Practice Awareness To Boost Your Financial Health

Having a budget and regularly reviewing your financial commitments is a great place to start down the road toward better financial standing.

Being engaged and aware of what is happening in your financial life is the most effective way to improve your personal finances. We have some tips to help you be more mindful of your finances and how your VCNB account tools can help!  

First: Know Your Income and Commitments

It is imperative to know how much money comes in every month and where it’s going. The best way to do this is to gather up pay stubs and other income documents. Start by adding up your income. Then make a list of all your expenses and add them up to see how much you have going out every month to create a basic budget. Read our Budgeting 101 article to get started!    

Next Step: Get the Right Tools

VCNB offers account holders some user-friendly tools that will make life easier. From checking your balance and paying bills online to turning off your debit card in our mobile app, there are a number of tools for keeping tabs on your finances. Many customers especially love Account Alerts which allow them to receive a text or email for things like when a loan payment is due or each time their debit card has been used. You can even set an alert for when your account drops below a certain balance. Click here to learn more about how the leading technology offered at VCNB can help your financial life!

You’ll also want to review your credit report for accuracy. Download your credit report for free at www.annualcreditreport.com. This document will help you spot errors in your credit history which could impact your credit rating as well as your ability to borrow money, rent a home, qualify for auto insurance or even get a job.

As you’re creating your budget, be sure to put in place some maintenance routines. Have a special place for bills that need attention, automate what you can, and designate a time to pay bills and check balances. While you’re at it, be sure to file or scan any paperwork you need to keep.

What’s next:

These are some basic first steps that everyone should take on the path to financial awareness. Here are a few more.

Start by looking for ways to cut costs. Be sure to apply that savings to paying off debt or to plan for big expenses. Click here for 31 ways you can save money now.

If you know that you spend six hundred dollars on Christmas every year, don’t wait until the holidays and rack up credit card debt. Instead, open a VCNB Christmas Club account to have automatic transfers made from your account into a Christmas Club every two weeks.

Get into the mindset that you will think before you buy and curb those impulse purchases to save strain on your budget. Start thinking about what you want your life to look like and how money can help you strive toward those goals.

Most of all, be mindful and start thinking about how you can put your personal finances to work for you.

Banking Convenience, Leading Technology With Mobile Deposit

Depositing a check with Mobile Deposit is an easy way to take care of your banking business without a trip into the bank!

Here at VCNB we are taking time this fall to be thankful for all the great ways technology has made banking easier for our customers. Here’s a peek at just one of several. Want to know about other popular technology products that we offer our customers? Click here! 

While you can get cash from an ATM or even while paying at the grocery store, depositing a check keeps some customers coming into the bank even when they don’t have the time to spare. Thanks to Mobile Deposit, customers no longer have to do that. Instead, they can opt to deposit their check whenever and wherever is convenient for them.

Working through lunch? Can’t make it in during business hours? No time for errands? No problem.

Simply use the camera on your mobile device to submit images of your check through our mobile app! It really is that easy.

Here’s what you do:

  1. Log in to your account in VCNB Mobile.
  2. Choose Deposits and then press Deposit a Check.
  3. Choose the account where you want the deposit to be made.
  4. Enter the amount of the check.
  5. Endorse your check with your signature and the phrase “Mobile Deposit.”
  6. Photograph both the front and back of the endorsed check.
  7. Review and confirm deposit details and hit Yes to complete the transaction.

It’s a quick process that can save you loads of time driving to the bank. Whether it’s from home in your jammies or on a break from work, you can make that deposit whenever and wherever you have a free moment!

Don’t already use our mobile app? Find it in the app store on your mobile device by searching VCNB Mobile.

Find Leading Technology And Local Support At VCNB

Here at VCNB we strive to offer customers best in class leading technology. In fact, we have everything the big banks offer but with community bank service and local values.

While we take for granted that our customers know about all this great technology, we find that some customers still haven’t heard that they can deposit a check using their phone or that they can send money to a friend with Zelle® in our mobile banking app. We find they don’t know they can pay bills on the go or that our app makes banking as easy as 1-2-3.

