America Saves Week Presents: Five Opportunities for Automatic Savings

Since 2007, each year America Saves and the American Savings Education Council join together to coordinate America Saves Week. The event began as an annual opportunity for organizations, such as banks, to promote good savings behavior and a chance for individuals to assess their own saving status. NVE Bank supports this program by sharing news, tips and other information with our customers and social media communities in Bergen County and surrounding northern New Jersey towns.

The following information comes from Janet Alvarez, a contributor to TheStreet.com and U.S. News & World Report, and Executive Editor of America Saves Week partner, Wise Bread.

Most of us understand that saving regularly is one of the simplest ways to reach our financial goals, but we don’t all take advantage of easy ways to automate our savings. As part of America Saves Week, we’ve devised a list of five automatic savings opportunities that are often overlooked. These go a step beyond mere automatic transfers from checking to savings. They’re easy, straight-forward ways to save money automatically that most of us don’t take advantage of yet, and they increase your chances of reaching your goals even faster.

  1.  Direct Deposit Your Tax Refund Into Savings
    According to the IRS, the average American’s tax refund now stands at over $3,100. Don’t let that windfall slip through your fingers. Deposit all or part of it into your savings account, instead, and watch your money grow. Plus, the IRS allows direct deposits into one or more accounts, such as a checking and savings account, which means you can choose to spend a portion and save the rest. (I’d recommend saving all you can.) Conveniently, you can also direct deposit all or part of your refund into your Individual Retirement Account (IRA), or use it to purchase up to $5,000 in U.S. Series I Savings Bonds. You can split your refund using tax preparation software, or Form 8888, if you use paper filing.
  1. Don’t Forget Bonuses or Commissions
    Do you get quarterly or yearly bonuses? Are commissions a part of your earnings? Then don’t forget to direct deposit all or part of these funds into your savings. Consult with your employer about direct depositing the funds into your savings account, or set up automatic transfers from your checking to savings accounts when you expect the funds.

Another alternative? Increase the contributions on your employer-sponsored retirement plan, such as a 401(k), during those times you receive extra earnings. It’ll help you max out your contributions faster and earn any applicable company match to boost your savings even further. Consult with your HR representative or your company’s online retirement plan portal to manage your contributions.

Save Your Spare Change
Some banks and credit unions offer programs which automatically round up to the next dollar on any purchases you make, and transfer the spare change from your checking to savings account. These programs are free, and provide a fool-proof way to jumpstart your savings and always pay yourself first. You probably won’t miss the spare change in your checking account, but your savings will sure be glad for the extra boost. Even small amounts saved over time add up.

  1. Credit Card Rewards Can Boost Savings, Too
    Many popular credit cards rewards programs offer several rewards options, ranging from airline miles or hotel points to cash back. Sadly, many credit card rewards perks often go unused, making them less than rewarding. But if you choose to receive rewards in the form of cash back, instead, many cards will deposit the rewards sum directly into an account of your choice. If you’re limited to receiving the funds into checking, you can always transfer the funds to savings. Either way, you’re boosting your savings painlessly. Don’t forget to pay off the balance on your card at the end of every month to avoid costly interest fees, otherwise you’ll spend more on interest than you’ll receive in rewards.
  1. Set Your Savings Rate Higher
    So, you think you’re a savings pro now that you’ve got regular transfers or direct deposits into your savings account? Well, you can go a step further still by periodically increasing your savings rate, whether to your employer-sponsored retirement plan or your savings account. Many 401(k) plans allow users to opt-in to periodic increases in their savings rates, such as a 1 percent increase in their contributions per year. If you prefer to contribute to a savings account or other savings vehicle, consider increasing your contributions regularly, such as every time you get a raise.

Having the foresight to automate your savings can help you beat temptation and stay ahead financially. And the techniques described above are easy ways to take your savings to the next level.

Thanks to Ms. Alvarez for her insight into the world of automatic savings! For more information on how to get started with direct deposit or to put 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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Love and Money: Why Communication is Key

When it comes to money, what’s love got to do with it? Well quite a bit, apparently. Take, for example, the Federal Reserve research reporting that couples with higher credit scores have a better chance at finding love. Or the recent Bankrate.com survey where almost two in five U.S. adults said knowing someone’s credit score would impact their interest in dating that person. We’re not in the business of giving advice on love or relationships, but knowledge is power, so here are a few pieces of information that may be useful when approaching money in the context of a romantic relationship.

