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Four Savings Tips for Purchasing a New Home

Is home ownership one of your goals? Maybe you’re hoping to buy a house soon so you can get out of your rental arrangement, or maybe you’re still living with your parents or with a friend? No matter what your living situation is, owning a home is a goal for many young adults. Purchasing a home is more than likely going to be one of your most expensive investments, so it’s important to take a look at your financial situation and start saving early. Here are a few ideas to help you start saving more: 1. Build a Budget. We get it. It’s hard to cut things out that you enjoy. Take a look at your bank accounts to see what expenses are coming out. Take note of your monthly expenses, like your cell phone bill, groceries, your car payment and insurance, or your rent and utilities. Are there any subscriptions you can cancel, such as video streaming or food delivery services? Decide how much you need in order to make your monthly payments and consider putting the remaining portion of th ...

Savings Funds to Start as a 20-Something

Chances are, if you’ve recently graduated from college or trade school, you’ve probably been at your first “9-to-5” job for a year or more and are getting a sense of budgeting, planning, saving, and preparing for the future. Or, perhaps, you went straight into your career path right after high school graduation and you’re considering when’s the best time to consider getting your own place? Whatever your situation looks like right now, there’s one thing that everyone can probably learn a little bit more about—saving money. Yeah, yeah, we know. Saving money doesn’t sound quite as glamorous as spending it. However, in order to afford to live on your own, save for a down payment on your first home, plan for your dream wedding, or get a new set of wheels, you’ll need to discover the fine art of budgeting and saving. Although many of us agree that saving money is pretty important, the stats are showing that we, as a nation, haven’t exactly put ...

First Bank Helps Fund St. Louis County Library’s Learning Program

In a combined effort to help provide educational resources to the St. Louis community, First Bank partnered with the St. Louis County Library to help support and nourish learning outside of the classroom. When the COVID-19 pandemic began, First Bank worked with the St. Louis County Library to help fund art kits to distribute into the community. “First Bank was very supportive when this program first began,” said Stacy Clay, First Bank’s Director of Community Affairs. “We helped the St. Louis County Library with their initial funding to start this program and help facilitate learning.” The art kits are intended to inspire children to use their imaginations and creativity. This program will benefit children who may not have reliable access to the internet and are struggling with online learning as a result. When learning took a virtual turn due to COVID-19, some children had more difficulty than others completing assignments. According to data from the National Center for ...

Family Money Matters During the Pandemic: A Look at Savings

As the coronavirus pandemic makes its way into yet another season, the “trickle down” impact on Americans’ financial situation and spending behavior continues to evolve. Record-level unemployment, business shut downs, and economic uncertainty are certainly driving indicators of consumer spending. A recent survey from a nonprofit organization, polled adults about how the coronavirus has impacted their finances and financial behavior*. The study found that 67% of feel that the pandemic has served as a “wake-up call” for their current financial status. If you’re in this percentage of people who feel this may be a good time to review your financial roadmap, consider setting aside some time to assess your short and long-term goals. It’s a good idea to review the last few months of bank statements to assess where your money generally goes each month. On firstbanks.com, simply login to your account, go to “Accounts” and then to “Statements” t ...

Four Money Moves to Make if You’re New to This Whole Adult Thing

  Hey, we get it. This isn’t what you expected life to look like right now. Maybe you’ve just graduated with one of the most unusual senior years ever and you’re wondering if going away for college in person is even going to be an option? Maybe you’re ready to embark upon your career? Whatever is happening in your life, we know you’ve got plans for the future, and you’re not going to let anything stop you. Statistically, if you’re between the ages of 18 and 22, over half of you are living at home. If you do choose to attend a community college or need to stay home with parents for online learning, there are some cost savings to either. Trust us, saving money is a good thing! On average, community colleges are considerably less expensive than attending a four-year university. Plus, living at home is typically less expensive versus on campus in a dorm or in an off-campus apartment with costs that can also add up. Think rent, electricity, food, furnishings f ...

