Tag Archives: Bank

Spend less this holiday season

According to the American Research Group, the average American spends $929 every holiday season on gifts and 56% of Americans in debt add to it during the holiday season.

At Two Rivers Bank & Trust, we understand you want to do everything you can for your loved ones without negative financial consequences. We’re here to tell you some ways to spend less this holiday season.

Kristin Fritz, Teller Supervisor at Two Rivers Bank & Trust, suggested one of our helpful products.santa pig

“Our TR Cash Back Checking account is a great way to help yourself during the holidays,” she said. “You basically get 10 cents back on most purchases, if you’re using our debit card.”

You can also use cash instead of credit cards.

“It’s easier to spend more if you use a card,” Fritz explained. “It’s just a swipe, right? But, you’ll incur extra fees from processing and interest. Using cash will make you more aware of your funds.”

Staying in the Christmas spirit all year round can help you save money, too! Our Christmas Club savings links to your checking account so you can have money put into it all year long and then at Christmastime we will transfer the funds so you have them ready and available.

Know the deals. Cyber Monday and Black Friday really are great ways to save. While it can be overwhelming to shop on these days, having a game plan and a list can make it easier – on you and your wallet.

Spend on something different. “In previous years, we’ve taken part in Warm Kids, Warm Hearts,” she explained. “Our customers and our employees brought in coats, hats, and gloves for children who needed them. It was so rewarding.”

If you need help setting your budget, come talk with us! “Everyone at Two Rivers is happy to spend time with our customers,” Fritz said. “We want to talk to you about what you need and how we can help make your holiday season a little more stress-free!”

Celebrate Small Business Saturday

November 27, 2010 was the first Small Business Saturday. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), in 2015 $16.2 billion was spent in small businesses on Small Business Saturday and, according to the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), last year an estimated 112 million shoppers patronized local retailers and restaurants.

As a neighborhood bank, Two Rivers Bank & Trust works hard every day to help small businesses thrive and achieve their dreams.

Tammy Greene, Branch Manager in Ankeny, loves helping the small businesses in her neighborhood.small business

“At Two Rivers Bank & Trust, we have great accounts for small businesses,” Greene said. “Our checking accounts save them money on fees and our ability to offer small business lending is really advantageous. Pat Quinlan, one of our lenders, takes care of their needs and works with them one on one.”

We are an Iowa bank and decisions are made here by Two Rivers Bank & Trust.

“Because we are a community bank, we get to know the customer more personally than other financial institutions,” she explained. “Pat and I go out on business calls and find out how things are going for our customers and if there is anything else we can do to help them.”

We want to encourage you to take advantage of Small Business Saturday! This year, Small Business Saturday is on November 25. Support your neighbors, support our neighbors.

“Small businesses are important in our community because they give back to our neighborhoods,” Greene said. “A lot of them donate their time and money to local schools and charities. They’re so involved and do so much good. It’s the least we can do to help them out, too.”

Two Rivers Bank & Trust really is here to meet the needs of small businesses in our community. If you’re a small business owner, come talk with us! We want to get to know you.

Give the Gift of Finances!

email headerLet’s face it. Your child has everything! They’re fed, clothed, and probably even have an Xbox One, a cellphone, or both! But did you know that 48 percent of children are lacking a college fund or any type of savings account?

Coralville Personal Banker, Jeannie Beisel, believes it’s never too soon to start teaching your children sound financial habits. “The earlier that you start those good habits, the better they’re going to stick.”

So, ‘Why open a Jr. Banker Savings account during the holidays?’ you ask?

“Grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. give money around the holidays, and opening a Jr. Banker Savings account at Two Rivers Bank & Trust will teach kids how to be responsible with their money instead of spending it on the first thing that catches their eye,” said Beisel.

It costs $5 to open the account.

Investing in your child’s future has never been easier! For just $5, you can open your little one’s savings account and set them up for a bright future. “The interest rate for the Jr. Banker Savings account is phenomenal,” said Beisel. “So your child’s money will grow as it just sits safely in the account.”

Maintaining a bank account teaches your child about money management.

campfireDon’t you wish someone taught you more about money management as a kid? Kids will be better off financially as adults when they grow up learning to set aside money, instead of spending it the minute they get it. Opening a savings account for your child is a great excuse to start that dialogue to explain why it’s important to save, and how much they should be saving. The best part? With a Jr. Banker Savings account, you can open it when they’re five, and it can stay with them when they decide to take up babysitting or a paper route a couple years down the road.

Your loved ones have more ways to give to your child.

All too often, grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, and even friends are uncertain about what to give your child for birthdays or holidays, so they turn to cash or gift cards. Beisel said, “A Jr. Banker Savings account is great for when your children do get monetary gifts from relatives.” So, rather than sending out extensive gift lists and keeping track of who got what, an alternative would be to ask your loved ones to contribute to your child’s savings account. A donation to your child’s savings is the gift that keeps on giving since Two Rivers Bank and Trust pays interest on these accounts!

For $5 you can open the door to financial security for your little one’s future, and your child will learn how to manage money – an invaluable gift.

