Dream Field Gets Big Boost From Franklin County Banking Center

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From left are Grove City Branch Service Manager Shayne Applegarth, Head of Retail – EVP Denise Fauber, Branch Manager Sue Ross, Commercial Lender – VP Jeff Guminey, President Ron Collins, Grove City Little League Board Treasurer Jack Widner, GCLL VP Jimmie Harris, Buddy Ball Board Treasurer Lynn Stitzlein and Buddy Ball Board President Michael DiBlasi.

Since its inception in 1867, The Vinton County National Bank has stood tall as a community-centered organization, serving local communities by providing personalized loan and deposit services to individuals and local businesses. Now with 17 locations in seven Central and Southern Ohio counties, community service and financial donations in the areas where we live and work continue to be an important part of our bank culture.

In 2015, after adding the Franklin County Banking Center in Grove City to our financial family, an opportunity was presented to us to contribute to a project near and dear to the heart of many Grove City residents.  The Grove City Little League’s Project Dream Field, as it was being called, had been underway for a several years and was beginning to enter the home stretch.

The project’s goal?  The development of an accessible field to provide opportunities for children with disabilities to play baseball, regardless of their abilities.  After researching the Little League’s efforts and their proposed plan, VCNB was proud to present the Little League with a $3,000 donation toward the Dream Field earlier this month.  Grove City Little League Executive Board Member Jack Widner recently agreed to talk to us in depth about the project and shared some exciting news about the grand opening.

Tell me about the objective of the Dream Field project. 
In 2012, the Mayor of Grove City came to a group of Grove City citizens and asked them to resurrect the Grove City Little League.  The group of men, some of who played in the previously-disbanded league’s first games in the 1950’s, were happy to get involved in bringing Little League back to Grove City.  After they were able get to the league back up and running in 2013, the GCLL Board of Directors heard about a previous effort to bring a miracle field to Grove City.  That plan never came to fruition, so they decided they would like to try and make it happen.  The Board met with the City of Grove City, who pledged to help fund the project if the GCLL Board could raise $252,000.

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Little League Board Treasurer Jack Widner updates Grove City Branch Manager Sue Ross on the fundraising process.

How many children do you think this will benefit in the Grove City area?  Is your aim beyond this area?
A new baseball group has formed out of the creation of the Dream Field: “Buddy Ball at Grove City Dream Field.”  The Buddy Ball baseball group will be in charge of putting together a league for children to be able to play baseball at the field.  They initially thought they would have six to seven teams of children with different needs.  However, since word has gotten out about the new field, we have received requests from teams as far away as Jackson, Ohio and London, Ohio to host games at the Dream Field.  It’s hard to tell exactly how many children will be served by the field – but we expect to draw children from a big chunk of Central Ohio and Southern Ohio.

I know a similar program in Dublin has been helpful in this project.  Did you model this off of another project specifically or was it a combination of various influences?
It was a combination of things that led us to develop this project.  We did talk to the organizers of the Dublin field, who were very helpful, and found out that they are serving over 47 zip codes and are having difficulty keeping up with the demand for the field.  There are 219 of these fields in the United States, and we thought the success of that particular field showed us there is certainly a demand for this here.

Tell us why you’re so passionate about the project and who is working on it with you.
When the Board of Directors had fulfilled its mission of bringing back Little League to Grove City, we were looking for a way that we could continue to give back to our community.  Once we saw the need, and the response the community had to our efforts, we knew we had to see this through.  Each of the Board members is looking forward to driving by that field and seeing children of all abilities able to enjoy the game of baseball.

It seems the community has really been on board with this – how much of your goal have you been able to raise and how were you able to do so?
Once word got out about the Board’s efforts to bring this project to fruition, the community was very supportive.  We had Girl Scouts, Cheerleaders and various service groups help raise money for the field.  The Grove City Community Club has been extremely generous to the Dream Field. Three gentlemen generously included Dream Field contributions in their obituaries:  Coach Ernie Plank, Dick Robinson, and Jim O’Connor.  One very successful fundraiser was hosted by Planks in Downtown Grove City which brought in around $5,800.  Most of the community’s fundraising efforts came in smaller amounts – but every penny counted in helping us reach and then surpass our goal.  Mount Carmel, the Mirolo Foundation, and the Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Class were very supportive.  Because of support from the community, we have raised over $550,000, all private funds!