Debt is a big deal…sometimes

SoFi, a student loan company, surveyed 2,000 millennials to gain insight into how they think about debt when it comes to their love lives. When asked about dating deal-breakers, 20.9% of those surveyed listed debt as the main issue — in fact, it was the second highest concern reported. The first was being a workaholic, which was a concern for 21.4% of respondents.

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Honesty is [still] the best policy

It probably comes no surprise that experts say lying about your finances is not recommended if you want to enjoy a healthy relationship. According to Ted Beck, president and CEO of the National Endowment for Financial Education, “Hiding or lying about small amounts of money can damage a relationship just as effectively as a high-dollar deceit. In fact, in all cases of this deception, people affected say it impacted their relationship in some way — almost always negatively. It causes arguments, erosion of trust, separation or even divorce.”

If that sounds like common sense to you, you might be surprised to learn that, according to a 2016 Harris poll, 42 percent of people admit to committing financial deception in their relationships. Other telling statistics are that more than a third hide purchases or bank accounts from partners, and another 16% of people in relationships who lie about other, more serious financial matters.

According to relationship expert April Masini, “When people cheat financially, they’re doing so because they want to spend on something that they don’t want their partner to know about because their partner won’t approve.” Masini says financial infidelity in relationships is not uncommon at all; in fact, some people find it more difficult to move on from this than other forms of dishonesty or betrayal. Understandably, finding out that your partner has been deceitful can be damaging to a relationship; the 46% of men and 43% of women who said money has been a reason they’ve broken for with someone also said a partner lying about money was a valid reason for splitting up.

Be clear

There’s really no good example of when clear communication with a significant other (S.O.) is a bad idea, but when it comes to money, it can be a “make or break” tactic, especially when shared finances are involved. When one person in a relationship is in the financial driver’s seat — whether that means they have or make more money, or are just better with it — it is possible for that person to develop expectations about what his or her partner is contributing to the relationship. This can happen subconsciously, even if the “driver” is perfectly happy in this role. Setting expectations for your S.O. other without sharing what they are may not yield the results you’re hoping for…and it also isn’t very fair, is it? Establishing together where you both stand financially, and agreeing to what each of you is able, willing, or expected to bring to the table can help prevent frustration, disappointment, and arguments from boiling up.

Talk about how you grew up

A recent Ameriprise study on couples and money reported “73% of individuals have money management styles that are different from their partner’s.” Like many aspects of any person’s habits or personality, this “style” may have been influenced by his or her upbringing. For example, the way your parents or guardians treated money and talked — or didn’t talk, or yelled — about finances may have affected the way you do. By sharing these money stories with each other, you may gain a better understanding of the “why” behind both of your money management styles and habits. This might allow you to empathize and work together instead of labeling either person as being right or wrong.

Give your S.O. some credit

Federal Reserve Board research from 2015 suggested people with the highest credit scores were most likely to form long-lasting committed relationships. On the flip slide, the research indicated that the bigger the discrepancy between a couple’s credit scores, the more likely the relationship was to end within the first five years. This is certainly something to keep in mind, and a credit score is important for many reasons. That said, it is only one piece of a person’s larger financial puzzle. A low credit score doesn’t necessarily equate to being irresponsible or bad with money. It could be a result of someone facing circumstances that were out of his or her control, such as medical bills or another emergency situation. This is just one of many reasons why discussing finances is important.

Once your finances are in order as a couple and you’re ready to make a major purchase together, such as a home here in northern New Jersey, it’s important to have experts help you along the way to bolster all the hard work you’ve done. NVE has you covered! Our award-winning Mortgage Specialist will walk you through a range of mortgage products to help you determine what best meets your lifestyle needs, and support you as you navigate the sometimes daunting but always exciting process of becoming a homeowner!

