Friday, October 13, 2017

3 Terrific Ways to Start Saving for Christmas Today!

Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way....that's right, Christmas is coming! Christmas will be here before you know it. Too many people wait until the very last minute to buy Christmas gifts. That's just not good for your stress level or your budget. If you are waiting until the last minute, you most likely have no money saved and are turning to your credit cards as a last resort. First Bank of the Lake is here to share with you a better way to prepare for the jolliest time of the year. It's much easier to get ready little by little, so here are 3 ways you can start saving for Christmas today!

3 Ways You Can Start Saving for Christmas Today

1. Set your spending goal ASAP.

Think about everything you want to buy this Christmas. Think about all the joy you want to bring to your family and what that might cost. Now, put that into numbers! Also, learn from your past. How much did you spend last year and were there areas in which you may have overspent? Whether it was the overpriced real Christmas tree or the over the top decorations, you may have room to cut back and STILL have a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS. 

Once you've decided on the amount of money you feel comfortable spending, divide that by the number of months you have left until Christmas, for example, since there are technically only about 2 months until Christmas and let's say your budget is $500, you would just divide 500 by 2 and save $250 each month.

A great way to save would be to use your "under budget" cash. When you end up spending less than what you planned on for your monthly expenses, put that toward your Christmas budget.

2. Set up a Christmas savings account.

Consider opening a separate savings account just for your Christmas savings. Opening a separate savings account can allow your savings to be organized and you may be less tempted to dip into your Christmas savings for unrelated expenditures if your savings accounts are separated. Check with your local bank at the Lake of the Ozarks about opening up a side savings account for your Christmas spending.

3. Take advantage of all of the DIY Christmas ideas online.

Take advantage of all of the free Christmas DIY ideas out there. Check out Pinterest or Instagram to get some great ideas for DIY decorations and gifts. There really are some terrific ideas out there that can save you some money and allow you to use it on other things such as food or transportation to get to your destination for Christmas.

Check out Your Local Bank at the Lake of the Ozarks for that Christmas Savings Account!

First Bank of the Lake is YOUR local bank. When you work with us, you put your money to work growing your local economy. We have face-to-face relationships with our customers and we understand your local needs. Visit our friendly banking staff today to start saving for Christmas!

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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, October 6, 2017

It's Financial Planning Month!

October is financial planning month! Take this opportunity to financially plan your savings. Put your money away for a rainy day! Your bank at the Lake of the Ozarks is here to give you 7 tips on how to financially plan your savings.

7 Financial Planning Tips

1. Keep a financial calendar

If you don't trust yourself to remember to pay your quarterly taxes or just regular bills, set appointment reminders and keep a financial calendar on your phone or on your laptop, the same way you would keep track of doctor or dentist appointments.

2. Check your interest rates

Here are a couple questions you should ask yourself regarding interest rates:

  • Q: Which loan should I pay off first?
  • A: The loan with the highest interest rate.
  • Q: Which savings account should I open?
  • A: The savings account with the best interest rate.

The point here is to pay attention to your interest rates. Paying attention to your interest rates can help inform you of which debt or savings commitments you should focus on.

3. Set a budget

Setting a budget is the true starting point to building your savings. Set a budget and stick to it.

4. Set at least 20% of your income aside for financial priorities

Financial priorities can include:

  • paying off your debt
  • building up your emergency savings
  • saving for your retirement

Allowing yourself to get into a routine of saving 20% of your income every month can improve your savings drastically.

5. Create a financial vision board

Making yourself a financial vision board can help you to stay on track with your financial goals. What better way is there to motivate yourself than to start adopting better money habits?

6. Set financial goals

Make your financial goals specific! Don't be afraid to use numbers and dates when describing what you want to accomplish financially. How MUCH debt do you want to pay off by WHEN? How MUCH do you want to save and by WHEN?

7.  Get rid of those negative money thoughts

Telling yourself things like, "I'll never pay off my debt" is counter-productive and won't help. Don't set yourself up to fail. Switch to saying more positive things, such as "I CAN pay off my debt, I just need to stick to my financial planning."

In Need of a Bank You Can Trust to Guide You in the Right Direction with Financial Planning?

