Five Ways to Enjoy Summer in Bergen County on a Budget

Whether your idea of fun is good food, a night out, the outdoors, loud music, or a day filled with excitement, Bergen County has it all! And, even better news: you don’t have to spend a lot of money to have a great time. Here are five ways to enjoy the 2018 summer while keeping to your budget and staying local.

Fun for Foodies

Enjoy a ful(filling) day at the Paramus Food Truck Festival on Sunday, June 24th. Take advantage of the Blue Laws and head to the Macy’s lot of the Garden State Plaza starting at 11:00 a.m. to make your way through more than 20 food trucks guaranteed to hit the spot, from barbecue and empanadas, to regional cuisines from Louisiana to Thailand, to sweet treats like churros and shaved ice, plus an array of beer and sangria selections. Take your time, though, as the festival remains open until 6:00 p.m. Attendees will be treated to live music, and kids can enjoy face painting and other kid-friendly activities! With free parking and only $5 adult admission (kids under 10 get in free), this is a budget-friendly event. If you do decide to make your way over there, keep in mind that the festival is accepting donations of non-perishable canned and boxed items for the Paramus Food Pantry at the entry. Please consider making a donation if you are able to!

Something for Everyone

Local websites and blogs maintain updated calendars that serve as an excellent resource for finding activities of all types, price points, locations and times of day. A quick scan of the events calendar on MyBergen.com yielded such a broad range of options, from car shows to karaoke, it’s impossible to list them all! Into gardening (or want to be)? Accept your open invitation to join the Flat Rock Brook Gardeners to join them any Tuesday through October. No fee or registration required, just bring gloves and willing hands!

Looking for arts and crafts classes to occupy the kids? IKEA Paramus is hosting its first annual Family Celebrating Summer Event & Activities, free to Ikea Family Members. The series offers make-and-take craft workshops including bracelet making, spin art, plant pot decorating and more throughout the summer.

Libraries also provide frequent and varied activities for people of all ages and interests, from yoga to gaming tournaments, free movie viewings and much more. Check your local library’s calendar for options!

 The Great Outdoors

If you’re looking for a daytime getaway with countless attractions and amenities, there are several beautiful parks located throughout Bergen County. Darlington County Park in Mahwah and Saddle River County Park in Saddle Brook offer endless activities including swimming, tennis, fishing, walking/biking/running paths, basketball and more.

Bring the kids to Van Saun County Park in Paramus for a day of fun at the zoo, complete with a miniature train ride! For county residents, admission ranges from $1-$4, and $2-$8 for non- residents; all active military members and children under three receive free admission. On those extra warm days, be sure to suit up and lather on the sunscreen and head to the park’s free, pond-themed, spray ground, complete with gigantic lily pads, water creatures, and gentle misters!

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Van Saun County Park’s Mystic Spray Splash Park. Photo Credit: Bergen County Zoo

Sounds About Town

According to the event website, the 4th Annual Bergen County Music Festival “continues to celebrate the diversity of Bergen County. Promoting family time, bringing people together on the great lawn to enjoy music, food, and life.” Sound good to you? Then head to the Overpeck County Park Amphitheater for this block party-inspired community event on August 18th. Hosted by Doctor Bob Lee of 107.5 WBLS-FM, the festival features musical performances by The Stylistics Revue, Lori Michaels, The Delfonics Revue, and many more. Free entry!

Fair Play

For a full day of fun, make your way to New Jersey’s annual State Fair Meadowlands in East Rutherford. Starting on June 21st and going through July 8th, a variety of ticket packages and options are available. The fair also offers seven different bargain nights; for example, June 26th is “Kids Go Free” night! Word to the pennywise: parking is free Mondays-Wednesdays. This is the largest fair in New Jersey and features over 150 rides, food vendors, and free entertainment including music, a petting zoo, and games! Check out the daily calendar for hours of operation, pricing and more for each day.

 NVE Bank is here to help you save with a wide range of products and services to help you reach your goals. Visit www.nvebank.com or visit one of our neighborhood branches, conveniently located throughout Bergen County, to speak with one of our Branch Associates. You can also call us at 1-866-NVE BANK (683-2265).

