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  • Healthy Savings

    Tuesday, February 21, 2012

    Have you ever thought about how much your prescription or doctor visits cost your employer?  Many people who have a traditional insurance plan know they pay a $20 or $30 co-pay then they go about their day.  But have you ever looked at the amount your company pays?

    Insurance costs have skyrocketed over the past decade and companies have tried to find a way to still offer benefits to their employees.  The solution has been to offer a high deductible insurance plan.  These types of programs are often accompanied by something called a Health Savings Account (HSA).  Simply put, a HSA is a checking account where money can be deposited and used for medical expenses. (You might have heard of a Flexible Spending Account, FSA, which is similar to a HSA, but different. FSAs require you to use your money set aside before the year ends. HSAs allow you to roll money over year after year. There are other differences as well. Learn more about HSAs through the Treasury’s website.)

    So, are HSAs a good idea?  Yes!   HSAs make us better consumers of our health care.  We look closer at a bill or prescription if we know it will come out of our pocket.   We take the time to make sure if a generic medicine is just as good as a name brand, or if we truly need to go to the doctor for our sniffles.

    The beauty of a health savings account is that the money grows tax free as long as we use it for qualified medical expenses.  So not only are we being more proactive with and aware of our healthcare, we are being smart about our money as well!

    Together, a health savings account and a smart consumer make for very healthy living!

    If you have questions about your HSA or want to learn more, chat with us! Your local MutualBanker is here to help you live a better life!

  • Simplify...Using my Bank to Make my Life Easier

    Wednesday, February 15, 2012

    My age is on my mind.  I’m 50, my favorite (& only) hubby just turned 50.  I need to simplify my life.  I need ‘easy,’ so I can spend more time doing the things I need and I want to do, like:

    • Hanging out with my family (need & want)
    • Getting myself back in shape (need)
    • Enjoying time with friends (need & want)
    • Stressing less (need & want)
    • Preparing for retirement (want sooner, rather than later, if possible).

    When it comes to my finances, the benefits of having multiple relationships with my bank are many – everything is in one place; I don’t have to work to remember which loan is where; which financial institution my checking, savings, CDs are – and ditto for my family.  After all, my 50-year old brain is getting full, and I do have ‘senior moments’ on occasion.

    I admit I have had multiple relationships with other financial institutions.  Why?  Mostly, my laziness in moving accounts when I built my current banking relationship and just letting them “be” when I knew it was just making my life more complicated.  I got numerous paper bank statements – mine, my husband’s, my daughter’s.  Translation – more paper for me to file, keep track of, give to my accountant, shred, or heaven forbid, lose….

    Having one bank is oh, so much easier.  I’m a convert to electronic banking and all that entails – bill pay, e-statements, automatic deposits.  And if you’re worried about security, yes (my age-level friends) – it is safe.  With FDIC insurance on deposits and multiple electronic safeguards in place to keep my information safe, I’m comfortable – albeit it was not initially easy to convince me.  I have had, knock on wood, no instances of fraud or theft since moving to electronic. 

    Now, I have password protected access to my internet banking, from anywhere, including my cell phone – where I can see on one page – my checking account balance & transactions; my savings account; CD; mortgage, and personal loan.  I know, at any point in time, my total balances in each of those.  I get most bills electronically (remember – less mail to sort through = more time for ME), and can set up a payment for future dates.  My life is incrementally simpler, in many ways thanks to my bank. 

    Come on, fellow 50-year olds – I know we are on the cusp of liking the old ways – paper checks, snail mail, filing, and more filing.  But, wouldn’t you like more time for yourself?
  • I Love Free Stuff - Using Your Debit Card Rewards to Your Advantage

    Wednesday, February 8, 2012

    My husband and I just returned from an awesome vacation.  It was sunny and warm and a great break this time of year.  Do you know what was even better? The free stuff!  We are points people.  We saved up enough points so that we both had free airfare and five nights hotel stay in a super nice resort.  How awesome is that?

    We have friends who use their points for upgrades when they travel.  Another friend used their points to go parasailing while on vacation.  I have a very practical friend who uses her points for gift cards to buy the everyday stuff her family needs. The greatest thing about points is that we can use them for whatever we want.  That is what we love about UChoose Loyalty RewardsUChoose Loyalty Rewards is more than a debit card rewards program.  It rewards us for our loyalty to MutualBank, for our deposit, loan and investment balances.  It also gives us points when we open up new services AND we earn points when we use our debit card.  Woo Hoo!  That is so awesome!

    UChoose Loyalty Rewards just became even more awesome and I wanted to tell you some of the new things that make the program even better:

    1. UChoose Rewards now has featured merchants who will give you special offers and bonus points for shopping with them.  Check out the special offers when you log in at UChooseRewards.com
    2. Now you don’t have to worry if you don’t have quite enough points for the item you’ve been saving for.  You can go ahead and get it now, and buy the rest of the points needed with your debit card.
    3. If you are impatient like me, you don’t even have to wait for your gift card to arrive in the mail, you can get it electronically in minutes delivered to your email.
    4. Oh, and speaking of impatient, if you don’t want to wait for your item to arrive by mail, some of the products have in store pick up, once you’ve paid for it with your points.

    UChoose Loyalty Rewards just keeps getting better and better.  So I have to ask the question, are you signed up for UChoose Loyalty Rewards?  If not, let me remind you it’s free. If you’re already signed up, awesome.  Tell me what you love about UChoose Loyalty Rewards or how you use your points at marketing@bankwithmutual.com .   I love to hear your stories. 

    If you’re not signed up, do it now, don’t wait!  Once you register your debit card at UChooseRewards.com you’ll start earning points right away.  Maybe you’re thinking that you don’t need it because you use your credit card to accumulate points, that’s great!  A lot of people do the same thing.  But don’t you want to earn points on the items that you do purchase with your debit card? I know I do.  Besides, if you don’t sign up, you miss out on the rewards you can get for your account balances and the bonus points for new services and shopping at select retailers.  Don’t throw away the points you could be receiving.  Start earning today!

    Learn more about UChoose Loyalty Rewards.

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