Managing the financial responsibilities of family life

By the time you have a family of your own, there will be accompanying expenses such as fees for various activities and lessons for your children, family vacations, saving for college educations or buying a new home. Throughout this time, you should regularly evaluate your progress towards achieving the financial goals you set earlier in your life and adjust your spending, budgeting and saving to make sure you stay on track. With all the demands a family places on your income, it is still important to build your long-term investments.

Planning and discipline that determines what and how you spend contributes to your future financial success. Here are some tips we recommend for secure financial management during this demanding time of your life.

1. Shop for the best mortgage and consumer loans.

Seeking the best mortgage or consumer loan by shopping, comparing and negotiating may save you thousands of dollars. A mortgage—whether for a home purchase, refinancing or a home equity loan—is a product, just like a car, so terms may be negotiable. You’ll want to compare all the costs involved in obtaining a mortgage including interest rates, points, fees and down payment and private mortgage insurance requirements. Home equity loans and lines of credit can be helpful when extra cash is needed to reduce significant credit card debt—but be cautious about re-building credit card debt once it is paid.

With competitive rates, experienced lending professionals and local decision-making, your Consumer Banker will be sure to find a loan that meets your needs.

  • Fixed Rate Mortgages - Let Peoples Bank & Trust help you decide if a fixed rate or variable rate mortgage loan is best for your circumstances.
  • Consumer Loans - Whether it’s time for a new vehicle, new appliances or home improvements, we’ll make it easy. We offer assistance with our simple application process, competitive rates and charges and automatic checking/savings deductions. Contact a Consumer Banker for more information.
  • Second Mortgage Loans - If you would like to utilize the equity that you have in your home, but want a set payment, this could be the product for you. Contact a Consumer Banker for more information.
  • Peoples Home Equity Line of Credit - Looking to utilize the equity in your home? Peoples Bank & Trust will provide you with a revolving line of credit to simplify your life. The line is a reusable line of credit with easy access to funds. There are no closing costs involved to obtain this line of credit. Contact a Consumer Banker for more information.
2. Understand your credit report.

Your financial behavior over the past seven years, including how much credit you have, how long you've had it and whether you pay your bills on time is information included in your credit report. Three credit reporting agencies — Equifax, TransUnion and Experian — maintain these reports, and lenders buy them to help them decide whether to offer you a prequalification. Your credit report also carries your credit score ranked between 300 and 850 that many lenders use to decide whether you are creditworthy and will repay a loan. Your credit score can also influence the interest rate you pay. In many cases, the higher your score, the lower your interest rate. Your credit score is available from the three credit reporting agencies:

3. Start Saving for College

By starting early, when your child is in preschool or before, you can build a realistic fund through the power of compounding over many years. The earlier you start, the less you’ll have to save per month. With help from your Consumer Banker at Peoples Bank & Trust, you can access products designed to help you fund your child’s higher education.

To learn more, or set up an educational account, click on the links below:

4. Conserve time, money and paper with Peoples Bank & Trust’s convenient checking accounts with online banking and bill pay and no-charge ATM services.

You’ll reduce the time it takes to pay your bills and save on the expense of printed paper checks and postage while helping the environment as well.

  • Peoples Value Checking - is the perfect solution for your “getting started” checking account. A minimum balance of $100 is required, an $0.18 charge per item over 100 per month, ATM/debit card, as well as online banking to help you keep your account records current.
  • Peoples Club Account - Our Peoples Club account is our benefits plus checking. Perfect for just about everyone. This product has a low monthly service charge for which you will receive free club check orders, free money orders, discount on safe deposit box rental, $10,000.00 accidental death and dismemberment insurance policy, unlimited check writing and ATM withdrawals.
5. Improve funds availability and save time and money with Peoples Bank & Trust’s convenient “Direct Deposit” service.

Save the time and expense required to prepare, transport and deposit transactions, by conveniently making remote deposits from your home or office at any time of day or night. Our simple, web-based interface integrated with an inexpensive flatbed scanner and our online banking service lets you electronically deposit checks into your account for improved cash flow.

6. Save for retirement.

Many people underestimate the amount of money they’ll need in retirement. Our Consumer Bankers and wealth planners suggest you be realistic about major expenditures, e.g., will your mortgage be paid off by retirement? If so, you may need less income than you do now. Do you plan to buy a vacation home or travel extensively? Will you have to pay for your own health insurance? These and other financial considerations all come into play. Now is a good time to up your contributions to your retirement savings accounts. Talk with your Consumer Banker to learn about the products we offer that can help you meet your retirement goals.

  • Roth/Traditional IRA - IRAs help you save for your retirement years. Receive tax benefits today with a Traditional IRA and tomorrow with a Roth IRA.
  • Easy Builder IRA – Twelve Month Certificate -This IRA certificate is truly an “Easy Builder”. You can open the account with $100 and build for your future retirement at your own pace
Tips for Effective Financial Management
  • Make sure your mortgage payment, including taxes and insurance, represents no more than 29 percent of your gross monthly income.
  • Review the cost of your health care insurance and make sure you are getting adequate coverage at the best price.
  • Make wise purchasing decisions by determining what you “need” compared to what you “want.” This will help you make ongoing decisions to keep your finances in check.
  • Guard against impulse shopping, especially for costly purchases such as vehicles, major appliances, furniture, jewelry and the like.