Get all the latest news, information and pictures from this year’s program and more by following us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Sources:

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Four Ways to Set Yourself Up for Home Hunting Success

Buying a home is a big deal. For most homebuyers, a real estate purchase is one of the largest financial transactions they will make. This is why it is crucial to take your time, prepare, do research, ask questions, and work with professionals who you trust and who know the real estate market in the area(s) you are exploring.

While it shouldn’t be the only research you do, looking at market conditions through the scope of the experiences of your peers and neighbors is something to take into consideration. The National Association of Realtors® conducts an annual survey of recent home buyers and sellers to gain insight into detailed information about their experiences, the results of which provide consumers with an understanding of recent trends and changes. Here are some of the key takeaways from the 2017 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers New Jersey Report prospective buyers in New Jersey may find useful:

  • In New Jersey, the median home price was $282,000; buyers typically purchased their homes for 97% percent of the asking price.
  • Seventy-five percent of recent buyers in New Jersey found their real estate agent to be a very useful information source; 86% found websites very useful in the home search process.
  • Buyers typically searched for 12 weeks and looked at 10 homes.
  • Those who did not search the Internet typically searched for 10 weeks and looked at five homes.
  • Ninety-two percent of buyers purchased through a real estate agent; 41% used an agent that was referred to them by a friend, neighbor, or relative.
  • Fifteen percent of buyers said saving for a down payment was the most difficult step; of those buyers, 73% percent reported that student loan debt made saving for a down payment difficult, 50% had credit card debt, and 45% had car loans.

Ready to start your search? Here are four ways you can pave the way for a smooth process.

Make a List, Check it Twice

A good jumping-off point is creating a list of the things you need in a home, meaning that their absence could be a deal-breaker. From there, work your way to the things you want. Things that are permanent, like location, are strong contenders for the “needs” column. “Wants” are more likely things that you can add or change on your own. The list may evolve throughout the search process, and that’s OK! Establishing that point of difference will prove itself useful. Try to be as thoughtful and realistic as possible, but know that there are no right answers! At the end of the day, you’re the one who will be living in this home.

Open House, Open Mind

Even if you’re not quite ready to start making offers, visiting open houses in neighborhoods you are interested in calling home one day is a great research tool. It offers you a sneak peek into the homes you’re looking at, as well as the neighborhoods and people surrounding it, and helps you set realistic expectations of what you can get for your budget.

As you’re touring a home, try not to let yourself get overly concerned with aesthetic details. For example, if you’ve ever watched “Love It or List It,” “House Hunters” or other HGTV fan favorites, you are no stranger to the “paint color” comment. Don’t like a single paint color in the entire house? No problem! The great thing about paint is it’s probably the easiest thing to change about a house.

Open House

Be a Nosy Neighbor

There are some things you simply can’t know about a neighborhood unless you live there…so why not ask the neighbors before you buy? Some people might feel a little uncomfortable striking up a conversation with a stranger, but now is no time to be shy! If you see any neighbors outside during an open house, simply explain you’re interested in a house for sale in their neighborhood and ask if they wouldn’t mind answering a few questions. Stuck on what to ask? Realtor.com suggests the following:

  1. How would you describe the area, and what it’s like living here?
  2. If you could change anything at all about the neighborhood, what would it be?
  3. Do particular schools have a reputation for being strong or weak in a certain area?
  4. How do people like to socialize in the neighborhood?
  5. Is there anything that I should be aware of with this property?

The answers to these questions could be the very thing that makes your decision for you.

Show Them What You’re Worth

Ready to be taken seriously as a buyer? Taking the extra step to get pre-approved for a mortgage is an excellent way to show sellers you mean business. A pre-approval letter validates how much home and mortgage a buyer can afford with a lender. Securing a pre-approval can make a buyer more attractive to a seller not only because it legitimizes your value, but because it shows you’re able to move quickly on the property. For your own edification, as a buyer, a pre-approval amount also provides you with a realistic idea of the budget you’re able to move forward with. It’s common to shop around to find the best deal possible, so feel free to seek out offers from various lenders.

You want to work with a mortgage specialist who knows your market. If you are looking for a home in or around Bergen County, that’s who you’ll find at NVE Bank. With headquarters in Englewood and branches throughout Northern New Jersey, the mortgage professionals at NVE are also your neighbors. That means that, unlike bigger banks, our customers have access to experts who provide service quickly and with a local point of view. As a community bank, we can also offer customers competitive mortgage rates to make their home-buying dreams become a reality. To the delight of the 15% of buyers who said saving for a down payment was the most difficult step, our First Time Home Buyer Mortgage program can help qualified buyers purchase a home with a down payment as low as 5%*! We also offer a suite of convenient and helpful online mortgage tools, such as our Home Loan Calculator, to further guide you through the process of choosing and obtaining the loan that meets your needs.

