Back to School Tips for You

Back to school time is upon us and that means another nine months of rushing and stressing to make sure homework is done and everyone is at their respective school and work on time. At VCNB, we love easy tips to improve our quality of life and to keep things running smoothly.

It seems the key to starting the school year off on the right foot may lie in organization.

You’ve invested in a lot of supplies and clothes and shoes for your kids so you don’t want them to be lost. We recommend that you label your child’s possessions. Put their name in or on their lunchbox, book bag, binders, band instrument cases – even their jackets and gym clothes. There’s nothing worse than replacing a lost lunchbox or trying to track down a new book bag.

Before you ever send them out the door, think about how you can streamline your morning routine and what you can accomplish at night instead. One way to get prepared the night before is by packing lunches and laying out clothes. Also make sure all the homework is complete and forms from school are signed and ready to return. You can even set the table for breakfast and put out any non-perishable food items you will need in the morning.

Speaking of the night before, go to bed earlier than normal during the school year. It’s easier for kiddos to learn and to behave well when they are rested.

Organization also helps at the end of the day when everyone is tired from a long day and ready for some down time. Remember how hungry you were after school? Have a snack ready for them in the car, at home or at the sitter’s house to hold them over till dinner. A simple snack will improve their mood and prevent you from swinging into a drive thru just to keep them happy. Also work with your kids to finish homework and complete other tasks to make the morning run smoothly.

One last thing. Teach your child a password that only you and they know. That way, if your child is approached by a stranger claiming that mom or dad sent them, they will know it’s a trick if the stranger doesn’t have the password.

Comment if you have tips for making the school year run smoothly!

 

College Bound? Financial Products You Need

Are you headed off to college this fall? If you’re like most college freshmen, you are probably worried about finding your way around campus and meeting your new roommate. But have you thought about how to access and manage money while you’re away?

Starting college makes you a bona fide grown up. That means you will need a checking account. After all, you will have some source of income – whether it comes from your folks, overage checks or a part time job – and will need a place to keep your money safe. The piggy bank your grandma gave you when you were four just won’t cut it anymore.

Here are some VCNB products that we think will help.

A shot of an asian student working on his laptop at the campusChecking My Way – This checking account is a great option for a young person just starting out. This account has no minimum balance requirements and there are no fees if you take electronic statements. It comes with a free debit card or the opportunity to upgrade to a vanity debit card for $5. With free access to Online Banking and Mobile Banking, you can access accounts, pay bills and transfer funds with your computer or mobile device.

Mobile Deposit – Use your mobile device to deposit paper checks to your account for just a .50 cent per transaction fee (and standard data rates). You simply use our mobile banking app and the camera on your device to take a picture of both the front and back of the check. It will deposit into your account, from anywhere in the world.

Online Bill Pay and Popmoney Use Online Bill Pay through VCNB Online and Mobile Banking to pay bills. No need to mail a check for your car insurance. Just sign into Online Bill Pay at VCNB to schedule one time or recurring payments. Another perk of Bill Pay is access to Popmoney ® personal payment service. Popmoney ® allows you to send and receive money to and from an individual. So if you owe a friend for pizza or if mom and dad wish to give you money, it can be done through Popmoney®. At .50 cents per transaction, it is quicker and cheaper than mailing a check.

General Purpose Reloadable MasterCard © – If you don’t trust yourself with a lot of money at once, a VCNB General Purpose Reloadable Mastercard © is a great way to pay. With this card, you load it with a specific amount. Once the money is spent, it is gone and there is no risk of overdraft.

If you are leaving the area for college and are concerned about ATM or branch availability, remember this: PIN and signature based purchases with your debit card are free. Any time you make a store purchase, you have the option of getting cash back. With just a small store purchase, you can get cash back for no fee. Also remember that mobile banking allows you to deposit checks from anywhere in the world and online/mobile banking make it possible to transfer funds, check balances and even pay bills with a few mouse clicks.

And at the risk of sounding like your parents, remember to be careful when it comes to credit cards. One of the first people you will likely speak to on campus will be someone offering you a credit card. We offer credit cards at VCNB but we encourage you to use this line of credit wisely. Use credit cards for emergencies rather than for daily purchases and be sure to not charge more than you can pay off in a month.

So before you head off to college, swing into your local VCNB office or check us out at www.vintoncountybank.com. Our New Accounts Officers would love to give you all the details on these products and on others that we think you can use.