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How to Protect Your Money & Accounts Online

money accounts onlineNot surprisingly, cases of credit card theft and general cyber-crimes increase around the holidays.

With Cyber Monday and the holidays approaching, chances are, you will be spending some money online. So how do you protect yourself from credit card theft, identity theft, or fraudulent advertisements?

Because Two Rivers Bank and Trust cares about your protection, privacy, and financial security, we asked our Information Security Officer, Sean Allworth, for a list of tips to protect yourself against cyber thieves.

Stay up-to-date on the latest security software.

With so many presents to purchase, make sure that every time you go to check-out, your card and your finances are fully protected. Sean Allworth says, “Keep your computer operating system, your internet browser, and your mobile device up to date with the latest security updates and patches.” Investing in an efficient security system is an intelligent decision. Consider the savings when your system blocks a cyber thief from stealing everything in your bank account!

Avoid shared networks and computers.

Shared networks and computers are a safe bet when your activities are irrelevant to any personal or financial matters. But when it comes to making your holiday purchases, avoid shared networks and computers. Sharing networks or devices can actually weaken your security and leave your passwords vulnerable to cyber theft.

Sync your devices.

Syncing your mobile devices with your personal computer strengthens security. Allworth adds, “You can sync your mobile devices with a computer for additional security, and be sure to use anti-virus and anti-spyware software to help find and remove viruses.” As long as your computer is protected by anti-virus and anti-spyware software, syncing with your mobile device will enhance online security.

Don’t click blindly.

Don’t just click anywhere and everywhere. Allworth advises, “Always be careful about what (and where) you click online. A tip is to look for security-enabled website addresses that start with https: (the “s” indicates security).” Cyber-thieves create fraudulent advertisements and links meant to gain your attention. If the website is not verified as secure through your security software, do not click on the link!

Verify legitimacy before opening emails.

A major way cyber thieves steal from internet users is through the user’s email account. Allworth explains, “Keep in mind that links you receive via email or in messages on social networking sites can be harmful or fraudulent. Identify the address is legitimate or contact the sender directly to ensure legitimacy.” In short, if you see an advertisement or email that seems off, do not open it until you have contacted the alleged sender and verified legitimacy.

The holiday season is supposed to be filled with joy, security, and peace of mind. Be confident in your online purchases and contact Two Rivers Bank and Trust today to learn more about how we protect our customer accounts from cyber theft!

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Get your kids excited about saving

It’s important to get your kids excited about saving, especially when you have a little extra time on your hands. What better time to start than now?!

The value of saving is something that some parents instill into their children at an early age.

“As far as ages go, as young as three and four is when children can start recognizing what money is and that money has value,” said Two Rivers Bank & Trust Online Sales and Service Representative Dawn Pratt.

Set up a plan

There are many ways to get children to start saving their money. But first, it’s important for them to be making money in order to put some of it away.

“Whether it’s picking up cans, or maybe mom and dad have some kind of an allowance program, where you get paid so much for each chore. Somehow they need to recognize that they have to work to get money to be able to spend it on what they want.”

Chores around the house are a great place to start. Maybe it’s $1 if they make their bed in the morning or for taking the dog for a walk. Adjust the dollar amount as you see fit for your family and your own budget. Is your child old enough to have a job? Babysitting in the neighborhood or paper routes are great options for kids who aren’t old enough to drive.

Once you have your child earning money, it’s time to incorporate the savings aspect, which is different for different ages.

“Preschoolers – make sure they’re putting their money in a clear jar so that they can see it grow,” said Pratt. “For elementary to middle-school aged children, have them try a three jar system — spending, saving and giving—making sure they understand that at least 10% should be saved.”

Pratt also thinks that it’s worthwhile to get the whole family involved.

“Some people have even considered matching what their children save. If their children saved 10%, mom and dad kick in another 10%. So for every dollar saved, they put a dime away and their parents match it. So it’s like their own little family 401k.”

The Two Rivers Bank & Trust in Mediapolis partners with its schools to create a Bulldog Savings Bank.

“We go to the school once a week and have our Bulldog Savings Bank members come in and deposit. Now, they can only deposit up to $20/week, but if they deposit $20/week throughout the whole year, that adds up to be quite a bit. Even $5, that’s a lot more than what they had before. And the children, they have fun. They come in and they get waited on by our 5th graders that are our bank tellers and it’s a great way to integrate children into the banking system.”

Goals

Based on what their earning potential is, set goals for your child to meet every week. For example, if they are earning around $10 per week, make it exciting for them to set aside $2 for savings.

It’s important to figure out what they are they saving for. Set a goal for your child as far as what they can spend their savings on. Have they been wanting to go to Chuck-E-Cheese every time you’re driving around for errands? Do they love going to the pool during the summer? Give them a payoff and it’ll make it more exciting!

Two Rivers Bank & Trust believes in teaching good fundamental savings habits, which is why they have a savings account for your child. The Jr. Banker Savings account only requires a $5 deposit to open an interest bearing account, with fantastic rates on account balances in two tiers. The account even converts into a regular savings account when the account holder turns 18! Stop into your neighborhood Two Rivers Bank & Trust to get your little one started with savings today.