OVB enjoys 4-H fun with annual boot camp class

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4-H campers practice budgeting with candy during OVB Boot Camp.

Summer is in full swing. School is finally out, which means fun in the sun, pool parties, fairs, and of course, 4-H Camp!

As per tradition, Ohio Valley Bank once again participated in Mason County’s 4-H Camp. The bank’s class, OVB Boot Camp, took place at both older and younger 4-H camps. This year’s classes reached 27 campers.

A variety of financial topics was presented in a fun, interactive format during both camps. Campers participated in lessons and games, which included the following:

  1. Basic account types
  2. Basic bank paperwork, including check writing as well as deposits/withdrawals
  3. Interest
  4. Debit vs. Credit
  5. Budgeting

Along with each daily lesson, campers participated in a game where they had to juggle their personal mock portfolio of bank accounts. Each day they drew a Real Life Card, which either required them to pay a bill or provided them with unexpected cash. Campers also had an opportunity during this time to make deposits and withdrawals from their accounts. In addition, campers could choose to give in to temptation and spend their game money on snacks or continue to save. This year’s older camp portfolio winner was Hayley Russell, while Lyndsey Ward took top honors of the younger campers.

On the last day of both camps, all accounts were liquidated. Participants used their play money they earned throughout the week to bid on real prizes at the OVB Boot Camp auction. Prizes included a range of toys and games as well as movies, snacks and gift cards. Campers were able to take home all of the prizes they purchased.

Both older and younger camps did a wonderful job. Many older campers have taken the OVB Boot Camp class every year, while this year’s younger campers were all new to the program. The majority of campers agreed that they learned many valuable financial lessons, which will hopefully help them manage their money well as adults.

Camper Derrick Jackson, who has participated in the OVB Boot Camp Class every year since it was offered in 2006, ages out of 4-H camp this year. To celebrate Jackson’s accomplishments, OVB presented him with a $100 boot camp “buzz buck” with his face on it. The pretend currency was also signed by OVB President and CEO Tom Wiseman.

“During my time in OVB Boot Camp I have learned how to be financially stable in life. I really enjoyed my years in the class and getting to work with Bryna (Butler, OVB vice president corporate communications), Hope (Roush, OVB financial literacy leader) and Tony (Staley, OVB assistant cashier product development/business sales and support).” Jackson said. “I would like to thank everyone at OVB for putting together this class for the youth of Mason County.”

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OVB Boot Camper Derrick Jackson, who has participated in the class since 2006, was presented with a special “buzz buck” for his accomplishments over the years.

 

Many of the campers in both the older and younger classes said the budgeting lesson was their favorite activity.

“I learned about budgeting and managing money in our OVB Boot Camp class. It was a lot of fun. I especially enjoyed the auction at the end of the week. I can’t wait to take this next year,” Russell, older camp winner, said.

Camper Alex Fetty also agreed that he enjoyed learning about budgeting.

“I learned how to earn and spend money. I learned about certificate of deposit and how to deposit money into my checking account. I also learned how to write checks. I think the most important thing I learned was about a budget,” he said.

Camper Jacob Shull also found the budgeting game and lesson informative.

“In this class I learned I truly need to be cautious of my limits. Budgets though they take time to work out are worth it. Thank you OVB for doing this class,” Shull said.

Camper Brynn Roush said that the budgeting lesson made her more aware of how her parents manage their money.

“I learned about what all our parents pay for,” she said. “I learned that your parents have to make good choices about how they spend their money.”

Camper Caitlin Campbell was excited to learn valuable financial lessons as well.

“I learned about the differences between credit and debit. I learned how to budget, what a stock is, and so much more,” Campbell said. “I had a lot of fun playing the (banking) word searches and crossword puzzles because it helped me retain the knowledge about banking better. I think this class was very informative.”

Camper David Kapp said that he chose to take OVB Boot Camp during his week at older camp as he wanted to financially prepare himself for the future.

“Being that I didn’t want to fall into debt I thought that this class would help. I wasn’t disappointed as I learned much,” he added.

Camper Reece Oliver said she learned a lot during her week in OVB Boot Camp.

“This week OVB has taught me a lot about saving money. It has also taught me about using debit and credit cards correctly. We also learned about checks,” she said. She added that she loved OVB as well as getting to use her money she earned on fun prizes, including the cookies she purchased.

Camper Olivia Stanley also said that she enjoyed the boot camp auction as it was very rewarding.

“This week at OVB (Boot Camp) class I learned you can earn interest,” Stanley said. “I learned that you need to save your money and you will be rewarded.”

OVB Boot Camp was created in 2005. For more information or to schedule OVB Boot Camp, contact OVB Financial Literacy Leader Hope Roush at 740-578-3452 or e-mail hdroush@ovbc.com.

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 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.

