How to Have “The Talk” With Your Parents

February 14th, 2017
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As parents age, the need often arises for adult children to get involved in managing care and financial issues. This is typically new territory for everyone and can be difficult to navigate. Experts agree, open communication is key; they recommend the following approach: Schedule a meeting and take this task seriously. Prepare an outline of items requiring discussion. Do your best to keep emotions in check. Make it a two-way conversation. Consider using outside resources where needed. The Trust & Wealth Management team at The First is a valuable source for knowledge, resources and services in this area. When financial [ read more ]

How Your Teen Can Benefit From Opening a Roth IRA

January 19th, 2017
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Your teenager just got a job and will soon be getting that first paycheck. Or maybe she’s earning extra cash by babysitting or walking dogs. Although visions of video games or a shiny new car might be dancing in your youngster’s head, it’s wise to consider stashing that cash for the long haul. If you’ve first set an example by fully funding your own retirement and your teen’s college savings, a great way to help your child get ahead financially is to have her open a Roth individual retirement account, or IRA. Start saving early, reap the rewards Anyone who [ read more ]

How to Get out of Debt in the New Year

December 29th, 2016
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A brand new year often inspires positive life changes such as breaking free of debt. If collections calls have been interrupting your dinner or you’re just stressed out from heavy-duty debt, here’s how to eliminate the burden. Determine where you stand In order to solve a problem, you need to fully understand it. Assess your situation by listing all your debts, including balance owed, interest rate and minimum payment required for each. Next, order your free credit reports to make sure you haven’t forgotten any debt or overlooked errors. Finally, compare your income and expenses and calculate how much you [ read more ]

Using Equity Loans to Winterize Your Home

December 1st, 2016
Using Equity Loans to Winterize Your Home image

There are all sorts of ways to guard your home from the winter elements. Some are cheap and may even fall in the do-it-yourself category, like adding weather stripping and caulking. Other endeavors, such as swapping out single-pane windows for energy-efficient double panes, or replacing a furnace, are beyond the skill set of most homeowners — and often beyond the balances in many savings accounts as well. In that case, taking out a home equity loan or line of credit may be the answer. Here’s what you should know before you do. Take stock If you know your home needs [ read more ]

How to Stay Safe When Shopping for Holiday Gifts Online

November 17th, 2016
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Want to avoid long lines and large crowds this holiday season? Shopping online lets you zip through your list with just a few clicks. Before whipping out your plastic, however, you’ll want to make sure you’re shopping on a secure site. Use these tips to keep your data safe. 1. Look for the padlock symbol Don’t check out at a website unless you see a padlock symbol on the browser bar of whatever device you’re using. This symbol means that the page has extra security to prevent others from viewing your sensitive information. Another way to tell a website is secure is that it starts [ read more ]

4 Financial Tips for Fall

November 3rd, 2016
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Fall means dreams of pumpkin spice lattes, turkey dinners and a cozy holiday season just around the corner. Here are four ways to make sure you’re financially well-equipped for the last stretch of the year. 1. Winterize your home: Save energy, save cash As temperatures drop, home heating bills rise. But properly sealing and insulating a house can save an average of about 11% a year on energy costs, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Keep your expenses to a minimum by sealing gaps and cracks in windows and doors with weatherstripping or caulk. Clean and inspect your furnace to ensure it’s running as efficiently as [ read more ]

Can Using Cash Help Tame Credit Card Debt?

October 18th, 2016
Can Using Cash Help Tame Credit Card Debt? image

Many people use credit and debit cards as a matter of convenience, but reaching for the plastic too often can lead to overspending that grows worse over time.  Writer Miriam Caldwell offers tips to help you cut back on credit card spending, including creating Cash Only categories for groceries, clothing, eating out, and any other areas where you’re tempted to splurge. Find out more in this month’s shared blog from        [ read more ]

Go Credit Card-Free for the Holidays | The First National Bank Blog

October 4th, 2016
Go Credit Card-Free for the Holidays | The First National Bank Blog image

If you’re like most people, you’ll use credit cards for holiday purchases this year—especially department store cards offering deep discounts throughout the season. But using credit cards too often in November and December can lead to a serious case of buyer’s remorse when bills start showing up in January. The good news is you can avoid holiday credit card debt with four simple strategies. 1. Start saving now! If you haven’t already, begin putting money aside for gifts, holiday décor items and extra goodies from the supermarket. Saving cash now means you’ll be less likely to use credit cards as [ read more ]

Stopping Cyber Theft

September 22nd, 2016
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Financial institutions are always working to stay on top of the latest online security techniques, but banking customers can also help keep their accounts safe. In this month’s shared blog from NerdWallet, you’ll find out what you can do to protect yourself and your money from cyber-thieves. How do you safeguard your online financial accounts? Let us know in the Comments section. [ read more ]

Advantages of Mobile Deposit | The First National Bank Blog

September 13th, 2016
Advantages of Mobile Deposit | The First National Bank Blog image

Mobile deposit—using your mobile device to take a picture of a check and depositing it via a special app—has been available for several years. Still, some people feel uncomfortable using what is one of the most convenient banking innovations since direct deposit. Here are responses to common concerns people have about mobile deposit: I don’t know what to do with the check after I deposit it. After making a mobile deposit, The First National Bank recommends storing the check in a safe place until you see that the check has been successfully deposited into your account on your account statement [ read more ]

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