At First Bank of the Lake, we don't try to sell you a loan or service you don't need. We make all of our decisions right here at home - we use judgment and compassion when evaluating customer requests. Our goal is to find the right product or service to meet your financial needs. We're sure we have the perfect account to meet your needs. Come into First Bank of the Lake and talk with our friendly account specialists 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

Friday, September 29, 2017

How Halloween Can Help You Teach Your Kids About Money

Let's face it, there are MANY things to spend your money on when it comes to Halloween; candy, decorations for the house, costumes for your kids, even costumes for your pets! You can use all of these purchases to set a good example for your kids to manage their money efficiently. First Bank of the Lake is here to give you 5 financial lessons you can teach your kids during Halloween.

5 Financial Lessons You Can Teach Your Kids During Halloween

1. Comparison Shopping

Whether you are searching through store after store for the PERFECT Halloween costume for your kids or trolling through the stores online, you can teach your kids the benefits of comparing prices when shopping. Teach them how to use apps such as:

  • ShopSavy
  • RedLaser better compare prices. Give them the chance to see you comparing prices of these perfect costumes. This can help them to know whether or not they are getting a good deal.

2. Never Paying Retail

No matter how bad you want something, there's a pretty good chance you can find it on sale, online or offline at a competitor's store. Teach your kids that they don't always have to pay the sticker price for items. They need to keep their eyes peeled for the latest deals, coupons and special offers using apps. Many stores may run weekly specials and last-minute markdown deals leading up to Halloween. Try apps like Target's Cartwheel app, it allows you to capture mobile barcodes while you shop. Cartwheel enables you to select from hundreds of discounts ranging from 5% to 50% off.

3. Buying in Bulk

Show your kids the value of buying in bulk. Teach them how they are saving money by buying all of the Halloween candy in large amounts, instead of smaller amounts. Try warehouse clubs such as:

  • Sam's Club
  • Costco round up your Halloween candy this year. Warehouse clubs can also be a great place to buy your Halloween decorations such as wreaths, miniature haunted houses, and even character costumes.

4. Fair Trades

The night of Halloween is the perfect opportunity to teach your kids the art of proper trading. A child's desire to have the best candy can enable you to teach them they need to trade more than one piece of less popular candy for a premium brand. This is a great lesson for those kids who have siblings.

5. DIY Projects

Teach your kids how fun it can be to make their own Halloween costumes. Their costumes can not only be unique but also budget friendly.

Need a Bank You Can Trust With Your Family's Money?

First Bank of the Lake has you covered. Our goal is to find the right product or service to meet your financial needs. When you work with a local bank, you put your money to work growing the local economy. We share a common commitment to our community with our customers. We understand your local needs. To speak with one of our friendly bank employees in Osage Beach, call 573-348-2265 today.

Want More Awesome Finance Tips? Sign Up For Our Newsletter!

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, September 21, 2017

A Natural Disaster Could Strike At Any Time - Are Your Prepared?

You never know when a natural disaster can strike. Hurricanes Harvey and Irma are big reminders of how terrible unexpected disasters can be. You may never know when a disaster can strike, however, you can minimize the risk of harm by being prepared. In this blog, your bank at the Lake of the Ozarks will give you the following tips to better prepare for ANY natural disaster and helpful information regarding insurance coverage for situations such as these.

Natural Disaster Preparation Tips

Have a Family Emergency Plan.

When a natural disaster strikes, you and your family may not be together, which can cause a panic. Try to stay calm. Following a plan of action can help calm your nerves. Your family emergency plan should include the following:

  • How you will contact each other
  • Identify a safe place to gather as an alternative to your home
  • Designate a meeting area both within and outside of your neighborhood 

This plan can ensure the whole family knows where to go, what to do, and who they can stay within the event of an emergency. Check online for road conditions to see if you should drive to get out of harm's way. Also, you can fill your car's gas tank ahead of time if you know a storm's coming, just in case there is a gas shortage.

Make Sure Your Disaster Supply Kit is Ready at All Times.

Keep a disaster supply kit or emergency supply kit ready at all times in your home. Make sure it's easily accessible in case of a disaster. This kit should include the following:

  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • A first aid kit
  • A crank or battery operated radio with weather radio capabilities
  • Necessary prescription medications
  • An emergency whistle to signal for help
  • A gallon of water per person and pet for at least 3 days
  • Several days of nonperishable food.

It's also a good idea, if possible to include $200 - $500 or more in the case that ATMs are either unavailable or damaged.

Understand What Your Homeowners Insurance Covers.