I understand the Grove City Dream Field Specialty License Plate was created via Senate Bill 159, introduced by State Senator John Hughes and Representative Cheryl Grossman.  The next step is its discussion in the Ohio House of Representatives.  If all goes according to plan, proceeds from this specialty plate will help with the Dream Field upkeep.  What can you tell me?
Yes, that bill is still in the process of being approved.  Once it is, the license plate will cost $25.  $15 dollars will go back to support Buddy Ball and help offset their costs.  We need a minimum of 500 license plates sold each year to keep the program available.

So this whole concept really got going in 2013, correct?
Yes.  After the Board got Little League up and running in 2012, they moved on to bringing a Dream Field to Grove City.

…And you were able to break ground in June of 2015.  That’s a pretty quick turnaround from concept to construction.  How far along are you in construction and when is your expected completion date?
The field is complete and will be ready for play on opening day May 7.  Many items are still being added to the facility, however, such as water misters that were donated by Elks Lodge 37 and a scoreboard that was purchased by the Grove City Community Club.  The parking lot is being completed and the accompanying building with restrooms, changing tables, concessions, storage will be wonderful.  A new shelter house is planned to be built this Summer.

I heard there are plans for a universal playground next to the facility; is this accurate?  Was this always a part of the plan?
Because of the additional money that was raised, we were able to incorporate this into the project.  We expect to break ground on the universal playground this spring, with completion in early fall.

I’ve been keeping up with the Grove City Little League’s updates on the Dream Field’s progress.  Tell our readers where they can keep up with the latest information and how to make a donation if they’d like.
The best place is www.gclittleleague.com or on Facebook on our Grove City Little League page (facebook.com/GroveCityLittleLeague).

Do you have any marketing materials or videos you could share with us for our blog?
There is a great video on our Facebook page and the City of Grove City has been tracking progress of the project.  Karen Fahy in the community affairs division has been taking pictures all along the way of the building of the field along with a lot of the fundraisers we have had.

Well Jack, we certainly appreciate you taking the time to discuss the Dream Field and we look forward to the grand opening on May 7!
Thank you so much!

 

 

Teaching Kids Lifelong Money Lessons

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We visit local elementary schools every spring for a project called “Teach Children To Save.” This is one of our favorite annual events because it gives us a chance to talk with youngsters and to help mold responsible financial citizens of the future.

It’s funny because these third graders have a pretty firm grasp on the difference between a need and a want as well as the importance of saving money. Inevitably several kids will raise their hands to tell us they are saving money for a car or college. Once we had a little boy tell us he’s saving for a wife “because they’re expensive.” We giggled but love the spirit behind his hard work.

On the other hand, we also talk with high school students and are surprised to learn how few are saving for anything. It’s a tough age, one where the expensive shoes are a necessity rather than a want and where there’s never enough money for all the socializing, gadgetry and new clothes they desire.  It’s hard to talk to older kids about saving money but it’s still something that parents need to do.

The best approach is to start when they’re young and to continue the dialogue as they grow. Even little kids have opportunity to earn money with chores or an allowance. Lots of times there are monetary gifts for holidays too. Begin by teaching them they can have fun with their money while saving a little too.

We once met a teen whose parents set her up with a savings system when she was a toddler:

10%        Tithing
10%        Retirement
10%        Car, college, house (in that order)
70%        Anything she wants

She’s an adult now who was able to buy her first car and contribute to her higher education. She continues with this savings system and has a better head start to retirement than a lot of older adults. She said her parents did not shelter her as a child but talked to her about some household expenses and why they save money.

One financial expert that we read suggested enlisting help from the grandparents. Instead of shopping for things, the grandparents send the kids each a check on their birthday. It’s for $100 plus their age. Everyone understands that it’s for saving, not spending and it has become a fun annual tradition that gives a big boost to the child’s savings account.

Another way to make savings fun for kids is to give them a short term goal for something like a coveted toy. Create a savings chart that helps them follow their progress. Achieving short term progress will encourage them to dig into long term goals as well.

Finally, remember they are still kids. Make them work for it to appreciate the value of a dollar through chores or an after school job. Consider incenting your kids by matching their savings. This will give them a boost while instilling an important life lesson.

 

Small Business Spotlight: Harvest Health Walk-In Clinic

Being a small business owner is a tough job. That’s why we spotlight a different business each month to help you learn about unique businesses in your own back yard.