 

Deposit Checks From Your Desk

As a business owner, you work hard to serve your customers, grow your business and earn a profit. Do you ever feel like the responsibility of it all is too much? What if VCNB could relieve some of this burden?

At VCNB we offer a product called Remote Deposit Capture. Designed to save you valuable time, Remote Deposit Capture allows you to make check deposits from your office 24-hours a day, seven days a week.

This convenient feature of the Premier Business Checking Account makes bank deposits extremely easy and convenient for our hard working business customers.

A scanner and set-up service are provided with a two year contract. We also provide product training and a dedicated customer service line for our business customers. Backing up our business products with great customer service is important to us and to you.

Once you scan and submit your checks, the deposit will memo post after review is completed. If no review is needed, items will post as soon as the batch is delivered.

While we love to see our customers in our bank lobbies, we understand that it may be easier for you to deposit checks from the comfort of your office. Learn more and receive full terms and conditions by calling Business Customer Service at 740.596.3496 or by contacting a New Account Representative at your local banking center.

 

 

Close to Home: VCNB Volunteerism is Important

At VCNB we encourage our employees to give back to our communities. We believe that a happy, healthy community is a good place to do business and that there is no better way to contribute to a community than through volunteerism.

Last year we had more than one hundred employees who did at least eight hours of community service. That’s more than 800 hours of time donated by our employees! The truly neat thing is that our folks contribute to all sorts of worthwhile projects.

We volunteer for animal shelters, summer reading programs and 4-H. Many of our employees work at food banks, helping to package and distribute grocery items to needy families. Some of our employees volunteer for school functions, boosters groups and even work concessions or ticket gates for high school sporting events.

We hope that our employees will give of their time to projects and organizations that are near and dear to their hearts and that will make a true difference. While we have so many employees doing good things across our seven counties, one of our most unique volunteers is Kathy Ramsay, Head Teller at our Salt Creek Banking Center in Laurelville.

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Kathy Ramsay is pictured with the quilt she made and donated to the Laurelville Fire Department. It raised $400 at auction.

Kathy is a kind hearted person who loves to sew. That’s why so many people in her family, in her community and across the world are benefactors of her hard work. Kathy makes quilts for the Quilts of Valor Project Foundation,  an organization that helps quilters like Kathy donate quilts to American soldiers who have been touched by war. Last year alone, she sent five quilts to soldiers stationed at the Ramstein Air Base in Germany.

But it doesn’t stop there. She donates baby quilts to Adena Hospital for little kids who need the comforting touch of home during their hospital stay. She donates handmade fleece hats for the Laurelville and Tarlton fire departments’ Toys for Tots programs and for the Sparrow House, an outreach ministry in South Perry.

This fall, she and some friends will spend a day at the elementary school in Laurelville, making hats for little kids in preschool. That’s about 60 hats these ladies will make for children between the ages of three and five. Best of all, the youngsters will pick out the fabric they like best and watch the hat be made.

She has made quilts for nearly every member of her family and commonly donates quilts for fundraisers.

This month, Kathy donated a beautiful red, white and blue Americana quilt to the Fireman’s Festival. The Fire Department auctioned the quilt at their 91st annual festival, raising $400 to help with the department’s operating expenses.

“I just really love to quilt and sew,” Ramsay said.

She estimates she has been involved in this hobby for 35 to 40 years. “I like trying new techniques, new fabrics. I’m inspired by trying new things,” she explained.

Lower your cooling bill today

With energy costs and Ohio temperatures on the rise, this summer has turned out to be expensive for many folks who are struggling to cool their homes. Fortunately, there are some easy things you can do today to keep your home cool without breaking the bank.

-  Set your programmable thermostat as high as is comfortable in the summer. Then raise the setpoint a few degrees when you are away from home. Program it to lower the temperature just before you come home.

-  Use ceiling fans to create a cool breeze. If you raise your thermostat by just two or three degrees, using a ceiling fan to circulate air will lower your bill by up to 14 percent, according to Mother Earth News.

-  Clean or replace air conditioner filters monthly to keep your system working optimally.

-  Pull the curtains and shades closed during the day to prevent the sun from overheating your house.

-  Remember that light generates heat. Turn off lights where they are not needed.

-  Use a microwave to cook on those really hot days instead of heating up your home with the oven.

There are many other steps you can take that will have a long term impact on both your cooling and heating bills. For example, insulating in attics, around doors and windows, in crawl spaces and other areas where air can leak may save you a good bit in the long run. Upgrading your unit to a more energy efficient model and maintaining the one you own will also go a long way toward saving you green.

