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Well, yes, technically, it IS a four letter word. But I think you know what I mean.
In today’s world, people cringe at the word “budget”. It is synonymous with “belt-tightening”, “frugalness” etc. All words that make the American consumer love for spending groan. Insert eye-roll here.
A high percentage of the American people live paycheck to paycheck. Some don’t know what most of their money is spent on.
With a little planning and budgeting, looking ahead and making solid changes can be pretty simple to do. Here are a few tips to help in this process.
The key to this is making it work for you. Not all budgeting programs work for everyone. Make sure you give yourself some grace. Changes to lifestyle don’t happen overnight. Allow yourself some “free” money. Get your kids involved. Make it a game. There are lots of things to do with this so you can get a better handle on your finances.
Remember, planning may not be something that comes naturally to all, but it can be learned.
This blog is brought to you by Debra Jones-Price, Financial Center Manager at MutualBank's Bethel Financial Center in Muncie, Indiana.
What names are on your checking account? This sounds like a pretty simple question, but you would be surprised how many people are unclear about it. If you are married, perhaps you do not have both you and your spouse on the same account. There are many reasons why this may be the case. Maybe you and your spouse have separate accounts. Perhaps when you opened the account, the other person wasn't present or maybe you have had major life changes. There can be many reasons why.
Think back to when you opened your account one, five, 15 or more years ago. Is everything the same as it was back then? Have you revisited your account set up to ensure your account reflects the stage of life you're in now? Let's discuss why it might be important to do a quick review of your accounts. It's something that may take you a few minutes, but can be very worthwhile.
Account titling can be something that we would be glad to help you with at your local MutualBank Financial Center. You should have an account review on at least a yearly basis to make sure your present life situation is reflected in your bank accounts. This is very important as banking becomes more dependent on electronic banking, such as mobile banking, online banking, etc. Also, as an estate planning tool, you need to be sure that your assets pass to who you want them to go to in the event of an unexpected tragedy. This is important whether you are 18 or 80!
Let us at MutualBank help you live a better life!
At the end of 2011 the Bank had quite a year. Taking a look back we celebrated 122 years in business – dating back to helping people live better lives since 1889. Since that time a lot has changed – even in 2011 we saw several changes. Outside of celebrating our 122 years, here are a few highlights of 2011. We unveiled our mobile banking application – MutualMobile. We upgraded to an improved electronic statement delivery, and offered a new checking account offering that provides customers with choices to build an account best suited for his, her, or their family’s lifestyle.
The hidden pieces that make all of this happen? The employees. Many employees have dedicated their entire career to MutualBank. In December of 2011, we held our annual years of service breakfast recognizing employees who have worked 5 through 40 years at the Bank.
I started at the bank in 1999 as a part-time teller finishing my degree at Ball State in Telecommunications. I moved to accounting after being a teller for a year. Then, I moved to the loan operations department where I processed loan paper work. Next, I began closing loans. Who knows, I may have even helped you sign the paperwork for your first home!
After closing loans I began using my education and skills learned from previous positions in the Marketing department, communicating in a variety of ways with customers like you. After a couple of years in Marketing I became Manager of the Call Center. I had never been a manager before, but MutualBank believed in me and gave me a chance – a chance many organizations would not have given. This is a testament to MutualBank’s ability to help people grow. As a company that fosters employee development, my part-time teller position took me to where I am today in the organization. As head of training and development I am fortunate to have the opportunity to welcome all new employees.
I tell new employees in orientation, “MutualBank is a great place to work. While I believe that to be true, you’ll have to find out for yourself.” As orientation continues, new employees begin to see exactly what the company really is about. Visiting with a variety of employees, including our President who treats new employees to lunch, employees begin to see a company who cares about its employees.
You, your family, and your friends have the same opportunity. MutualBank is always looking for customer service driven individuals who want to be a part of a great team. I would encourage you to take a look at our open positions and see if there is a career that awaits you. As a college student looking to make it big in the film industry I ended up finding my calling - who knew it would be working at a bank. It is without question, had I not worked at MutualBank, my career would not be what it is today. Similar career opportunities are available for others! If you’re looking for a great place to work, then take a minute to see if you might find a job opportunity with MutualBank. Who knows, maybe you'll be our next 40 year employee!
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!