Friday, 9 August 2013

Stand and Deliver!

Your Money and Your Life - Literally!

I've recently returned from a trip away for a few days, one that took me to a place many would call civilisation. By this, I mean I left the relaxed atmosphere of my tranquil little lane in this rural idyll and crossed over into the modern world. Don't get me wrong, we are quite modern here - we now have broadband speeds of almost 2Mb, power failures occur mainly during bad weather and it's only a mile's walk to the main road, where a bus passes twice a day. But a few miles away, in nearby suburbia and urbania, I really do hope the citizens there have adequate insurance!

Not once, but twice in the past I have found myself the subject of identity theft, I have experienced three burglaries at the homes of family members, one car theft and I've even had a horse stolen. A friend had her cylinders of gas stolen, another had their oil-tank drained while elsewhere there are poultry and pet thieves! It's getting beyond ridiculous, what with all these citizens' rights, unintelligible laws, red tape and few rights left for law-abiding citizens to defend themselves or their property.

If your dog bites an intruder, you could be sued and your dog the subject of a humane destruction notice. If you tackle a would-be thief, you can find yourself charged with assault. If you try to protect your property by means that could inflict injury to any chancer trying to break-in, you could face prosecution. Insurance is our safest option, whether it's buildings, contents, pets, cars or our own lives. We of the frugal living ilk may think we have few possessions worth stealing, but we need to reassess this situation and look much more closely at what we have, rather than what we have not. (Can one insure against being sued by a burglar, I wonder?)

Now we have 'apps' for everything - online applications that involve our real lives. Mobile phones have instant access to global networks at the push of a button, they have cameras, they may carry all your personal information, your apps can be password linked directly to your bank accounts, credit cards, debit cards, online stores and all manner of home and family associated information. Likewise with desktops, laptops, palmtops, tablets, games consoles, e-book readers and smartphones. Even portable media players are Wi-Fi enabled for quick access to electronic wizardry.

Blackberry picking
Please, just for a few minutes, do consider the implications of losing your most important 'gadget' - it could be stolen, lost, fall in the sea, dropped on the road, run over by a bus... any number of possibilities exist. How much of your life are you carrying about with you and how much are you leaving at home in an empty house? How much would your life be affected, even temporarily, and at what cost to make good any losses? In real financial terms, how wise is it to insure something that may be costing you hundreds of pounds each year to guarantee your personal convenience at the push of a button?

Your money and your life really are in your hands if you own any type of modern technology. It looks as though insurance is our best choice, especially if we let vigilance, safety or security slip. With this in mind, I think we should be looking at frugal security measures to help protect our futures because even the fruit and vegetables in our own gardens could become the target of thieves during times of need. If this wasn't the case, sheep rustling wouldn't be on the increase in some areas!


Photo credit: JLM Photography. / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND (Blackberry picking)


  1. ...and I think we have to just "grit our teeth" and disregard any "protection for poor poor burglar who is only trying to make a (dis)honest living" and deal with things appropriately in such an event and take the risk that Authority is on the side of the wrongdoer. But I do know what you mean ...and we could do without the fear of being punished for taking any appropriate action we need to if some thief decides to help themselves to our property. Fortunately, in more remote locations, I suspect commonsense is more likely to apply than political correctness/"own back protection" by the Authorities.

    1. Ceridwen, I've a friend who has been targeted several times by thieves of various types - she has lost all sorts of property from livestock to her gas cylinders but in these more rural locations, there's no chance of getting the police involved in any great hurry and no neighbourhood to share the watching. It's down to dogs and security but when that doesn't work, all we are left with is finding the extra cash to insure against losses. But no amount of cash back, free points, shopping vouchers or gifts can make up for the losses after being subjected to a robbery or other crime. The identity theft thing is so easy nowadays that I despair when I see everything some people have saved on their mobiles.


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