Family vacations, summer camps, higher food bills, updating wardrobes and high electric bills can do some damage on your account but it doesn’t have to!
The beautiful weather puts all of us Minnesotans in a great mood and it’s when we want all of those fun outdoor toys. We wanted to create a blog post dedicated to suggesting money saving tips for the summer season. Because we are community focused business, and we want the best for everyone that banks with us and to be able to keep more but still get just as much. It’s hard for families to keep everyone happy but still stay within budget.
- Cook outside. Using the stove or baking in the oven can create a lot of excess heat that has nowhere to go except in your house.
- Dry your laundry outside if able.
- Replace air conditioner filters or better yet, turn it off, especially if you aren’t home.
- Avoid using your car when possible, you’ll save gas and burn some calories in the process.
- Take the kids out to a national park and enjoy the nature with a picnic, way cheaper than seeing a movie!
- If on vacation, always check if kids eat and stay for free, as many brand name hotels are in on the great deal.
- Check out what’s going on for free in your city, there is sure to be free concerts, parades or festivals.
- If visiting theme parks is on your horizon, search the Internet for online coupons or deals before committing, there is bound to be promotions online. Also, look for bundle packages if available!
Something that is really important is to plan your spending ahead of time! Decide what is a priority as far as what you and your family wants to do in the summer. Feel free to contact us if you need some help budgeting.
How we are an active part of our communities: http://www.mn-bank.com/community
Come one, come all!
At MN National Bank, customer service is huge. We like to show our customers we care which is why we are having a “Customer Appreciation Open House” at all three locations! It’s a great opportunity to meet our staff and hang out with others in your community. The events are also in support of our farmers and businesses! All of the events will have a secure document shredding company coming. It’s a way to show how much we appreciate all of our customers and make sure that their identities are safe too!
The following events include:
- Sauk Centre Open House- Friday June 14, 11 am-2 pm, with turkey/pork sandwiches, ice cream and all you can drink milk
- Long Prairie Open House- Friday June 21, 11 am- 2pm, with turkey/pork sandwiches, ice cream and all you can drink milk
- Pelican Rapids- Friday June 21, 11 am- 2pm, with ice cream shakes
It’s the least we can do for our customers and we are excited to host an event in which customers are the main focus. We strive to have a friendly atmosphere at our businesses and also have a goal to make sure we have a positive relationship with our community.
Graduation season is here and so is the opportunity to open student checking accounts. While it may be the last thing on new graduates’ minds, it is still a crucial step after high school. Handling finances may seem stressful, and even intimidating. At MN National Bank we strive to make it a positive experience for everyone involved. It’s important to build a durable and trustful relationship with the bank you do business with.
Creating a student checking account will be beneficial short term and long term. We understand that dealing with finances can be confusing. Even if you’re planning on moving away, banking with people you know and can count on will definitely make your life easier.
Until August 31, 2013 when you open a student checking account, we will deposit $5.00 into your account every month until the end of 2013. The only requirement is you have to apply for a debit card, sign up for e-statements and keep the account in good standing. With our debit cards you can access In-Balance ATMS and Money Pass ATMS surcharge free. We will also give you free checks on your first order!
At MN National Bank, we focus on the quality of service we provide and making the world of banking much less of headache for you. Stop in to Minnesota National Bank today.
We all know how unpredictable Minnesota weather is, we think it’s safe to say that spring is finally here! For most people, this marks that it is time for that daunting but much needed task: spring cleaning. Though it can be very tiresome, spring cleaning gives you an opportunity to throw open the windows, let some fresh air in, and make your home clean, happy and spacious inside and out again. What most people don’t realize, though, is that spring can also be a great time to tidy up your finances. Spring cleaning your finances is a bit like going to the dentist – we don’t particularly like to do it and should probably do it more often. However, the more regularly you do it, the less chance there is of a painful surprise.
