Tag Archive for: savings

Teaching Kids the Basics of Money

Have you ever asked yourself, “When should I start teaching my kids about finances?”


While there’s no right answer to this question, a good place to start is whenever they have developed fundamental math skills. This is typically between the second and fourth grade.


The goal when beginning to teach your child about money is to help them understand the value of money and the importance of saving. You’ll want to use simple terms and relatable examples that you know your child will be able to grasp. One of the best ways to do this is to use your personal experience. Explain how you work a job to make money, and the money you make from said job allows you to buy things like groceries, clothes, vacations, etc.


If you want to take it a step further, you could set them up with a regular allowance or pay them for doing certain chores around the house. This will give them an applicable experience in understanding the most basic way money is earned. There are multiple ways to introduce money fundamentals to your child(ren), so do some research to find one that works best for you.


Once they understand how money is earned, you can segue into the basics of saving money. A great way to do this is by using a visual example such as a piggy bank or clear jar. This allows children to literally see the money they save and how it accumulates over time. When they are comfortable with the concept of saving, share how their savings can be used for something else in the future. Explain the different ways they could use their savings – to buy something they want for themselves or purchase something for someone else for a special occasion such as a birthday. If you haven’t already, this would also be a good place to open a savings account for your child.


When applying this to real-life, give them the opportunity to use their savings to purchase something they want. This will allow them to determine if they have enough money saved or not helping them comprehend if they need to save some more money or if they already have the amount they need. Once they have the amount needed, let them hand the money to the cashier so they get excited and experience the value of “this for that.”


Helping your child save money can bring up feelings of frustration due to having to wait to purchase something they want. This is a great opportunity to validate those feelings and explain that you, their parent, or guardian, also sometimes have to wait to purchase things you want. Set a regular time together where you sit down and count their money with them, so they know just how much they have saved. And don’t forget to encourage them on their saving journey.


Setting a good foundation for understanding money can help your children be more responsible with it as they get older. Even the smallest money tips can impact the way your children will think about and use money in the future. Visit our Personal Money IQ and scroll down to the “Kids and Money” section for more tips.

Saving Money for Vacation


Vacations are a wonderful time to relax on a beach, enjoy a cruise, or stroll through a new city. But one of the best parts is not having to stress over how to pay for it.


The first step for any vacation is to identify your budget. By planning out your finances, you can enjoy the perfect vacation that won’t break the bank. To help you get started, here are five tips to consider when you begin planning your budget-friendly vacation….


  1. Open a savings account.

How much you save for your trip will help determine your budget. Having a separate savings account devoted to vacations, trips, or other getaways can make the planning process easier. Consider having a certain amount automatically deposited into a travel savings account each week. By putting funds into a dedicated travel account, you can create a healthy saving habit and build up your vacation spending money therefore lessening stress and allowing more time for rest and relaxation.


  1. Plan ahead and take advantage of cost-saving tips and tricks.

When planning your vacation, do research to find any discounts or deals on activities, accommodations, transportation, rentals, etc. Early scouting can save you money whereas last-minute decisions may cost you extra.


  1. Drive or fly?

Because you’ve successfully prepared, you’ve already done research on where you’re going and how long it will take to get there. Now is the time to answer the infamous question – do we drive or fly? Fortunately, there is no right or wrong answer. Consider how long it will take to drive, how many times you’ll have to fill up for gas, potential food costs and if you will be staying overnight. Then, research flight and rental car cost and decide which one is more economical for your situation.


  1. Choose an unconventional location.

If you plan on vacationing in popular hot spot locations like Panama City Beach, FL; Miami, FL; or Gulf Shores, AL, it may be more expensive than if you travel to less popular destinations. If you are set on going to a vacation hot spot, consider looking at the surrounding areas to help decrease costs.


  1. Set up card controls and keep track of your spending activity.

Two thing no one wants to worry about on vacation – money and fraudulent activity. By setting up card controls, you can easily keep track of all your purchases and identify if there is any suspicious activity. By actively tracking your vacation spending, you can stay in control of your budget as well as ensure your hard-earned money stays safe.


Ultimately, being in control of your budget (and sticking to it) can empower you to have the relaxing, worry-free vacation you deserve.


Get on top of your vacation savings today! Open your savings account now and start saving up for your dream vacation.



Do you wait until the last minute to start buying gifts?

Do you get carried away with spending during the holidays because you love seeing the joy on your loved ones faces when they open your gift?

Does your list of gifts for friends, family, and coworkers cause you to become overly stressed?