Learn more by speaking with an NVE Lending Specialist! Call 201-816-2800, ext. 1230, email us for more information at lending@nvebank.com, or apply for a mortgage online at nvebank.com.

* Eligibility and restriction requirements apply.

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 Sources:

http://bit.ly/2k8dVom

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NVE Bank Brings Lessons in Good Saving Habits to New Jersey Students

When is the right time to help your child learn about money and saving? It’s a question many parents ask themselves, and one that has no definitive answer. Educating children about good money management doesn’t happen during one isolated conversation, but over time through answering questions, making comments in passing, and leading by example (kids are always watching, even when you might not realize it). But being the sole person responsible for imparting this wisdom can be a heavy weight to bear! That’s why NVE Bank supports the American Bankers Association (ABA) Foundation’s Teach Children to Save (TCTS) initiative.

The free national initiative organizes banker volunteers to help young people develop saving habits early on. Teach Children to Save Day is an annual awareness day during which bankers all over the country educate youth throughout their communities about the value of saving money. Participating bankers, including many from NVE Bank, visit schools, youth centers, after-school programs and other locations to share our knowledge. Our hope is that these lessons will inspire children to start young and save more! Educational activities focus on lessons in saving, earning interest, and determining needs versus wants. Since this program began in 1997, over 125,000 bankers have taught savings to more than 5 million students!

Teach Children to Save Day was celebrated April 20 this year, but volunteers from NVE’s 11 branches educated Bergen County students about good savings habits throughout the entire month, which is also Financial Literacy Month. NVE Bank branch managers and other staff visited various area schools including The Right Start Learning Center in Teaneck, Englewood on the Palisades Charter School, The Hillside School in Closter, and Smith Elementary School in Tenafly. Here are photos from just a few of our visits.

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Teaneck Palisade Ave. Branch Manager John Louglas and Senior Bank Teller Desiree Chapman with The Right Start Learning Center school director Dolrine Phillips, her assistant, Cynthia Williams, and two of their bright, eager students!

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All hands on deck as New Milford Branch Manager Kay Parikos delivers a lesson in savings to students at Smith Elementary School in Tenafly.

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NVE’s Englewood Highwood Branch Manager Paul Klein and Engle Street Branch Manager Vivian Mendez visited Englewood on the Palisades Charter School to teach lessons in saving to 2nd and 3rd grade students.

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Closter Branch Manager Susan Polles and Teller Amira Helwani deliver a lesson in savings to students at the Hillside School in Closter on Teach Children to Save Day.

Visiting with students in the communities we serve is something the entire NVE team looks forward to each year, but financial education is a priority for us all year long, so it doesn’t stop there. As a community bank, NVE invests in various financial literacy programs through funding and other resources to ensure we are doing our part in creating a strong foundation for our younger generations. One example is Money Management 4 Kids, an innovative financial literacy program created by iPiggiBank. The goal of the program, designed for students in grades one through six, is to teach them how to manage their money through learning about responsibility, team work and life-long financial skills. Learn more about the program in our interview with the organizations founder and CEO.

Here are some of our favorite personal finance tips for children, from the American Bankers Association:

  • Talk openly about money with your kids. Communicate your values and experiences with money. Encourage them to ask you questions and be prepared to answer them — even the tough ones.
  • Explain the difference between needs and wants, the value in saving and budgeting, and the consequences of not doing so.
  • Set up a chore chart and give your children an allowance for completing their tasks. Require them to save at least a small portion each week. The three jars method — one for spending, one for saving and one for charitable contributions — is a good way to impart a sense of responsibility.
  • Be an example of a responsible money manager by paying bills on time, being a conscious spender and an active saver. Children tend to emulate their parents’ personal finance habits.
  • Open up a savings account at your local bank for your children and take them with you to make deposits, so children can learn how to be hands-on in their money management.

It’s never too early to help your child learn about saving and managing money! Take a look at NVE’s savings products for details on our savings account options so you can set your child up to start saving now.