For information about NVE’s personal and business products and services, 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://www.sofi.com/blog/money-dating-debt-millennial-survey-results/

https://www.gobankingrates.com/personal-finance/talk-significant-other-money/

https://www.gobankingrates.com/personal-finance/money-ever-reason-ended-relationship/

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-02-07/40-of-millennials-prefer-to-tell-a-date-about-an-std-than-debt

http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/sc-credit-score-relationship-family-1220-20170120-story.html

https://www.ameriprise.com/retirement/insights/ameriprise-research-studies/couples-and-money-study/

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NVE Bank Earns BauerFinancial’s Highest Rating for 15th Consecutive Quarter

In its latest report, the nation’s largest bank rating firm, BauerFinancial Inc, announced that NVE Bank once again earned its coveted 5-Star Superior rating for the 15th consecutive quarter. Financial institutions covet this status, and while we know our customers understand that “five stars” is a good thing, here’s a breakdown of what it actually means.

bauerfinancial-fivestar-ratingWhat is a 5-Star Superior rating? 

According to Karen L. Dorway, President of BauerFinancial, “A 5-Star rating indicates that NVE Bank is one of the strongest banks in the nation, excelling in such areas as capital, loan quality, profitability and much more. Earning Bauer’s 5-Star designation proves that    NVE Bank is getting it right.” She went on to state, “Community banks aren’t pushing products or services on you that you don’t need or want. They are there to provide a service and fill a need, which NVE Bank has been able to do seamlessly all while maintaining its pristine health.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves!

Who is BauerFinancial, anyway?

BauerFinancial, Inc. is the nation’s leading independent bank and credit union rating and research firm. The organization has been analyzing and reporting on the condition and performance of U.S. banks and credit unions since 1983. Through its work in the subsequent years, the company has earned the reputation of “the nation’s bank rating service.”

How do they determine their ratings?

Each bank and credit union is required to file a detailed financial report with federal regulators on a quarterly basis. BauerFinancial obtains this data from the government, at which point it is subjected to a thorough analysis and compared with historical data for consistency. Upon completion of the analysis, a star-rating is assigned based on a scale of zero to five stars, with five stars being the strongest.

bauerfinancial-rating-system

Additional ratings below one star are also designated for institutions subject to various challenges and classifications, as well as those too new to rate.

Criteria used to determine the BauerFinancial Star-Ratings include but are not limited to capital ratio, profitability/loss trend, evaluating the level of delinquent loans, chargeoffs and repossessed assets, the market versus book value of the investment portfolio, regulatory supervisory agreements, the community reinvestment rating (CRA), historical data and liquidity.

Why should NVE Bank’s customers feel good about this?

BauerFinancial, Inc. is not a financial advisor; it is an independent bank research firm. As such, it is a source for unbiased, independent bank and credit union star-ratings. No institution can, or has ever paid for a rating, nor can any opt out of it. This amounts to one simple fact: if you are banking with NVE Bank, you are in good hands.

We are delighted to have received five stars, and there’s another number we’re just as excited about — a much bigger number: 130! Years, that is. In 2017, NVE Bank is celebrating 130 years of servicing the people of northern New Jersey! We have grown deep roots in and around the towns we’ve served since 1887, establishing ourselves as one of New Jersey’s strongest Mutual Banks with a singular focus on helping our customers, local businesses and communities thrive. Here’s to five stars and 130 more years!

BauerFinancial isn’t the only place we’ve earned five stars; see what customers are saying about doing business with NVE Bank in the lender reviews on Zillow! For more information about NVE’s personal or business products and services, visit our website. You can also stop by your convenient neighborhood branch, or call us at 1-866-NVE BANK (683-2265).

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Sources:

https://www.bauerfinancial.com

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Bergen County Spotlight On: Local Philanthropy

In its November 2016 issue, Bergen magazine called NVE “a community bank with a long history of making a difference in Bergen County.” That is our goal, not only for our customers, but for all residents, businesses and other organizations in and around the North Jersey communities we serve. Philanthropy is a core tenet that has been part of NVE Bank’s DNA for 130 years. But without the incredible efforts put forth by nonprofits and other groups that serve our neighbors in need, we simply could not do what we do.

Our staff members devote countless hours to community service, and NVE contributes a portion of our earnings to local nonprofit groups in an effort to ensure that our customers and communities remain healthy and strong. One of the organizations we support in this capacity — Rebuilding Together North Jersey (RTNJ) — provides a tremendous service to the communities it serves. We spoke to RTNJ Community Outreach Coordinator Lynn Buckingham about what she and her team do to support those in need in and around Bergen County.

NVE Bank: Please describe Rebuilding Together North Jersey’s mission.                          

Lynn Buckingham: Our mission statement reads: “Together we transform the lives of low-income homeowners by improving the safety and health of their homes and revitalizing our communities.”