That’s why we will be spending the next few weeks talking about some of the leading technology we offer. This technology makes it easier for you to keep track of your money, open accounts and bank whenever and from wherever is most convenient for you.

Here’s an overview of some of these services and we promise to talk more in depth about a few of them soon!

VCNB Mobile and VCNBfamily.com – Use our website and mobile app to check balances, pay bills, transfer funds, view account statements and even open accounts. It’s like carrying a bank branch with you everywhere you go! Both are free and easy to use and give you access to a ton of great options including those below.

Mobile Deposit – Customers who use our mobile app love that they can deposit a check using the camera on their mobile device. It’s easy and quick! Click here for instructions and to get started today.  

Online Bill Pay– There’s no need to stand in the post office line when you can pay bills without even leaving your chair! Log in to your online banking to sign up for Online Bill Pay to schedule bills to pay automatically or on demand.

ZelleZelle is a fast, safe and easy way to send money directly between almost any bank accounts in the U.S., typically within minutes. With just an email address or U.S. mobile phone number, you can send money to people you trust, regardless of where they bank. Find Zelle in Online Bill Pay on VCNB Mobile or in your Online Banking.

Account Alerts – Keep tabs on what’s happening with your accounts when you want to be notified about certain activities. Sign up for any of our almost two dozen account alerts to be sent via text or email. Want to be notified if your card has been used? Perhaps you want to know if a check has cleared, that a loan payment is due or if your balance dips below a certain amount. It’s easy and free to sign up in your Online Banking!

Mobile Wallet – Leave your VCNB credit or debit card in your wallet and pay for purchases with Apple Pay®, Google Pay and Samsung Pay! These mobile payment options are contactless and have built in security measures. Visit the app store on your mobile device to get started!

MoneyPass® – Need cash quick but aren’t near a VCNB ATM? Find a surcharge free ATM near you by searching MoneyPass.com or on their mobile app. VCNB belongs to this extensive network which includes over 32,000 surcharge-free ATMs nationwide. No need to sign up! Just look for the MoneyPass logo and insert your card!  

Rewards Checking Account – Earn uChoose Rewards for your everyday banking behaviors like direct deposit, bill pay and swiping your debit card with our Rewards Checking Account. Earn rewards like cash back, gift cards, travel and event tickets! Have a Visa® Platinum Favor Credit Card? Earn points for using that as well.

Ready to get started but still have questions? Chat online or call our Customer Service Team at 1.800.542.5004. You can also speak to a banker in your local branch today.  

Bruce Block To Retire Friday

VCNB Lender Bruce Block will finish his forty year career in banking and finance when he retires Friday. In doing so, he will turn the page to a new chapter in his life’s book. “I have enjoyed my years in banking and finance and have met a lot of people and made friendships that I hope will continue,” he said. “However, I’m looking forward to moving on to something different.”

Lender Bruce Block will end his forty year career in banking on Friday.

The Pennsylvania native began his career as a management trainee with a finance company in Yuma, Arizona. When they transferred him to Columbus, Ohio, his career took off and he spent the next four decades forging relationships and hitting his stride in a range of finance and banking areas. He trained younger employees, worked in collections and did all types of lending. Before coming to VCNB, Bruce had worked fourteen years as the Head of Consumer Lending for a community bank in Logan.

He joined the VCNB family as a Retail Lender in McArthur in 2015. It quickly became clear his connections with dealerships across Ohio would make Bruce a great fit in the bank’s growing Indirect Lending Department. So for the last four years, he has helped customers who wish to finance their vehicle purchase from the comfort of the dealership while working closely with the dealers who make that happen.

“These aren’t just business acquaintances. I’ve gotten to know a lot of people over the years and have developed good relationships with many dealers,” Bruce said. He went on to describe the lessons he has instilled in a new employee he has been training. “The key to being successful is developing relationships with people. Find common ground so that you have something to relate to when you’re talking. For me, it might be running or soccer or the fact I lived in Arizona for a while and they did too. Building relationships with people will help you become successful and will help you enjoy your job more.”

Bruce has many interests that he enjoys pursuing outside of work. He has been a soccer referee for eighteen years and will soon take on a new title as the Miller High School Boys Junior Varsity Basketball Coach. Bruce also enjoys running and working out at the gym.

