February 27, 2017 Leave a comment
By Janet Alvarez, Wise Bread
February 27, 2017 Leave a comment
By Janet Alvarez, Wise Bread
August 30, 2016 Leave a comment
College is an exciting time. For many college freshmen it’s the first step to “freedom.” However, with that freedom often comes a new responsibility; managing money on your own for the first time. Doing so without the watchful eye of mom and dad can be quite stressful as well. There are ways to avoid becoming the “broke college student” stereotype. Being mindful of your finances and creating a budget is step number one.
A college student’s budget doesn’t have to be overly complicated. A simple budget outlining how much money you receive and what your expected expenses are each month is a good way to start. Adding an allowance for extra activities, such as special events, games and concerts, is another aspect to include in your budget. By setting an allowance, you are less likely to overspend. This also means you will still have money available for necessary purchases, such as textbooks and meal plan costs.
Opening a checking account is another great tool for college students to better manage their money. Not only does a checking account provide a safe and secure place to keep money, it also can make sticking with a budget easier. At Ohio Valley Bank, customers’ ages 16-25 are eligible to open a Right Start Checking account. This account is perfect for students on a tight budget as there is no monthly service fee. Right Start Checking customers are also allowed five free non-OVB ATM transactions per month. In addition, Right Start Checking enables access to eDelivery statements as well as free online and mobile banking. Mobile banking is especially beneficial to college students who are attending school away from home. Through this feature, students are able to deposit a check using their smartphone from the comfort of their dorm room! By taking advantage of mobile banking students can keep their relationship with their hometown bank.
There are other steps college students can take to cut costs. We recommend the following tips to make the most of your college experience without breaking the bank:
1. Look for student discounts. Many businesses and restaurants offer student discounts, however this is not always advertised. Make sure to keep your college I.D. with you at all times and ask if there are student discounts available. This can help you save tremendously.
2. Avoid spending too much on textbooks. Of course textbooks are a necessary item for most classes, however the cost for such items can vary greatly. Most new versions of textbooks in campus bookstores will carry a high price tag. However, many bookstores offer cheaper, used versions of the same textbooks for purchase at a much lower cost. In addition, retailers such as Amazon.com, usually offer textbooks at a significantly reduced price. At the end of the semester, most bookstores will allow you to sell back your textbooks as well.
3. Limit off campus dining. If you are already paying for a college meal plan, make sure you are actually using it. While it may be tempting to frequent restaurants with friends or order pizza with roommates, it can also be a contributing factor to quickly running out of spending money.
4. Avoid extra ATM charges. Be careful when using ATMs that are not affiliated with your financial institution. Additional service fees often result if you do not have an account with the ATMs institution. If your bank does not have an ATM near campus, take advantage of cash back opportunities when using your debit cards at businesses that offer this service, such as grocery stores. Also, ask your bank if they belong to a surcharge free network such as Money Pass.
5. Use credit wisely. College might be a time when you get your first credit card. However, it’s important to remember that a credit card doesn’t equate to “free money.” A credit card can be a great way to build your credit if you use it responsibly. Make sure to not spend more than you have with a credit card. Only use the card when you know you have enough money to pay the balance. Before choosing a credit card be sure to research the card’s annual percentage rate as well as any annual fees and penalty fees that might be associated with it.
6. Consider working a part-time job. If you have time to balance a part-time job while you are in school it can be a good way to earn extra money. Many colleges offer work study programs on campus to qualifying students.
7. SAVE. Even though college budgets are usually pretty tight, try to always keep money aside in savings. Saving money while in college can help you pay off your debt faster when you graduate. It’s never too early to think about your future, especially when it comes to your finances.
College is a time of learning, growth, and excitement. Hopefully these tips will help you on your successful college journey. Best wishes for what is sure to be a wonderful school year!
August 11, 2014 Leave a comment
Shark Week is here! The Discovery Channel’s longtime celebrated week of television offers many tips for shark encounters. Much of the advice learned through shark week can be applied to your financial well-being? Say what?
Yes, it’s true. Simple Shark Week rules can be applied to your everyday life, specifically your finances. Many of the tips to prevent beach-goers from experiencing a shark encounter can be easily used to make smarter decisions in general. Consider the following:
While it seems odd to compare Shark Week advice with financial tips, as you can see the lessons are often quite similar. The experts know how to handle shark encounters, just like the professionals at financial institutions, including Ohio Valley Bank, can help you make the best decisions regarding your financial well-being.
If you didn’t get enough on the shark-side of things from us, be sure to check out the Discovery Channel’s 27th Anniversary of Shark Week, running from Sunday, Aug. 10 through Saturday, Aug. 16. For a full Shark Week line-up, check out www.discovery.com. For information on financial services at Ohio Valley Bank, visit www.ovbc.com.
August 5, 2014 Leave a comment
Financial literacy is a huge topic right now, and rightly so. Proper financial management is considered a weakness for many Americans. Our hope at OVB, is that we can give you some thought provoking, and sometimes entertaining tips that will help you better manage your finances.
