Wednesday, August 16, 2017

15 Financial Tips for Preparing to Have a Baby: Part 1

You have just received some of the biggest news of your life, you are having a baby! Congratulations. Your family is growing and you couldn't be happier. Preparing for parenthood can be very exciting, but it's more than just cute baby shoes and clothes. First Bank of the Lake is here to give you some need-to-know financial steps when preparing for a baby. In this blog series, your bank at the Lake of the Ozarks is going to break down the financial preparation process to pre-delivery, while in the hospital, within the baby's first 30 days, and beyond the first month. 

Pre- Delivery Financial Planning

1. Understand what your health insurance covers and know what your costs will be.

Having a baby can be quite expensive, even for people who have health insurance. Know what your pregnancy is going to cost early on. 

2. Financially plan for maternity & paternity leave.

Every company is different and it's important to know what your company's policy is on maternity and paternity leave early on. Your household income can be greatly affected by how much time you get off and whether or not you are paid during this period.

3. Draft the pre-baby budget.

Now that you know what your out of pocket costs will be, start making a list of all of the supplies you will need to buy for your new bundle of joy. Shop smart too. Consider buying used items vs. new to keep your spending under control. Babies come with many expenses, so just keep this in mind.

4. Plan the post delivery budget.

It's best to just accept that your household expenses are going to change now for many years to come. Plan for the recurring costs, such as diapers, the extra food now that you will have a baby, and child care, now. This could make your life much easier in the long run.

5. Pick a pediatrician within your insurance network.

Your baby's first doctor appointment should occur within the first week of his or her life. Talk to your friends and family for recommendations on a pediatrician now. Just be sure when searching for the right doctor for your baby, that you check to see he or she is within your insurance network. Call your insurance company to verify so you're not hit with unexpected out-of-network charges to verify.

6. If you haven't already, start an emergency fund.

If you don't already have an emergency fund set up, now is the time! We recommend you try to have at least 3 to 6 months of living expenses covered. Kids are accident prone and you never know what can happen, so it's best to try and prepare for the unexpected now.

Your bank at the Lake of the Ozarks wishes you the best of luck with your new bundle of joy. Stay tuned next week, First Bank of the Lake will be presenting part 2 of the blog series 15 Financial Tips for Preparing to Have a Baby. We will be starting with expenses to prepare for while in the hospital.

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First Bank of the Lake - Striving For Excellence
Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.

Located at the entrance to the Osage Beach Premium Outlets!

4558 Osage Beach Parkway

Suite 100
Osage Beach, MO 65065

(573) 348-2265

Friday, August 11, 2017

Are Store Credit Cards Really Worth It?

Today, many stores offer store credit cards. At times, a special offer can come with signing up for one. The temptation is definitely out there, but as a bank at the Lake of the Ozarks, we feel you should know the pros and cons of getting a store credit card before you make the decision to do so.

Store Credit Card Pros

  • Store credit cards can be easier to qualify for.

The application requirements are less strict with store credit cards versus a regular credit card. You have a better chance of getting approved.

  • Helps build credit.

If you are still trying to build up your credit, store credit cards can be a great way of doing that. Experts recommend purchasing something at least once or twice a month. It's best to keep the total below 10 percent of your credit limit.  Then, you pay it off on time and in full every month to build up your credit and boost your credit score. 

  • Discounts and incentives can be provided.
Typically, stores will entice you to open a credit card by offering a discount or some other store perk. We recommend you wait until you are making a larger store purchase, this way you get the bigger discount!

Store Credit Card Cons

  • There can be high-interest rates involved.
Pay attention to the interest rates on store credit cards. Spend responsibly, while these cards can be easy to get, the interest rates can be high. 

  • Store credit cards can impact your credit score.
Please note that every time you apply for a credit card, your credit score takes a small hit. It's not a huge issue since most people will build their credit back up while using the card. Knowing this,  we would just recommend not an opening several store credit cards over a short period of time. Also, if you are planning on applying for a mortgage, you may want to hold off on opening any new lines of credit.

  • The temptation is rough.

The most difficult part of having store credit card is the temptation you have of now buying more things because you now have this discount associated with the card. 

Do You Have Questions About Your Credit?