NVE Bank: Who benefits from the work RTNJ does?                                                                

We serve low-income seniors, veterans, people with disabilities, and families with children. We also assist community and nonprofit organizations by working on buildings for those organizations that serve a population similar to our homeowners (whether that be a veterans group, a senior citizens center, a group home for children or adults, or a shelter for women). We also focus on community revitalization, so we may help build a community garden or playground, or do a street cleanup to help an entire neighborhood where we may be working on one or more homes.

Most of the recipients of our services are low-income homeowners; however, through our partnership with the American Red Cross Home Fire Campaign, we can install 10-year lithium battery smoke alarms in the homes of anyone who needs them (regardless of age, income, or home ownership). The alarms are provided by the Red Cross and our volunteers do the installation and the fire-safety education.

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NVE Bank volunteers working on a Rebuilding Together project in Teaneck.

NVE Bank: What would you most like people to know about the work RTNJ does?     

Even in Bergen County there are people who cannot afford to make the necessary repairs to their homes that will allow them to age in place or to live in a safe, healthy, accessible environment. Rebuilding Together North Jersey provides essential, critical repairs so homeowners can remain in the homes and communities they know and love. We’re not just repairing homes; we’re rebuilding lives and revitalizing neighborhoods.

NVE Bank: What is your biggest fundraising or community initiative that takes place each year?

Our biggest community initiative is National Rebuilding Day. It takes place the last Saturday in April annually, and it’s the day when we work on the majority of our projects for the year — anywhere from eight to 15 homes and/or community buildings. It’s also when most volunteers come out for a one-day blitz, in culmination of months of planning and lots of prep work by our volunteers, board members, and staff.

Since our three-year effort on Hurricane Sandy recovery (2013-2015), we have begun to do more year-round work, as well. Examples include our fire-safety program (smoke- and CO-detectors) and other community revitalization projects, such as our recent Crime Prevention Day in Paterson, when we installed exterior motion-sensor lights and reflective house numbers to make homes safer and more visible for residents.

Our biggest fundraisers are our annual Trivia Night in October and our Fix It Up Raffle in the spring, which give raffle-buyers an opportunity to receive some Rebuilding services of their own. The winner receives the services of skilled tradespeople to help spruce up their homes and yards. This came about as a natural extension of the work we do for those who cannot afford to do it on their own.

 NVE Bank: How has NVE Bank helped you to accomplish your mission over the year?

NVE has consistently supported our mission by providing a House Sponsorship (currently $7,500 annually) and encouraging employee volunteers to take part in National Rebuilding Day. NVE employees have not only been hands-on volunteers at a local project each year, but serve as home team leaders for their projects, which means they help plan and organize the project as a volunteer coordinator or logistics coordinator. This begins as early as February or March to help make the work in April a true success! Employees have also served on our Board of Directors.

Over the years, NVE employee volunteers have worked on homes and community buildings in Englewood and other communities where the bank has a presence, making it a true partnership with the communities we both serve.

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NVE volunteers and Rebuilding Together staff at a Rebuilding Day site in Hackensack. 

NVE Bank: How does the support of local businesses help you carry out your mission?

Without the support provided by our sponsors and local corporate donors (who make financial or in-kind donations) we would not be able to have helped the 520-plus homeowners we have served since 1998. Their volunteers come as a team, eager and happy to work together, and eager to help their neighbors in need. And while these volunteers can do a lot, they cannot do it without the funding that these local sponsors and donors provide. The volunteer labor is free, but the tools, supplies, permits, insurance, and so much more cost money. We could not do the work without our volunteers, and we cannot support our volunteers without our corporate supporters.

 NVE Bank: What are some of the ways people in Bergen/Passaic County and surrounding communities can help?                                                                                          

After 18 years in Bergen County, there are still people who haven’t heard of us! As we expand to include Passaic County, we are reaching people who haven’t been able to get our services before, so we need help getting the word to homeowners and community organizations or local businesses that can help us. Here are some of the ways you can help spread the word!