The self-described lifelong learner is an avid reader who enjoys substitute teaching at the high school level. He has a bachelors degree in Public Administration and Social Science from Waynesburg University in Pennsylvania, a masters in Social Science from Ohio University and his teaching license in Social Studies. He also takes online classes from the University of Chicago as time allows.

“I believe there is no such thing as too much education,” Bruce explained. He went on to describe a letter of recommendation from a professor at OU who said she had never seen a student who pursued learning for the sake of learning the way that Bruce did, all while juggling family and career.

Bruce has a grown daughter and a stepson. His wife Korrie is a teacher in Athens County where they reside near Glouster.

“I have enjoyed my forty years in banking and finance. I’ve had the opportunity to meet many good people, interesting people, and to learn a lot from working for different people. Looking back, I have to wonder where the forty years went. Time goes so quickly as the days become weeks and the weeks become years.”

The bank will host a reception in Bruce’s honor at our Friendly Bremen Banking Center on West Fair Avenue from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday.

Six Ways To Save On Groceries Today

It’s a necessary purchase and one of the most expensive line items in most household budgets. What is it?

Food.

Everyone has to eat and it can be costly but there are some ways to eat healthy and for less simply by making a few adjustments to eat with the seasons.

  • Eat what’s in season. It typically costs less, isn’t shipped as far and tastes better. For example, melons, berries, cucumbers, zucchini, sweet corn, green beans, tomatoes, cherries and a host of other fruits and vegetables are in season during the summer. In the fall, look for pears, apples, broccoli, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, peppers and eggplant. Each season offers different bounty and new opportunities to switch up your diet.
  • Go for fresh. Those prepackaged salads are quick and look good but can go from attractive to limp or slimy quickly. Fresh romaine, head lettuce and spinach make a great salad and will last longer. Pre-cut veggies and melons are convenient but cost far more per pound that cutting melon or celery for yourself.
  • Go for frozen. Frozen fruits and veggies are typically picked when ripe and then flash frozen. That means frozen produce is a good substitute for fresh. However, beware the frozen prepared meals which often are packed with sodium and sugar and cost more for their convenience.
  • Eat (and take care of) what you have. How many times have you loaded up your cart with tons of fresh produce only for it to rot in the fridge? Make sure you’re either eating what you buy or learn what can be frozen for later. For example, grapes are an amazing treat when frozen. Even odds and ends of leftover vegetables make a great base for soups or omelets. Fruits go well in smoothies or baked goods.
  • Go meatless. Meatless Monday has long been a popular concept and summer is a great time to try that out. With an abundance of fresh from the garden produce, there’s a world of recipes and meal combinations to entertain your taste buds.
  • Preserve it for later. Learn what kind of produce freezes well. Then you can snatch up deals while the selection is abundant and enjoy the season’s bounty when the price is higher again later.
  • Shop local. By shopping farmers markets or farm stands, you’re getting seasonal foods and supporting a business in your community.

How do you cut grocery costs and still eat healthy? Tell us in the comments. We would love to hear from you!

VCNB Introduces Zelle In Its Mobile App

Zelle® Makes it Fast, Safe and Easy to Send Money Digitally to Those you Know and Trust With a Bank Account in the U.S.

Vinton County National Bank today announced that Zelle® is now live in its mobile app, VCNB Mobile and through online banking.

VCNB Executive Vice President of Marketing Audra Johnson said the bank is pleased to offer this modern, free and safe way for customers to send money to someone else. “We’re excited to provide Zelle to our customers. It is a fast and easy way to send money to someone, receive money or even split a bill. Best of all, it’s secure. Person to person payments have become the norm in our society and Zelle outperforms all other platforms. We are confident our customers will love it!”

The Zelle Network® includes financial institutions of all sizes. For more than 140 million consumers, Zelle® is already available from the convenience of their mobile banking app, making digital payments a fast, safe and easy alternative to cash and checks. Money sent with Zelle® goes directly from one bank account in the U.S. to another, using only a recipient’s email address or U.S. mobile number. Funds are typically available within minutes when both parties are already enrolled with Zelle®.