Get all the latest news, information and pictures from this year’s program and more by following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

NVE Bank hosts and participates in various community service, fundraising and awareness events throughout the year. To learn more about NVE Bank’s products and services, visit our website, stop by one of our convenient neighborhood branches in Bergen County, or call 1-866-NVE BANK (683-2265) to speak with a branch associate.

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Sources: 

http://bit.ly/2KdS7mV

http://bit.ly/2vKxmfp

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Spring Cleaning for Your Finances

It may not feel like Mother Nature has gotten the memo some days, but spring has, in fact, sprung! It’s customary at this time of year to give your home a good cleaning to clear out the cobwebs and get rid of unneeded or unwanted items. This can lead to uncovering all kinds of things, from financial and household documents, to clothes that either don’t fit or have gone out of style, and much more. Here are some ways you can cleanse and save money!

Let It Go

Between cleaning out closets, cabinets, junk drawers, attics and garages, you’re bound to uncover quite a few objects you could stand to part with. For anything in usable condition, consider hosting a yard sale, or try your hand at selling online through websites like eBayOfferUp, and LetGo. Clothing, shoes and accessories, in particular, can be sold through sites such as Poshmark and thredUP. And did you know even gift cards you don’t plan to use can be exchanged for others or cash? Gift Card Granny is one example of a site that provides this service. No matter what you decide to do, protecting yourself and your identity should be your top priority with any online activity. Use good judgment and take necessary precautions! A great resource offered by hundreds of police departments is SafeTrade Stations, where residents can conduct in-person transactions safely. The SafeTrade Stations website provides this list of local stations by jurisdiction, city and state. There are many in New Jersey — in Bergen County, you can find stations listed in Allendale, Bloomingdale, Closter, Hillsdale, and Lyndhurst. You can always call your local police station to find out if they have a safe meeting place!

Embrace Change

According to a Coinstar study, 90 percent of Americans surveyed had spare change lying around in couch cushions, purses, cup holders, and junk drawers. The majority of respondents estimated having $41 in spare change on-hand; however, Coinstar’s nationwide kiosk data indicated that, on average, people cash in $68 when they convert their coins to no fee eGift Cards — that’s $27 more than respondents thought they had! Change adds up — make it count!

Give Back

According to Give Back Box®, an estimated 11 million tons of clothing, footwear, towels, bedding, drapery, and other textiles end up in U.S. landfills every year. If you have cardboard boxes or online shipping boxes from any purchases you received, as almost all of us do, reuse it for a good cause! Simply pack it up with unwanted or unneeded household items such as gently used clothing, jewelry, shoes etc. Then, go to GiveBackBox.com to print a prepaid shipping label and attach it to the box. Finally, drop it off at a UPS or USPS location near you; the boxes are routed directly to the nearest participating local charity organization. This is a great way to clear out space while doing some good that will make a real difference for someone!

Tax Tip: Remember, if you donate any items to a charitable organization, get a receipt, then claim the donation on your tax return if you itemize.

Capitalize on Seasonal Offerings

Many people look forward to holiday promotions and end-of-season sales for great deals on clothes, shoes, electronics, cars and more. Spring’s arrival marks a good time to take stock of any major financial decisions on your agenda, such as real estate projects and purchases. Check out and compare the latest rates from lenders (like us) to see if now is the time to make your move!

Weather-wise, spring is also an ideal time for home improvements. External doors and windows are constantly opening and closing, as rooms need to be ventilated and tools and materials need to be transported back and forth. The weather spring commonly brings with it reduces the likelihood that you’ll need to play the part of “thermostat monitor,” as you would in the hot summer or cold winter months, saving you from stress and spending. That’s what we’d call a win-win!

In the beginning of spring, taxes are top of mind for most. Did you know that any money you contribute to an IRA CD account can potentially be tax deductible? It’s true. That’s why NVE is running a special promotion on opening an IRA CD during this year’s tax season. Just another reason to be happy spring is here!

If any of these tips earn you some extra pocket money, don’t just save it for a rainy day…let us help you make it make it grow! One of the best ways to do that is to deposit it into an interest-bearing account, such as savingsmoney market, or certificate of deposit (CD). Visit the NVE website, one of our convenient neighborhood branches in Bergen County, or call 1-866-NVE BANK (683-2265) to learn more.