  • Refer people in need to RTNorthJersey.org.
  • Let us know if you know of a homeowner or a community building that needs help.
  • Ask for and share our applications.
  • Let us know of a senior group or veterans organization, or a local Rotary or Lions Club that would welcome someone from Rebuilding Together as a guest speaker.
  • Make a donation or let us know if you, a spouse, or a friend works for a company that might be interested in being a corporate sponsor.
  • Join us on social media, like our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter. Then “like,” “share,” or “retweet” our posts.
  • Visit our website and check out the Get Involved page to see volunteer and other opportunities.
  • Join a committee or attend a fundraiser.
  • Sign up for our e-newsletter to stay on top of what we’re doing! Simply text “RTBC” to 42828 to get started.

NVE Bank: Is there anything else you’d like to add?                                                                    

A big thank you!

.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .

NVE Bank hosts and participates in various community service, fundraising and awareness events throughout the year. Get all the latest news, information and pictures on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. 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.

 Sources: 

https://issuu.com/wainscotmedia/docs/bergen_november_16_digital_edition

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NVE Bank: 2016 Year in Review

With the frenzy brought about by the holiday season, it can be easy to overlook how much you’ve accomplished in the past year. As we all get ready to welcome the New Year, be sure to take a few moments to look back and remind yourself how far you’ve come — personally, professionally, or in whatever capacity is meaningful to you. We took our own advice, and we’re delighted to share with you some of the things we’ve done here at NVE Bank in 2016 that make us proud to be one of New Jersey’s oldest leading Community Mutual Banks.

SUPPORTING OUR NEIGHBORS

National Rebuilding Day
NVE Bank participated in National Rebuilding Day as part of April’s National Rebuilding Month by sponsoring a Rebuilding Together project in Teaneck, New Jersey. More than 20 bank employees volunteered to assist in renovations to a single-family home including painting, landscaping and general home repairs. In addition to volunteer services, NVE also presented Rebuilding Together North Jersey with a $7,500 donation to assist with their mission of rehabilitating and improving low-income homeowners’ homes at no cost.

St. Cecilia Van Donation
NVE Bank purchased a new van for the Office of Concern Food Pantry at St. Cecilia’s Church in Englewood. The Van replaces the Pantry’s 15-year-old vehicle and will be used to transport and collect food and goods for needy families in Englewood, New Jersey and the surrounding Bergen County community.

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FUNDRAISING WALKS

American Heart AssociationWalk
NVE Bank served as a sponsor of the 2016 Bergen Passaic Heart Walk held on October 2nd at the Express-Scripts Campus in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey. More than 35 employees participated in the walk, which serves as a signature fundraising event of the American Heart Association (AHA). NVE Bank also donated $5,000 to the AHA, supporting efforts to reduce death and disability from cardiovascular diseases and stroke.

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Walk for Awareness
As a sponsor of Englewood Hospital and Medical Center’s 18th Annual “Walk for Awareness” on Sunday, October 30th, NVE organized a team of more than 65 employees, friends and family to walk the 5K route and handed out water and granola bars to participants. As a group, we were also able to raise funds through team sponsorships, in-branch pink ribbon sales, and an employee “Jeans Day” initiative. NVE Bank successfully raised over $7,000 to assist the hospital in the fight against breast cancer.

EDUCATION PROGRAMS

9th Annual Scholarship Program
As part of a program that has been offered by the Bank for the past nine years, NVE Bank awarded ten area high school seniors with $1,000 scholarships; additionally, seven graduating 8th grade students from area middle schools each received a $500 Savings Product Scholarship. Since the inception of the program, NVE Bank has awarded more than $120,000 to deserving students in Bergen County.

newmilford3Teach Children To Save
Because we believe it’s never too early to reinforce the value of saving money, NVE Bank proudly participates in the American Bankers Association’s Teach Children to Save (TCTS) initiative every year. This year — the 20th for the program — Branch Managers from NVE’s 12 branches taught lessons in savings to more than 500 Bergen County elementary students throughout the month of April. The presentations included activities centered on the concepts of saving, earning interest, and determining needs versus wants. We couldn’t let the students walk away empty-handed, so we gifted them all green NVE piggy banks to help them get started with a savings program!

ENTERTAINMENT

Concert Sweepstakes
In partnership with Bergen Performing Arts Center (bergenPAC), NVE Bank offered customers, community members, and social media users the opportunity win four premium tickets to see Toni Braxton live in concert! The response was phenomenal, and we were so happy to be able to send winner Diana Curbelo and her guests to enjoy the show, along with some VIP perks offered by our friends at bergenPAC.

