By the time you have a family of your own, there will be accompanying expenses such as fees for various activities and lessons for your children, family vacations, saving for college educations or buying a new home. Throughout this time, you should regularly evaluate your progress towards achieving the financial goals you set earlier in your life and adjust your spending, budgeting and saving to make sure you stay on track. With all the demands a family places on your income, it is still important to build your long-term investments.
Planning and discipline that determines what and how you spend contributes to your future financial success. Here are some tips AVB Bank recommends for sound financial management during this demanding time of your life.
Shop for the best mortgage and consumer loans
Seeking the best mortgage or consumer loan by shopping, comparing and negotiating may save you thousands of dollars. A mortgage—whether for a home purchase, refinancing or a home equity loan—is a product, just like a car, so terms may be negotiable. You’ll want to compare all the costs involved in obtaining a mortgage including interest rates, points, fees and down payment and private mortgage insurance requirements. Home equity loans and lines of credit can be helpful when extra cash is needed to reduce significant credit card debt—but be cautious about re-building credit card debt once it is paid.
With competitive rates, experienced lending professionals and local decision-making, you’ll be sure
to find a loan at AVB Bank that meets your needs.
Understand your credit report
Your financial behavior over the past seven years, including how much credit you have, how long you've had it and whether you pay your bills on time is information included in your credit report. Three credit reporting agencies — Equifax, TransUnion and Experian — maintain these reports, and lenders buy them to help them decide whether to offer you a prequalification. Your credit report also carries your credit score ranked between 300 and 850 that many lenders use to decide whether you are creditworthy and will repay a loan. Your credit score can also influence the interest rate you pay. In many cases the higher your score, the lower your interest rate. Your credit score is available from the three credit reporting agencies:
Start Saving for College
By starting early, you can build a realistic fund through the power of compounding over many years. The earlier you start, the less you'll have to save per month.
To learn more about saving for your child's higher education, contact AVB's Financial Services Representative, Doug Vangilder at 918.259.2711.
US Government EE Savings Bonds - EE Bonds are reliable, low-risk government-backed savings products that you can use toward financing education and other special events. These may be purchased online at www.treasurydirect.gov.
There is also federal assistance through Federal Financial Aid for Higher Education (FAFSA) ? All college applicants and their parents or guardians should become familiar with the most recent FAFSA guidelines and deadlines which can be found at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Applications for federal student aid may also be available from your high school counselors, public library or college financial aid office.
Conserve time, money and paper with AVB Bank’s convenient checking accounts with online banking and bill pay
You’ll reduce the time it takes to pay your bills and save on the expense of printed paper checks and postage while helping the environment as well.
Save for Retirement
Many people underestimate the amount of money they’ll need in retirement. Be realistic about major expenditures, e.g., will your mortgage be paid off by retirement? If so, you may need less income than you do now. Do you plan to buy a vacation home or travel extensively? Will you have to pay for your own health insurance? These and other financial considerations all come into play.
Now is a good time to up your contributions to your retirement savings accounts.
Talk with AVB's Financial Services to learn about additional products we offer that can assist you in meeting your retirement goals.
TIPS FOR EFFECTIVE MANAGEMENT
- Make sure your mortgage payment, including taxes and insurance, represents no more than 28 percent of your gross monthly income.
- Review the cost of your health care insurance and make sure you are getting adequate coverage at the best price.
- Make wise purchasing decisions by determining what you “need” compared to what you “want.” This will help you make ongoing decisions to keep your finances in check.
- Guard against impulse shopping, especially for costly purchases such as vehicles, major appliances, furniture, jewelry and the like.
NEED SOME HELP?
To apply for a mortgage or consumer loan now, stop by an AVB branch near you or call 918.251.9611 and talk with one of our lending officers.