 

OVB to take part in Get Smart About Credit

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OVB Financial Literacy Leader Hope Roush presents Adventures in Credit to area school.

October is not only about Halloween, it also plays host to the American Bankers Association Get Smart About Credit event. Don’t let your finances scare you. Be sure to Get Smart About Credit!

Ohio Valley Bank will once again celebrate the event this month with their financial literacy programs. Now in its 15th year, Get Smart About Credit is a national campaign sponsored by the American Bankers Association to help youth understand credit and other financial lessons. Get Smart About Credit Day will officially be held Thursday, Oct. 19, however, OVB will be celebrating the event throughout the fall season.

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OVB BANKit! Set to Kick Off This Fall

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As the 2017-2018 academic year is officially underway, Ohio Valley Bank is once again ready to bring back their BANKit program to area high schools.

The OVB BANKit program, which spans the entire length of the school year, reached 445 students last year from six participating schools in Ohio and West Virginia. Students ranged from freshmen to senior grade levels.

Created in 2010, the OVB BANKit program brings real-life banking lessons to the classroom. OVB Financial Literacy Leader Hope Roush conducts each lesson, which typically takes place on a monthly basis at participating schools. The program works as a game in which students are given $100 in buzz bucks, the OVB BANKit currency. 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.

During each visit, students draw a Real Life Card, which may force them to pay an unforeseen 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 important as students learn to fill out basic bank paper work as well as practice money management.

In addition to the game aspect, each BANKit visit includes a lesson on a banking topic. Lessons for this academic year will include:

  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

Along with planned lessons, if teachers have requests pertaining to other financial topics, OVB will often accommodate them.

For more information on the OVB BANKit program, contact Hope Roush at hdroush@ovbc.com.

College student savings survival guide

Concept of expensive textbooks with female student

As students are preparing to go back to school this fall, many of them will start their first year of college. College is no doubt an exciting time, and for many college freshmen it marks the first step to “freedom.” However, this newfound freedom often comes with more responsibility, including managing money for the first time.

College freshman often find themselves overwhelmed when it comes to their finances. Rest assured, there are ways to avoid the “broke college student” stereotype. The first step is to create and stick with a budget. A college student’s budget doesn’t have to be complicated. A simple budget that outlines money coming in compared to expected monthly expenses is a great way to get started. Setting an allowance for extra activities, such as special events, games, and concerts, is another factor to include in the budget.

Managing money as a college student can be made easier by opening a checking account. A checking account is a great tool that can help students stick to their budgets as well as keep money safe and secure. Ohio Valley Bank offers the Right Start Checking account for customers ages 16-25, which makes it a perfect option for college students. This account has no monthly service fee and allows five free non-OVB ATM transactions per month. In addition, Right Start Checking enables access to eDelivery statements and free online mobile banking. For students who are away at school, mobile banking is a great asset. Through this feature, students are able to deposit a check using their smartphone from the comfort of campus.

If you are off to college for the first time or are returning and want to better manage your finances, check out these additional tips:

  1. Keep your eyes peeled for student discounts. You may be surprised by how many businesses and restaurants offer student discounts. It doesn’t hurt to ask as this isn’t always advertised. Make sure to always have your student I.D. with you to take advantage of any discounts offered.
  2. Take advantage of free campus events. It may seem tempting to go off campus to see a movie or attend a concert, but many college student unions sponsor a variety of free entertainment events. From movie screenings to dances to festivals and more, look to see what is being offered for free on campus. This allows you to still have fun with friends without breaking the bank.
  3. Utilize your student meal plan. While it may be tempting to dine off campus, it’s also an unnecessary expense when you are already paying for a meal plan. If you still aren’t sold on your school’s food, perhaps opt out of your meal plan entirely so you can use that money to purchase your own groceries.
  4. Share with friends. When it comes to eating out consider splitting the cost of a pizza with friends. This way you can still get a treat and save money. Sharing costs for other things like groceries or movie streaming services is another great way to save.
  5. Be careful when it comes to credit. If you use credit cards wisely it is a good thing as it will help you raise your credit score. However, not making good credit choices can be quite problematic. With a credit card comes new responsibility and using too much credit is a problem when you find yourself unable to pay your bill. Remember to only use credit when you know that you have enough money to pay the balance. Also be selective when choosing a credit card. Research the card’s annual percentage rate as well as any annual and penalty fees that may be associated with it.
  6. If you can, pick up a part-time job. Of course school should be your number one priority, but if you are able, a part-time job can help you tremendously. Many colleges offer work study programs to students who qualify. If you can’t get into a work study program, look for other job options that can work around your class schedule. Also, if it’s possible look into a job and/or internship related to your field of study, which would not only provide you with extra cash but also give you valuable career-related experience.
  7. Shop wisely at the campus bookstore. Most college courses require you to purchase textbooks, which when bought new can be expensive. If the option is available, purchase used books. This is typically a much cheaper option. Also, sell back your used textbooks at the end of the semester to make some extra cash. If the book store prices are simply not affordable, check out online retailers, such as Amazon, to see if you can get the textbook you need at a reduced price. Another idea is to check with friends who previously took the same course to see if you could borrow their textbook. If you can make it work, sharing textbook costs with friends is a great money saver.
  8. Start saving now. Most financially successful adults begin saving their money at a young age. While it might be tempting to spend the money you have and earn while in school, you can help your future self tremendously by saving your money at a young age. Even if it’s a small amount that you set aside for your savings account each week, it will be beneficial to your future. Saving money in college can help you pay off your debts, such as student loans, faster.