With all the changes in healthcare in recent years, there is an even greater need for quick, convenient and knowledgeable providers.  At Harvest Health Walk-In Clinic that is exactly what you will find.

Donna M Spencer is a Board Certified Family Nurse Practitioner (CNP) who owns and operates Harvest Health with the help of her husband who acts as the business manager.  She opened the small family practice six years ago after she had a vision of a facility with a comfortable and open atmosphere.

What makes Harvest Health Walk-In Clinic different from other area providers?  Currently in healthcare, many clinics limit the amount of time providers are allowed to spend with their patients.  Because Donna Spencer owns and operates Harvest Health, she is able to schedule patients in a way that allows her more time to care for them.  “In many cases, I’m able to spend a half hour, even an hour with my patients if needed,” Spencer says.  This shows just how much she cares about her patients.

The clinic provides a variety of services for patients eighteen months and older.  Some of these services are:

  • Treatment of common acute illnesses and conditions including bronchitis, the flu, strep throat, pink eye, minor injuries/sprains
  • Lab tests for strep throat, urine problems, mono and diabetes
  • Screening physicals for sports, work, and college
  • General healthcare services: vaccines, allergy shots, and wart removal
  • Wellness and preventative guidance and services: weight loss, stress management, and smoking cessation

In 2016 Harvest Health is transitioning to an appointments preferred framework to better care for patients but walk-ins will still be welcome.  Give them a call to schedule an appointment or to learn more.

Harvest Health Walk-In Clinic is located at 5 Main Street,  PO Box 329 in Commercial Point. Call 614.877.9175 or visit them during business hours: 

Mon, Wed, Fri 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Tues. & Thurs. 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Easy Comfort Foods For Winter

Old Man Winter finally made his way to Ohio and we have begun to see some cold and even a little snow. Cold days and long winter nights are a great time to enjoy comfort foods. Sadly, with work, school and extracurricular activities, we don’t always have time to cook a meal. So we have compiled a few easy recipes to enjoy without breaking a sweat.

All of the ingredients can be found at your local grocery or maybe in your own pantry.

Three Step Pot Roast

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  • 4 pounds Chuck Roast
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 packet Dry Onion Soup Mix
  • 1 cup Water
  • 3 Carrots, chopped
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 3 Potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 stalk Celery, chopped

Instructions

  1. Season the roast with salt and pepper to taste. Brown on all sides in a large skillet over high heat, about four minutes per side.
  2. Place the roast in the slow cooker and add the soup mix, water, carrots, onion, potatoes, and celery.
  3. Cover and cook on low setting for 8 to 10 hours.

 

 

The Pioneer Woman’s Perfect Potato Soup

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  • 6 slices thin Bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 whole medium Onion, diced
  • 3 whole Carrots, scrubbed clean and diced
  • 3 stalks Celery, diced
  • 6 whole small Russet Potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 8 cups Low Sodium Chicken or Vegetable Broth
  • 3 tablespoons All-purpose Flour
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt, more to taste
  • Black Pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cajun Spice Mix
  • 1 teaspoon Minced Fresh Parsley
  • 1 cup Grated Cheese of your choice

Instructions

Add bacon pieces to a soup pot over medium heat and cook bacon until crisp and fat is rendered. Remove the bacon from the pot and set it aside. Pour off most of the grease, but do not clean the pot.
Return the pot to medium-high heat and add the onions, carrots, and celery. Stir and cook for 2 minutes or so, then add the diced potatoes. Cook for 5 minutes, seasoning with salt, pepper, and Cajun spice.

Pour in the broth and bring it to a gentle boil. Cook for 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are starting to get tender. Whisk together the flour and the milk, then pour into the soup and allow the soup to cook for another 5 minutes.

Remove half to 2/3 of the soup and blend in batches in a blender or food processer until completely smooth. (***USE CAUTION WHEN BLENDING HOT SOUP; IF POSSIBLE, ALLOW THE SOUP TO COOL BEFORE BLENDING***) Pour it back into the soup pot and stir to combine. Let it heat up as you taste for seasonings, adding more of what it needs. Stir in cream, then stir in parsley, reserving a little for garnish.

Serve in bowls garnished with parsley, grated cheese and crisp bacon pieces.