One way to do this is to get rid of clutter. Just as you do around the house, spring is a good time to go through your finances and toss out things that no longer fit your life, such as a cable or magazine subscription. Another way to reduce the clutter is to sweep away those winter bills. If those holiday bills are still haunting you, this is a good time to get rid of them. Some great ways to make some extra money is to plan a garage sale, sell stuff online or even volunteer for overtime at work.
Another great way to spring clean those finances is to begin organizing for next year’s taxes. Create a folder, paper or on your computer, to hold all valuable information including all of the charitable deductions you make throughout the year. The same can be done with your spending. By keeping track of every penny, it will give you some perspective on how much money you can or can’t spend at any given time.
Spring time, especially in Minnesota, is a time of renewal and rejuvenation. It is a time to clear out the old and prepare for the year ahead. By spring cleaning your finances, you can weed out finances holding you down, organize your present situation and set yourself up for an easier, more relaxing future. Enjoy your spring everyone!
As the presidential election has come and gone, there was constant buzz about the topic of the Fiscal Cliff, the U.S. government’s plan to make changes to our nation’s budget in an attempt to keep this country out of a recession. Now there is a new topic being discussed: The Debt Ceiling. So what exactly is the debt ceiling? Let’s start with the basics.
To understand the debt ceiling (also known as the debt limit), one must know that the United States splits financial responsibility between the President and Congress. The President has two jobs when it comes to finances: 1) to collect taxes and 2) spend those taxes to run the government. Though it may seem like the President has complete power, in actuality, the President takes orders from Congress. Congress’ job is to set the tax level and determine how much the government will spend by making a budget. As a result, whatever Congress decides to spend money on is what our taxes are used for.
The Problem: Congress puts more money into the budget than what is collected through taxes, which forces the President to borrow money in order to cover the difference. Because our nation has been in debt for such a long period of time, Congress also has the power to limit how much total debt the United States can have. It’s important to note that the debt ceiling is not a limit on future spending, but about paying bills that have already been incurred. For example, the Government asks a company to repave a highway. However, if the debt ceiling is reached after the work is already done, they do not have the money to pay that company. This shakes trust in the United States, which in turn affects the entire world because large parts of the global economy rely on the American Dollar being stable.
Though it is unclear what the best solution to this financial mess is it seems that Congress will, once again, raise the debt ceiling to avoid panic, something they’ve done dozens of time in the past.
1. Nerf Gun Target. Put on a home movie video. When your wierd cousin appears...he is your target!
2. Virtual Aquarium. Download a fish aquarium video. They are easy to find. Boom. Instant Virtual Aquarium.
3. Entertain your cat. Cats love aquariums. See above.
4. Karaoke Machine. Download USing Karaoke. Download up to 300,000 songs. Go nuts, scare your neighbors.
5. Mood Lighting. The iPad has plenty of apps that will set the mood just right for you, with shifting colors or solid tones. Woo your girlfriend/boyfriend as only an Apple Fanboy/Fangirl can.
6. Fireplace. Yes, of course. There is an iPad app that simulates a fireplace. Now you don't have to wait for the holidays to watch a fireplace on television!
7. We heard one guy even used it to surf the web!
So, there you go. Enter our contest and enter to win an iPad. Your cat will thank you.
I recently read an article in Time magazine that talked about how this could be the “opportunity of a lifetime” to buy a house. As many of you are aware, the recent recession had a great impact on real estate, which on average lost a third of its value. However it appears that home values are going back up.
If you are interested in buying a home and expect to stay in it for at least a decade, there are several reason why the current housing market offers an exceptional opportunity. Consider these five factors:
1. Buying a home right now is cheaper than renting. Home prices and rental rates have risen, but rents are up more. Mortgage loan rates are at their lowest levels in more than 50 years. And given current prices and tax benefits, owning a home is cheaper than renting in almost every major U.S. housing market.