Hillsdale Summer Concert Series
The Hillsdale Summer Concert Series at Veteran’s Park is a fun, family-friendly annual event that NVE was thrilled to sponsor this year. In addition to wonderful music and all sorts of activities provided by vendors, such as a free yoga class, NVE gave away a $100 AmEx® Gift Card and other goodies to the enthusiastic crowd.

FOOD PANTRY ASSISTANCE
NVE maintains a very close relationship with our neighbors at St. Cecilia’s Office of Concern Food Pantry. Each year we host several food drives to collect food for local families in need on behalf of the organization.

Spring Cereal Drive
Our Spring Cereal Drive benefit’s the Pantry’s “Share Breakfast” program. With the support of our dedicated and generous customers and staff, we delivered more than 70 grocery bags filled with breakfast cereal, which were used by the Pantry to help provide more than 900 families in Englewood and surrounding Bergen County communities with healthy and nutritious breakfast food.

Thanksgiving Food Drive and Turkey Distribution
NVE Bank coordinated a Thanksgiving food drive during the month of November to benefit the families who rely upon the Office of Concern Food Pantry located at St. Cecilia’s church in Englewood. Through donations by staff and customers, NVE was able to donate more than 100 bags of food to the pantry, whose volunteer staff supply weekly groceries to over 900 families in Englewood and surrounding communities. Staff members also volunteered at the Pantry, distributing turkeys to needy families in the days prior to Thanksgiving.

2016-thanksgiving-fooddrive

Thanks to all who made this year an enjoyable and successful one. 2017 marks our 130th anniversary and we can’t wait to see what it holds!

Posted in Bergen County, Community bank, Community Outreach, New Jersey, NJ, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

How to Save Money on Holiday Meals

Whether you’re hosting a holiday meal in your home this season, attending a potluck, or ditching the kitchen and heading to one of the many first-rate restaurants in and around Bergen County with your loved ones, costs can add up! The last thing you want to do is spend more on a dinner than you did on your gift list. Here are some tips to help you stay frugal but festive.

Think inside the box

Alcohol usually ends up consuming a big chunk of the bill when hosting a party. If you’re planning to serve a considerable amount of wine, you can save a bit by opting for a case instead of individual bottles, but you may also want to consider boxed wine. Believe it or not, the category has made a comeback with premium-quality options that have earned praise from wine consumers and connoisseurs alike. Boxes come in different sizes, each containing the equivalent of a number of bottles of wine; this equates to reduced packaging and shipping costs, which leads to lower pricing on shelf.

Pep up your presentationthanksgiving-christmas-holiday-ramekins-crumble

Casserole-style dishes like macaroni & cheese, potatoes au gratin and dessert crumbles are a hit at pretty much any dinner table, any time. For a festive flair, try dividing these dishes into eye-catching individual portions by serving them in ramekins. If you don’t have a set, get creative with other small serving vessels, or for a minor investment, you can purchase them at almost any retailer that carries bakeware. For example, Chef Central in Paramus Town Square carries them for $2.49 each.

BYOB

Just as alcohol makes up a big portion of the cost of hosting a party, it is also often an expensive line item on your bill when dining out. One of the tried and true ways to keep prices down is to opt for a restaurant that allows you to bring your own alcohol. If you plan to go out for any holiday meals, we hope you stay local! One helpful Yelp user put together this list of BYOB restaurants in Bergen County.

Plan to make leftovers last

If you look forthanksgiving-christmas-holiday-leftovers-sandwichward to eating leftovers more than the first time you dig into to a meal, you’re not alone! For people who fall into this category, holiday leftovers are the ultimate jackpot. Stretch your budget by repurposing your original dishes into new meals as you head into the New Year. For example, dice up remaining ham to use in a tasty quiche; use leftover latkes as the base of an open-faced sandwich; and, if you have onions and potatoes, you can make a hash using pretty much any ingredient…roasted chicken, smoked fish, brisket—go nuts!

Double up

With all the commitments, planning, cooking and shopping that lead up to these big events during this busy time, it can often be tempting to just order takeout or make a pit stop at a local eatery. If this isn’t in your budget, do your future self a favor and the next time you make a meal, make twice as much and refrigerate or freeze the extra. You’ll thank yourself when you realize all you have to do is defrost and reheat.

