A November 2019 Instacart Survey revealed that 59% of Americans say they would prefer to host Thanksgiving dinner so they can make the dishes they like. Whether you would lump yourself in with this group or not, if you are hosting this year, since Thanksgiving falls later in the month, you have a little bit more time to prepare. Planning ahead can not only save you money, precious time, and unnecessary frustration, but also gives you room to be a little more creative if you want to try something new.
There’s no need to break the bank on holiday décor. Making your own decorations can be as easy and affordable as you want it to be, even if you don’t consider yourself to be “the creative type.” For example, if you have an unscented candle, cinnamon sticks, any kind of ribbon or burlap you like, and a few other domestic staples, you can make your own beautiful and fragrant stick candles. You can use these as a table centerpiece or household décor that doubles as a festive fall air freshener! Here’s how to make them.
Pardon the Turkey
According to Instacart’s survey, of those who have hosted, 30%
have served something other than turkey as the main dish. In fact, there’s an argument to be made that the best part about
Thanksgiving is the side dishes. On
a separate note, there’s also been more discussion as of late surrounding the
positive impacts eating less meat can have on the environment. So, if you decide you can do without it,
consider cooking up a bird-less feast, making the side dishes the main
attraction while saving a pretty penny on what can often be the most expensive
part of the traditional holiday meal.
Gobble Up Savings
If turkey will be on your menu, spend wisely. Many supermarkets offer free turkeys to customers who reach a certain spending threshold leading up to Thanksgiving. Some retailers also offer deep discounts to customers who have attained a certain number of store loyalty points. Keep in mind that frozen turkeys are usually less expensive than fresh ones; just be sure to allot enough time for it to thaw before cooking. Quick tip: every four to five pounds of meat requires approximately 24 hours in a refrigerator set at 40°F or below.
Include Your Guests
Asking your loved ones to pitch in by bringing a dish, dessert or
drink is a wonderful way to bring everyone together. Not only does it help to
alleviate the cost, but it frees up some of your time so you can spend it
enjoying the day. It also provides guests with an opportunity to contribute
something they likely enjoy and want to share with others.
Celebrate the Season
Some of the tastiest food is grown in the fall, just in time to enjoy it at your Thanksgiving table. You can incorporate fresh fruits and vegetables into every part of the meal, from appetizers through dessert (and even leftovers)! Part of creating a smart and delicious menu is knowing what produce is in season. Seasonal produce is generally less expensive and certainly fresher than its out-of-season cousins. In late November in New Jersey, this includes apples, cranberries, brussels sprouts, turnips, winter squash, and more. Use this list to help you plan!
the Local Fare
Farmers markets are a great resource for fresh, locally grown, affordable produce, and some are open throughout the fall and winter. For those of us in and around Bergen County, the Englewood Farmers Market is open from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. every Thursday until May at the Pioneer Plaza on the 300 block of West Dearborn Street. You may even end up finding some beautiful flowers or fall decorations to display at your holiday gathering! The best part of patronizing farmers markets is that you are supporting local businesses and families—something NVE Bank is proud to do every day.
NVE Bank supports our customers and communities with products,
services, programs and events designed to help them learn, thrive, and achieve
their goals. To learn about our extensive range of personal and business
products and services, visit our website. You can also call us at
1-866-NVE BANK (683-2265) or visit us at one of our 11 branches conveniently located
throughout Bergen County.
With the seemingly revolving door of
cyberattacks, data breaches, email scams and other cybercrimes, the internet
can seem like a scary place. But by educating yourself about cybersecurity and
keeping up to date with the latest security requirements and protection,
there’s no need to fear. National Cybersecurity Month has been celebrated every
October since 2014. This year’s theme, “Own IT. Secure. IT. Protect IT.,” stresses
the importance of taking proactive steps to enhance cybersecurity at home and
in the workplace. Here are a few things you need to know about keeping your
personal information — and, in turn, your money — safe.