What better way to learn about financial literacy, than through tips gleaned from the wildly popular Disney movie, Frozen?
Before we go on, I should warn you that for the one percent of you who haven’t seen Frozen yet, there will be spoilers. If you don’t want a major plot point being spoiled for you, don’t continue on.
We’ll start with the easy one that’s pretty much spelled out by the characters in the movie.
Supply and Demand
When Kristoff goes into Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post during the “Big Summer Blowout” looking for winter supplies, he discovers that “supply and demand have a big problem.” The supply of winter gear is low, which results in the price he has to pay being much higher than expected.
The most glaring example of this in the real world is with mobile phones. When that brand new iPhone comes out, demand is very high and so is the price. If you can stand not having the newest, shiniest technology, waiting a year will allow you to buy the same phone at a greatly reduced price.
Set up an emergency fund
What caused the supply and demand problem in the previous section? That would be Elsa and her ice powers. Kristoff sells ice for a living, “a rough business to be in right now” for sure. If he had an emergency fund, he’d be able to live comfortably during this time of unexpected hardship.
Most experts recommend saving three to six months’ worth of income for your emergency fund. This fund can be used when unexpected things happen, such as losing a job, incurring unexpected expenses or your queen losing control of her ice powers and thrusting the land into an eternal winter, which happens more often than one would think.
Kristoff’s sled went plummeting down into a ravine, eventually bursting into flames, Kristoff just might have been thinking, “Man, I wish I bought insurance on that thing.” Thanks to the eventual generosity of the royal family, Kristoff was able to replace his sled with an even fancier model, but we can’t all rely on that kind of thing.
Insurance is just in case protection. In other words, you are at least somewhat protected, just in case something bad happens. Some types of insurance are required, but some aren’t. For some people, insurance is completely unnecessary…until it isn’t. You can’t count on things always working out in your favor. When something does eventually go wrong, it’s good to know that your home, car and family will be protected.
Too good to be true
Lastly, if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. When Anna met Hans, fell in love at first sight and got engaged to someone she knew for ONE DAY, it seemed like a fairy tale come true. It was a fairy tale alright, but it wasn’t real. Hans eventually showed his true colors and turned on Anna.
Just like in the movie, there are a lot of disgusting people out there that will do whatever they can to take advantage of others. They will promise money, gifts and even their love in order to get what they want, which is usually money. My advice is to have a somewhat skeptical eye when communicating on the internet with someone you don’t know. If someone else initiates the conversation (through phone, email or social media) be very cautious about what information you give them.
Did any financial tips jump out at you when watching Frozen? If so, leave them in the comments below.
May 4, 2014 Leave a comment
Last year for Star Wars Day we discussed a few things that the franchise can teach us about finance. Well since there are three new movies on the horizon, we thought we’d revisit the topic and see what other pearls of wisdom we can learn from “a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away”. So here are four more financial lessons we can learn from Star Wars…
April 30, 2014 Leave a comment
Here in the Ohio River valley spring is in the air. It’s time to start thinking about cookouts, walks in the park, gardening, and…spring cleaning. It’s always struck me as a little odd how spring cleaning became a thing. If we spend the whole winter cooped up in our homes why don’t we just clean them then? I mean you’re stuck indoors so But I digress. Spring is a time of renewal, and with it comes a renewed determination to clean up our homes and lives. Spring cleaning doesn’t (and shouldn’t) just apply to your home. It also applies to any other part of your life that might be a bit messy, including your finances. So let’s take a look at a few reasons why getting our financial houses in order this spring can be a big boost…
These are just a few reasons for getting motivated and adding your finances to your annual spring cleaning. It’s a great time to look at your budget, savings, debts, and everything else that concerns your money. Take the time to sit down and figure out which direction you want to be headed, and whether or not you are, in fact, headed that way.
Do you “spring clean” your finances? Have any tips to share? Leave them in comments below…
April 15, 2014 Leave a comment
Tax Day. Two of the most dreaded words in the English language. So ominous that even Benjamin Franklin famously remarked in a letter to Jean-Baptiste Leroy that “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Tax Day in the United States has long been derided and viewed as something awful, and for good reason. It’s tedious going through all of your receipts. It’s frustrating trying to navigate the labyrinthine tax code. The fear of an IRS audit looms large in today’s society. And let’s not even talk about the feeling you get when you have to write that check to Uncle Sam. *Ugh*
Despite all of the negative connotations Tax Day has earned, this is not necessarily the case for everyone. According to IRS statistics, it would seem that in 2012, around 70% of taxpayers received a refund. If you are the lucky recipient of such a windfall then the bigger question is: what to do with it? It’s no secret that retailers want that money, and will offers sales and deals to get you to part with it. While the urge to splurge on a big-ticket item like a new TV, smartphone, tablet, or some other toy or gadget is quite tough to resist, let’s look at a few things that you could do with your refund instead…
This list is just a primer, there are many sensible things you can do with your refund. Always remember to take a moment to look at your financial situation and determine your own best course of action.
Are you getting a refund this year? Let us know what you’d like to do with it in the comments below…