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Sources:

http://bit.ly/2Gi17oB

https://prn.to/2E3yR7h

 

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Bergen County Spotlight On: Financial Literacy

It is never too early to equip children with information and guidance on how to save and manage money. As a leading community mutual bank, it is part of NVE’s mission to foster initiatives that help improve our fellow citizens’ quality of life and strengthen the neighborhoods where we live and work to ensure they remain healthy and strong. That is why we are so proud and excited to support New Jersey-based iPiggiBank’s efforts to provide children throughout Bergen County with money management education! The beauty of this type of education is that it can happen anywhere, and that’s exactly what iPiggiBank is proving through its Money Management 4 Kids program. We recently sat down with Founder and CEO Shara Nadler to get the scoop on what this amazing organization is all about.

NVE Bank: Please describe what iPiggiBank is and does.

Shara Nadler: iPiggiBank teaches younger students in Grade 1-6 how to manage their money through a curriculum and workshop called, Money Management 4 Kids. Only state certified teachers are hired and trained on iPiggiBank’s curriculum. Our teachers lead students in learning about smart money skills through hands-on activities that leverage art, writing, literacy and play.

Where do iPiggiBank’s programs take place?

iPiggiBank Money Management 4 Kids is available in public and private schools, after-school enrichment programs, clubs, camps and corporate settings.

Where do most of your students reside/go to school?

Our tailored program has reached over 1,000 students in urban, suburban and rural areas in public and private schools, as well as schools for students with special needs.

Do you have any favorite “success stories” that speak to the success of your programs?

Each iPiggiBank student is a success story because they have participated in learning critical money skills and are on the road to life-long healthy financial habits! After every workshop, students always ask, “Can you come back next week?” We love hearing that because it means that we have taken an important life skill and made it relatable and fun for kids.

In January, I was proud to receive an award from the Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership for bringing to market and scaling this amazing financial literacy program for kids. So, I think the whole program is a pretty great success story!

Are there shared challenges iPiggiBank students tend to have?

One of the great things about our audience is how diverse it is. Each student has a unique fingerprint that they bring to the class. It generates great group discussions about personal values around money, which provides even more learning for our students.

How did you connect with NVE Bank?

I read about NVE’s involvement in the community and reached out to the marketing department to introduce our work. There was an immediate connection and shared passion in teaching financial literacy to kids. With NVE’s support, iPiggiBank is able to provide an after-school program at Bergen Family Center in Englewood. Our partnership is making a notable impact in the community.

Are there circumstances unique to Bergen County or New Jersey as it applies to financial literacy/money management?

There are 19 States that require personal finance education in high school. New Jersey is one of them and allows the District to decide how to include it in the high school curriculum.

iPiggiBank focuses on younger students to build a strong financial foundation. Our intent for our students is that, by high school, they are ready to jump into more sophisticated content and conversations about investing, insurance, real estate, retirement and ‘real life’ financial decisions.

What is the biggest challenge posed by insufficient financial literacy/money management?

Most adults would give themselves a ‘D’ or an ‘F’ in personal finance, yet they pass their finance knowledge along to their children. We are perpetuating a broken system by not formally teaching financial literacy in school. iPiggiBank is doing our part to fix the broken system by delivering a premier curriculum for students in elementary and middle school.

How can people learn more about, and get involved with iPiggiBank’s programs?

There’s great information on how to bring iPiggiBank Money Management 4 Kids to your community via the website: www.ed.ipiggibank.com. Anyone interested can also contact us directly at info@ipiggibank.com.

Is there anything you’d like to add?

Yes, teaching kids financial literacy is a critical life skill. Sometimes families don’t know how or are uncomfortable (or even embarrassed) to talk about money. We’ve designed our materials to bridge classroom learning with home learning to encourage families to discuss this important topic together.

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NVE Bank spearheads and supports various financial education initiatives throughout the year including but not limited to iPiggiBank’s Money Management 4 Kids program, the American Bankers Association’s Teach Children to Save celebration, and the annual NVE Bank Scholarship Awards, through which the bank has awarded more than $150,000 to deserving students in Bergen County.

Learn more on our website, stop by one of our convenient neighborhood branches, or call 1-866-NVE BANK (683-2265) to speak with a branch associate.

