OVB celebrates Teach Children to Save Day

The key to building financially strong individuals and communities is education at a young age. Many people see financial responsibility as limited to adults, but it’s never too early to teach children how to be money savvy.

In an effort to help children understand the value of a dollar, the American Bankers Association established Teach Children to Save Day, which is being celebrated today. April also serves as Financial Literacy Month. According to the ABA, Teach Children to Save along with the foundation’s other financial education initiatives has reached 9.1 million young people through the commitment of more than 225,000 banker volunteers, including Ohio Valley Bank.

OVB celebrates Teach Children to Save the entirety of spring, and will do program presentations in the fall and winter upon request. Recently OVB took part in a Career Day at Washington Elementary in Gallipolis, Ohio. OVB Financial Literacy Leader Hope Roush discussed the different careers in banking as well as stressed the importance of saving. Along with materials provided by the ABA, OVB also uses the campaign as an opportunity to utilize the Centsables Adventures in Saving program, which is a fun, interactive lesson on saving. Topics included in the presentation focus on the following:

  1. Wants vs. needs
  2. Creating a savings plan
  3. Making deposits

Parents are encouraged to share the Teach Children to Save message as well. Both the ABA and OVB offer the following tips to help parents teach their children valuable financial skills:

  1. Set the example by being responsible yourself. This is accomplished by paying your bills on time, being a conscientious spender and an active saver. Remember children often emulate their parents’ personal finance habits.
  2. Talk openly about money with your kids. Communicate your values and experiences with money. Encourage your children to ask you questions, and be prepared to answer them.
  3. Teach them to understand the difference between needs and wants. Discuss the value of saving and budgeting as well as the consequences of not doing so.
  4. Open a savings account for your children. Take them with you to make deposits so they can learn how to be hands-on in their money management. At OVB ask about our Statement Savings account, which does not require a minimum balance for customers ages 18 and under.
  5. Tell your family and friends about your child’s savings goal. This can help your child save money with the cash they receive for special occasions, such as holidays and birthdays.
  6. Encourage kids to use Benjamin Tracker inside OVB NetTeller to keep track of savings goals. It’s a great visual to show the benefits of savings.

To schedule a Teach Children to Save presentation or for more information on OVB’s financial education programs for children and youth, contact Roush at hdroush@ovbc.com. Presentations are currently being scheduled now through December 2018.

OVB moves to VISA debit cards

As many of you may know, Ohio Valley Bank has made the switch to Visa debit cards. Not only does this switch help keep fees lower for customers, but it also provides better security.

If you have not yet received your OVB Visa debit card, no need to panic as these cards are being gradually issued over the next months. Customers should still use their current MasterCard if they have not yet received their Visa. MasterCards will be automatically blocked once the customer activates their new Visa or 30 days after the Visa card is issued if it has not been activated.

OVB assistant vice president, customer support manager, Angie Kinnaird, sat down for a Q&A to clear up any confusion regarding the switch to Visa.

  1. As an OVB customer am I required to do anything to receive my new OVB Visa debit card? No, all customers will receive a new Visa card by or before the end of June.
  2. Will my card number change? Yes, new card numbers will be assigned.
  3. When will I get my new card in the mail? Cards are being distributed randomly through June.
  4. Other than activate my new card is there anything else I need to do? Upon activation, you will need to create a PIN. You can establish the same PIN if you wish to do so or create something new.
  5. Will my account be affected in any way with the card switch? No.

If you are away from home when your new card arrives, there is no need to worry as your MasterCard will continue to work for 30 days after your new Visa is issued.

Each new Visa card will be EMV chip enabled. Along with a new number, the Visa cards will include a new expiration date and CCV. Cardholders with recurring payments tied to their old card will need to notify who they pay and update their information.

Customers who currently have a Community First design card and receive a standard Visa in the mail can visit an OVB branch to get their Community First design back for free. However, the fee is not waived if customers choose a different Community First design than they previously had. This way, the school or charity does not miss out on the donation.

For more information or for assistance in activating your new card, call 1-800-468-6682 or visit any OVB location.

 

Are you keeping your New Year’s resolutions?

Piggybank and calculator

Saving money is a common New Year’s resolution. Be sure to check out OVB’s Benjamin Tracker so you can stick with your goal of spending wisely this year.

 

It’s hard to believe we are nearly two months into 2018. We’ve almost made it out of winter with spring ready to welcome us soon. As we continue to navigate the New Year, one question remains: have you stuck with your resolutions?

If you answered yes, great job and keep it up! If you answered no, don’t feel bad because there is still plenty of time to get back on track. It seems after January many people run out of their “fresh start steam” and New Year’s resolutions become long-forgotten goals of the past. Just because you’ve strayed off the path doesn’t mean you need to quit entirely. We are here to help you make 2018 your best year yet!

