Top Ways to Celebrate Saint Patrick's Day in Baltimore

by Erica Barry 8. March 2013
Top Ways to Celebrate Saint Patrick's Day in Baltimore

It’s that time of year again. St. Patty’s Day in Baltimore - March 17th… Baltimore’s most celebrated unofficial holiday of the year. A day when, like it or not, everyone is Irish.

Green beer, the Baltimore St. Patrick's Day Parade, “Kiss Me, I’m Irish” shirts, tent-lined streets, the Baltimore Shamrock 5K, and even the occasional random bagpiper walking the streets of Baltimore have all become traditions here in Baltimore around St. Patrick’s Day.

Last year we went around to try to find the top things to do in Baltimore on St. Patty’s Day. This year we did the same thing, and as we suspected, you won't be at a loss for ways to celebrate. Each neighborhood in Baltimore has its own way of celebrating. With that being said, we again went to our branches to ask them for recommendations on what to do this St. Patty’s Day in their neighborhood.

"The official 1st Mariner Baltimore St. Patrick’s Day Guide 2013 – What to do in Baltimore"

The 58th Annual Baltimore St. Patrick’s Day Parade and the Shamrock 5K

Thousands of Baltimoreans will gather at the Washington Monument and line the sidewalks of Charles Street as they help Baltimore celebrate Irish culture, song, music and dance at Baltimore's 58th Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade. The parade kicks off on March 10, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. at the Washington Monument and continues to Pratt Street and Market Place. 1st Mariner Bank is a proud annual sponsor of the St. Patrick's Day Parade.

The Baltimore Shamrock 5K is another option that takes place on March 10th. For several years, over 5,000 runners take the streets of Baltimore to support St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations, Inc. Starting at Charles and Franklin Street and ending with a celebration at Power Plant Live, the Shamrock 5K is a great way to get your endorphins moving, stay healthy and support a good cause. Unfortunately, every year this race fills up fast so if you haven’t already signed up, you’ll have to settle for standing on the sidelines and cheering on the runners.

Dennis Finnegan, Executive Vice President, Retail Banking’s Recommendation: Claddagh Pub

Just as he suggested last year, our President of Retail Banking, Dennis Finnegan is sticking with his St. Patrick's Day go-to. "As always, my faviorite place to spend St. Patty's Day is Claddagh's Irish Pub located in Canton. For the past few years, [Claddagh Pub owner] Mike Clarke always has a stool and a Jameson waiting for me as soon as I walk in the door."

Other local Baltimore Irish Pubs and Restaurants:
Looney’s Pub
James Joyce Irish Pub and Restaurant
Slainte Irish Pub & Restaurant
Cat’s Eye Pub
Tir Na Nog Irish Bar & Grill
Patrick’s of Pratt Street
J. Patrick’s Irish Pub
Mick O’Shea’s
Ryan’s Daughter Irish Pub and Restaurant

Our Annapolis Branch Recommendation: Galway Bay Irish Pub

Galway Bay gives you an immediate sense of feeling right at home as soon as you walk in the door. We'd highly recommend Galway Bay as a place to check out on St. Patty’s day. They throw quite the celebration!

Other local Annapolis Irish Pubs and Restaurants:
Fado Irish Pub
Castlebay Irish Pub

Our Cockeysville/Towson-Loch Raven Branch Recommendation: An Poitin Stil

An Poitin Stil, or “The Still” as the locals call it, is probably one of the most “authentic” Irish pubs in the Baltimore area. They have live Celtic bands playing on most days of the week, and their St. Patty’s Day Festival is epic!

Our Perry Hall/White Marsh Branch Recommendation: The Twisted Harp

As Perry Hall's only major Irish pub, The Twisted Harp is bound to be a place of interest for the residents of the White Marsh/Perry Hall area on St. Patty's Day. Their corned beef and cabbage is delicious, and they serve a variety of other authentic Irish food as well.

Other local Baltimore County Irish Pubs and Restaurants:
Patrick’s Restaurant and Pub
The Tilted Kilt

Our Bel Air Branch Recommendation: Sean Bolan’s

Judging by the countdown to St. Patty's Day on their homepage, Sean Bolan's is where you need to be if you happen to be in the Bel Air area on March 17th.

Other local Harford County Irish Pubs and Restaurants:
Looney’s Pub
MaGerk's Pub & Grill

With all of these options, you’d think that we strategically placed our branches to be in close proximity to the Irish pubs and restaurants of Baltimore, right? We’re sure there are plenty of other options out there that we’ve forgotten to mention, but at least you now have a decent amount of possibilities to choose from when it comes to your 2013 St. Patty’s Day celebration.

Regardless of what you choose to do, just remember one thing…everyone is Irish on March 17th!

