It’s National Squirrel Appreciation Day! Since our very own VCNB mascot is none other than Saver Squirrel, we thought it would be fun to have a little contest. Scurry on over to our Facebook page to enter. Also be sure to have a look at these snapshots from Saver’s travels.
We’ve been talking a lot lately about spending tips and saving money on our Facebook page and here on our blog. It’s a timely topic with January being Financial Wellness Month.
Today we have a checklist to help you get started toward your money goals today!
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Every day is a good day to open a checking account with VCNB, but this is an especially lucrative time. Have you heard that we’ll give you $100 when you open your new checking account? You read that correctly. We will give you $100 if you open a new checking account with us this month.
Open a Checking My Way or Classic Checking account with VCNB online and we will give you $100! To qualify for the bonus, you must fund your new account with a minimum of $100, be a legal resident of the Continental U.S. and be 18 years or older.
Your new account must be opened by January 31, 2015 to qualify for the offer.
Visit our website to learn more or to open your account today!
On New Year’s Eve you swore that you would change your ways when it comes to money. Maybe you wanted to save money or pay off debt. Maybe you wanted to break a bad spending habit or save for retirement. Perhaps you wanted to just be more mindful of your spending.
You were pumped because the new year would bring a new you.
Do you remember how excited you were?
Yet, here we are more than a week into the new year and you’ve done nothing to reach your goals. You’re not alone, though, as most people who make Near Year’s Resolutions quickly abandon their dreams within a few days. Often this happens, not because a goal is too lofty, but because of a simple failure to plan.
Most folks find it easier to stick with a resolution if they break it into smaller goals which they write down and read frequently. But there are other things you can do to work toward a financial goal.
If your resolution is to save money for something like an emergency fund or retirement, the simplest approach is to set up automatic transfers from checking to savings. This is easily done with VCNB Online Banking.
To get started, login to your online account. Click the Transfers Tab at the middle of the screen. Choose the account you would like to transfer from and the account to transfer to. Then select the frequency of the transfer. Selecting On Demand will cause this transfer to occur once. Other options include Weekly, Bi-Weekly, Monthly, Quarterly and more. You can choose the date on which you want the transfers to begin and the amount of the transfer.
Automation removes uncertainty, insuring you will save for your goal.
Automation is also helpful when trying to pay off debt. Using VCNB Online Bill Pay is an easy way to schedule payments in advance. Online Bill Pay is free if you use it at least one time per month and saves you time plus the cost of postage. The key is to decide in advance how much you can afford to pay and set it up to pay the bill on pay day or as soon as the money is available. After all, you can’t spend money you don’t have!
If you search the internet for money saving tips, you will find a plethora of websites and blogs dedicated to this topic. From professional financial advisors to stay at home moms with hobby blogs, there is no shortage of people with tips and advice for stretching, managing, manipulating and growing your bucks.
Read carefully to find sites that suit your lifestyle and you may find good strategies for debt pay-off, games to help you save money and an abundance of tips for cutting daily expenses. Not only may you find good ideas from these resources, spending online time with like-minded people goes a long way toward changing your mindset.
If your goal is to curb recreational shopping, delete your card information from online accounts and avoid stores. Try grouping all your errands into one trip or even all your purchases to one store to remove temptations. Be mindful when you do purchase something, asking yourself questions like whether it’s made well enough to last, do you really need the item or how many hours you must work to pay for the item. Is it really worth the price?
Experts say it takes thirty days to form a habit. If you can’t automate your resolutions, try to study your goals as much as possible and gradually your mindset will adapt to one of goal achievement. It may take some time and you may face setbacks along the way but perseverance will pay off.
Do you have tips to share? Tell us in the comments section below!
Did you save enough in 2014? Do you have enough money tucked away for retirement? How about for a small emergency? What if the furnace blows next month or your car needs repairs? Do you have enough in savings to get by? If you’re like most Americans, the answer is a resounding no.
Most financial experts recommend that you pay yourself first. That means before you pay rent, buy groceries or go to the movies, you set aside a portion of your income. We recommend that you create a monthly budget to see where your money is going. In doing so, set a savings goal for each paycheck. If you think there isn’t room for savings, take a closer look at frivolous expenses or impulse buys that could be draining your checking account (Click here to read about 35 ways to save some dollars).
Once you know how much you want to save, you just need to decide where to tuck the money away to keep it safe. If you are just starting out, the best approach is to open a savings account. At VCNB we offer a personal savings account that requires an opening balance of $100 for adults with no minimum for minors. Interest is paid on this account if it has a balance of $100 or more.
Once you have a savings account, you can deposit funds at the bank, with direct deposit and with Online Banking. You can even set up automatic transfers to ensure the funds actually make it to savings. Once it’s there, try not to touch the money unless there is a true emergency.
If you have a high deductible insurance plan, another great savings option is the Health Savings Account (HSA). While some banks charge large fees for an HSA, VCNB offers this account for free if you accept a monthly e-statement rather than a paper statement. If you wish to receive a paper statement, the account fee is $3 per month. There is a one-time $25 set up fee for this account that is waved if you have this coupon. Basically, an HSA is a tax favored way to save money for qualified medical expenses.