 

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America Saves Week Presents: 7 Ways to Get Your Savings on Track

According to America Saves Week spokesperson Madeline Daniels, people with a plan to save are twice as likely to save successfully. But what works for one person may not work as well (or at all) for another. There are many ways to conserve your funds, from savings and money market accounts to direct deposit, cash back programs, spare change apps and more. Why not test out some different approaches and tools to figure out what will help you best reach your savings goals?

In the spirit of America Saves Week — an annual program designed to encourage and support Americans to save effectively — The Penny Hoarder’s Jacquelyn Pica shares seven ways you can get your savings on track, without downloading any apps!

We all want to save more money. The question is, how?

With so much new technology out there, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Plus, maybe you don’t feel comfortable sharing personal bank details with tons of different websites and apps.

Forget the latest tech — these seven methods will help you get your savings on track without signing up for any apps.

1.  Figure out what you owe

First things first, find out what — and who — you owe.

Use a spreadsheet such as Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel to track all your debts and recurring bills. Personally, I use Excel to record my different credit cards, each payment due date and any balances on them.

I prefer using a plain-old spreadsheet over a budgeting app or website. It’s simple. It’s easy. And — best of all — you don’t have to provide your bank or card information to any third parties.

2.  Create a budget

Now that you know what you owe, it’s time to get the rest of your money in order.

Keep track of your budget without relying on software or sharing personal information. You can use a spreadsheet for this one, too, and it’s easy to find free templates online. Here are my favorites for Google Sheets and Excel.

With these monthly spreadsheet templates, you’ll be able to track your income and expenses, and set goals for yourself.

3.  Participate in the 52-week money savings challenge

The 52-week money savings challenge involves setting aside a certain amount of money per week. The first week, you save $1. The second week put away $2, etc. This continues until the last week of the year, when you’ll save $52.

Here’s a helpful chart so you can check off each week as you go. At the end of the year, you will have saved a little over $1,300! Without using technology to help guide you, it’s important to stick to some kind of savings plan or challenge so there’s a tangible goal.

4.  Save every $5 bill you get

This savings strategy is a less calculated approach than the 52-week savings challenge, but it still adds up.

For this method, save every single $5 bill you get. If you usually don’t purchase items with cash, now’s a good time to start! (Plus, did you know paying with cash can help you save money?)

I’ve read countless stories of people who have managed to save thousands using this strategy alone, without even realizing the money was gone.

5.  Save all your spare change

Likely the oldest savings tactic in the book, buy a giant jar and drop all your spare change into it. I do this religiously. So far I’ve saved a little over $100 — just in spare change.

It’s such an easy way to save money without thinking about it. If you combine this with the $5 savings method above — since you’ll already be spending cash — you’ll be hitting your savings goal in no time.

Tip: When you’re ready to cash in the coins, don’t go to one of those change machines at the grocery store. They charge a hefty percentage of whatever you cash in.

Instead, ask for empty coin rolls next time you’re at the bank and roll the coins yourself. It’s a bit time consuming, and you do have to count it all out in specific amounts, but you’ll get to keep all your money. Once they’re rolled up, take them to the bank and exchange your coins for cash.

6.  Define “why” you’re saving and constantly remind yourself of it

Keep yourself motivated to save by defining why you’re saving, and constantly remind yourself of it. Are you saving to take a trip to Europe next year? To pay off credit card debt? Put a down payment on a house?

Whatever your reason, write it down on a sticky note and put it around your house. Seeing a daily reminder of what your goal is will help keep your savings on track.

7.  Have a money date with yourself

I know — this doesn’t sound like the most exciting night in. But, it’s important to stay on top of your finances.

Have a “money date” with yourself weekly or monthly and figure out how you’re doing. Check your credit score, look at what you spent over the past month and see if your budget is on track. Based on this, you can figure out if you’re already doing everything right or if there’s room for improvement.

These savings methods are just as effective as any savings app, and you won’t have to share personal information or clutter up your phone. Here’s to saving more and achieving your financial goals in 2018!

For more information on tools to help you save or how to get started with putting a saving plan in motion, visit our website. You can also stop by your convenient Bergen County neighborhood branch, or call us at 1-866-NVE BANK (683-2265).