It can be very difficult to think about the possibility of losing your home, but it's important to know what your homeowner's insurance covers and doesn't cover. Policies vary by insurance company, you should never make any assumptions as to what is covered. Most homeowners insurance policies cover the following:

  • Fire
  • Lightning
  • Explosion
  • Smoke
  • Damage by the weight of ice, snow, or sleet

Perils of hail, windstorm, vandalism, theft and water damage may be excluded by many policies. Flood is typically always excluded and must be purchased through the Federal Flood Insurance Program. Other perils that may be excluded include earthquake, water damage, (if related to flood or otherwise excluded peril) sewer backup, and nuclear accidents. 

Safely Guard Your Important Documents.

In order to safely guard your important documents during a natural disaster, options include:

  • Store them in a safe deposit box at your local bank at the Lake of the Ozarks
  • Store your documents in a waterproof and fireproof container in a safe place in your home
  • Scan and store these documents in a cloud-based application

Important documents and items you will want to guard can include, irreplaceable photos, birth and marriage certificates, mortgages, proof of vaccinations for pets, bank account records, and/or insurance policies.

Prepare for the Worst and Hope for the Best 

Being prepared for a natural disaster can help you and your family stay calm and rational when a disaster strikes. Being prepared can also save lives. Having your family emergency plan and disaster supply kit ready is essential. Also, know your available resources, such as FEMA and the American Red Cross. Being educated on your homeowner's insurance can help you make better decisions on what to purchase to ensure you are covered for everything needed. The important thing is that you and your family are prepared at all times for a natural disaster. First Bank of the Lake hopes these tips help you become better prepared in the case a natural disaster strikes.

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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, September 14, 2017

5 Helpful Tips That Can Help You Save When Having a LARGE Family

You're at that point in your life where you are married with kids and happy, but struggling to afford it due to the large size of your family. With each child you have, your expenses increase and at times it can be hard to keep up. Believe it or not, there are things you can do to help with this struggle. Your bank at the Lake of the Ozarks would like you to know the following 5 helpful tips you can implement into your daily, hectic life to help you better financially handle having a LARGE family.

5 Helpful Tips That Can Help You Save When Having a LARGE Family

1. Recycle, Recycle, Recycle!

Recycle the items that you can reuse, such as:

  • Bunk beds
  • Cribs
  • Books
  • Toys
  • Cars
  • School Textbooks
  • Clothes

If you can't recycle these items, you can often find these products for cheaper prices online, on sites such as Craig’s List or eBay or even on clearance, in garage sales, or sidewalk sales.

2. Only buy what you need.

This one may sound obvious, but it’s important. It can be very tempting to buy unnecessary items when there is a new baby or for the first day of school, but it’s ok to resist. You will most likely receive many new things for your baby during the baby shower.

3. Save on medical and dental bills.

Teach your children the importance of dental hygiene, healthy eating and exercising. Feed your kids good, healthy food. Child obesity is a huge problem in the U.S. and these all are good ways to help prevent that from happening to your kids. Teach them to floss, brush their teeth regularly, get lots of fresh air, and to participate in fun, active activities with one another. This alone can help prevent costly dental and medical bills.

4. Consider various school options.

When you consider everything a child needs for school, supplies, sports equipment etc., it can get quite expensive. Private schools can be even more expensive. Consider public school or homeschool. Both options can be much cheaper than private school.

5. Change your mindset.

It’s ok for kids to share rooms. Children can work hard without elaborate birthday parties or fancy gadgets. When you teach your kids to be hard workers without over the top, materialistic things, they can be better for it in the long run. You can teach the true value of the dollar and your kids can then, hopefully, grow up into hard-working adults who support themselves rather than into spoiled, entitled people.

You Can Do It!

Again, we know the financial struggle is real, but you can do it. First Bank of the Lake is your local trusted bank at the Lake of the Ozarks. We understand how hard it can be to save, especially in rough times, but just by changing a few daily habits, you could possibly make a HUGE difference in your savings for your LARGE family. If you ever have questions about saving money, please call our bank at 573-348-2265.

Want More Awesome Finance Tips? Sign Up For Our Newsletter!

