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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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    Monday, March 2, 2015

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Personal Social Media Account Security

For many of us, social media has become a part of our everyday lives and helps us conveniently keep tabs on the people and topics we care most about.

Recently however, there has been an increase of social media account take overs by cybercriminals. As stated in the media, one contributing factor in some of the social media account takeovers has been the use of weak passwords.


Tips for creating a stronger password:


  • Passwords should typically:
    • be at least 8 characters in length
    • contain at least 1 number
    • contain at least 1 special character (!@#$$%)
    • contain both upper and lower case characters.
  • Do not use your name, date of birth, maiden name, mother’s maiden name, address, or other easily guessable words for passwords. 
  • Another way to create a strong password is to use a series of words that do not relate to each other. For example, JumpingFastRelaxStop!#.

 


Social media additional security options:


Another way to help avoid social media account takeover is to use the additional security options available. Two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security that drastically decreases your chances of account takeover. Two-factor authentication is essentially the using of two separate components to verify your identity, the combination of something you HAVE with something you KNOW. A good example of two-factor authentication you most likely are already used to is withdrawing cash from an ATM, for example. Having both your debit card AND knowing a pin number is required to complete the withdrawal and protect your identity.

A popular and convenient two-factor authentication method is using a combination of both an online password and a text message verification sent to your phone. Enabling this type of authentication typically follows this process:

  1. Enter your password into Facebook or another website
  2. Immediately receive a text on your phone with a temporary pass key
  3. Enter the passkey received back on the site/app and you’re logged in

This may seem like overkill, but enabling this two-factor authentication will drastically decrease the chances of your social accounts being hacked. And actually, the process of setting up and using this authentication is pretty simple and convenient.

 


How to enable two-factor authentication:


Many popular social networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIN, and others already support two-factor authentication. To learn more about how to do so on the most popular sites on the web, be sure to check out this article:

http://socialcustomer.com/2014/04/how-to-enable-two-factor-authentication-on-50-top-websites-including-facebook-twitter-and-others.html

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

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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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