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Living on One Income vs. Two

Living on One Income Instead of Two

With unemployment levels near record highs,* many American families are shifting from a dual income lifestyle to a single income – and fast. While layoffs and economic unease can be exceptionally stressful, the outlook isn't all bad. In fact, this may be just the motivation you need to implement a family budget, trim wasteful spending and devote more time to family. Even those who remain gainfully employed may benefit from spending less, saving more and taking a critical look at their finances.

The changes you make now could reap powerful advantages long after the economy improves. In addition to gaining a better perspective on your personal finances, you may also realize just how adaptable, supported and strong you are. The following tips may help you put a positive spin on your situation and outlook.

Draft a budget. We all know we should have one, but how many of us actually get around to making one? Well, here's your chance. Start by calculating how much money you have coming in, then monitor your spending to determine how much you have flowing out. Now you can decide what expenses can stay and which ones need to go. Involving the entire family can help boost your budget's chance of success.

Trim wasteful spending. It will be simple – perhaps even liberating – to cut some costs. Slashing that daily latte or lunch out with co-workers will improve your fiscal and physical picture. Cancelling your rarely used gym membership and vowing to be more active outdoors may save you monthly dues and improve your fitness level. And swapping weekly evenings out with friends for a potluck supper at home could create a more relaxing and fun atmosphere for bonding.

Hone your skills. If you were part of a mass layoff, your former employer may have money available to you for education or career development, such as classes to improve your skills or memberships in professional organizations. Even if there are no such funds available, this could be a great time to pursue a different career or interest. Consider freelancing or consulting from home, exploring the feasibility of being a stay-at-home parent or working part time.

Use online resources. In addition to being a hub of job-hunting resources, the Internet can also help you save money on personal expenses. Sites like Craigslist.com, RetailMeNot.com and FatWallet.com** are a great way to find used items or coupons or discounts on new merchandise.

Let Us Help

We understand there's nothing fun about a layoff. But it can be an opportunity for professional, personal and financial growth. Here at MutualBank, we can help you survive the rough times and position you for success once the economy rebounds.  To learn more about how we can assist you, call 800-382-8031 or visit with your MutualBanker today. Go ahead…live a better life.



 

* Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, www.bls.gov.
** Web sites listed for information only. No endorsement is implied.

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Personal Banking Security Measures for the 21st Century

clientuploads/21st-Century-Securitysquare180.pngMany of us are constantly connected to the online world these days. This means that the potential is there for our computers and personal information to be compromised which greatly increases the risk of ID theft and financial fraud to occur. However, by taking some basic precautions you can significantly reduce the risk of your computing environment being compromised. Following these simple guidelines should help your computing environment become more secure:

Keep your computer and software up-to-date

Keep your computers and network equipment secured with the latest software updates and enable automatic updates whenever possible.  This includes updates to third party applications such as Java and Adobe Products.  

Use hard drive encryption

In the event your machine is lost or stolen, drive encryption can prevent others from accessing the data on your hard drive.  The purpose is to encrypt or scramble your data on your machine so that it can only be read with your encryption key.Many operating systems offer drive encryption.  Microsoft offers Bitlocker and Apple has FileVault. There are also other third party encryption offerings.   

Enable your firewall

Think of the firewall to your computer as the fence around your property.  If there were multiple holes cut in the fence, it wouldn’t be very useful at keeping people out.  Firewalls are typically enabled by default on Windows machines, but double check to make sure it’s on.  Here are instructions to do so if you are using Windows 7. Only allow necessary applications inbound access through your firewall. The same principles apply to your network firewall. 

Configure your screensaver

Set an auto-locking screensaver so your account gets locked out after a few minutes.  This is useful if you forget to lock your machine when are away from it. On Windows machines this can usually be done by pressing the “Windows Key” and the “L” button simultaneously.

Make your passwords stronger

The longer and more complex the password, the better.  At least 16 characters with a combination of upper and lowecase letters, numbers, and special characters is a best practice.

Configure your router

Use the strongest wireless security available (currently WPA2-CCMP) with a long and complex password for your wireless network. Disable WPS on your wireless router for greater security.   

 


Think that some secure banking information
of yours has been compromised?

If you suspect that your personal financial information has been compromised, call MutualBank Customer Support at 800-382-8031.


 

Monday, April 7, 2014

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Living on One Income vs. Two

Living on One Income Instead of Two

With unemployment levels near record highs,* many American families are shifting from a dual income lifestyle to a single income – and fast. While layoffs and economic unease can be exceptionally stressful, the outlook isn't all bad. In fact, this may be just the motivation you need to implement a family budget, trim wasteful spending and devote more time to family. Even those who remain gainfully employed may benefit from spending less, saving more and taking a critical look at their finances.

The changes you make now could reap powerful advantages long after the economy improves. In addition to gaining a better perspective on your personal finances, you may also realize just how adaptable, supported and strong you are. The following tips may help you put a positive spin on your situation and outlook.

Draft a budget. We all know we should have one, but how many of us actually get around to making one? Well, here's your chance. Start by calculating how much money you have coming in, then monitor your spending to determine how much you have flowing out. Now you can decide what expenses can stay and which ones need to go. Involving the entire family can help boost your budget's chance of success.

Trim wasteful spending. It will be simple – perhaps even liberating – to cut some costs. Slashing that daily latte or lunch out with co-workers will improve your fiscal and physical picture. Cancelling your rarely used gym membership and vowing to be more active outdoors may save you monthly dues and improve your fitness level. And swapping weekly evenings out with friends for a potluck supper at home could create a more relaxing and fun atmosphere for bonding.

Hone your skills. If you were part of a mass layoff, your former employer may have money available to you for education or career development, such as classes to improve your skills or memberships in professional organizations. Even if there are no such funds available, this could be a great time to pursue a different career or interest. Consider freelancing or consulting from home, exploring the feasibility of being a stay-at-home parent or working part time.

Use online resources. In addition to being a hub of job-hunting resources, the Internet can also help you save money on personal expenses. Sites like Craigslist.com, RetailMeNot.com and FatWallet.com** are a great way to find used items or coupons or discounts on new merchandise.

Let Us Help

We understand there's nothing fun about a layoff. But it can be an opportunity for professional, personal and financial growth. Here at MutualBank, we can help you survive the rough times and position you for success once the economy rebounds.  To learn more about how we can assist you, call 800-382-8031 or visit with your MutualBanker today. Go ahead…live a better life.



 

* Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, www.bls.gov.
** Web sites listed for information only. No endorsement is implied.

Contact a Representative Today

Back to Education Resources

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