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Budget Money Your Way

Everyone has their own method of money management.

At Two Rivers Bank & Trust, we understand that everyone’s financial situation is different.

We have a variety of savings accounts that can meet your needs and Bobbie McCain, Teller Supervisor in West Burlington, has some budget tips for neighbors of all ages.

“Always keep a register of your expenses,” she said. “Even though your online banking source will keep track, verify against it every month.”

College students: Small purchases add up. “Keep receipts together and be mindful of small expenses because they might be hurting you in the long run,” McCain explained.

Newlyweds: Meet up! Have a weekly meeting about your money. It’s hard to adjust to managing money for two, so make sure you talk about it. We’ve got a blog about it, too!

Retired Neighbors: Have some fun. You’ve spent your entire life working. While retirement doesn’t mean the bills stop coming, it’s important to budget in for fun when you can.

The most important thing to remember is plan. “Make a budget and live within your means,” McCain said. “We’ll help you do it. You just have to come in and talk with us!”

Two Rivers Bank & Trust is always here to answer your questions.

“We’ve started to realize that money management really isn’t taught in school,” she explained. “If your parents don’t teach you, how do you learn? We really try to be that resource for all of our neighbors.”

Why You Need Your Banker in 2018

Every year new technology, new ideas, and the economic environment affect the business landscape in ways we cannot fully predict. At Two Rivers Bank & Trust, we take pride in being a valuable partner to our business customers.

While we fully encourage you to take advantage of every online banking tool we offer, we also want you to know how a personal relationship with your banker can be beneficial.

Eric Tagtmeier, Market President-Quad Cities, explains why.

“I’ve always been a big proponent of wanting my customers to utilize not just our services but my knowledge and my background,” he said. “Sometimes, people don’t think of their banker as part of that team of sounding boards.”

A banker should always be one phone call away.

“I always want to make sure people know they can also call their banker after they call their accountant and/or their attorney,” he suggested. “We’re here because you have to be able to rely on your bankers to assist you and continue to help you grow in this economy while also managing your risk.”

It’s important to have a dedicated banker on your team who can offer advice and experience.

At Two Rivers Bank & Trust, our bankers, like Eric Tagtmeier, are equipped with the products and services they need to help you.

“That’s my favorite part of working here,” Tagtmeier said. “We are set up to help business owners and be an asset to them.”

Visit our website to learn more about the services we can offer you, the business owner, in the coming year. We want to be your neighbor!

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The Holiday Gift That Keeps Giving – Money!

For some, it’s a home-cooked Christmas dinner or a pair of new shoes. For others, it’s a doll, toy truck, or a smartphone. Different kids want different things, so if you’re not sure what to buy for the kids in your life this holiday season, why not get them the gift that keeps on giving – money!

Mediapolis Teller, Dawn Pratt, believes it’s never too soon to start teaching your children sound financial habits.

“Children should be taught the value of saving,” she said. “It’s a great way to help them understand goal-setting and financial literacy.”

Why open a Jr. Banker Savings account during the holidays?

“Finding the right gift for a child can be challenging, and the wish list can often be greater than the budget,” Pratt explained. “For many gift-givers, the solution is a cash gift. Opening a Jr. Banker Savings account at Two Rivers Bank & Trust will give kids a place to keep their money and teach them the value of saving for something they really want.”

Investing in your child’s future has never been easier! With just $5, a parent, grandparent or guardian with an active Two Rivers Bank & Trust checking account, can open a little one’s savings account.

“The interest rate for the Jr. Banker Savings account can help your child build on their successful saving efforts,” she said. “Their money grows as it sits safely in the account.”

Maintaining a bank account teaches your child about money management.


Kids who learn about saving early grow into more financially responsible adults. Opening a savings account for your child is a great opportunity to explain why it’s important to save, and how much they should be saving.

The best part? Once you open your child a Jr. Banker Savings account at Two Rivers Bank & Trust, it can stay in his or her name until they reach 18!

Your loved ones have more ways than gift cards to give to your child on birthdays or holidays, too.