CREATE A STRONG PASSWORD
The UK’s National Cyber Security
Centre (NCSC) conducted a survey that analyzed passwords belonging to accounts
worldwide that had been breached. The top 5 most common passwords were:
“123456,” “123456789,” “qwerty,” “password,” and “111111.” Creating — and
re-creating — passwords can feel tedious at times, but having a strong password
is fundamental to defending against cybercrime. Coming up with longer passwords
is one of the simpler ways to protect yourself online. While no one is immune
to the risks that come with cyber activity, heeding this advice can minimize
your chances of an incident.
Use a long passphrase. According to the latest guidance from The National Institute of Standards and
Technology (NIST), consider using the longest password or passphrase
permissible. A passphrase can be a news headline or even the title of a book
you recently read. Add in some punctuation and capitalization to make it even
Don’t lose the guessing game. Do not include obvious personal information
in your password, like your child’s or pet’s name. This information is often
easy to find online, making it easier for cybercriminals to guess and hack your
Get creative. Substitute letters with numbers and symbols.
For example, replace an “i” with an exclamation point or an “s” with a dollar
sign. You can also get tricky by using homophones, such as “sea” instead of
“see,” or swapping letters with the same sound, like “f” and “ph.”
Keep your passwords to yourself. This seems like common sense, but don’t share
your passwords with anyone. Also, be on the lookout for anyone trying to trick
you into doing so. Every time you share or reuse a password, your security
becomes more vulnerable and susceptible to misuse.
Mix it up. Assigning a unique password to every account
helps prevent cybercriminals from hacking into them. With as many accounts as
the average person has today, this may seem overwhelming, but less so if you
customize one password for different sites (ex: use different numbers, symbols,
TREAD CAREFULLY WHEN TRAVELING
Cybersecurity experts largely agree
that around 20 percent of travelers are subject to cybercrime when abroad. They
all agree that travel puts you at additional information security risk. Here
are some ways to connect with confidence when traveling, though they’re
applicable whether you’re attending a conference in Beijing or running errands
around Bergen County.
ahead. Leave any
electronics you don’t need at home. For any devices you do bring, protect them
by backing up your electronic files, removing sensitive data, installing strong
passwords, and ensuring any antivirus software is updated.
eye out. Be cautious
about where and how you use your devices. Just as you might hold your handbag
or wallet a little closer in an unfamiliar or bustling city, be observant of
your surroundings and do your best to make sure no one is visibly trying to
catch a glimpse of your information. Think about using a privacy screen on your
laptop for added protection!
private. To whatever
extent possible, try not to connect to public Wi-Fi, or at least stick with as
few networks as possible. The more networks you connect to, the more opportunities
there are for a cybercriminal to access your data. Above all, do not use public
Wi-Fi to make online purchases or access bank accounts!
up. You’d be
surprised how little time it takes for someone to capture your information, so
lock devices when they’re not in use, even if you only step away briefly. You
can also set your devices to lock automatically after a certain amount of time.
It’s worth the few extra seconds it will take you to log back in (with a long,
strong password, right?)!
KEEP SOCIAL SAFE
3.48 billion people
worldwide now use social media, an increase of 9% from 2018. That’s 45% of the
total world population. With every keystroke and mouse click on social media,
from signing up for accounts to posting photos, leaving comments, checking into
a location and more, you are sharing information about yourself. Keep the
following in mind so you can connect with people you know safely and keep
social media a fun place to be.
Don’t overshare. Cybercriminals are the beneficiaries
of those who share details about their life on social media. It’s an easy way
to learn about, and target someone — not to mention their friends and family — both
on and offline. Try to avoid posting full names, places you frequent, and your home,
school and work locations. It goes without saying (but we’ll say it anyway)
that this includes Social Security numbers, account numbers, passwords,
addresses, and any other highly personal information.
internet has no “delete” button. Nothing is “off the record” on social media, so share with
care. Even if you delete something as quickly as you posted it, there’s a
chance someone saw, or could see it. The internet is a global collection of
websites, host servers, storage locations and other web resources. Once posted
and shared, your information may be copied to multiple locations, either
automatically or by the action of a person.
Secure your settings. Review all available privacy and
security settings and set them to your comfort level. One powerful safety
precaution you can take it to disable geotagging, which allows other users to
see where you are, and just as importantly, where you aren’t.
