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First Bank Wisdoms

Deck the Halls without Racking Up Credit Card Debt

Understand the benefits of using a debit card rather than a credit card during the holidays and beyond. Whether you’re holiday shopping or doing your regular run-of-the-mill grocery run, it’s all too easy to grab for the plastic in your wallet. We do it mindlessly; even if there are multiple cards in your wallet. But this holiday season can be a great reminder to pay with plastic more mindfully, especially as you shop beyond the holidays or make financial New Year’s resolutions. Did you know that 77% of payments are made with plastic over cash or checks?* Of that 77%, 44% of shoppers pay with a debit card — and with good reason. Unwrap these advantages to see why choosing a debit card payment will benefit you, especially during the holidays. Theft and fraud protection benefits. Many debit card issuers include protection benefits to keep you and your financial information safeguarded from criminals. In fact, cardholders who proactively use issuer-provided safety and security tools ...

First Bank Offers Tips to Manage Holiday Spending

Black Friday doesn’t have to lead to black marks on your credit report. The holiday shopping season is well underway.  We’d like to offer tips to manage holiday spending and avoid a post-holiday credit hangover. Consumers spreading holiday cheer should keep in mind that January bills are only a couple of months away. If consumers are not budgeting for their holiday purchases, people will find themselves bringing in the New Year with last year’s debt. This isn’t a good step to take if your goal is to save. First Bank recommends that clients manage their finances this holiday season with the following spending tips: • Create a budget and stick to it. Set a dollar amount based on what you can afford this holiday season considering your current savings, income and other expenses. Be sure to include a $20 to $100 cushion for unexpected expenses. • Make a list. Santa isn’t the only one who needs a list! Write down the names of the people you plan to buy gi ...

Let’s Take a Look at Passwords

The issue of cyber security is up to all of us. Current news and events continually highlight the need to stay up-to-date and informed on this widespread global issue. One of the most basic items we can all do to protect our information and data is to create strong passwords. Creating strong passwords is as easy as 1-2-3. You should always 1) create unique passwords for each of your online accounts; 2) create passwords with intricate combinations of numeric and alphabetic characters; and 3) always change passwords frequently. While you’re creating these strong passwords, you may ask what are the worst passwords to use? According to SplashData, the top five WORST passwords to use are: 1) 123456 2) password 3) 12345 4) 12345678 5) qwerty A few others also made the list, like ‘baseball,’ ‘letmein,’ and ‘abc123’. If you are currently using any of these passwords, change them as soon as possible. Also, if you’re using the same passwords for multi ...

There’s a Season for Everything—Including a Time to Prepare, a Time to Sell

Seasonality, in any business, can wreak havoc on cash flow.  Whether you’re in the construction trades, a wedding planner, or a lawn care professional, all business owners feel the burden of having to manage expenses during the ebbs and flow of the seasons.  From startups to maturing companies, analyzing your overall cash management strategy annually, while also including growth preparation, is key to long-term sustainability. Strategize Periods of Downtime If you own or operate a seasonal business, you’ll need to consider how to best maximize periods of downtime.  Generally, seasonal companies utilize that timeframe as an opportunity to train, prepare for busier periods, or recover.  Savvy companies may use the entire off-season preparing for growth by conducting effective sales calls while the rest of the competition is preoccupied.  Increasing sales staff should be a consideration to help boost your seasonal profitability. However, the costs associated with this n ...

How Does a Luxury Vehicle to Chauffer you from the Airport Sound?

First Bank Debit Mastercard® Offers Convenience, Luxury, and so Much More! During the busy holiday season, it’s easy to use your First Bank Debit Mastercard® for your purchases and appreciate all of the convenience it offers. Not to mention, enjoy the ease and security of not carrying cash. But, did you know there are also additional benefits of using your First Bank debit card that can help you ease through the holidays as well? Just take a look at a few of the hidden benefits of using your First Bank debit card: Mastercard Airport Concierge™ Service—Traveling for the holidays? With a First Bank debit card, you can enjoy 15% savings on Airport Meet and Greet Services. With these services, you can arrange for a personal, dedicated agent to escort you through the airport. Talk about added security and comfort! Plus, with Mastercard Airport Concierge Service™, certain airports will expedite you www.mastercard.com/airportconcierge or consult your Travel Advisor ...