 

 

homemade rollsHomemade Pan Rolls

  • 2 1/2  to 3 cups All-purpose Flour
  • 1/4 cup Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Shortening
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 package Regular or Quick Active Dry Yeast
  • 1/2 cup very warm Water (120°F to 130°F)
  • 1/2 cup very warm Milk (120°F to 130°F)
  • 1 Egg
  • Butter or Margarine, melted

Instructions

  • Mix 2 cups of flour, the sugar, shortening, salt and yeast in medium bowl. Add warm water, warm milk and egg. Beat with electric mixer on low speed 1 minute, scraping bowl frequently. Beat on medium speed 1 minute, scraping bowl frequently. Stir in enough remaining flour to make dough easy to handle.
  • Turn dough onto lightly floured surface. Knead about 5 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Place in greased bowl and turn greased side up. Cover and let rise in warm place about 1 hour or until double. Dough is ready if indentation remains when touched.
  • Grease bottoms and sides of two nine-inch round pans
  • Punch down dough. Cut dough in half; cut each half into 24 pieces. Shape into balls. Place close together in pans. Brush with butter. Cover and let rise in warm place about 30 minutes or until double.
  • Heat oven to 400°F.
  • Bake 12 to 18 minutes or until golden brown.

Help dinner prep go smoothly by making these rolls the night before. Just reheat and enjoy!

 

 

Hershey’s Homemade Pudding

Hershey pudding

  • 2/3 cup Sugar
  • 1/4 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa
  • 3 tablespoons Cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 2-1/4 cups Milk
  • 2 tablespoons Butter or Margarine
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • Whipped topping (optional)

Stove Top Instructions

Stir together sugar, cocoa, cornstarch and salt in medium saucepan; gradually stir in milk.

Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boils; boil and stir 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in butter and vanilla. Pour into individual dessert dishes. To avoid a skin from forming on top, press plastic wrap directly onto surface; serve warm or refrigerate at least 2 hours. Garnish with whipped topping, if desired.

 

Microwave Instructions

Stir together sugar, cocoa, cornstarch and salt in large microwave-safe bowl; gradually stir in milk.

Microwave at HIGH (100%) 7 to 10 minutes or until mixture comes to full boil, stirring every two minutes. Stir in butter and vanilla. Pour into dishes and serve as directed above.

 

 

Lessons from our grandparents

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Spending time with family over the holidays encouraged a lot of us to reminisce about the good old days. While some things may not have been better and going back in time isn’t possible, there are a number of things we all can learn from past generations. If you have grandparents who were a product of the Great Depression, you probably know they did things differently than younger generations.  Some of their skills and money management ideas are trendy today!

It’s the small things – Even a small thing can be a luxury and your grandparents will probably tell you there’s nothing better than an ice cream cone on a hot August day. Take time to enjoy the smell of cut grass, the sound of a baby’s laughter or the taste of a warm cookie fresh from the oven.

Keep your wants under control – Nothing kills a budget like a never ending list of wants. Worst of all, wants erode your satisfaction with what you already have.

Face to face is better than Facebook – They “went visiting.” They chatted with neighbors on the porch, they invited the pastor over for Sunday dinner and they didn’t stare at a tiny device in their hand every waking moment. They were good neighbors, recognizing that time and money are precious resources that could be used to help others in their community.

Save for a rainy day – Anyone who was a product of the Depression will tell you that you never know when a crisis will arise or how much money you’ll need to survive. That’s why a lot of these people were millionaires next door, secretly stashing away as much as possible but maintaining a simple way of life.

Two men and carpentry.jpgGrow your own food – A lot of our grandparents had gardens. Even in cities, folks with yards often grew backyard gardens and anyone with a windowsill could grow a pot of tomatoes. Gardening is back in vogue as it is cost effective, healthy and a good form of exercise. You’re guaranteed to know where your food came from when you pluck it from your own garden.

Embrace practical skills – Did your grandma sew or quilt? Maybe she canned green beans from her garden and baked a great apple pie. Generations before us knew how to do things for themselves. Your grandpa could probably change a tire and the oil in his own car. They likely knew how to repair things that were broken and entertain themselves without a smart phone or tv. They were Renaissance men and women who had to know a little about a lot of things to thrive in life.

Keep a family album – When was the last time you printed a picture and put it in an album? Your pictures are probably stored on a phone or computer. However, it’s not so fun to gather the family around to scroll through pictures on your phone. Periodically print a few of those favorites and put them in a family album, something that can be passed around, flipped through and enjoyed.

