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First Bank Wisdoms

First Bank Wisdoms

Six Money Mistakes Newlyweds Should Avoid

First Bank offers tips for managing money together. The summer and early fall wedding seasons are in full swing and newlyweds will soon be managing their finances as a pair. First Bank is encouraging couples to waste no time addressing how they will handle money issues as both spouses and financial partners.   Although developing a financial plan can often take a backseat to the excitement of a wedding, it’s important to remember this is not only a marriage of hearts but also a marriage of finances. To help couples start their journey on strong financial footing, we’d like to caution consumers on these post-wedding money mistakes: Avoiding the money talk. Discussing your finances can be a bit uncomfortable for many couples, but those who tackle it head on will be better for it. Understand your partner’s financial goals and spending habits. While you may have different answers, this conversation can help you develop an approach to money management that works for bo ...

Are You Saving for the College Price Tag?

“As a parent of a graduating high school senior, I can tell you first-hand that this day comes much sooner than you anticipate or expect. I remember thinking this day would come ‘some day’ and that we had plenty of time to save for the college price tag as it was very far into the future. Now, that ‘some day in the future’ has suddenly arrived. After multiple proms, many high school sporting events, finals, and end-of-the high school career activities, I began seriously contemplating the college price tag that’s now right upon us. Although I had opened a college savings account for our son as a toddler, and encouraged him to excel at school, organizations, and sports with high hopes of potential scholarships, I can tell you it was no match for the costs we’re faced with for the next four years. Although we’re a double-income family, we still have other children and other expenses. The question rings in my mind, as I’m sure it does many families, “How ...

Ways to Pay for College: Grants, Scholarships, and Loans

Though rising higher education costs don’t appear to be letting up any time soon, grants, scholarships and loans can all help make college more affordable—or even free. Free Money Applying for grants and scholarships should be prioritized above applying for loans, since these funding options offer “free money,” while loans have to be paid back. Grants In most cases, grants are distributed by the government and other nonprofit organizations. Eligibility and amount are usually determined according to the distributor’s assessment of an applicant’s financial need. There are several well-known federal grants available to students: Federal Pell Grant –Pell Grants are awarded based on your level of financial need, status as a full- or part-time student and the cost of your school’s attendance. Applicants are automatically considered for Pell Grants when they submit their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). For the 2016-2017 school year, the ...

Six Financial Traps New College Graduates Should Avoid

More than 70 percent of college graduates began their career owing more than $37,000 in student loans in 2016. Considering this debt load and other living expenses, young adults are delaying major life events like getting married or buying a home. It’s critical for new college graduates to focus on their financial future as they receive their diploma, says the American Bankers Association. ABA has highlighted six traps new college graduates should avoid to position themselves for financial success as they transition from the dorm room to the office.  “Student loans, housing costs and plenty of other living expenses come fast and furious after graduation, so it’s extremely important to start off on the right track with positive financial habits,” said Corey Carlisle, executive director of the ABA Foundation. “We can’t stress enough how vital it is to plan for the future.” New college graduates should avoid the following six financial traps: No ...

Let’s Face It, Life Happens

Since summer’s winding down and area schools will be back in session soon, you may think I’ll discuss last-minute vacations, home equity projects, and other financial-related topics; however, I want to take this opportunity to discuss something unique–the upcoming solar eclipse that everyone is talking about. I certainly don’t claim to be an astronomer, but this event is really fascinating.  I mean, how often will we have the ability to view what some are calling the Great American Eclipse? If you’re in what’s called the ‘path of totality’ you’ll experience the sun disappearing behind the moon, daylight turning into twilight, and will feel temperatures drop dramatically. I’m certain for sky watchers, this will be an incredible experience. Want to know something else that’s really interesting about this rare occurrence? This event i ...

Let’s Achieve It!

I hope you enjoyed your holiday, along with a spectacular fireworks display. One of our favorite holidays, my wife and I attended a local display not far from our home to enjoy the celebration of this great nation’s birthday and freedoms. How lucky and blessed are we? Recently, I heard a sobering statistic that America’s World War II Veterans are leaving us at the rate of 430 per day. This ‘greatest generation’ and their sacrifices helped ensure we’re still afforded our Independence Day. Through our partnerships and support of such first-class organizations as the St. Louis Blues and the Greater St. Louis Honor Flight (GSLHF), we’re able to assist in the mission to honor St. Louis area veterans’ service in World War II and other wars, by providing an all-inclusive trip to Washington, DC to visit the memorials built in their honor.  It’s through this organization that we’ve had the honor of meeting such incredible heroes as WWII Veteran John W ...

First Bank Recognizes World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

.alignText { text-align:center; } 14 Tips for Stopping Elder Financial Abuse in its Tracks             Every year, millions of seniors fall victim to financial fraud. Studies show elder financial abuse costs seniors approximately $2.9 billion each year. In recognition of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15, First Bank is urging older clients and their trusted caregivers to safeguard all personal information and stay alert to the common signs of financial abuse. “Fraudsters often prey on seniors experiencing cognitive decline, limited mobility and other disabilities that require them to rely more heavily on others for help,” said Kelly Wiese, Senior Vice President/Director of Marketing. “Appointing someone you know and trust to handle your financial matters aids tremendously in the fight against these crimes.” First Bank is offering the following tips: Plan ahead to protect your assets and to ensure ...

It’s Possible to Save Money While on Vacation

Summer vacation plans for many travelers have already begun. For many, this is the one week (or two) each year where everyone in the family is off from school, work, and team sports, so the desire to splurge is certainly understandable. Although enjoying your well-deserved vacation should be the primary goal, it’s also necessary to keep over-spending in check by having a reasonable budget in mind. Vacations can be expensive—the average American household spent approximately $1,800 per person on summer vacations last year, and that cost continues to rise in 2017. With over 44% of that budget going toward transportation, establishing an overall vacation budget is better done BEFORE the trip, not after the excitement has already begun. Not sure where to begin? Let’s get started! 1) Check with a trusted travel agent. Although there are many resources available online, checking with a travel agent before your trip may prove to be helpful. Often, agents have access to special offers and res ...

7 Tips for Protecting Yourself Online

Though the internet has countless uses and advantages in our daily lives, it can also make users vulnerable to fraud, identity theft, and other scams. According to a recent survey, a staggering 12 adults become a victim of cybercrime every second.  We’d like to recommend the following tips to keep you safe online: 1.    Keep your computers and mobile devices up to date.   Having the latest security software, web browser, and operating system are the best defenses against viruses, malware, and other online threats. Turn on automatic updates so you receive up-to-date fixes as they become available.   2.    Set strong passwords. A strong password is at least eight characters in length and includes a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters.   3.    Watch out for phishing scams. Phishing scams use fraudulent emails and websites to trick users into disclosing private account ...

The “Paying for College” Conversation

It’s easy to get caught up in filling out FAFSA and loan applications, evaluating your 529 plan performance and planning a budget for college expenses, and forget one very important step of the paying for college process: having an open, honest conversation with your child about how you will handle the cost of college.  According to the College Savings Foundation 2013 Survey of Parents, 75 percent of parents expect their children to contribute to college costs. If you’re among this number, do your children know that these are the expectations? It’s important to have “the college conversation” well in advance of the first tuition bill so that there aren’t any surprises or arguments over who will be paying when the time comes. These tips can help you maneuver this tricky conversation with ease. Before you talk Do your calculations As accurately as you can, estimate how much you would be able to contribute to each school that your child has received an aid off ...

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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.