Check your inventory

Before venturing out to fulfill your food and beverage shopping list, take a good look through your cabinets, pantry, refrigerator, freezer, wine and spice racks. There’s a good chance you’ll find unopened gravy, cranberry sauce, seasoning, chicken stock, a bottle of wine, or something else you can use. Be sure to check the expiration dates to ensure safe consumption!

While you’re at it, if you find something that’s still good but that you don’t want or need, channel the holiday spirit and help your fellow neighbors in need by dropping it off to a local food pantry, like our friends at the Office of Concern Food Pantry at St Cecilia’s Church in Englewood.

The holidays are about celebrating and spending time with loved ones, which you don’t need to break the bank to do. The last thing you want hovering over the season is financial stress. It’s never too soon to start thinking ahead to next year; set yourself up for smooth sailing by opening a Universal Club Account, which features a structured savings plan designed to help you save for special occasions like holiday shopping. As always, our Branch Associates are available to offer guidance to help you reach your financial goals, both short- and long-term.

Have a holiday saving or budgeting tip of your own? We’d love to hear it! Leave a comment here or share them with us on Facebook or Twitter.

To learn 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:

http://www.oprah.com/food/5-ways-to-save-money-on-holiday-meals

http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/money/advice/a19540/budget-friendly-holiday-cooking/

http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/pregnancy_articles.asp?id=994

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How Consumers Can (and Do) Use Mobile Banking

In an era of instant gratification, it makes perfect sense that consumers expect that level of immediacy to permeate throughout all facets of their daily lives; this includes banking. Customers are looking for instant transactions, and for that, mobile banking is the most convenient option. To meet this demand, almost every bank — including NVE — offers an array of mobile banking options.

According to a survey of 3,000 U.S. banking customers conducted by Harris Poll for Fiserv, the way consumers are using mobile banking is evolving; more complex tasks are being done with mobile banking today than in the past. Where previous surveys found most consumers used mobile banking to view balances, statements and ATM locations, today’s actions include:

  • Paying for products and services (47%)
  • Transferring money between accounts (45%)
  • Depositing checks (37%)

And it’s not just millennials. While 87 percent of those 18-35 do use mobile banking, according to the Federal Reserve’s 2016 Consumers and Mobile Financial Services report mobile phones are increasingly becoming tools for managing personal finances and controlling spending. Sixty-two percent of all mobile banking users with smartphones used them to check account balances or available credit before making a large purchase in the 12 months leading up to the survey.

So, how does mobile banking help customers? Convenience has always been a major factor. But consider this, too: of that 62% we just mentioned, 50% of them — that’s HALF — decided not to purchase an item as a result of their account balance or credit limit. How’s that for personal finance management and spending control? Additionally, the Federal Reserve suggests that the prompts served up via mobile phones can help consumers make “different, informed, and perhaps smarter, financial decisions.” The data supports this theory. According to the report, of the 52% of mobile banking users who receive alerts from their bank, one type most people in this group receive is a low-balance alert. A majority of those who received this notification reported taking one of the following actions in response:

  • Transferring money into the account with the low balance (43%)
  • Depositing additional money into the account (36%)
  • Reducing their spending (32%)

bank-alerts

Those who do not use mobile banking, or who do so with hesitation, cite several concerns. Among them is the belief that their banking needs are being met without the use of mobile banking, but more paramount are concerns with security when it comes to accessing financial information and protecting personal information. It is natural and prudent to have these concerns! It is crucial to take measures to protect your identity, including personal and financial information, and there are ways to do this. In honor of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, we compiled some of the latest information and suggestions for safe mobile and online banking.

While taking proper precautions is a vital part of protecting yourself online at all times, NVE Bank customers can rest assured that they are protected when banking with us online. Security is one of our top priorities when it comes to our customers’ financial and personal information. Our online security measures include the latest industry-accepted standards and practices. You can read more by reading our online security commitment.

To learn about NVE Bank’s mobile banking capabilities, as well as other services and products to help you achieve your financial goals, visit our website. You can also stop by your convenient neighborhood branch, or call us at 1-866-NVE BANK (683-2265).

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Sources:

http://www.federalreserve.gov/communitydev/mobile_finance.htm

http://www.federalreserve.gov/econresdata/mobile-devices/2016-use-of-mobile-phones-in-financial-decisionmaking.htm

http://www.federalreserve.gov/econresdata/consumers-and-mobile-financial-services-report-201603.pdf 

http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/284152/87-of-millennials-use-mobile-banking-security-st.html

 

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