If so, please don't hesitate to stop into First Bank of the Lake. Our friendly banking staff at the Lake of the Ozarks is happy to answer any questions you may have. Opening a new credit card for the first time can be a big deal and we are here for any financial advice you may need. With our overall banking experience, we are honored to help guide you in the right direction.

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First Bank of the Lake - Striving For Excellence
Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.

Located at the entrance to the Osage Beach Premium Outlets!

4558 Osage Beach Parkway

Suite 100
Osage Beach, MO 65065

(573) 348-2265

Thursday, August 3, 2017

5 Financial Tips for Newlyweds

You've just got married and taken this tremendous step. It can be so exciting and also a little hectic at times. Getting married is a life changing move, especially financially. Knowing that your bank at the Lake of the Ozarks has taken the liberty of mapping out 5 pieces of financial advice for newlyweds. 

1. Work on your debt together.

You are married now, which makes you and your spouse a team. When you get married, your spouse's debt, in a way, becomes your debt too. For example, if your spouse owes a ton of credit card debt, this could potentially make it hard for you to purchase a home together. Knowing this, create a plan together to work on paying this debt off.
2. Know what your financial priorities are.

In order to achieve the same goals, financially, you both need to be aware of what your priorities are. Are you:

  • buying a home?
  • starting a family?
  • declaring yourselves debt free?
To start, list your top goals together.

3. Figure out your financial roles in the marriage.

Who is more responsible when it comes to handling money? In some marriages, having one person handle the finances, as far as paying the bills, managing debt, taxes etc., can work best. If you do this, just be sure that both of you have a clear knowledge of the numbers. Go over them monthly or quarterly.

4. Do what works for you, as a couple.

Different things work for different couples. If you think each of you still having personal accounts but a shared account to use for joint expenses, do that. For example, if one person makes a significantly higher salary than the other, the person who makes less may want their own account so they don't feel as if they are taking advantage of the other's earnings. Everyone has their own preference and it's all about what you are comfortable with as a couple.
5. Don't be a killjoy.

A main cause for fights in a marriage can be over large expenditures. One person can get upset over the other for spending too much money on a frivolous desire. To help ease this tension, plan out what you are both allowed to spend on hobbies, clothes, trips, etc. This will help you budget better and hopefully prevent from a large unnecessary expenditure and an ever bigger fight.

Opening a Joint Account?

First Bank of the Lake would like to congratulate all newlyweds on their wedding and we wish you the best of luck in your financial actions. We hope this blog has been helpful. Just remember to work as a team, don't over react, listen to each other. If you do choose to open a joint account with your spouse, visit your trusted bank at the Lake of the Ozarks today. 

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First Bank of the Lake - Striving For Excellence
Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.

Located at the entrance to the Osage Beach Premium Outlets!

4558 Osage Beach Parkway

Suite 100
Osage Beach, MO 65065

(573) 348-2265

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

5 Brilliant Ways To Make Money From Home

If there's one thing we can all agree on, it's that we all want to make more money while spending less time working. Spending 30, 40, or sometimes 50 hours at work per week is crucial for many of us if we want to support ourselves, but spending all this time at work means we don't have nearly enough time leftover to spend time with our family and friends.

This week, the team at First Bank of the Lake is here to help you break out of this endless cycle. We've compiled a quick list of some simple, but brilliant ways to help you make money at home and/or save money on your weekly purchases.

5 Brilliant Ways To Make Money At Home

1. Take Online Surveys
Get paid for having an opinion! Certain online survey sites will actually pay people to take their surveys. Generally, these survey sites will either cut you a check or pay you in the form of prepaid Visa or retailer gift cards. Here are a couple sites to get you started:

2. Download Certain Apps
Some companies will pay you to download and keep their apps on your mobile devices. These apps are used to gather data about smart phone usage, such as what times of day people browse and how much time they spend on certain apps or mobile sites. Here are two to start with:
3. Clean Up Search Engine Results
Think about it: when you search in Google, Yahoo, or Bing, how do these search engines know that they're pulling in relevant results? They need real people to test their searches and judge their results for usefulness, relevancy, and quality. You can make money by doing this from your home computer! The Penny Hoarder has a great article with more information on this type of work.