 

Planning for the unexpected

If there’s one thing in life you can count on, it’s that you should expect the unexpected.

This is especially true when it comes to life and finances. Most Americans are ill equipped for unexpected expenses and, even those with a well prepared budget can struggle to recover.

While you can’t necessarily predict the unexpected, you can plan for it by setting aside a little money each month in an emergency fund. This will give you the peace of mind that there will be money to help with unexpected expenses and the luxury of not sinking into debt the next time catastrophe strikes. Your emergency fund should only be tapped to pay for major, unplanned expenses and not for vacations, shopping or other fun.

Think you don’t need an emergency fund? Think again. Here are just a few things – big and small – that can go wrong at any time.

Job Loss – This is the big one. If you find yourself unemployed it is important to have enough in savings to see you through.

Appliance Breakdown – You come home to find that the fridge died sometime while you were gone and all your food is thawing. When it comes to household appliances, time is usually of the essence because it is so difficult and sometimes expensive to live without them. Yet, they are expensive to repair and replace.

Pair of Human Hands Checking the Blood Pressure of a PatientHealth Bills- Even if you have insurance, the smallest ailment can cost you a lot of money through office visits, prescription co-pays, blood work and lost wages.

Unexpected Travel – Sometimes we just have to leave home unexpectedly. A death in the family or an ailing relative are two events that will leave you with no choice but to travel. Gas, airfare, hotels and food add up quickly, especially when there was little time to prepare.

Traffic Tickets –Parking and traffic tickets can get pricey, throwing the household budget off course faster than you can say – “do you know how fast you were going, sir?”

Home Repairs – Whether it’s a leaky roof, an aging furnace or an army of Carpenter Ants, home repairs always cost a lot more than you think they should and typically come at the most inconvenient time. If you live in an older home, you may consider creating a budget category just for these types of repairs.

Car Repairs – Someone left a dent in your new car, the transmission went out and the breaks are squealing. Sound familiar? Car repairs are never cheap and, like home repairs, always come at the worst possible time.

Seasonal Expenses – Record cold temperatures this winter left many Ohio residents scrambling to cover seasonal expenses. Higher utility costs, frozen pipes, new snow tires for the car or fuel for the generator will add up quickly and can completely break the bank.

Unexpected expenses happen to everyone. With a little effort, unexpected doesn’t have to mean unplanned. What else can you add to this list? Plan ahead, squirrel away some funds and you will be ready!

 

Money Superstitions Around the World

Everyone could use a little extra luck, especially where money is concerned. That may be why people in nations across the globe hold dear a host of superstitions regarding money and fortune. Here are a few of those superstitions to give you some food for thought today.

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In Argentina, the superstitious believe that finding money on the ground is a sign that more money is on the way.

Argentinian superstition states that finding money on the ground is a sign that more money is on the way. But that good fortune can be reversed by spending the found money or by returning it to the rightful owner.

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Some Chinese people believe that keeping a dish full of spare change in the kitchen will make them prosperous.

The superstitious in Turkey believe that holding gold in your hand in a dream means you will earn money in real life. They also believe that a scratched right palm means you will spend money while a scratched left palm means you will receive money.

In nearby Greece, it is commonly believed that money attracts money. They believe that having a single coin in your possession will help you find good fortune. However, completely emptying your pockets, wallet or bank account will bring you very bad fortune. If you give someone the gift of a new wallet or purse it is best to include a few coins to prevent them from being empty from the beginning. Russian superstitions support this belief that you must never give an empty wallet or purse. Russians also believe that scattering coins in bags and cupboards around your home will attract more money. Careful though – if someone picks up these coins from your home, the process will be reversed!

The people of India believe the elephant brings good luck. Symbolizing luck and great wealth, the elephant is often worn as jewelry and prominently displayed.

Chinese people have many beliefs and practices related to money. One example is that they believe keeping a dish full of spare change in your kitchen is thought to make them prosperous.

Several cultures, including Lithuanian, believe that you should never place your wallet or bag on the ground or your hat under the table. These acts mean that you will have no money in the future.

Finding an egg with two yolks means that you will become wealthy, according to superstitions in the Phillipines. If you wish to lure money your way, Puerto Rican folklore says you need only to burn a cinnamon stick. Making a cross on the floor after you pick up found money will bring even more money, according to Mexican tradition.

Do you believe in superstitions?