Tag Archives: season

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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Is Fall the Best Time to Buy a House?

Sometimes it’s smarter to buy certain items according to the season, like sweaters near the end of  winter and swimsuits in late summer. But what’s the best season for buying a house?

The answer: the fall. As temperatures cool and trees shed their leaves, enough factors break in the buyer’s favor to make it the No. 1 season for homebuying. Here’s why.

Less competition

Many homebuyers are families who want to minimize a move’s effect on their kids’ schooling. They want them to start at a new school on the first day, not midyear. And so if their spring and summer searching didn’t work out, they might well wait for the next go-round. This means fewer buyers bidding on the same houses you’re interested in and more negotiating power when you do. (A chart in this article shows how home sales drop starting in the fall.)

Of course, this works both ways: Sellers might not want to uproot their families in the middle of the school year either. But while this brings housing inventory down, you might just find it easier to focus and pinpoint exactly what you really want in a home.

Sellers are more motivated

Spring and summer are the high seasons for homebuying: Days are longer, the weather’s nice, and open houses are well-attended. And that means sellers can sit back and be a bit choosier with offers.

But as Labor Day recedes in the rearview mirror, sellers start to wriggle in their seats. The prospect of trying to sell during the holiday season or, more likely, waiting until the next year, is dispiriting. And so these sellers can become, in a sense, settlers — willing to reduce their prices and conditions. There is some variation by region, but overall in the U.S., prices have peaked by the end of August.

Buyers can use this increased motivation to their advantage, offering less and asking for more during negotiations.

Taxes and discounts

Buying a home costs a lot of money but comes with good tax breaks as well. The IRS allows deductions for the interest you pay on your mortgage, on the premiums you might pay for mortgage insurance, on property taxes and more, including some of these that went into your closing costs. Buying a home in the fall means seeing those tax breaks sooner, the following April.

Also, much like those motivated sellers, many homebuilders discount their inventories during this time of year to help them meet year-end sales goals.

The decision to buy requires serious consideration of where you are in life, what your goals are and how much you can afford. But if you are indeed ready, buying during the fall can be a good call. Just try to find time in between football games.

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