4. Get Rebates From Your Grocery Store Receipts
If you could send in pictures of your grocery store receipts for cash rebates, would you? Of course you would! Certain companies, such as Checkout51 and SavingStar, let you pick and choose from incredible deals that rotate on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Other companies, such as ibotta, ask you to scan product barcodes and a take pictures of your receipts from your smartphone in order to receive cash rebates.

5. Become A Transcriptionist
If you don't mind repetitive work, becoming a transcriptionist could be a great career move. There are a few different companies that will hire you to listen to audio tracks and transcribe them. Listening to the same audio track repeatedly can be a little monotonous, but the job does offer several perks. For example, you can typically work as much or as little as you want, set your own hours, and potentially make up to $25/hour. Here are a few sites we recommend starting with:
Protect Your Hard-Earned Cash

Earning your money is only half the battle; after you have the cash in your hand, you have to find a safe place to keep your funds. If you are looking for a trusted bank at the Lake of the Ozarks, check out our website to learn more about how First Bank of the Lake can provide you with all of your banking services. From free checking accounts to interest-bearing savings accounts at the Lake of the Ozarks, we would love to be able to help with all of your financial needs.

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First Bank of the Lake - Striving For Excellence
Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.

Located at the entrance to the Osage Beach Premium Outlets!

4558 Osage Beach Parkway

Suite 100
Osage Beach, MO 65065

(573) 348-2265

Thursday, July 20, 2017

First Business? Financial Do's & Don'ts

Owning a business can be challenging financially, but it doesn't have to be. Your bank at the Lake of the Ozarks has the experience and know how to guide you in the right direction financially. First Bank of the Lake is happy to give you the financial DO's and DON'Ts when running your first business, along with business checking options.

Financial Do's

Save on costs when possible, have a budget!

Budget your money and don't be extravagant when buying supplies. Only buy what you need, not what you want. Stick to your budget and do your best not to go over.

Create automatic loan payments.

With this being your first business, you most likely had to take out a start up loan. Be sure to set your payments up to automatically draft from your account. This will help you to not miss a payment due to forgetting.

Have a separate account for your business.

Separate your personal finances from your business finances. Have a business checking account, specifically for your business spending. This will help to keep your finances organized.

Financial Don'ts

Don't lose track of your finances.

Don't get overwhelmed by your new business related bills. Keep track of your bills & develop a payment plan that will keep you on track.

Don't hide from debt.

Don't let your debt add up, stick to your payments. You don't want to be drowning in debt on your first business.

Don't spend just because you can.

When your business does well, it can be tempting to spend more on things you don't necessarily need. Don't be tempted! Be smart and stick to your budget.

Business Banking at the Lake of the Ozarks

When owning your first business, it can be tough to find a bank you can trust with your business finances. Look no further! We have sole proprietor, LLC or corporate accounts in BOTH checking and savings.

Business Checking

Our business checking account requires $500 to open. This includes:
  •  monthly statements 
  • free direct deposit
  • debit card

First Free Business Checking

Our first free business checking requires a minimum $100 as a beginning balance. With this great product you have:
  • NO minimum balance
  • 150 FREE transactions per month, electronic statements only
Please note with this account, over 150 transactions per month will result in a charge of $.50 per transaction.

No matter what your new business venture may be, your local bank at the Lake of the Ozarks is here for you. We offer business checking accounts that will make your life easier. Don't stress! Give us a call today at 573-348-2265 to hear more about our business banking options!

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First Bank of the Lake - Striving For Excellence
Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.

Located at the entrance to the Osage Beach Premium Outlets!

4558 Osage Beach Parkway

Suite 100
Osage Beach, MO 65065

-(573) 348-2265

Friday, July 14, 2017

5 Tips to Financially Plan for the Terminally Ill

No one enjoys thinking about it, but when a loved one has passed away, it's best to have a plan of action that already exists. In this blog, your bank at the Lake of the Ozarks will discuss steps to take in order have financial peace once a loved one has been diagnosed with a terminal illness.

1. Be sure to create or update a will.

Creating a will is one of the most important things you can do if terminally ill. A will ensures your things will go where you intend them to. If you have an existing will, make sure it's up to date. Many major life changes could have occurred since you last looked at your will, so it's important to make sure everything is accurate.

2. Make sure passwords are passed along.

It can be a nightmare if your loved ones don't have access to your accounts. The best way to avoid this is to make a list of passwords and give it to a trusted loved one. This will help ensure that all bills get paid in a timely manner upon hearing of your diagnosis.

