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Any time of year, but particularly the start of a new year, is a good time for consumers to reflect on how they are managing their finances and consider some changes. The latest FDIC Consumer News features a checklist of questions and suggestions that can help individuals better meet their goals.
Is it time for your financial checkup? The FDIC newsletter helps consumers get started on a self-examination of their money-management strategies for saving, spending and borrowing, and taking precautions in areas such as avoiding fraud, managing financial records and being properly insured. The first question on the list asks consumers about their short-term and long-term financial goals, which could include, for example, paying off the balance on a credit card, buying a home or financing a child’s college education. With financial goals in mind, people may be more motivated to save for and achieve their objectives.
Taking your money on a trip: Suggestions cover topics such as alternatives to carrying cash (which, if lost or stolen, can’t be replaced), deciding on which credit cards to take, and tips for hiding credit cards and other valuables from thieves who may target travelers.
Five common misconceptions about FDIC insurance … and what the real facts are: For example, some people mistakenly believe that FDIC insurance coverage is based on the type of deposit — for example, that a checking account is insured separately from a certificate of deposit (CD). The truth is that FDIC insurance coverage is based on how much money each depositor has in one of several “ownership categories” at each bank — single accounts, joint accounts, revocable trusts and so on — not on the deposit product itself. Knowing the facts will help consumers make sure all of their deposits are protected.
A bank by any other name may still be insured: Suppose you get an attractive offer of a deposit from an unfamiliar bank but it’s not listed on the FDIC’s database of insured institutions. Does that mean it could be an uninsured bank, or worse, fraudulent? The answer is … maybe or maybe not. One reason is that insured branches and Internet sites can do business using names that don’t match the bank’s official name.
For information on a financial checklist and more, click over to the FDIC newsletter.

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