Ask most millennials how they keep track of their finances, and chances are they’ll mention online banking. Online banking may have started off as a simple, convenient service offered by banks to customers that can’t always get down to a physical branch, but it has become the primary tool for those looking to get a hold on their financial lives. As with anything else, it’s important to be cautious with how you approach online banking. This is, after all, your money we’re talking about here, and disasters can happen if you aren’t careful.Fortunately, buttoning-up your online banking practices is less difficult thank you might think. Here are a few ways to ensure you stay ahead.Don’t Skimp on Your PasswordNo one wants to have to remember a 12 character password full of random letters, numbers and symbols, but no one wants to have their bank accounts compromised, either. As tight the security is with most online banking systems, breaches can and do happen. Many people have learned the hard way what occurs when one’s financial information ends up in the wrong hands, and it isn’t pretty. Create a password that only you’ll be able to remember, ensuring that you don’t pick anything that might be easily guessed. For best results, consider using a random password generator, as there are plenty to be found online.Check Your Balance Each and Every DayJust because you think you have a good handle on what your current balance is doesn’t mean you aren’t at risk of missing something. This is especially true if you use your online banking account for recurring payments. In such a case, you need to keep an accurate, up to date calendar that takes into consideration every payment that will be debited from your account each month. By doing this and logging in on a daily basis, your risk of overdrafting an account will be far lower than it might otherwise be. Also, consider giving yourself a limit on how much you spend with certain debit cards each week, as this will further help to keep your finances in check.Open Two Online Bank AccountsOne online bank account may seem like enough, especially if you tend to spend lightly. No matter what characterizes your approach to banking, however, you’ll benefit from opening two online bank accounts—one for bill pay/income, and another for daily spending. The first account will be where you deposit your paycheck, as well as where money is debited from in order to pay your bills. The second account is something entirely different altogether. This is where you’re going to pull money from in order to handle daily spending, and it’s recommended that you only keep $100 in this account so that you don’t find yourself overspending. Either way, having two accounts will help you to avoid a mountain of issues, especially if you’re not particularly good with managing your money.So don’t be afraid to take the plunge with online banking. Take these tips to heart, and you’ll be one step closer to having true control over your personal finances. 15 Best Subscription Boxes for Men Who Love Gifts How to (Almost) Painlessly Improve Your Running Editors’ Recommendations How to Choose the Best Organic Mattress for Greener Sleep The Ultimate Pillow Guide: The 6 Best Pillows for All Sleepers The Complete Guide for Learning How to Mow a Lawn
A joint government project will use natural gas to power a number of buildings in Halifax, bringing a cleaner source of energy into the city and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The project was announced today, Nov. 24, by Cecil Clarke, Minister of Energy, Stéphane Dion, federal Minister of the Environment, John McCallum, Minister of National Revenue and Minister of Natural Resources Canada, and Peter Kelly, mayor of the Halifax Regional Municipality. The federal and provincial ministers also announced three projects that will provide financial incentives to commercial and institutional building owners who convert to energy-efficient natural gas space and water-heating equipment. The overall cost of implementing the Community Energy System Project is estimated to be $47 million with the province of Nova Scotia and the government of Canada each committing up to $20 million. The project is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 128,000 tonnes per year in its first phase. The proposed system would generate electricity and provide heat and hot water using clean natural gas instead of traditionally used bunker C oil. Dalhousie University, Saint Mary’s University, the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre’s Victoria General and Halifax Infirmary complexes are potential anchor customers. Details of the cost-sharing arrangements by the federal, provincial and municipal partners will be worked out over the coming months, once negotiations with these key anchor customers are concluded and a business plan is finalized. “The Halifax district heating project is another way in which the government of Nova Scotia is demonstrating its commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” said Mr. Clarke. “This announcement is just the start of a list of items we want to advance on climate change as we move on our recently released Green Energy Framework.” “Provinces and territories, Aboriginal peoples, industry, environmental groups and all Canadians have a fundamental role to play in achieving our climate change goals,” said Mr. Dion. “This project will reduce greenhouse gas emissions for the benefit of our environment and our health as well as providing economic benefits.” “Today’s announcements are aimed at using cleaner energy, like natural gas, and making sure that we use energy as efficiently as possible,” said Mr. McCallum. “By making natural gas more available in Halifax, it will help businesses, institutions and individuals make decisions that will address climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.” “The announcement of these funds is great news,” said Mr. Kelly. “HRM has made a commitment to the community energy project because air quality is so important to regional council and our residents. The federal and provincial financial support will certainly help move the community energy project forward, resulting in huge environmental and economic development benefits for HRM.” The ministers also announced that the government of Canada, along with the province of Nova Scotia and Heritage Gas, will provide financial incentives to owners and managers of commercial and institutional buildings and municipal, university, schools and health facilities to convert furnaces and water-heating equipment to energy-efficient natural gas equipment. The government of Canada will invest about $3.8 million, matched by the province, to provide rebates for up to 50 per cent of the capital costs paid by medium and larger energy consumers to replace their existing space- and water-heating equipment with high-efficiency equipment.