College is a great time to grow and take the first steps into adulthood. Making smart financial choices in college is a good path to take on the journey to a successful career. OVB wishes all first time and returning college students a wonderful semester!

 

It’s time to go back to school

Back to school

Summer sun has been fun, but now it’s time to be cool and go back to school.

While it’s always sad when summer comes to a close, going back to school can be an exciting time. Autumn temperatures, new academic challenges, and fall sports mark the start of the school year. For many parents, however, the new school year can also be expensive. With the increasing costs of school supplies, clothing, meals, and athletics, many families find their budgets to be a bit tighter than usual.

To make sure you don’t overspend on school supplies, contact your child’s school first and request a list. Many schools already have supply lists available, and often each list is organized per grade level. By sticking to the list you won’t waste money on items that will be provided by the school and you will know exactly what to purchase to avoid overspending. In Ohio, take advantage of the Sales Tax Holiday, slated for Aug. 4-5, to help save money. For more information, visit http://www.tax.ohio.gov/sales_and_use/salestaxholiday.aspx .

If you missed or are unable to shop during the Sales Tax Holiday, many retailers already start rolling back prices on school supplies in August. Keep your eyes peeled for any sales. Once your child begins classes make sure to again look through their school provided items. If you purchased any items that the school already has, either return them or put them aside for next year. Many schools will gladly accept a donation of your unused supplies as well.

When it comes to new clothes for the school year, with growing children many parents find themselves having to purchase entirely new wardrobes. If you are still working on your back to school clothes shopping, check area retailers for seasonal sales. In many climates, winter clothes are not necessary until a few months into the school year. However, many retailers already have their winter attire front and center. The good news is quite often the summer and early fall pieces are now in the sale section. Taking advantage of seasonal sales can help you save tremendously on back to school clothes.

As kids continue to grow out of their current sizes at a rapid rate, consider the value of buying from consignment shops. Many consignment shops offer fashionable clothing at a significantly lower price. In addition, many consignment shops will offer credit in exchange for gently used items.

Another expense of the new school year is lunch costs. When it comes to school lunches the amount parents spend can vary greatly. Fortunately in our local area, many schools offer a free lunch program. However, if your child’s school does not have this program in place or if you have a picky eater, you may have to find other ways to save on lunch expenses. The best way to start is including school lunch costs in your monthly budget. Advance planning is also key. By knowing what foods your child likes as well as an estimated cost, you can create menus to help with your meal prep. Be sure to involve your child in the meal planning. By keeping your kids interested it assures the food won’t go to waste and they will learn a financial lesson on budgeting as well.

When planning your child’s lunches, also make sure to take advantage of coupons while grocery shopping. Keep track of coupons in your local newspaper as well as look around the store for any deals. Another helpful tip to cut down on lunch costs is purchasing items that have a long shelf life. Stock your pantry full of these items and you will be set for weeks to come.

Locally, students are set to return to school on the following dates:

  • Cabell County Schools – Thursday, August 10
  • Jackson City Schools – Wednesday, August 16
  • Washington City Schools – Wednesday, August 16
  • Miami Trace Schools – Wednesday, August 16
  • Mason County Schools – Thursday, August 17
  • Westfall Schools – Thursday, August 17
  • Wellston Local Schools – Monday, August 21
  • Gallipolis City Schools – Monday, August 21
  • Madison Plains Schools – Monday, August 21
  • Eastern Local Schools (Pike) – Tuesday, August 22
  • Gallia County Schools – Wednesday, August 23
  • Oak Hill Union Local Schools – Wednesday, August 23
  • Meigs Local Schools – Wednesday, August 23
  • Western Local Schools – Wednesday, August 23
  • Waverly City Schools – Wednesday, August 23
  • Southern Local Schools – Thursday, August 24
  • Eastern Local Schools (Meigs) –Thursday, August 24

Ohio Valley Bank offers best wishes for another great school year. For information on OVB’s financial literacy programs, visit www.ovbc.com or e-mail OVB Financial Literacy Leader Hope Roush at hdroush@ovbc.com.