Consumers who are not enrolled and receive a payment notification or a request for payment can enroll through their financial institution or by downloading the Zelle® app if their financial institution does not participate. Consumers should only use Zelle® to send and receive money with friends, family and people they know and trust.

Zelle is free to use within VCNB Mobile and VCNB Online Banking.

About Zelle®

Brought to you by Early Warning Services, LLC, an innovator in payment and risk management solutions, Zelle® makes it fast, safe and easy for money to move. The Zelle Network® connects financial institutions of all sizes, enabling consumers and businesses to send fast digital payments to people they know and trust with a bank account in the U.S. Funds are available directly in consumer bank accounts generally within minutes when the recipient is already enrolled with Zelle®. To learn more about Zelle® and its participating financial institutions, visit https://www.zellepay.com.

Teens Gain Money Management Skills With Student Checking

If you have a teenager in the house that means you have a child who is a few short years from being out on their own. What skills do you want them to have when they go off to school or to start a new career?

Chances are that good money management skills are on that list.

Whether they have a part time job or just an allowance, odds are your teens have some money to manage. Before they are expected to manage large sums, it’s best they learn to manage small amounts too!

That’s why VCNB offers a Student Checking account. This account is designed to help teens learn how to manage money, keep a debit card safe and learn some financial independence.

Here are some things to know.

This account is for teens ages 14 to 17 and requires that a parent or guardian be a joint owner of the account. There is no minimum balance requirement or fees for electronic statements. The account comes with a free standard debit card.

Like all VCNB accounts, Student Checking gives the account holder access to account alerts, online and mobile banking so that your teen can learn to successfully keep track of and spend their money. They can also access over 32,000 surcharge-free ATMS nationwide through the MoneyPass® network.

Learn more about our banking options for teens and to get started by opening a new Student Checking account online.  

Meet Your Banker: Tom Will Oyer Is A Sixth Generation Banker

It is rare to meet someone who is the sixth generation working in a family business. Yet, that’s the case for Tom Will Oyer whose family founded Vinton County National Bank in 1867. He is aware of how tightly intertwined the Will family history is with the bank’s story and the role the bank has played in local history all these years.

Tom Will Oyer is the sixth generation of the Will family to work at Vinton County National Bank.

“The bank has always been a part of my life in some way. As a kid I remember my grandfather taking us to lunch in McArthur there in the basement of the bank and I remember knowing that he was important in the community. When I got older, I was teller a couple of summers but it was never assumed that I would join the family business. No one ever made me feel pressured to come here but the option was available,” he said.

In fact, Tom began to pursue an entirely different career path in the forestry industry. He was studying Forestry at West Virginia University and working a summer internship at a local company when he realized that it may not be the future he wanted for himself. So he switched gears and headed off to Ohio State University to study Economics.

With a degree in hand he began his career doing management and outside sales for Sherwin Williams Automotive Finishes in Dayton. Here he went to night school for his MBA at University of Dayton, met the woman he would marry, and decided to come home to contribute to the family business.

“When I decided to come here, I knew that it couldn’t be just a job. It would be my career and not a stepping stone to somewhere else. I owe a lot to the bank and it’s been wonderful being here and finding my way,” he explained.

Tom’s first step at the bank was in 2013 as part of the Management Trainee program. His grandfather Bob Will created this program more than sixty years ago to attract talented college graduates to the bank. The program gives participants opportunity to experience several departments and has produced many bank leaders over the decades

It was through this training that Tom found his love for lending and for helping customers achieve their dreams. “When you are lending money, you’re helping a customer reach their goals. Whether it is a first car, a new home, or starting a business, it is a great feeling when you’re able to help a neighbor,” he said.

He spent a short time as Branch Operations Manager for the bank before taking over as Head of Consumer Lending. This position gave him the opportunity to manage and develop lenders. His mother, Emily Will Oyer, is a retired Head of Retail who told him that he would truly enjoy his work when he started to see employees grow because of the efforts he has made in helping them improve and develop.  “I have also enjoyed my role as a manager, helping to guide employees and have a positive impact so they can blossom into the employee you know they can be. This is one of the true highlights of my job.”