Conserve – Your time, money and possessions are precious resources. It especially seems like there’s never enough time and money to go around so don’t squander them on things that aren’t important to you. There weren’t green recycling labels on everything back then because people typically needed to find multiple uses for every object.

Get creative – Depression era folks had to use what they had to decorate their home, clothe themselves and feed their families. Instead of running to the store every time you think you need something, try shopping your home or substituting another ingredient in your recipe. You may be surprised at the creative solutions you find!

Tell us: What are your memories of your parents or grandparents? What did they do that we could learn from today?

 

 

Resolving To (Someday) Overcome Procrastination

Just eight percent of people who make a New Year’s resolution will stick with it this year. That’s why we’re talking resolutions all week long here at VCNB. We’re looking at common resolutions and some things you can do to power through and achieve your goals. We have covered budgets, health goals, savings and organization so far. Ironically, we put off writing about procrastination until the very end.

A wise man once said the “deadline is the ultimate inspiration.” While everyone doesn’t procrastinate, most people have a natural tendency to sometimes put off things they don’t want to do. Some of us though are paralyzed by distractions, bad habits and an inability to make decisions. While it can be hard, it is possible to overcome the habit of procrastination and get things done. You just have to want to possibly . . . maybe . . . commit. . . and start working on it . . . someday.

Put it in writing – It can be harder to ignore a task if it’s in writing. If it’s something simple, write it on a to-do list or even just on a post-it note. For some list makers, the simple act of crossing a task off the list is enough motivation to get to work. Bigger projects can be intimidating and have more steps so take a few minutes to brainstorm everything that needs done and write a plan. A detailed plan will help you get started and provide focus where there may otherwise be uncertainty.

Eliminate distractions – Sometimes procrastination is born from good old fashioned distractions. Who can judge when there are so many great distractions in 2016? There’s Facebook quizzes, Netflix binging, Youtube cat videos and other things that seem much more interesting! If you need to settle down and get a job done, turn off those distractions. Don’t worry. They’ll still be there for you later!

Find a change of scenery – It sounds silly but sometimes the best weapon against procrastination is simply moving to a different location. Take a walk or, if it’s portable, take your work to another room. Try it! This really works!

Deal with the worst – Usually the things we delay the longest are the ones we most hate to do. Instead of delaying the inevitable, try getting it done first! If you first finish the worst task, you won’t have so much to dread later that day! Another approach is to tell yourself you only have to do that worst job for fifteen minutes. You can do anything for fifteen minutes! Set a timer and get to work. Odds are you’ll keep going long after the timer has expired.

Bribery – When all else fails, bribe yourself with a treat! Most people respond well to a rewards system!

The truth is, when dealing with procrastination, the best defense is awareness and vigilance when making decisions. Remember, one failure doesn’t constitute a complete loss. Try again tomorrow. . . or maybe the day after that. Do you have a hack for getting things done? Share it in the comments section!

 

Keeping Your Resolution To Get Organized

Did you know that twenty-five percent of resolution makers abandon their goals within a week? With that in mind, we’re spending this week talking about New Year’s resolutions and ways to help you accomplish your goals. We’ve covered budgeting, saving money and health goals so far. Today we’re talking about organization.

A lot of resolutions have to do with organization. From getting to work on time to redoing a closet, organization skills relate to almost all aspects in life. Maybe you need to organize a desk so you can actually use it to pay bills and do work. Perhaps the organization you need isn’t for a physical space but for your time instead.

Regardless of what you’re organizing, there are some things to keep in mind and to keep you on track.

People sometimes mistake organization with perfection. They think it’s an all-or-nothing deal where everything is tucked away in a neatly labeled box. They equate an organized home with an empty home. However, organizer Christina Scalise explained it best when she said “Organization isn’t about perfection. It’s about efficiency, reducing stress and clutter, saving time and money and improving your overall quality of life.”

Another common mistake is believing that everything can be fixed in a day. Instead of trying to organize your entire home in a day, try spacing it out over a period of weeks or months. Identify the hot spots that you want to hit first and then write out a schedule for going through each one. Plan to do one big thing a week or something small every night by scheduling time to work on it.

This month, you may start with the paper clutter, cleaning out the old and developing a system for filing the new. Next month you could work on clothes closets and dresser drawers while March is the month you finally attack your messy laundry room. Clutter and disorganization doesn’t happen in a day so it’s unrealistic to think it can be fixed in a day or two.