Don’t talk to strangers. This is an important lesson we learn as
children but become less mindful of as we grow. While some social networks
might seem safer to connect to because of the limited personal information
shared through them, it’s best to keep your connections to people you know and
Be open. If someone you know posts something about
you that makes you uncomfortable or you feel is inappropriate, speak up.
Likewise, be understanding if you are the recipient of such a complaint. People
have different and evolving preferences for what they want others to see and
know about themselves, and it’s important to respect those boundaries.
If you see something, say something. It is your right, and in some cases your
responsibility, to report suspicious or harassing activity. Utilize social
media platforms’ reporting tools to flag any instance of cybercrime you witness
or are a victim of; local and national authorities are ready to assist.
NVE Bank customers can rest assured
that they are protected when banking online with us. Taking proper precautions
to protect our customers’ financial and personal information is our top
priority, which is why NVE’s online security measures include the latest
industry-accepted standards and practices. In fact, NVE recently transitioned
to a “.bank” URL, a verified banking domain created by security and banking
experts that has a higher level of mandated security than any other
commercially available domain. In this age of continual cybersecurity threats, NVE’s
enhanced security features create a safer space than ever before.
Think you’ve run out of ways to entertain yourself or your family for the summer? Think again! We may be halfway through August already, but there’s still time for fun, sun, relaxation and exploration—and you’ll find it right in your backyard (or at least somewhere nearby)! Sometimes, you don’t even have to spend a dime, either. Enjoy the rest of the summer and remember to keep it local when you can!
the Great Outdoors
If you’ve ever been to the gardens at Flat Rock Brook in Englewood, you might be surprised to learn that they were constructed by volunteer gardeners. This is an ongoing project, and one that anyone interested is welcome to be a part of, regardless of experience. Volunteer gardeners work in Flat Rock’s Butterfly and Native Habitat Gardens on upkeep, maintenance and innovation for continued care. Gardeners attend seminars, field trips and meetings to discuss goings-on in the gardens. Volunteer gardeners meet on Tuesdays at 9:00 a.m. from April through October. Must be at least 18 years old. Learn more and fill out a volunteer form on Flat Rock Brook’s website.
Take in the Stars
With a plethora of outdoor movie showings throughout Bergen County’s many parks, from the sky to the screen you’ll be surrounded by stars. A full schedule of free and almost-free outdoor movie listings and locations can be found on Jersey Family Fun. Here are a few upcoming outdoor movie nights in NVE’s neighborhoods:
Looking for a way to combat the Blue Law blues? Head to the Paramus Food Truck Festival at Paramus Park Mall Sunday, August 18th. The event features more than 25 gourmet food trucks, so bring your appetite! In addition to plenty of food and drinks, there will also be music and family-friendly activities…plus, everyone’s favorite amenity: ample free parking. To make sure everyone gets to enjoy food, event organizers ask that attendees bring a non-perishable canned or boxed item to help support the food pantry.
Explore the Arts
The Westwood Heritage Society-sponsored Westwood Craft and Antique Show comes to Veterans Memorial Park in Westwood on Sunday, August 25 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Now in its 20th year, the show brings together 90 arts and crafts exhibitors showing everything from hand-painted furniture to homemade pickles, and lots in between. The Antique Show features twenty dealers showcasing various items, and free appraisals will be conducted by certified appraiser Jon Felz from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm.
There’s something about listening to live music outside on a summer evening, and lucky for us, there’s no shortage of options to do just that in Bergen County. Honorable mention goes to the Tenafly Summer Concert Series, as NVE Bank will be sponsoring the August 27 performance from Billy Joel tribute band Danny V’s 52nd Street Band! NVE staffers will be there to enjoy the show, mingle with friends and neighbors, and of course we’ll be giving away goodies. Just a small token of our support of, and partnership with the Tenafly community. Don’t miss it! Meet us at Huyler Park any time after 7 p.m.
Your Local Listings
are a hub of fun, free, social and educational activities for people of all
ages and interests. A quick Google search yields a jam-packed list of options,
from children’s story time, to exercise classes, movie screenings, gaming
tournaments, and more. Check your town library’s calendar for options!
