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!