“A Jr. Banker Savings account is wonderful when your children receive monetary gifts from others,” Pratt explained. “I get to see firsthand the joy of a child when they come in to deposit money from their piggy bank. It’s so exciting for them to find out how much they have saved and equally refreshing for me to see them reach their goal!”

For $5 you can open the door to money management for your child – and that’s an invaluable gift.


Financial Declarations of 2018

2018 will be your year. You’re going to tackle your financial challenges. We’re going to help!

Two Rivers Bank & Trust is here to partner with our customers. We have a product and a service that can meet the needs of everyone in our neighborhood.

Laurie Stumpf-Sexton, Senior Branch Manager in Coralville, offers budgeting tips and advice so your new year can be the best yet!2018

“I first suggest using online banking and mobile banking so you always know your current financial situation,” Stumpf-Sexton explained. “I always tell someone to keep a check register, even if you’re only using a debit card. No one will watch your money more carefully than you.”

Automatic bill pay can help you, too. You’ll know right when your bills are being deducted from your account, you’ll avoid late fees, and have a better handle on your finances. Come in and we’ll show you how to set it up and use the tool!

“We’ll help you make a financial plan,” she said. “We highly suggest heading to one of our branches to talk with us. When you’re sitting down in front of a personal banker and we ask the right questions and make you really think, it’s very beneficial.”

We can determine the right products for you by understanding your habits and your current situation.

“I like to help people and show them how much small savings make a big deal,” Stumpf-Sexton said. “I love that part of my job.”

We can help you get organized and formulate a plan so you feel financially secure.

“I think there’s always a product and service we can offer to make someone’s life easier,” she explained. “You just have to take it seriously, too.”

We can help you save money and we’re so happy to offer you the services to do it. Come see us and declare 2018 as the year of financial stability and security!

Office faux-pas and team building


We’re human. We all make mistakes. When you spend at least 40 hours a week with the same people in the same office, you’re bound to make a mistake or two in front of them.

Here are some of the most common office faux-pas, how to avoid them, and why having good working relationships is important.

Emailing the wrong person. That happens. A lot. If the email will in no way cause tension with the unintended sender, follow up immediately with a quick apology. If the contents of the email might offend the unintended sender, seek them out in-person to rectify the situation.

The office conversation. Talking too loudly can be rude and distracting to your coworkers. Try to keep the volume down and your conversations away from areas where it is evident that work is in progress.

The forgotten name. We’ve all forgotten a name we should remember, spelled a word wrong, or had our cell phone ring in the middle of a meeting. What’s important is to learn from your mistakes and work with a team who will have your back!

One thing that always helps when you commit an office faux-pas is having a good relationship with your co-workers.

“At Two Rivers Bank & Trust, we work to make sure that our teams get to know each other and spend time bonding,” said Jan Atkins, Human Resources Generalist. “Our employees are encouraged to participate in Two Rivers-sponsored employee events outside of work, too.”

This might include an Iowa/Iowa State football game or a fun-filled day at Adventureland for employees and their families.

No matter the activity, at Two Rivers we know how important it is for employees to have a bond that serves to promote a positive work environment. Come say hello at one of our branches and see for yourself!

Two Rivers Bank & Trust – Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender



There are Ways to Save, We’ll Show You

If you knew you could save $720 a year by bringing your lunch to work instead of eating out, would you do it?

We live in a society of instant gratification. Frequently, that impulse costs us more money than we think. Whether you’re working your way out of debt or are saving for a dream vacation, at Two Rivers Bank & Trust we can equip you with the tools you need!

Here are some little ways to save big:

  1. Remove your credit card numbers from online accounts. We’re not talking about your bills, we’re talking about those accounts at your favorite stores that make it extremely easy to purchase with the click of a button.
  2. Have a visual representation of your goals. Put a magnetic white board on your refrigerator with your credit card balance on it. As you work toward eliminating debt, rewrite the number. It’s a great reminder and motivator!
  3. Never leave a light on. There’s a reason your parents walked through the entire house before leaving – it saves money over time!apple

If you’re looking to make more substantial changes, we can help with that, too! Karla Rangel, Personal Banker/Loan Officer at Two Rivers Bank & Trust, knows how important it is to personalize a plan.