It was under Tom’s leadership that the bank created the Personal Banker position which empowers bankers and broadens their ability to help customers with most of their deposit account and lending needs. He helped to develop new processes and training for this position which reached about forty employees in the first year. “We had to identify what was working and not working and even go back to the drawing board a couple of times to make sure we got it all right. In doing so, we went from about twenty lenders to sixty and we saw significant growth because of it,” he said.

Last year, VCNB President Mark Erslan approached Tom about a new opportunity on the horizon. Head of Commercial Lending Darrell Boggs had announced his intent to retire and Mark asked Tom if he would be interested in taking the reins. “Obviously, I don’t have a commercial lending background but I do have the lending background and the management background. I understand the processes and that it’s my job to facilitate the process to help lenders do what they do best,” he said.

He worked closely with Darrell to achieve a smooth transition and to prepare for the challenge ahead.

Mark commended Tom for the contributions he has made to the bank during his career here. “Tom has served the bank in multiple positions including the Head of Consumer Lending and Strategic Planning Committee Co-Chair. He’s helped foster changes that have resulted in bank growth and improved customer and employee experiences. We look forward to his continued contribution to the bank’s success, in this new role.”

While Tom takes pride in his family business, he is modest about his own accomplishments “There’s definitely pride in the Will family history with the bank and how we’ve served the community for so many years. It’s a wonderful thing, a rare thing but I think we all have a kind of built in modesty. We’re not flashy people, we don’t call attention to ourselves, we live pretty modestly and are grateful to have good careers in southern Ohio, serving our neighbors and employees,” he said.

He expressed gratitude for many people who helped to shape his views on community banking and who have helped him along the way. “Mark Erslan has been critical to my success. He’s been my mentor from day one and I’m grateful to him.  My vision of the bank and perception of where it’s been and where it’s going have been influenced by my grandfather, my mother and my Uncle Tom Will who is Chairman of the Board.”

Tom grew up in Ross County. He and his wife Andrea live in the Laurelville area with their children ages 6, 5, 2 and newborn. 

Community Spotlight: Vinton County Creating Healthy Communities

Living a healthy life is easier when you live in a community that promotes healthy living. In Vinton County, there’s an effort underway to make it easier for residents to live safely and to embrace healthy choices. The Vinton County Creating Healthy Communities coalition (CHC) addresses healthy eating and active living through projects that will potentially have far reaching and long lasting effects.

The coalition exists thanks to a five year grant received by the Vinton County Health Department. Spearheaded by CHC Coordinator Jeri Ann Bentley, the coalition is made up of citizens, organizations and government offices that have partnered to provide everything from input to boots-on-the-ground workers. While the CHC has accomplished a lot in their first year, there is much on the agenda for 2021 and beyond.

The Coalition is divided into two subcommittees, allowing for volunteers to help with the projects they find most inspiring. The Healthy Eating Committee has been instrumental in creating a larger, more robust system of farmer’s markets in Vinton County. They have also created a healthy vending project and started a community garden this year. The Active Living Committee is working on a Complete Streets policy for McArthur, bike infrastructure and a major playground renovation project at Wyman Park.

A Vinton County native, Bentley is passionate about building a healthier community for her own family and neighbors as well as for generations to come. “A healthy community gives every person, regardless of age, ability or socioeconomic background the same opportunities to enjoy a good life, to eat well, to move about and to access all the resources the community offers just like everyone else,” she said.

Thanks to the CHC and a partnership with Vinton Industries, farmers markets can be found every Saturday morning in McArthur, Hamden and Wilkesville. Fresh produce, honey, Amish baked goods, handmade items, plants and flowers are among the things shoppers may find throughout the season

Vinton Industries is also spearheading the community garden where a $10 annual fee gives gardeners access to a plot of land as well as access to tools, Seven Dust and watering. Their program to offer healthy vending services and education for local businesses has been successful too. The goal is to offer a selection of tasty, healthier snacks that employees enjoy as much as traditional vending machine faire.

“I can’t say enough about Vinton Industries and what it has meant to have their support. They just took all these healthy eating initiatives and ran with them. It has really freed up my time and resources to focus on other things,” she said.