If you don’t use the money you deposited into your HSA this year, the funds will roll over to the next year. For many young people with lower medical expenses, this is a great way to begin saving for later in life when medical expenses typically become more burdensome. Once you reach the age of 65, your HSA savings can be used for any type of expense. Check out this link to learn more about an HSA at VCNB.
If you already have a nest egg but would like to earn more interest for your savings, a good investment is an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) or Certificate of Deposit (CD) with VCNB. With a CD, you can select the length of time you would like to invest and then watch your money grow. An IRA allows you to save more for your future because you can contribute to your retirement over time while earning interest. We offer Traditional, ROTH, SEP and Educational IRA’s, allowing you to choose what’s best for your long term goals.
There is no greater security than financial security. For most people that doesn’t come overnight. Instead it comes dollar by dollar. Take a moment now to consider what you want your finances to look like a year from now, five years from now and twenty years from now. Then devise a plan and start saving today!
Your future self will thank you.
The holidays are finally here and VCNB offices will be closed some so our employees may celebrate with their families.
All of our offices will close at noon on Christmas Eve except for our Young’s Family Market location which will be open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
All of our locations will be closed on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. However, our website and mobile banking app are available 24/7.
We appreciate our customers and wish you and yours the happiest of holidays.
If it feels like you have done nothing but spend, spend, spend this month you are not alone. Sale opportunities began well before Thanksgiving this year and there has been no shortage of opportunities to find great prices online, in big box stores, in small businesses and everywhere in between.
So it may feel like a good time to curb spending and give your debit card a break. But have you thought about how much money you can save later by taking advantage of after Christmas sales now?
Winter Clothing– While there have been many sales on winter clothes and accessories this season, the prices will be slashed immediately after Christmas. Retailers will want to move those items quickly to make room for spring apparel.
Fitness Gear – Millions of Americans resolve each year to lose weight or to get healthy. That means January is the peak season to buy fitness equipment, accessories and even gym memberships. That treadmill you’ve been wanting will be a great price throughout the month of January.
Furniture and Mattresses – Furniture manufacturers release new models in February so stores make room for the new by deeply discounting these big ticket items in January. If your couch is starting to wear or it’s time to replace your bed, this really is the time to buy.
Christmas Items – Who can forget the most deeply discounted items of all? Christmas items. Christmas cards, wrapping paper, bows, gift boxes, stationary, table linens, holiday china, candles, lights, trees, decorations …..it’s a veritable buffet of items that will keep until next year for just pennies on the dollar. Stock up now to save money next December!
Electronics – New models of electronics are introduced every January at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. That means that retailers begin to discount this current model in February. If you don’t mind buying last year’s tv, laptop or digital camera, you can usually snag a deal just by waiting until February.
Anything in Christmas Packaging – Many companies sell items that are not all that Christmassy in holiday packaging. Dish soap, paper towels, hand soap, candy, baking sheets, silicone spatulas, baking supplies, Ziploc bags, school supplies, body wash, perfume and more often come in holiday packages or gift sets. At fifty to seventy-five percent off, it’s a great time to stock up on items you use every day!
If you aren’t already a Popmoney ® convert, December is the perfect month to give it a whirl. With all the shopping, gift giving, eating out and all around festive fun that happens at every turn during the holidays, there are plenty of times you need to repay someone (or hope they will repay you!) all month long.
At .50 cents per transaction, the Popmoney personal payment service allows you to send money quickly for a lot less than it costs to send a check in the mail. It’s also faster than going to the ATM or the bank for cash. Don’t believe us? Here are five ways you could use Popmoney this month.
Split the cost for the boss’ gift – Your co-worker picked up a gift and now you need to pay your share. Too bad you don’t have any cash, right? Wrong. Armed with only your co-worker’s email address or mobile phone number, you can repay her today in just a few simple steps. By logging in to your VCNB Online Banking, you can type in her name, the amount you wish to send and her email address or phone number. She will receive a text or email with instructions for claiming her funds.
Send a gift – Your nephews in California are teenagers now and you have no idea what to get them. What kind of kid doesn’t like cash? Just send them a monetary gift via Popmoney and wait for the thank you text!
Dinner out – Some restaurants will not break up the check for a large party. So when your entire extended family goes out for dinner this weekend, you break out your credit card to cover the entire bill. But you don’t have to wait and hope everyone remembers to pay you. Just send a request for funds via Popmoney! They will get a text or email instructing them to pay you back. With a few easy steps they can whip out their mobile phone and do it right there at the table or can log in to the computer when they get home.
Buying tickets – You’re going with a group of friends to a bowl game this year. So if you want to sit together, one person will buy the tickets. Don’t make them ask twice for your share of the tickets. Just send them funds via Popmoney — and smile because you didn’t make your friend wait until you hit the ATM.
Help your kids at college – If your kids are away at college, chances are they are strapped for cash. If they’re coming home for the holiday, send some cash to help with the trip home. Or use it any day of the year to get them the money they need for books and pizza!
How many ways will you use Popmoney this month? Tell us in the comments section below!