  1. Review your resolutions. If you’ve completely fallen off the path of sticking with your resolutions, think of what they were and how you can make them more attainable. Remember to be realistic. Maybe you started too big or didn’t have enough time? Fix what went wrong and try again. Remember it is ok to adjust your goals to be more realistic as long as you continue to work hard to achieve them.
  2. Remember to track wisely. Don’t forget to keep track of your progress as it can help you stay focused. Journal what you’ve done and remember to list your struggles too so you know what to work on next. For example, a common resolution is to save money. If you are struggling to maintain this resolution, be sure to check out OVB’s Benjamin Tracker, where you can create a spending target to keep you focused. “Say you set a New Year’s resolution that you weren’t going to indulge in those coffee specialty drinks—iced caramel mocha anyone?—as much this year. Simply set a target for the amount you want to spend and category (coffee). When your transactions come into the bank, Benjamin Tracker will keep a running total of what you have spent in the coffee category and will visually warn you with a progress bar that turns from green to yellow to red when you are getting close to your target limit,” Bryna Butler, OVB vice president corporate communications, said.
  3. Make yourself accountable. Join social media groups to share your struggles and victories. There really is strength in numbers. For example, are you finding it difficult to stick with a healthy eating plan? You are not alone. Through social media you can find needed support as well as suggestions, such as healthy recipes, to help achieve your goals.
  4. Are you organized? When we make our New Year’s resolutions we often don’t consider potential road blocks, such as a busy work schedule. Remember to write down times that you can work on achieving your goals. For example, if you want to exercise more this year, don’t let your already hectic schedule deter you. Instead, make it part of your already established routine. Block out 20 minutes a day to get in your exercise. Twenty minutes can be done before work, during your lunch break, after work, or even during the evening.
  5. Reward your success. Don’t dwell on your shortcomings. Resolutions aren’t easy to keep, but if you focus on what you have done that can help motivate you to continue. Remember a good attitude can make all the difference in your success. If you want to get yourself something special to reward your progress but don’t want to spend money, remember to take advantage of your OVB Visa Rewards by using your Scorecard points.
  6. Look to your local community for help. Sometimes the best resources to help you stick with your New Year’s resolutions lie in your own backyard. Maybe you want to exercise more and just can’t stay motivated? Check out your local gym for classes and hours. Many gyms even offer personal training services to keep you focused. If your resolution was to explore your creative side, look for local art classes at area museums. Even if your resolution was to save money, remember your community can help with that. Visit your local parks for recreation and take advantage of the many free community events offered throughout the year to keep you entertained and your wallet full.

We hope 2018 is off to a good start for you, but if you have stumbled these first two months remember that it’s not too late to get back on track. Hopefully our tips will keep you motivated to stick with your resolutions. Let’s continue to make 2018 a great year!

 

 

Loving low cost Valentine’s Day ideas

Happy Valentine's Day!

Valentine’s Day might be the most romantic holiday, but it’s not always loving on your wallet. The red roses and pink hearts-filled day can end up being quite costly. Whether you are celebrating as a family or with your sweetheart, there are ways to make this Valentine’s Day both nice and affordable.

Our cupid approved ideas are here to help:

  1. Take advantage of your OVB Visa Rewards. It is possible to save money and enjoy the perfect Valentine’s Day with your sweetheart by using your Scorecard rewards points. For example, points could be used on an overnight romantic getaway, which can easily be booked directly from the EZCard site.
  2. Look for local events to enjoy. You can avoid travel for your romantic night out by spending the evening in your own community. For example, in Gallipolis, Ohio, there are both romantic and family Valentine’s outings planned. Couples can enjoy Valentine’s themed dinner at the Colony Club or a wine tour at the Merry Family Winery. For the kids, Skatesville USA is hosting a Valentines Skate on Saturday, Feb. 10. Also on Saturday, in Wellston, Ohio, the Rotary Club will host their 8th Annual Valentine Dinner and Dance at Sts. Peter and Paul Parish Hall. Check your local tourism and chamber offices to see if any special events are going on for Valentine’s Day. You can also make it an enjoyable evening by visiting a local park, museum or restaurant. It can be an adventure exploring the local area with your valentine, with the added bonus of supporting your community.
  3. Put your chef skills to the test. If you aren’t feeling the Valentine’s dinner crowds and want to save money, cook dinner for your date. If you don’t want to try a new recipe ask your valentine what their favorite dish is. Dress up your table setting with a red tablecloth and light candles to make the meal even more special and romantic.
  4. Host a progressive dinner with friends. If you don’t want to cook a full meal on your own, why not team up with friends to make this Valentine’s Day a fun group event? Even if you are single this could be a nice way to enjoy the holiday with your friends and family. A progressive dinner works by each couple/household making one portion of the meal. You then travel from house to house enjoying each course from appetizers to dessert. This is a great way to spend time with friends as well as adhere to your budget.
  5. Enjoy a matinee. Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be celebrated in the evening or on the actual day. It’s the meaning behind the holiday that truly matters. So why not save money and enjoy a matinee movie with your sweetie? Choose a movie you would both like or let your date pick.
  6. Heart-shaped pizza to the rescue. So cooking isn’t your thing. Maybe you cook every day and the best gift would be to NOT have to make dinner this Valentine’s Day. So why not have a literal cheesy meal of heart-shaped pizza? It’s cute, fun and tasty. That’s a Valentine’s Day win.
  7. Movie night at home. Along with either your pizza or cooked dinner in, enjoy Valentine’s Day with a movie night. This can be fun for both families and couples. Each person can pick their favorite movie. To make the experience even better make some microwave popcorn and serve it in festive red bowls. Throw in some conversation hearts as a valentine movie snack!
  8. Make your own Valentine’s Day present. A hand-written card is a meaningful gift that you can create at virtually no cost. If you knit, a handmade scarf or hat is a perfect gift especially as we are still in the thick of winter. Are you artistic? Why not paint/draw a picture for your date. That’s a unique gift that packs in sentimental value too. However, you don’t have to be overly crafty to make your date a Valentine’s gift. For example, create a playlist of special songs that remind you of them. Baking heart shaped cookies is also a sweet way to show you care. Check out Pinterest for other homemade gift ideas.
  9. Enjoy each other’s hobbies. Sometimes the best gift of all is taking interest in your partner’s hobby. For example, if they like to paint, take a painting class together. If they enjoy video games, find one you can play together. Making time for each other and sharing interests is a great way to connect not only on Valentine’s Day but for your relationship in general.
  10. Volunteer together. Maybe you just don’t enjoy the commercialism that can be part of Valentine’s Day. A way to still celebrate the holiday and make a difference is to volunteer together. It can be very meaningful to know that you helped out your community, and even more so to know that you did it together.

