable, peace of mind isn't! Vicky from Brum

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    1. You have to remember that some of them go through the house first and load up valuables, using the car as a getaway vehicle.

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    2. Yes Vicky, that's just what I think too. Drugs make people crazy and desperate, they seem capable of horrific things. If I lost a car but my family was safe I could live with that. Karen

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  23. When I was a child we were on holiday and were walking behind an elderly couple, someone on a moped, came past grabbed the bag from the ladies arm and sped off, she fell over and had bad bruises all down her arm. Would he have tried if she had the bag across her body, probably not. it was so sad, I was only about 12 but it had a lasting impact on me. Another time again on holiday, I went from my room to my mums next door in a hotel, very quiet corridor no one around. I left the room door ajar about an inch so I could get back in. in that few mins a man got into the room took money, hotel keys, watch etc and was back down the corridor when my dad came the other way. Only when he got to the room that we realised what had happened. That night we went to the English bar down the road, I sat next to this drunk guy who turned out his pockets on the counter, and there was our key money watch. again I was about 10, so I whispered to my mum what the number of the key we had lost and has was angry with me for asking, I said but that man has it over there. omg everything kicked off then and I was told to take my brother back to the hotel. it went to court, but the chap had flushed most of it down loo by the time police got there.

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  24. Closer to home, I had a habit of leaving keys in the door after locking so we could get out quick if there is a fire etc, now I do put on the meter cupboard not far away but not in door. My friend used to say take handbag and phone upstairs, she never said why but I think she must have had a breakin. I do take my phone up but must sort my handbag as its left anywhere in the lounge generally. My phone was useful the other day as partner had an accident at work and I had to get to the hospital quick to help. I am guilty of slinging my bag on the seat next to me in the car and not locking the car, I might have a look how I can manage that better. we always careful to lock doors and check before going to bed, but kids seem neglectful and not as careful as me. Thank you for your blog post, we all do some but could be better in other areas. sorry to say if someone stole next doors dog I would be encouraging them down the road, and on their way.

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  25. Possibly much depends on where you live. I agree, take sensible precautions - but keep things in perspective. In my area pickpocketing is not rife, neither is purse snatching.

    I can remember where I used to live my neighbour across the road left his boot open, with two bags of golf clubs in it...they were still there in the morning.

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  26. I was the victim of pick pockets in my local town. It was the classic 'jostle' scenario. Most people think the 'jostle' is a rough movement. It isn't (trust me) its very subtle. They managed to get a credit card out of my purse and put the purse back in the bag in a matter of seconds, in fact the time it takes to 'jostle' someone!

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  27. I would be heartbroken if my cats were stolen or hurt by thieves. On a slightly different note though, I always keep my pet carriers beside the front door in case of fire.

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    1. I had just brought my lovely Lily home from a rescue centre & walking home after a short walk& a large shiny black truck type vehicle stopped suddenly alongside me.A middle aged -shall I say "traveller!?"& 3 big mates or sons looked at me & said that's a nice dog,what sort-I said mongrel & hurried off.I did of course report them but I think it was pointless x

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  28. Wow......there are some interesting stories here! I agree that most of the theft is drug driven where the person is just driven for money to buy more drugs which takes over any kind of moral reasoning.

    I budget travel every year to a new country and some countries have a bad reputation for pick pockets....I think after reading this, I need to add the UK to the list. Anyways....I always wear a money belt to hold my passport, unneeded money and credit cards, etc. and it is worn hidden under my clothes. Maybe it should be used in every day activities in some areas by some of you readers.

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  29. We do so many things in our lives by repetitive habit without thinking about them, and that is when mistakes can be made. Growing up in the carefree 50's and 60's was wonderful by comparison. However, rural Australia is still a lot safe than city Australia.Pauline

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  30. Frightening about dog theft. We never leave our dog in the car on her own, because of potential dog theft. As well, she is not left in the back yard or garden for the same reason. A friend in Leeds had his young dog taken from his back yard, fortunately he spotted the theft, and retrieved the dog.

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