Tag Archives: Holiday

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!”

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 Not Put Yourself into Holiday Debt

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By the end of the day on Black Friday, shoppers spent $5.27 billion online, a 17 percent increase in spending from last year. Chances are, you still have a few more gifts to pick up between now and December 25, and with all of the available deals and steals, it’s sometimes hard to keep your credit card in your pocket. So how do you protect yourself from accruing debt while taking advantage of exciting holiday discounts?

Read our tips below to see how you can be a smart shopper during the holidays.

Make a cash budget.

After looking over your monthly income and expenses, determine an amount of money that you and your family are comfortable with spending on holiday purchases. While you shop, only carry this amount in cash. It’s much easier to keep track of spending when you can see, and feel, your money being spent!

Alicia Whalen, Teller Supervisor from Mt. Pleasant, says, “Don’t buy anything you don’t already have the cash for. Take out cash just for Christmas purchases and when all of that is gone, then you know you don’t have any more to spend.”

If you must use a credit card, set a limit that you are confident in your ability to pay off by your credit payment due date.

Shop online.

While running out to the store and buying everything with cash is an option for some, many of us just simply don’t have the time, or the energy. By making purchases online, you’ll save money on gas and you can shop around more efficiently to make sure you’re getting what you need at the lowest price possible.

“Go online and make sure you’re getting the best deals. Realize that there’s a good chance you could find what you’re looking for at a lower cost or on another site with free shipping. It definitely pays off in the end because you don’t want to be the one that spends $50 when you could have only spent $35,” said Whalen.

As you fill up your virtual shopping cart, know how much money you have coming in and going out by checking your account balances online, or on the Two Rivers Bank & Trust Mobile Money app in iTunes or Google Play. It’s also wise to use your debit card instead of your credit card to ensure that you always have enough money for your purchases.

Know what you’re going to buy.

Have a plan and go into a store knowing exactly what items you intend on purchasing and stick to it! Impulse buys will leave your wallet drained, and you’ll have excess stuff that you probably didn’t need in the first place.

Set aside money year-round.

Two Rivers Bank & Trust has a Christmas Club, which is essentially a savings account that allows you to add money on a monthly or weekly basis to set aside funds for the holidays. Then, at the end of October, your Christmas Club funds are transferred into your personal checking account so you can use that money over the next two months on gifts.

Whalen thinks the Two Rivers Bank & Trust Christmas Club is a great option for families that always feel tighter with their finances during the holidays. “It alleviates the stress of having the holidays approach and having that feeling of, ‘How am I going to pay for Christmas?’ and instead, you have the money and don’t have to worry about it.”

Be mindful of the bargains.

Remember that some retailers price their products higher in order to create the perception of a bargain. Be mindful of your purchases and determine whether or not the “bargain” is really a good value. In addition, be sure to assign a level of importance to all of your purchases since you are working with a specified amount of money.

Get rewarded with every purchase!

With TR Cash Back Checking, earn Cash Back rewards* just for using your debit card! There are no minimum balances or monthly fees. Best of all, you can use your online banking app to keep track of your spending as easily as you would with cash! Click here to open your account now!

*Earn $.10 for each POS (Point of Sale) debit card transaction in excess of $10. Qualifications: to receive cash back you must receive electronic statements.

Our Favorite Neighborhood Charities

 Giving TuesdayAs the holidays quickly approach, it’s also a time of year that makes us stop to think about those that might not be as fortunate as us.

Our West Burlington Branch Manager, Crystal DeLap, says that it’s in our nature to help. “Two Rivers Bank & Trust has a strong heart’s desire to give to their neighborhood and it’s not about the recognition. It’s doing what’s right so when we see a neighbor in need, helping them and giving to them is what we feel is right.”

If you feel in the giving spirit this year, here are some praise-worthy causes in your neighborhood that would welcome your help!

Boys & Girls Club of Central Iowa

Mission: To inspire and enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Open to kids and teens ages 6–18 every day after school and during the summer.

Vision: Provide a world-class Club Experience that assures success is within reach of every young person who walks through our doors, with all members on track to graduate from high school with a plan for the future, demonstrating good character and citizenship, and living a healthy lifestyle.

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Make-A-Wish Iowa®

Mission: We grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy.

Vision: Wishes are more than just a nice thing. A Wish experience can be a game-changer for a child with a life-threatening medical condition. This one belief guides us in everything we do at Make-A-Wish®. It inspires us to grant wishes that change the lives of the kids we serve. It compels us to be creative in exceeding the expectations of every wish kid. It drives us to make our donated resources go as far as possible. Most of all, the founding principle of our vision is to grant the wish of every eligible child.

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If you work at a non-profit, DeLap says Two Rivers Bank & Trust has some great options for your funds. “There are several different checking account options for nonprofit organizations. We would love to sit down to find out what your specific needs are and go over the different options so we can pair you with the perfect account.”

It’s easy to think about those in need around the holidays, but at Two Rivers Bank & Trust, we think it’s important to give back year-round. Whether it’s Meals On Wheels, Kayla’s Cupboard, the Johnson County Crisis Center, Boys & Girls Club or Make-A-Wish, we urge others to get involved too and give back!

And it’s clear that DeLap and other employees at Two Rivers Bank & Trust are passionate about their service.

“What I feel and what I believe is that it doesn’t matter what time of year it is, or where you’re at in your life’s journey, you always have opportunities to give. It doesn’t have to be money or a wish list, it could be helping a neighbor. It’s something as simple as giving somebody your undivided attention and sharing your experiences with them. I believe that’s what it’s about. Giving to others and expecting nothing in return.”