Hopefully these tips will both help you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day and help you stick to your New Year’s resolution of saving money in 2018. Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

 

 

 

OVB BANKit wraps first semester

Ohio Valley Bank recently wrapped up another successful semester with their high school financial literacy program. The OVB BANKit program, which brings real-life banking lessons to the classroom, runs throughout the entire academic year.

The 2017-2018 academic year includes participating schools from both Ohio and West Virginia. While some participating classes operate on a school year-long basis, others are split into semesters. Semester classes complete the full BANKit program just as those on a full academic schedule.

Created in 2010, the program brings real-life banking lessons to the classroom. Lessons are conducted by OVB’s Financial Literacy Leader Hope Roush. The program also works as a game in which students are given $100 in “buzz bucks,” the OVB BANKit currency. Their goal is to make as much money as they can by the program’s end. Students have the option to invest their buzz bucks as they wish among different accounts, including CDs, money market accounts, basic checking accounts and savings accounts. They also have the option to purchase and sell shares of stock in the game’s mock company, Pseudosoft.

Each visit, students draw a Real Life Card, which may force them to pay a bill or provide them with unexpected cash. During this time, students also have a chance to manage their banking and make deposits/withdrawals in their accounts. This portion of the program is especially important as students learn to fill out basic bank paper work as well as practice money management in a hands-on environment.

Along with the game aspect, each BANKit visit includes a lesson on a banking topic. Lessons covered last semester included:

  1. Basic differences in account types
  2. Filling out basic bank paper work, including deposits and withdrawals; check writing; updating check register
  3. Reading a bank statement
  4. Credit/Cost of Credit/Credit Reports/Credit Scores
  5. Budgeting
  6. Identity Theft
  7. Credit vs. Debit
  8. Interest

The overall winner of BANKit at each participating school last semester received a cash prize, while classroom winners received a special treat. In addition, a final review game is played at the program’s conclusion. The final review game covers all BANKit topics. The review game winners during last semester earned a cash prize as well.

OVB BANKit 2017-2018 first semester winners are as follows:

  1. Tessa Skinner, Gallia Academy High School
  2. Hanna Davis, River Valley High School
  3. Garrett Jeffries, Mason County Career Center

Final review game winners were Kaitlyn Williams, Gallia Academy High School; Caleb Dunford, Gallia Academy High School; Braden Jamora, Gallia Academy High School; Haven Kingery, River Valley High School; Noah Patterson, River Valley High School; and Tyler Hess, River Valley High School. Due to snow days, Mason County Career Center classes were unable to play the final review game.

OVB BANKit started second semester sessions this week at participating schools. For more information on the program as well as other financial education programs, contact Roush at hdroush@ovbc.com.

 

 8 ways to make your New Year’s resolutions stick

 

Welcome 2018 with gold decoration.Now that the Christmas presents have been opened, it’s time to get ready for New Year’s Eve. A common theme of the New Year? Making resolutions.

While many people make New Year’s resolutions, it often seems that very few actually keep them. New Year’s resolutions are those lofty goals that we set but find ourselves failing to maintain as early as February. As we prepare to welcome 2018, let’s plan to also make resolutions we can keep the entire year.

Here are some tips that hopefully will help you stick with your New Year’s resolutions to make 2018 the best year yet. Read more of this post

How to stretch your holiday budget in a way that means more

067

We are officially in the thick of the holiday season. Christmas is a wonderful time of year to come together with family and friends. From tasty food to twinkling lights, there is something extra special about the holidays.

Even with festive trimmings, however, many people feel the stress of holiday shopping. As we are getting closer and closer to Christmas Day, don’t be discouraged if you haven’t purchased presents and are finding your wallet a bit strapped for cash. Don’t let this turn you into a Scrooge. We are here with some Santa approved gifts to help you save! Read more of this post