“I always sit down with my customers and make a plan with them,” she explained. “We see what debt they have, what can be consolidated, and we try to allow them to make a smaller, single payment.”

One of her biggest tips? “I always say start with meals,” Rangel said. “Stop going out to eat and bring lunch to work. It helps a lot.”

Rangel also suggests different Two Rivers accounts based on your habits.

“If you’re a spender, I always suggest TR Cash Back Checking because you’ll get money back for every $10 you spend,” she said. “I just love to help people. When people leave my branch with the ability to buy a new car or with a better handle on their finances, I’m so happy and they’re so appreciative.”

If you’re looking for more ways to save or pay down debt, come talk with us! We’re happy to help you reach your goals.

Two Rivers Bank & Trust – Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender

 Experience better business banking in our neighborhood 

For your business to run successfully, a lot of moving pieces have to work together and there are a million formulas out there about how to make the perfect business plan. However, at Two Rivers Bank & Trust, we know your business is unique and we’re here to partner with you.   

Tim Quick, Vice President – Commercial Banking, explained how the nature of commercial banking is evolving.   

“Business clients are really looking at a bank as a partner,” he said. “It’s more of a relationship, not just a transaction. For example, I have a client who brought her books for me to look at like I was her business partner. I sat down for an hour and a half and crunched all the numbers and then gave her my recommendations on the proposed acquisition.” 

No matter the size of your business, Two Rivers Bank & Trust can help you succeed. “Within our department, our commercial lenders have specialties that cover the full gamut of commercial lending,” Quick explained. “From real estate, SBA, commercial/industrial to medical/professional industries, our team is well-versed to help you.”  

Whether you need a $10 million loan or a $20,000 loan, Two Rivers Bank & Trust is ready to work with you and your needs. “We have a niche in that we can focus on mid-sized commercial and small business clients and that’s rather rare,” he said. “We have a strong reputation in these areas and often receive referrals from our clients and well established CPA firms. We’re a true community bank.” Picture1

At Two Rivers Bank & Trust, you can expect a unique blend of big bank services and neighborly interactions. “We have the expertise and horsepower of a larger bank but we can deliver it through a community focus with common sense by doing what is right by our clients,” Quick said.  “We’ve filled a sweet spot.” 

At the end of the day, our team at Two Rivers is concerned with the best interest of our clients. We see this relationship as much more than a loan. 

 “We go above and beyond to really provide our clients service,” he explained. “It takes a lot more time with the client to look at their projects and help them determine resolutions and improvements. But that’s part of the team experience with Two Rivers. We define success by how well our clients do.”    

Come talk with us about your business goals and needs. We guarantee you’ll find a partner in us. 

Two Rivers Bank & Trust – Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender

Managing Money For Two

Whether you’re a newlywed, on your second marriage, or just ready to start saving for a big purchase, managing money for two is more difficult than managing for yourself.

Two sets of eyes, two sets of debit or credit cards, and two sets of wants and needs can be hard to navigate. That’s why communication up front is so important. You and your significant other need to be real about your goals and how you can achieve them together. It takes two!

At Two Rivers Bank & Trust, we can help! To open a joint account or get a loan at Two Rivers, come in and speak to a personal banker or loan officer. We will be able to guide you to which products will be the best fit for both you and your spouse.

Katie Marceau, Loan Processor at Two Rivers has some great advice for you.

“Build a household budget,” Marceau said. “Knowing fixed expenses makes it easier to determine where and how you can save. Before my fiancé and I opened our joint account, we put together a budget to be sure that we were both clear on where our money was going to be spent.”

“For us, it is important to have money that we can each spend on ourselves, so that was determined when we made our budget as well,” she said.

“Communication is the most important part of combining finances and keeping things organized.”

No matter your goals, come talk with us. If you’re thinking about taking out a loan for a large purchase, we can help you navigate the process.

“Every couple’s circumstances are different,” Marceau said. “If you wonder how one person’s credit scores may affect the terms of a loan you are both considering, a loan officer can help guide you through the options that are available.”

