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