Menu

First Bank Wisdoms

Pamper Your Pets - Debit Card Promotion.  This week, each time you shop with your First Bank debit card, you are entered to win a $100 PetSmart gift card.

From category archives: First Bank Wisdom - Personal

College

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 ...

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 ...

FAFSA 101

The U.S. Department of Education provides more than $150 billion in financial assistance for education each year. However, if you want your child to have a chance at receiving any of this aid, you’ll have to fill out FAFSA. FAFSA, or the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, is one of the most significant determinants of how your child’s higher education will be funded. Administered by the Department of Education, FAFSA analyzes your income and other household financial information to determine your Expected Family Contribution (EFC), which in turn determines how much financial aid your child is eligible to receive. Learn why it’s important to submit FAFSA and what you’ll need to do during the submission process. Who should fill out FAFSA? The short answer to this question is everyone that wants to pursue higher education. There is technically no income limit for who can receive federal aid, and FAFSA also makes you eligible for non-need-based aid, such as federal loans. There ...

Time for Graduation Season: Time to Talk Money

It's May, also known as graduation season. Do you know of a graduating senior or do you have one in your household? Many new graduates find themselves in a new, more independent role, along with the financial independence that often comes along with living on their own. Although this is an exciting time, it can also be intimidating as money management is a big part of adulthood. In order to help get students started on the path to financial independence, we wanted to offer the following tips:   Help your student learn the importance of creating a budget. The first step in managing your own finances is to create a realistic budget and sticking to it. Watch spending. Keep all receipts and track spending. Pace all spending (even minor purchases) and increase saving by cutting unnecessary expenses, like eating out or shopping for new clothes, so that your money can last longer.  Use credit wisely. Understand the responsibilities that come with using cred ...

Archive

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.