Do you tell yourself that you’ll just pay off the credit card in January (or later) so you can splurge on the perfect gift, extensive travel, or delicious 5-course meal?


If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are probably a holiday over spender.


The holiday season is a time filled with joy, happiness, and love while we create wonderful memories with those we’re closest with. However, for many, it can also be a time of financial strain if there is not a proper plan set in place. By choosing to save early, you can feel confident in your finances and enjoy all the holiday festivities without the burden of financial stress.


Here are five reasons to start saving now for the holiday season.

Avoid Last-Minute Debt

In 2023, Forbes did a study on holiday spending trends in America and found that approximately 58% of Americans used credit cards to pay for Thanksgiving expenses. In addition, the study shows 52% of Americans relied on credit cards to pay for their holiday gifts, and 33% utilized Buy Now, Pay Later services.

By choosing to start saving early, you can pay for your holiday gifts and avoid accumulating last-minute debt.


Establish a Budget

Look back at your statements to see how much you spent over the holidays last year. This is a good starting point to help you gain a better understanding of what holiday spending may look like for you. From there, you can start to establish a realistic budget that will help you to say out of debt during the holidays.


Prioritize your Holiday Expenses

Like any budget, you may have to cut non-essential expenses to reach your savings goal. Identify places in your lifestyle where you could temporarily cut back on spending to save more for holiday necessities.

In addition to identifying non-essential spending, this may also apply to gift giving. Make a list of the important people in your life that you are sure to be purchasing a gift for. Before adding people to that list, ask yourself if it is necessary to get them something. This can keep you from feeling the need to buy gifts for everyone in your life.


Create a Dedicated Savings Account

Our Holiday Club account is the perfect solution to helping you get a jump start on holiday savings. Opening a separate savings account for your holiday fund, will help you avoid using your savings for other purposes. To ensure your holiday savings account grows consistently, you can set up an automatic deposit for a portion of your paycheck to be distributed into the account.


Get Creative

There’s something special about a DIY (do-it-yourself) gift that everyone loves. For this upcoming holiday season, consider creating DIY, handmade, or personalized gifts that offer a unique touch and allows you to save a little bit of money. If you’re not a crafty person, try focusing on more personalized gifts such as experiences. These can be lower-cost and can be just as valuable as a physical gift due to getting to spend more time with loved ones.


This year don’t get swept up in the excitement of the holiday season that you forget to plan for your financial spending. Beginning to save now for the holidays is a smart financial strategy that can provide you a holiday season with less stress and more freedom.


Interested in getting your Holiday Club account set up? Contact one of our local bankers today and start planning for a worry-free, financially responsible holiday season!

5 Money Savings Tips for the Holidays

‘Tis the season to be jolly… and financially responsible! While the holiday season is a time of merriment and joy, the extra expenses – shopping, travel, events, gifts, etc. – can also bring financial strain and added stress to those who aren’t prepared.

If you are looking to save money this holiday season, you’ve come to the right place! We’ve compiled five money-saving tips to help ease your financial stress this holiday season.

  1. Set a holiday budget. Review your normal expenses to find a spending limit you can afford. Look for areas you can temporarily (or permanently) afford to cut costs and use those savings toward your holiday fund.
  2. Make a list and check it twice. Gathering wish lists from friends and family can help you avoid buying expensive last-minute panic items. If you’re struggling to stay within your budget, you may need to trim people from the list or find a more affordable gift.
  3. Take advantage of seasonal sales. While Black Friday and Cyber Monday are thrilling to experience, they don’t always guarantee the best holiday deals. Taking time to look for the right offer can lead to big savings for you.
  4. Be mindful of using cards. Your debit and credit cards may offer built-in consumer protections, which can make them more secure than carrying cash, however, be careful not to get carried away. Overspending on your debit card can lead to unwanted overdraft fees, and overcharging on a credit card can lead to more monthly payments with additional interest charges.
  5. Don’t forget to make memories. There are many ways to enjoy the holiday season other than giving gifts. Make memories with your loved ones this holiday season by enjoying free activities such as looking at holiday lights, volunteering at a local homeless shelter or children’s charity, attending your local tree lighting, etc.

The holidays are a time for celebration, not financial worry. By practicing these money-savings tips, you can minimize stress and start focusing on the more important moments.

Have you already wrapped up this year’s holiday spending? Whether you have or not, it’s never too early (or late) to start saving for next year! Be prepared for future holiday expenses with our Holiday Club account. Learn more about our Holiday Club account by contacting your banking center today.