First Bank Launches Partnership with The Amer-I-Can Program

Join Efforts in Empowering Individuals to Meet Their Full Personal and Financial Potential   FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Contact:      Stacy Clay, Director of Community Affairs o: (314) 692-6345 e: Stacy.Clay@fbol.com   ST. LOUIS (July 20, 2020) — First Bank is pleased to partner with The Amer-I-Can Program to enable financial education, success, and opportunity in underserved communities. Founded by Pro Football Hall of Fame legend Jim Brown, Amer-I-Can empowers individuals through accountability, and inspires them to change their circumstances through self-responsibility. Joe Cagno, Senior Vice President with First Bank Mortgage, commented, “We’re very happy to partner with this outstanding organization to help individuals reach their full potential. Although we’re launching our partnership in Southern California, we hope to expand it throughout the nation in the coming months and years.” Cagno has volunteered his support with Jim Brown an ...

The Changing College Landscape

The 2020-2021 academic year is right around the corner, and the coronavirus pandemic has upended the college world, like everything else. Not only has COVID-19 impacted short-term college operations and student summer plans, but the virus could end up being the catalyst that changes the model of higher education in the long term. Here are some things to know about the changing college landscape. College funds. Market volatility has been at record high levels this year, and college nest eggs may have taken a hit. Parents who have lost their jobs or otherwise suffered significant economic hardship due to COVID-19 might reach out to their child's college financial aid office to inquire about the possibility of a revised aid package, if not for fall then for spring. Parents of younger children may want to review their risk tolerance and time horizon for each child's college fund. Parents who are using a 529 plan to save may have experienced one of the drawbacks of these plans in 2020: the re ...

First Bank’s Thrive Checking Earns Bank On’s National Account Standards

In an effort to provide access to quality banking products and services that our underserved communities need, the National Bank On Coalition was formed. Its primary goal is to ensure that everyone has access to a safe, affordable bank or credit union. It’s estimated that approximately 14 million adults are unbanked with no checking or savings account. On top of that, nearly 20% of U.S. households (approximately 50 million adults) are underbanked, meaning they still use unconventional financial services. “Often, these types of unconventional financial services encompass check cashing and payday loan services that charge these individuals eccentric fees and high interest rates,” said Stacy Clay, First Bank’s Director of Community Affairs and member of the St. Louis Regional Financial Empowerment Coalition (FEC). “Many of our unbanked and underbanked in the community have never had access to a trusted banking partner or possibly have encountered some challenges with financia ...

Elder Abuse Online Scams

Criminals Use Online tactics to Scam Retired Victims According to a Senate committee report last year, financial scams cost older Americans approximately $2.9 billion annually. That’s a staggering number and, unfortunately, is only expected to climb. The expectation that the senior population has an untapped nest egg at their disposal coupled with a low rate of reporting of elder abuse crimes, makes it the growing crime of the time. As a generation that didn’t necessarily grow up with technology, Internet and email scams are prevalent ways that this market is scammed into unknowingly providing financial and/or personal information. What’s more, this group wasn’t necessarily raised in the overly-cautious environment younger generations have been. This makes them a much more trusting demographic; thus, increasing their vulnerability to criminal behavior. Email and Phishing Scams Phishing scams are fraudulent emails from a cybercriminal posing as a legitimate person or org ...

Protect You or a Loved One from Elder Abuse Scams

Every year, many seniors fall victim to financial scams. As this sector of the population grows older, many are accumulating more wealth and assets, making scammers see them as a potential target. With elder financial abuse being a staggering multi-billion dollar issue each year, it’s important to know what precautions to take to help protect yourself or your loved ones. Tips on Protecting Yourself Be aware that you are at risk. The most important thing to remember is that you are at risk from strangers and those close to you. Reports show that over 90% of reported abuse is committed by someone the victim knows or by a family member, most often their adult children. Use direct deposit if available. Opting to use direct deposit instead of paper checks helps ensure funds go directly into your account and are protected. This reduces the risk of checks getting lost or stolen and prevents the opportunity for it to be taken if seen somewhere inside your residence. Monitor your acco ...

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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.