Enjoying free and almost-free
community-sponsored and other “hometown” events is a great way to save money
while supporting your local towns. As a Community Mutual Bank, NVE offers a wide
range of financial products and services to help our neighbors reach their
goals. To learn more about how NVE Bank supports our communities, or to learn
about our extensive range of personal and business products and services, visit
our website. You can also call us at 1-866-NVE BANK (683-2265) or visit us
at one of our 11 branches conveniently located throughout Bergen County.
School may be ending for the year,
but for the 18 students who received educational scholarships from NVE Bank
this week, it’s the beginning of a bright future! On June 18th, NVE executives
including President & CEO Robert Rey, members of the board of directors, NVE
branch managers, school officials, students and their
family members gathered at our Englewood headquarters for NVE’s 12th Annual
Local high school seniors received a $2,000 scholarship and graduating middle school eighth graders were awarded a $1,000 Savings Product Scholarship. These student scholarships are part of a program that has been offered by the Bank since 2008; in the 12 years since the program’s inception, NVE has awarded more than $180,000 to 240 deserving scholars in Bergen County.
Without further ado and with great pride, we introduce to you the NVE Bank Scholarship Awards class of 2019:
High School Scholars
Julye Calderon – Pascack Valley
Victoria Catala – Bergenfield High
Aisha Davis – New Milford High
Dylan Distell – Cresskill High
Ryan Distell – Cresskill High
Jade Greer – Tenafly High School
Jessica Lee – Academies at Englewood
Madisen McIntyre – Dwight Morrow
Yanil Morales Garcia – Teaneck High
Isabelle Raskin – Leonia High
Gianna Tavares – Northern Valley Demarest
Regional High School
Middle School Scholars
Esther Cho – David Owens Middle
Hasnia Mulic – Thomas Jefferson
Melanie Norberto – Benjamin
Franklin Middle School
Peter Park – Cresskill Middle
Yun Lee Park – Leonia Middle School
Raul Tylrt Seetahal – Janis Dismus
Margaret Vasquez – Roy Brown Middle School
These deserving students put school first, and NVE is delighted to put them first, just like we do with the customers and communities we have served since 1887. We hope our latest class of scholars is as proud of themselves as we are!
To learn more about how NVE Bank supports our communities, or to learn about our extensive range of personal and business products and services, visit our website. You can also call us at 1-866-NVE BANK (683-2265) or visit us at one of our 11 branches conveniently located throughout Bergen County.
Scenario: you know exactly what type of home you want to live in, you know what city or town it’s in, and you even know how you’re going to buy it. This is all great! But what about the “when?” As in, when is the right time to buy? Your own personal financial situation is, of course, a substantial factor, but real estate prices, interest rates, and the time of year are just some of the key factors to consider in the homebuying process. If you want to get the best deal possible—which, of course you do—the “when” is an essential part of the equation.
The ideal arrangement would be if you were able to buy the home you want, for the price you want, at the exact time that’s most convenient for you, when interest rates are at their lowest and your cash flow is at its peak. If the stars align for you and that becomes your reality, you’ve got yourself quite a cozy situation! More often, the case is that you must take stock of all these variables and prioritize them according to your needs, wants, and means.
Is the price right?
Home inventory is historically the highest from spring into summer. One significant factor contributing to this outcome is that families with school-age children want to get settled before school starts back up again around Labor Day. This type of saturation can drive sellers to price their homes more competitively. On the other hand, shopping around during the off-season can also give you the upper hand. December, November and January are the months with the least inventory, respectively. If a seller has listed their home during this time frame, it’s very possible it’s because they don’t have a choice in the matter, in which case they may be more willing to negotiate.
Quick tip: If you’re in the market for a home, make sure you know what you can afford before you start looking. Get a handle on this in the early stages of research by using NVE’s calculator, designed specifically to help you determine how much mortgage you might qualify for.
Is there ample inventory?