2. The mortgage interest deduction is unlikely to be eliminated. Tax reform proponents often call for curtailing the income tax deduction for mortgage interest, however the broad popularity of the deduction among homeowners greatly limits the extent to which the deduction can be modified. At most, the cap on the amount that can be deducted may be lowered, but probably not enough to affect middle-class homebuyers.
3. Home prices are very cheap but appear to be past a bottom. On a national basis, home prices are down more than 30% from their 2007 peak. Since the recession ended prices have recovered only a bit – but they aren’t getting any worse.
4. Eventual economic recovery will almost certainly boost housing prices. Following the recessions of 1973-75 and 1981-82, home prices rose by about 20% in real terms (i.e., not counting price increases from inflation) within seven years or less. The drop in home prices in the most recent recession was at least four times as large as the declines in those two previous recessions. As a result, the recovery is taking longer to get going, but the eventual rebound could be proportionately greater. Price increases resulting from inflation would be on top of those real gains.
5. A substantial amount of inflation seems likely at some point. Since 2008, Fed policies aimed at revving up the economy have more than tripled the basic money supply (including currency but excluding checking and savings accounts). In a simplistic sense, that means the potential exists for the dollar to lose up to two-thirds of its value. To prevent that, the Fed would have to drain much of money that it has added over the past three years. And that would be difficult to do quickly, because it would risk jacking up interest rates to a level high enough to cause another recession.
In short, since owning a home is typically cheaper than renting after tax benefits are considered, homebuyers would come out ahead as prices begin to rise as expected.
If you are interested in taking advantage of the market and buying a home, contact Minnesota National Bank. Our mortgage experts will help you determine how much you qualify for and what type of mortgage may fit you best. Or sign up for our rate watch so you can monitor changes in mortgage rates.
We watch. Then we share.
We are in the business of helping our customers successfully manage their finances. One of the tools we provide our customers is Rate Watch.
We keep an eye on interest rates so that you don’t have to. When you sign up for this FREE service we will email you when interest rates reach your goal or if you prefer, we’ll email current rate information on a regular basis.
We will monitor Interest rates on the following financial products:
- Certificates of Deposit
- Mortgage Loans
- Consumer Loans
- Agriculture Loans
- Business Loans
We are a community bank. We want to get to know our customers and provide valuable advice in order to help you make the best financial decisions.
By Karen Mills, SBA Administrator
In between the Black Friday sales and the Cyber Monday deals is Small Business Saturday (November 24th) – a day set aside to support the small businesses that play a vital role in creating jobs and economic opportunities all across the country. Last year, Small Business Saturday gave a boost to many of these Main Street businesses, with more than 100 million Americans shopping at independently-owned small businesses. And this year we can do even better!
So what can you do to participate?
- If you are a business owner, register your business at www.shopsmall.com so your customers know where to find you and you can receive free Small Business Saturday promotional materials. You can also make sure you’re prepared for the holiday season by checking out SBA’s advice at www.sba.gov/saturday.
- If you are a customer, learn which businesses in your community are participating in Small Business Saturday at www.shopsmall.com. The website provides information on businesses currently registered and how you can rally your community to support the initiative.
Small businesses are the back bone of our communities. And when we shop small, we not only get great products and services, but we support our neighbors and strengthen our local economies. Over the last two decades, small and new businesses have been responsible for creating two out of every three net new jobs in the U.S., and today over half of all working Americans own or work for a small business.
By shopping small, we can help America’s small businesses do what they do best: grow their businesses, create good jobs, and ensure that our communities are vibrant.
I encourage you to join small business owners and the more than one hundred million people who were part of Small Business Saturday last year.
Shop small this holiday season. I know I will.
Date: 10/9/2011 Author Information: Karen Mills, SBA Administrator
Small businesses in our local communities are the life-blood to our local economies. Minnesota National Bank, along with ICBA, is encouraging our customers to shop, dine and bank locally, especially during this holiday season. Click here to learn more.... http://banklocal.wordpress.com/2012/11/02/go-local-this-holiday-season/