When it comes to organizing it’s important to visualize whatever you are trying to accomplish. If you wish to cook in a kitchen where everything is easily accessible, start by looking at the space and how you’re using it. Can you use the space more wisely? Do you really need everything you are storing? If you don’t bake, chances are you don’t need to keep a dozen cookie sheets. Sometimes we aren’t disorganized, we just are trying to store things we don’t need.

People often believe that the first step to organization is to run out and buy a bunch of containers but the best first step is actually to choose one small piece of the puzzle. Start with that cabinet crammed full of coffee mugs. You probably have a few favorites that you use every day but do you need three dozen mugs? Maybe they make you happy and they need to stay but chances are you could purge a few, or maybe even a lot.

Start by pulling out the things you never use, don’t like, or are broken and begin filling boxes for thrift store donations or for friends you think might appreciate your extras. Once you have purged the unneeded and unwanted, then you can take stock of what you own and begin thinking about how it will fit in your space. Your coffee mugs may fit on a smaller shelf now and would be better across the room, next to the coffee maker. That enormous roaster you only use on Thanksgiving could be stored in the back of the pantry or even in another room. If you like to bake, organize your mixing bowls, measuring cups and other baking supplies in one area to create a baking station.

In other words, think about how you use your possessions and store them accordingly.

This example is about a kitchen but the philosophy behind it can be applied to anything. Just remember not to feel overwhelmed. Start with one drawer, one shelf, one corner of a room and work out from there.

If you’re trying to organize your time, think about the root of your problems. A good calendar can fix a lot of problems. Planning for tomorrow can cure most others. Create a landing zone where you keep your keys, coat, handbag and anything that needs to leave with you such as library books or mail.

Try laying out your clothes and packing lunches the night before. Gather ingredients for tomorrow’s dinner and review your schedule to know who goes where and when. Just knowing what lies ahead and having the supplies you need will do wonders to improve your life and time management!

Remember, organization is not an event and it isn’t a destination: it’s a lifestyle. Work at it gradually and you will achieve your goals!

Stick With A Savings Goal in 2016

It’s a sad truth that most Americans who make New Year’s resolutions fail to keep them for more than a month or even just a few days. This week we are looking at common resolutions that are great goals for any time of the year. So far we have covered sticking to a budget and living with healthy goals. Today we’re talking savings.

Our friends at NerdWallet.com wrote last year about how much the average American is stashing away. It turns out, it’s not enough.

While most experts recommend committing at least ten to fifteen percent of income to savings, the average American is saving less than five percent. Why is that rate so low? Well, part of the problem is that saving money can be difficult. For some the problem may be that they simply aren’t making enough money to live on and are struggling to get by today without saving for tomorrow. For some folks it just isn’t a priority. They would rather have a bigger house, premium cable, or just “live in the now” rather than have money for later.

For others, the inability to save money is a simple lack of discipline. If you’re the kind of person who wants to save money but never actually do because you forget and spend the money on something frivolous and think you’ll save extra next pay – we’re looking at you.

Don’t worry, this won’t be complicated. We have just one word for you: Automation.

Automation is a beautiful thing when it comes to building good habits and it’s especially helpful when committing to a savings plan. If your employer has a 401k or other type of retirement plan, set up automatic payroll contributions. The money is distributed to your 401k from your paycheck and it’s almost as though you never had the money in the first place.

If you want the money to collect in another type of savings account, say an Passbook Savings at VCNB (see how we snuck ourselves into the story?) you can set up automatic transfers for whatever amount you want, when you like. The best plan is probably to schedule the transfer on payday or the day after. That way, it’s done first thing and you aren’t tempted to spend rather than save.

One more thing: a lot of savers enjoy success making games out of saving money. For example, they stash every $5 bill they get or keep a change jar. There’s a great chart where you save an increasing amount for every week of the year. The plan is to save one dollar the first week of the year, two dollars the second week, three dollars the third week of the year. By the last week of the year, savers on this plan are saving $52. Those who follow the plan ease their way into saving regularly and accumulating over a thousand dollars in one year.

For many people, the key to sticking to a savings plan is automation. For others it’s making it easy and fun. Consider your personality and get started! Even if you can’t save fifteen percent of your income, save what you can today and work up to more.

We’re talking resolutions all week so check back tomorrow!