3. Get medical directions in order.

Nothing is worse than not being able to have a say in your own medical matters. It's best to do the following, just in case:

  • Add instructions in your living will that indicate what kind of medical care you want in case you become incapable of communicating. This could include a "do not resuscitate" if you so choose.
  • Prepare a medical power of attorney. This will ensure someone you trust will make medical decisions for you if you are unable to do so.

4. Set up a revocable trust.

Setting up a revocable trust is a good idea if you have important assets. All your assets will be put into a trust in your name and you will receive income distributions from it until your death. At that point it will be passed down to the beneficiaries you name. In the meantime, you can name a co-trustee to help manage your affairs in case you become incapacitated.

5. Leave instructions.

Don't forget to leave instructions for your loved ones. It can be hard to make decisions at such a difficult time. A list of instructions concerning your funeral arrangements, financial decisions, etc. will be more beneficial that you realize.Your loved ones will appreciate the burden taken off their shoulders and they grieve. 

If you are ever in need of financial guidance or just have banking questions, visit our friendly banking staff at the Lake of the Ozarks. We are here to help you with any concerns or questions you may have in regard to financial planning or banking.

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First Bank of the Lake - Striving For Excellence
Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.

Located at the entrance to the Osage Beach Premium Outlets!

4558 Osage Beach Parkway

Suite 100
Osage Beach, MO 65065

(573) 348-2265

Thursday, July 6, 2017

MUST KNOW Tips to Saving For Retirement

The earlier you start saving for retirement, the better. Your local bank at the Lake of the Ozarks cares about your retirement planning and we offer a few products that will help you do just that. In this blog, we will give a few tips that will help guide your savings for retirement.

First Bank of the Lake offers the following IRAs that will help you save for your retirement.


IRA stands for "Individual Retirement Account." It is a tax advantaged way for you to save money for you retirement. There are 4 basic types of IRAs and each are very different from one another. IRAs offer tax-deferred compounding once your money has been invested, but there are 4 types that differ in how they work and how much money you can contribute  into them annually. 

  • Traditional IRAs

You may contribute up to $5500 ($6500 if you're age 50 or older) as long as you/ and your spouse have sufficient taxable income. A tax deduction may be granted when you contribute, but your money is eventually taxed as ordinary income with you withdraw it.

  • Roth IRAs

You may also contribute up to $5500 with Roth IRAs ($6500 if you're age 50 or older) as long as you and/or your spouse have sufficient taxable income. You don't get a tax deduction when you contribute to this but with withdrawals can be taken out FREE from income taxes.

  • SEP IRAs

The SEP IRA is treated like a Traditional IRA, except it's funded by the employer on the employee's behalf. The employer can invest up to 25% of the employee's compensation, up to a limit of $52,000.


This IRA is funded by both the employee and the employer. It's only available to smaller companies. Employees can contribute up to $12,000 ($14,500 if you're age 50 or older.) The employers can either choose to match your your contribution up to 3% or provide a nonelective contribution of 2% on up to $260,000 of the employee's pay. This is also treated like a Traditional IRA.

Take advantage of an employer retirement plan if you have the opportunity.

If you are fortunate enough to work for a company that offers a retirement plan, contribute to it! Some companies will match  your contribution, so be sure to contribute up to the amount that your company will throw in.

Automate your savings for retirement.

If you can, set your account to automatically deduct a portion every month for your savings. Find a percentage that works for you and regularly contribute. You may even get so used to this, that you won't even notice much of a difference.

Determine your goal.

Figure out what you will need when you retire. There are several personal retirement calculators you use online to help determine this. A goal will make your investment process seem easier, once you have a plan in motion. Our experienced banking staff can assist you with any questions you may have regarding saving for retirement.

Our friendly banking staff at the Lake of the Ozarks can assist you with your retirement needs. It's never too early to start saving for retirement and why not do it with a bank you can trust. Call 573-348-2265 for more information on IRAs today.

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First Bank of the Lake - Striving For Excellence
Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.

Located at the entrance to the Osage Beach Premium Outlets!

4558 Osage Beach Parkway

Suite 100
Osage Beach, MO 65065

(573) 348-2265