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Family Watchdog
We hope everyone is looking forward to a fantastic February! And we just wanted to thank you for sticking with our monthly newsletters. We hope you can use the info we pack into them for your everyday lives.

With the North, and now the South, getting hit hard with winter snow storms - we hope that you are staying warm and safe out there. If you need to brush up on some car safety for the winter, please check out our last month's newsletter if you missed it: http://www.familywatchdog.us/Newsletters.asp

As much as we would all like to be on a beach in the Bahamas right now, we need to make sure we snap back to reality. Are you in an area that is getting hit hard by this storm? If so, you might want to check your pipes. Frozen pipes can lead to broken pipes and a mess all over! Please take the time to assess if you need to do any further protecting to your pipes. The Red Cross has a whole page dedicated to frozen pipes. Click here
 
How do you heat your home? Fireplace? Space heaters? Gas heat? With the temps dropping so low, so fast at night, please make sure whatever you are using to heat your house is safe! Last thing anyone needs in this chilly weather is no house!

Frostbite is a major concern in most of the US right now. Did you know it only takes a few minutes to receive frostbite if the temperatures fall below 20 degrees! Your hands, fingers, feet, toes and ears are normally the first place to get frostbite. So dress yourself and your children warm when planning to go outside.
 
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Heart  Dating??? We have all been there. With Valentine’s day approaching, we wanted to highlight some dating tips.

One of the most common methods of dating now is Online dating.

When searching for a dating service to use, please make sure they verify all members. EHarmony and Match.com are both services that screen their members for sex offenders. But still sometimes they do sneak through the cracks.

•  Always meet in a public place. Never a motel or parking lot.

•  Tell a close friend or relative where you are going and who you are going to meet.

•  Background checks cost money, but wouldn't you want to know if someone was hiding something before you meet them?

•  Never give out personal information, like social security numbers or bank account information.
For more online safety dating advice and tips, please check out these tips from Match.com

"I was just getting back into dating after a 3 year mourning period after the death of my fiancé. Internet dating was new to me but I was excited to try it. I lived in a small town so I talked online and on the phone to several men. And I chose one - He was a business owner and seemed nice. We set up a time and a place to meet. He was going to stay at a motel overnight, so I met him there. He invited me to his room, he said he brought something he wanted to show me. Not knowing the danger ahead of me, I followed. While i was sitting on the edge of the bed he laid a case out on the table. I now know it was a gun case. He proceeded to give all the details of his recent purchase and told me that it was unloaded and the safety was on. As he was showing me, the fun went off! After that I told him I had to leave. And I haven't talked to him since!"
~Jeannette via Facebook

Getting set up on a date through a friend can be fun. Some people would even say it's safer since someone you know knows that person. But there are still rules to follow just like online dating.
•  Meet in a public place and always have a ride or drive yourself there and back. Never depend on a date.
•  Don't drink heavily and watch your drink. People are slipped "roofies" all the time. If you become too drunk, there goes driving home!
•  Plan ahead for who is paying for the meal and what the plans for the night are. That way you can prepare and be aware.

"I went on a date with this guy that was really sweet, had a good job and everything. Except that I have never met him personally, so I didn't know much about him. He pulls up in a really crappy car, with 2 kids in the back saying he didn't know he would have them and had to pick them up last minute. I didn't want to be to mean so said, 'it's okay I understand'. So he never tells me where we are going because it's a 'surprise'. We pull up to Chucky Cheese. Yeah the funest place for kid! Except I'm not a kid, to make a long story short, worst date I have ever had!"
~Nora via Facebook

Have a bad date you would like to share with us? Message us on Facebook! We will be highlighting bad dates now thru Valentine's Day!
 
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Tax time! Tax time! Hopefully this time of the year is good news for you and your family!

Before having someone file your taxes, have you looked into doing it yourself? Most tax returns are simple to do and most websites have a walk through. Why pay a tax preparation big bucks to do what you can do for free! Federal is free to file and the state is under $20! Save yourself some money and file for yourself!

We like http://www.irs.gov/uac/Free-File:-Do-Your-Federal-Taxes-for-Free, they have more than one site on their site that you can use to file.

Here are a few things to remember when filing your taxes:
•  NEVER lie about numbers, claim people you shouldn’t or lie in general. The IRS is one not to mess with.
•  File a tax return every year you work.
•  Do not use a site that is not trusted.

Hopefully you and your family will have a nice little bonus this year!
 
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Stay warm out there!
 

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