For example, she is working on a Complete Streets policy, written with support from McArthur Village Council. This will help village leaders plan for future projects that make the streets safer for pedestrians, bicyclists and people with disabilities. A walking audit last fall revealed many streets with broken sidewalks, missing curb-cuts and no sidewalks that are treacherous for pedestrians. “We aren’t saying the town needs to run out and put in all new sidewalks but we are helping them see places where new sidewalks are needed. We found places where there’s no curb cut so if you’re in a wheelchair you have no choice but to backtrack and find a way off the sidewalk so you can go out into the street,” she said. “By identifying the issues, we are making a sort of wish list that will allow us to make positive changes in the future.”

Pedestrian traffic before and after school will be addressed in the future too. “We’ve all seen how dangerous it is for kids just trying to get to school or trying to cross after school to get from the high school to McDonalds. There are simple, low cost solutions that can make it safer for our kids to cross the street when there’s a lot of traffic.”

The biggest project that Bentley and the CHC have taken on is a major playground renovation at Wyman Park. The aging playground equipment is potentially dangerous for youngsters. There are few opportunities for kids with disabilities to enjoy the playground and very small tots may struggle to play safely here.

The two existing large structures will be replaced with new ones. There will also be a number of smaller, ground level pieces of equipment like a fire engine and a caterpillar for imaginative play. Swings designed to hold children with disabilities, a sign language board, a tic-tac-toe board, a twister beam and metal park benches are part of the plan as well. A new rubberized surface is planned to be installed for enhanced safety.

CHC has received grant funding and some private donations have been promised to the Wyman Park Board but more funds are needed to complete the project. The Wyman Park Board has applied for some additional grants and is appealing to potential donors to help fund this project as well. Donors will be publically recognized for their generous support.

Meanwhile, the CHC will host Wyman Park Appreciation Day on June 26 from 4 p.m. until dark to raise funds for the playground project while celebrating the park and its importance to the community. Scheduled events are not yet set in stone but the group plans to have an adult cornhole tournament, vendor and craft fair, face painting, inflatable slide, food, live music, Kona Ice, and much more! This free community event will have fun activities for all ages to enjoy. Registration forms for the cornhole tournament and vendor fair will be available soon.

“We take pride in where we live and love our community. We just want to make it better for everyone, safer and easier for everyone to make good choices for themselves and their families. We’ve accomplished a lot in the last year but we’re excited about the future and all that we can do to improve this place we call home.”

Learn more about Vinton County Creating Healthy Communities and their upcoming Park Appreciation Day by following them on Facebook. Click to enlarge each image below for cornhole tournament registration, vendor and craft fair registration and for a flier about Wyman Park Appreciation Day!

Want to donate to the playground project or get involved in the other CHC projects? Contact Bentley at jbentley@vintonohhealth.org or at 740.596.5233.

Meet Your Banker: Cindy Moore Joins The VCNB Family

The VCNB Financial Family is happy to welcome Cindy Moore to our Friendly Bremen Banking Center. Moore is a Business Banker who brings to the job the enthusiasm and experience necessary to help businesses with all their banking needs.

Cindy Moore is a Business Banker in Lancaster.

She has actually worked in the banking world since 1991, serving in a number of positions including branch management, consumer lending, mortgage lending and commercial lending. While she has vast experience in banking, Moore’s expertise may actually be in understanding customers and helping with their needs. “I really enjoy learning about our customers, their business and being able to assist them with all their lending needs,” she said.

She is a graduate of the Blythe School of Banking, American Bankers Association Bank Management School and American Bankers Association School of Consumer Lending.

When asked why she chose to join the VCNB family, Moore referenced the bank’s core values and how they relate to the community and customers. “I chose to come work for VCNB because we pride ourselves in being a community centered organization. I appreciate our core values: integrity, leadership, community focus, progress and our relationship with our customers,” she said.

Moore lives in Lancaster with her husband Eric and they have two grown children and three grandchildren. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, swimming, gardening and being outdoors.

Cindy Moore is excited to serve local businesses and help them reach their banking goals. Find her at our Friendly Bremen Banking Center on East Main Street in Lancaster or call her at 740.687.3920.