RealEstate.com’s Entry-Level Market Report found that entry-level inventory rose 4.1% this year, meaning buyers can expect to see an increase in inventory. According to a statement from RealEstate.com General Manager, Justin LaJoie, “Potential buyers who tested the waters in recent years should have an easier time now, which should be especially good news for anyone who made an offer but lost their bid for a home. First-time buyers can give themselves an extra boost by being well-informed, prepared buyers. And the work they do – contacting more agents, doing more research and visiting open houses – should pay off this year.” Being well-informed and prepared is great advice for anyone in the real estate market, if you ask us!
What do interest rates look like?
Mortgage interest rates fluctuate constantly, so this is something you really need to keep a close eye on. It’s also important to compare rates to make sure you’re aware of your options. The rates offered to a borrower are based on various factors such as debt ratio, credit score, or how much of a down payment you can afford. All lenders have differing methods and models for assessing a borrower’s risk/reward ratio. Because community banks have more flexibility in terms of setting guidelines when it comes to mortgage interest rates, we are are often in a better position than big banks to provide borrowers with more options.
Ask your lender about a rate lock, which guarantees a certain rate, at a certain price, usually (but not always) for a term of 30, 45 or 60 days. If your loan doesn’t process within the allocated window, you’ll lose the rate lock, so timing is everything. Working with professionals you trust to guide you through this process goes a long way! NVE’s mortgage specialists will work with you every step of the way to help make the whole process smooth and hassle-free. We offer a full range of flexible mortgage products to meet your lifestyle needs. Call today at 201-816-2800, ext. 1233, or apply online at www.nve.bank.
Is it time to stop renting?
The notion that owning a home is more cost-effective than renting is widely accepted, particularly in New Jersey, which has the fifth-highest rent prices of any state in the nation, according to Census data. But how long does it actually take for buying a home to cost less than renting? Zillow looked at the cost of renting vs. owning in New Jersey and created this tool that allows anyone (that means you!) to find the answer to this question in almost any town in New Jersey.
Calculators like this should be used as one of many research tools, along with the help of trusted professionals. NVE offers a suite of convenient and helpful online mortgage tools, including four Home Financing Calculators, which can help you answer important questions such as:
You’ll also find 11 more calculators that address a range of personal financing, investment, and retirement topics.
Working with a mortgage specialist who knows the area you’re looking in makes things easier, faster and better. With headquarters in Englewood and branches throughout Bergen County, the mortgage professionals at NVE are also your neighbors. That means our customers have access to experts who can provide service quickly, efficiently, and with a local point of view.
Learn more by speaking with an NVE Lending Specialist! Call 201-816-2800, ext. 1230, email us for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org, or apply for a mortgage on our website.
What style of architecture once dominated Bergen County?
A. Cape Cod
B. Dutch Colonial
If you think the answer is Dutch Colonial, you know your stuff!
Like New York City and the Hudson Valley, Bergen County was settled by Dutch farmers. The earliest houses in Bergen County were made of wood, but they did not last, and Dutch Colonial homes—mostly known as sandstone—replaced them. According to the Bergen County Historical Society, today, 192 of those Bergen-Dutch Sandstone Houses are listed in a thematic nomination to the National Register of Historic Places. The Steuben House at Historic New Bridge Landing is one of the earliest and largest, c.1752.
Today, the homes throughout Bergen County reflect almost every style of architecture imaginable! And some of them are for sale. If you’re in the market, make sure you know what you can afford before you start looking! You want to work with a mortgage specialist who knows the towns you’re looking in; with headquarters in Englewood and branches throughout Bergen County, you’ll find that person at NVE Bank.
these home renovations tops the list of projects that will get you the best
return on investment in 2019?
Master Suite Addition
Swimming Pool Installation
Garage Door Upgrade
If you guessed, “C,” good for you! A new, upscale garage door is not only functional, but it also contributes to your home’s curb appeal. And as far as upgrades go, this one is relatively affordable! According to REMODELING magazine’s 32nd annual Cost vs. Value Report, ditching the standard 16′ by 7′ garage door and replacing it with an antique-style, four-section door with decorative handles and top panel windows can yield a 97.5% payback. In dollars, the report estimates a new $3,611 garage door — which is likely energy efficient, with foam insulation and thermal seals on the window — will yield a $3,520 return.
Need a hand? NVE is here to help with a flexible home equity line of credit or fixed rate home equity loan.