#TipTuesday: Shop Securely This Holiday Season

While it gets easier and more convenient to complete all your holiday shopping from your computer or phone, it also makes shoppers more susceptible to fraud, identity theft, and various scams. Though fraudsters and scam artists are active year-round, online shoppers are especially vulnerable to their crimes during the busy holiday season. According to a recent survey, cybercrime will generate at least $1.5 trillion this year.* First Bank recommends following these tips to keep your holidays merry and bright – and your financial information safe – as you do your shopping: Shop safely. Before shopping online, verify that the site uses secure technology. Once you’ve reached the checkout screen, or while shopping an e-commerce site, make sure the web address begins with https. The ‘s’ on the end of the https actually stands for secure. Another way to confirm a trustworthy shopping website is the inclusion of a tiny, locked padlock icon in the address bar.   Secu ...

#TipTuesday: Give Gifts – Not Your Identity This Holiday Season

With identity theft high during the busy holiday season, First Bank provides the following protective tips. According to a recent online survey completed by The Harris Poll, nearly 60 million Americans have been affected by identity theft.* Identity theft is especially prevalent during the holiday season, as criminals take advantage of the hustle and bustle to steal your personal and financial information. Protect yourself and your financial information during the holidays and beyond using these tips and keep your cards and information “wrapped up”! Debit cards and chip security. Debit cards are much more convenient than checks, allowing you to get through checkout lines faster. However, always be aware of your surroundings and keep your card and PIN out of sight at all times. Identity thieves may resort to watching you enter your PIN – or worse, taking a picture of your card or a picture/video of your card and PIN entry with their cell phone. - Chip technology adds an a ...

Will Your Fall Home Improvement Project Make You Money?

The fall season is always a great time to get started on those long overdue home improvement projects in order to get prepared for all of the upcoming fall activities. Perhaps, you’ve decided you’d like to create an outdoor living space, add a gazebo, or install a stone patio? Or, maybe your home improvement projects are more like home maintenance projects that you just haven’t gotten to tackle? If you’ve made the decision to get started, then you may want to consider the projects and their return on your investment (ROI). According to a recent study, the following six home improvement projects returned the highest investment on your home’s resale value: • Attic insulation—107.7% (ROI) • New Entry Door—90.7% (ROI) • Siding Replacement—76.4% (ROI) • Deck Addition (wood)—71.5% (ROI) • Deck Addition (composite)—65.2% • Backyard Patio—54.9% (ROI) Although you may not plan to sell your home soon, your ROI ...

How to Talk to Your Kids About Money and Savings

How to Talk to Your Kids About Money and Savings How soon is too soon to talk to your kids or grandkids about money? If they are old enough to ask for a toy or a bike, they are old enough to start learning financial lessons that will last a lifetime. The best financial lessons are part of everyday experience. Look for opportunities to talk about money, read books aloud, and play games that center around spending money wisely. Be open and honest when you discuss your financial experiences—good or bad. Here are some examples of teachable moments to help you get started: At the bank When you go to a bank, like First Bank, bring your children with you and show them how transactions work. Get the manager to explain how the bank operates, how money generates interest, and how an ATM works. On payday Discuss how your pay is budgeted to pay for housing, food and clothing, and how a portion is saved for future expenses, such as college tuition and retirement. At the market It’s eas ...

Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life

Let’s do more of what you love.   At First Bank, we’re more than just a lender [or bank]. We’re also an integral part of your trusted team of advisors, offering an array of products and services to help you along life’s financial journey. From a variety of insurance offerings to help you through life’s transitions to a suite of financial management products to navigate the banking side of business, First Bank is here to save you both time and money, allowing you to get back to what you love doing.   Security for the Future—Are you prepared for the unexpected? Don’t let an unfortunate or unplanned life event derail your long-term financial security. First Bank’s insurance solutions are here to help protect you, your family, and your business. Life happens, so ask us about our cost-efficient life, disability, and long-term care insurance products today! Fast Access to your Hard-Earned Money—If increased productivity is important ...

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Disclosure

All First Bank blog information and content is strictly informational. It is not intended to be specific investment, tax, or legal advice. If you need detailed financial, investment, or tax advice, please contact a First Bank qualified professional. Please note, First Bank occasionally shares third-party content we find to be relevant and helpful to our audiences.