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Sources:

https://americasavesweek.org/

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Four Financial Faux Pas to Avoid in Relationships

Talking about finances with your significant other isn’t always fun, and most people certainly wouldn’t categorize it as romantic, but it is a fundamental part of most relationships. That’s because money is a big deal! How big? Well, big enough that financial factors can be a main determinant in a person’s decisions to start or advance a relationship with someone. For example, according to a January 2018 WalletHub study conducted to learn how consumers are approaching Valentine’s Day, 36% of people say they wouldn’t date someone with bad credit, while 52% say that wouldn’t marry someone with bad credit. But bad credit is just one potential deal-breaker when it comes to relationships. Here are some others you’ll want to avoid.

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Lying

In a January 2018 CreditCards.com survey of 1,372 U.S. adults who are in relationships, 31 percent said keeping a credit card, checking or savings account hidden from a spouse or partner is worse than physical cheating. Sadly, one in five people in a live-in relationship admit to “financial infidelity,” which was defined in this study as keeping a private bank account or credit card without telling a partner. The survey found 31% of millennials, 24% of people ages 38 to 53, and 17% of baby boomers have at some point had an account they keep secret from a partner. The WalletHub study found that financial secrets are the worst type of problem in a relationship (36% of respondents) compared to irresponsible spending (28%), high debt level (15%), not saving for the future (11%), and ruining your credit score (7%).

Meanwhile, the American Psychological Association’s (APA) 2017 Annual Stress in America survey revealed money to be a significant source of stress for 63% of Americans, second only to the state of the U.S., American adults’ number one stressor. The bottom line? Money is stressful enough without adding lies into the equation.

Keeping Quiet

It’s common for one person in a relationship to want to make a purchase or financial decision the other disagrees with. One philosophy on this kind of “money talk” is that if you don’t discuss it, you can’t argue about it. There may be truth somewhere in that notion, but safe to say it’s probably not the healthiest or smartest approach. The truth of the matter is, in an era where it is common to receive financial statements and other information through snail mail, e-mail, text messages and mobile push notifications, any secret is bound to be discovered at some point.

In a recent article on the topic of financial infidelity, Sonya Britt-Lutter, associate professor of personal financial planning at Kansas State University, noted “the long-term consequences are going to be reduced relationship satisfaction and increased likelihood of divorce or breaking up.” She suggests couples with marriage in their future seek premarital financial counseling and share credit reports and bank account information with one another prior to the wedding, while partners with no plans to get married should consider discussing finances before moving in together.

Neglecting Your Credit

When you are single, you are the only person your credit affects. Once you enter into a situation where you are applying for any sort of joint financing with another person, the story changes. While one person’s credit will not directly damage or improve another’s, both credit scores are taken into consideration, which will impact the outcome.

Remember, though, your credit score is not permanent! Just like a relationship, improving it is an investment. Some of the steps you can take include:

  • Checking your credit report for mistakes. The Fair Credit Reporting Act requires each of the nationwide credit reporting companies — Equifax,Experian, and TransUnion — to provide you with a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months.
  • Making payments on time. Automatic bill payments are a great tool for this!
  • Lowering your debt-to-credit ratio (DTI). Eliminating or reducing debt will help to lower your DTI (the total amount of monthly debt payment divided into monthly income), putting you in a better position when it comes time to apply for a loan.
  • Paying down debt faster. Easier said than done, yes, but reasonable modifications, like making more than the minimum payment, when possible, can make a significant difference over time.

Spending Irresponsibly

Four out of ten people say irresponsible spending is a bigger turnoff than bad breath, according to WalletHub. The same number of people claim they would end things with their significant other if he or she spent money irresponsibly. For the other 60%, there are ways to try to amend this bad habit. The sooner you can address an issue like this, the better. A good starting point is to get to the root of the problem and try to figure out why it’s happening. It’s possible a person was not taught how to properly handle finances, or maybe the irresponsible spending is a byproduct of a different issue altogether. If you’re not able to address this internally, consider seeking counsel from a trusted financial advisor.

So, what’s the best way for couples to avoid money problems? According to 40% of WalletHub survey respondents, the answer is separate accounts! The good news is that there are a plethora of account options that cater to different needs and desires, from standard checking and savings accounts to money market accounts, CDs, IRAs and more. Find what works for you!

Do you have a lesson to share about managing money in a relationship? We’d love to hear it! Leave a comment here or share them with us on Facebook or Twitter.

To learn more about NVE’s products and services, visit our website. You can also speak with one of our Branch Associates by visiting your convenient neighborhood branch, or call us at 1-866-NVE BANK (683-2265).

 Sources:
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