While Two Rivers is always here to be your neighbor, it’s most important that you and your spouse work as a team!

“Combining finances can be a scary thing at first, but building a plan together will help make certain everything is accounted for,” she said.

Marriage isn’t easy and sometimes budgeting money isn’t either. Come learn about your options at Two Rivers!

Two Rivers Bank & Trust – Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender

Enjoy the Benefits of Joint Accounts at Two Rivers Bank & Trust

So you’re getting married. Or, you are married. Congratulations! Join the more than 65% of people in committed relationships who share a joint bank account.

Since you’re sharing your life, why not share accounts? At Two Rivers Bank & Trust, we have many checking account options for you to open with your significant other. If you’re not sure which one is right for you, we can help you figure it out.

Aimee Bruckner, Branch Manager in Iowa City, explained that there is not one right answer for everyone.

“It just depends on what account will meet your needs,” she said. “We’ll ask you questions like, ‘How much do you plan on keeping in the account? Are you wanting to earn interest? and How often do you use your debit card?’”

From there, you can begin to reap the benefits of having a joint account.

“As a married person myself, my husband and I find it’s easier to pay your bills out of one joint account,” Bruckner said. “You never have to transfer money and bounce between accounts. Not to mention, it’s easier to keep track of monthly spending and budgeting.”

If there are two of you contributing to the account, your account fees should be minimal, if anything at all. In fact, our WOW! Checking doesn’t have monthly service fees.

“Nobody has time to manage and keep track of two accounts at one time,” she explained. “We’re all busy, so having a joint account takes part of the load off your shoulders.”

At Two Rivers, we can help make your life easier, too! Come talk with us about your needs for a joint account.

“We care about doing what’s best for the customer,” Bruckner said. “We want to exceed your expectations and give you a product that works for you.”

Two Rivers Bank & Trust – Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender

Invest with the Right Tools

Now that you’re ready to go investing, you need to learn about stocks, bonds, and mutual funds, how they’re different, and which make sense for you. If you missed our first blog about investing, in the beginning, you can read it here!

Kyle Hauenstein, Fiduciary Advisor at Two Rivers Bank & Trust, is here to help explain the ins and outs of investing.investing

What is the difference between stocks, bonds, and mutual funds?

“Stocks, bonds, and mutual funds are financial tools. Like a hammer, a wrench, and a drill, they are each a solution for a unique scenario. Stock reflects ownership in a company. Bonds are, in essence, loaning money to the company. How much money a company is worth changes constantly, hence the volatility in the stock market. For the most part, companies continue to pay their bills regardless of the ups and downs of business leading to relatively less volatility in bonds. Mutual funds use those tools (stocks and/or bonds) to grow wealth. Mutual funds exemplify the saying ‘don’t put all your eggs in one basket.’ For example, you may not have enough money to invest in 500 companies at a time, but if 499 of your closest friends and you MUTUALLY fund that investment, then you can spread out your risk together by purchasing shares of 500 companies.”

What is the benefit of investing in the stock market as opposed to ‘less risky’ options?

“Investing is a risk and reward system. The stock market has, historically, done a better job of keeping ahead of inflation.”

What can a customer expect when working with a financial advisor at Two Rivers? 

“Customers can expect financial advisors at Two Rivers to take time with them. It takes time to understand what our clients need, and it takes time to explain a solution that can meet that need. Just the other day I walked into a mechanic’s shop. I told them what I wanted (my car to stop making funny noises). They listened, and figured out what that meant. Once they knew what was wrong, they explained the solution to me. They used all the right tools to get the job done, and later handed me the keys to a quiet car. Clients know what they want, and what they have. We can help find the right tools to get them there.

What is your best advice for someone who wants to begin investing?

Start now. Compound interest is a powerful tool. That is why Warren Buffett called the stock market the greatest wealth creator of all time. There are many ways to invest, with lots of tools.

Come talk with us at Two Rivers! We’re willing to listen and explain things to you, develop a plan, and get you started now!

Investment and Insurance Products: Are Not insured by the FDIC or any other federal government agency; Are Not deposits of or guaranteed by the Bank or any Bank Affiliate; May lose value.