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, September 7, 2017

5 Tips for Saving for College in 2017

Getting a college degree is more expensive than ever. Student debt is growing and may be a real problem for recent graduates. According to the Federal Reserve Board, students in the USA now hold a whopping $1.4 trillion dollars of student debt. This means on average, that each graduate owes $30,000 or more just when they are joining the workforce! Another recent report shows that more than 11% of graduates default on these student loans by their third year of repayment. Don’t let student debt start you off on the wrong foot. Here are some tips from the best bank at the Lake of the Ozarks to help you prepare financially for college!

5 Tips for Saving for College in 2017

1. Choose the right college for YOU.

As the time to choose your college approaches, you may feel pressure from fellow classmates, friends, or even your parents to choose a certain college. It’s important to choose the best school for YOU because you are most likely the person that will end up paying for your education. Certain colleges are more expensive than others, especially if you are considering attending college out of state. Out of state tuition typically runs higher than in state tuition. Schedule some college visits, speak to advisors, current, and former students. They can give you a better perspective on whether that school is good for your major. You can also receive an inside look at how financially realistic that college is for you because they themselves are either paying for their education or advising students who are paying for their education.

2. Apply for scholarships and grants early.

Certain students are eligible to receive federal grants once they complete their FAFSA application. There are thousands of scholarships available as well and not just within your school. Check with local churches and charities, you may qualify for more scholarships than you think.

3. Save early on.

From the moment, you get that first part time job in high school, start putting a little away each month. It is never too early to start putting away money for college. You will be happy that you did when you are older.

4. Try “crowdfunding.”

Crowdfunding has become a popular source for college financing these days. Crowdfunding requires visiting a site such as:


These sites are designed to help students raise money for college. You simply set up an account, upload a photo of yourself, add your personal story and then share this with your friends and family on your social media platforms.

5. Earn college credit, while still in high school to maximize your savings.

Some high schools offer college credited classes and they tend to be much more budget friendly than the classes in college. Take courses such as these when you get the chance. It can not only save you money, but also shorten the amount of time it takes to get your bachelor’s degree.

Need a Savings Account to Get You Started?

Stop by First Bank of the Lake and ask one our friendly banking staff members in Osage Beach about opening a savings account. They can recommend which type of savings account will work best for your needs.

Want More Awesome Finance Tips? Sign Up For Our Newsletter!

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, September 1, 2017

3 KEY Ways to Protect Against Debit Card Fraud!

Debit card fraud can happen to anyone at anytime. You may even know someone who has been affected by debit card fraud, whether it be a family member, friend, or co-worker. First Bank of the Lake feels it's extremely important that you know ways to try and prevent debit card fraud from happening. In today's day and age, it can be very easy for someone to get ahold of your debit card or private information. In this blog, our bank at the Lake of the Ozarks is going to list some ways to prevent debit card fraud from happening.

Ways to Prevent Debit Card Fraud From Happening

1. Let the card issuer know your travel date and where you are going. 

If your card is stolen while you on vacation, the card issuer may decline the suspicious transaction before it actually goes through. This can save you a lot of trouble and possibly allow for you to have a much better, more relaxing vacation.

2. Only Use ATMs located at banks and protect/cover your pin number. 

When using an ATM, consider only using ATMs at banks during business hours. Banks have bright lights and cameras and are at a much lesser risk for debit card fraud. Also, when you are inputting your pin number, make sure you use your hand to cover the number pad as you enter it. Doing this can help prevent people nearby from snapping a picture of your number.

3. Keep as little cash as you can in your checking account.

There are so many opportunities to access money from your checking account, which means the greater the chance the culprit can steal your money. Checking accounts have many ways to access money such as debit cards, of course, checks, and automatic debits. 

  • Checks - If someone knows your routing number and checking account number, which are both written at the bottom of your check, they can possibly hack your online banking account and access your money.
Try keeping as small amount of money as possible in your checking account. You then can transfer money from your checking to your savings every month. This will provide you a higher interest rate on your savings but also allow you to save for emergencies or special occasions better and give those potential fraudsters less of a chance to access/steal your money.

Need a Bank You Can Trust to Help You Protect Your Debit Card Against Fraud?

First Bank of the Lake has a few Kasasa checking or savings products your can try. The Free Kasasa Cash Checking, Free Kasasa Cash Back Checking, and Free Kasasa Saver are all great options to invest your money. Also, the Kasasa Protect allows you to keep your information yours and yours alone. Kasasa Protect is affordable and comprehensive fraud PROTECTION, that you can add to your First Bank of the Lake checking account. 

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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