How to Get Your Friends to Pay You Back

by Stacy Levin 27. February 2013

Empty Wallet

It's happened to all of us: that awkward moment when you are dining out with a friend, and when the bill arrives your friend informs you that he has conveniently left his wallet at home or has forgotten to stop off at the ATM. At this point the only way to avoid the dine-and-dash is to pay the bill in full yourself.

You might not think it’s a huge deal to pay for someone’s lunch from time to time, but if you lend money to a friend, you have every right to expect your friend to pay you back. You shouldn’t feel bad about asking your friend to pay you back, but that doesn’t mean it’s not an awkward conversation to have.

Here are a few tips on getting your friend to pay you back the money he owes you as un-awkwardly as possible.

Use Technology to Get Your Money Back Right Away

The longer your friend owes you money, the more difficult it becomes to get your friend to pay you back. So, have your friend pay you immediately with a person-to-person payment service such as Popmoney®. Your friend may have forgotten his wallet, but as long as he hasn’t forgotten his smartphone (and who forgets that these days?), he can send you money electronically through an email or text.

Popmoney® is conveniently located within our Mobile Banking App; however, your friend doesn’t have to bank with 1st Mariner to enroll in and use Popmoney®. As long as your friend has the funds available in his bank account, person-to-person payments are a great way to get paid immediately.

If your friend doesn’t have the funds available, keep reading.

Give Friendly Reminders

If your friend tells you he doesn’t have the money right now, but he will on Friday when he gets paid, give him a friendly reminder on his payday. You can send him a request through Popmoney® to avoid giving the awkward reminder yourself. If your friend was being honest and fully intended to pay you back, chances are this friendly reminder is all he will need. Otherwise, move on to the next step.

Have a Serious Talk

Now you have passed the point in which your friend should have paid you back. If you want your money back, it’s time for the awkward conversation. Sit your friend down, make sure there are no distractions around, then ask him why he is having a hard time paying you back. You can offer him options such as making staggered payments or give him an extended deadline, but make it clear that you do expect your money back. If this doesn’t work, you are pretty much down to two options.

Forget the Debt or Consider Persuing Legal Action

Ever heard the saying, “If you lend someone $20 and never see him again, it was probably worth it”? If it was only a small amount of money that you lent, it might be easiest to just forget about the money and reconsider the friendship.

If your friend owes you a large sum of money, you may want to consider pursuing legal action. This option isn’t right for everyone, so make sure you do sufficient research to make sure it would be worth it to go down this route.

The last few options are not fun ones, so I recommend using Popmoney® to get your money back instantly!

If you found this article useful, be sure to check out these related articles:

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The Ultimate Question: Buy or Lease?

by Wade Barnes 25. February 2013

New Car

So you’ve decided on a new car! You’ve picked the make, model, color and options but the tough question is still looming. Should I buy or lease? Like many financial decisions, the answer is highly dependent on individual situations, but to help narrow the scope of your decision, it is best to consider the benefits of leasing to see if this option is best for your situation. 

Benefits of Leasing

Perhaps the greatest benefit of leasing is the fact that you can get into a new car with low money down and low monthly payments. This means that you can afford a more expensive car with more options at a lower acquisition and monthly cost than if you were to buy the car. On top of this, when you lease a car, you have pre-negotiated the value at the end of the term, which means you can walk away without having to negotiate the value and sell the car.

Most leases are for three years and most cars come with warranties that match this term. This means you’ll never be responsible for a major repair that should be covered under warranty. This is an important benefit of leasing a car because outside of the lease expense, general maintenance, and gas, you shouldn’t have any unforeseen expenses related to leasing a car.

For business owners, another benefit of leasing a car is the potential to benefit from greater tax deduction when leasing a car for business purposes. While you should consult your tax advisor on this issue, typically you can deduct a portion of depreciation on cars owned and used for business purposes whereas lease expenses in whole are typically tax deductible which tend to be greater on a month-to-month basis.

Downsides of Leasing

The biggest downside to leasing is that you’re never gaining equity on the car; you’re essentially renting the car under a long-term agreement. Under this proposition, as long as you have a car, you’ll have car payments, and if for some reason you need to get out of a lease, there are typically expensive penalties for breaking the lease.

Leases also have an annual mileage restriction as well. Typically leases offer either 12,000 or 15,000 miles per year and if you go over the allotted mileage, it can get expensive. Since you don’t actually own the car, you can’t make any modifications to the car, and at the term of the lease you’ll be charged for every nick and ding that happened under your watch. Insurance can also be more expensive as most lease companies require higher levels of coverage to protect their interest.

Conclusion

So now you must decide to lease or buy. If you like the idea of owning a car without a car payment one day, buying is the best option. If you like the idea of having a new car with fancy options every few years and you can live within the terms of the lease, then leasing may be the best option.

If the benefits of leasing a car have outweighed the decision making process, be sure to fully understand the terms of the lease to avoid expensive costs at the end of the term. If you’ve opted to buy versus lease, consider your financing options. If rates are similar, you may want to consider using a Home Equity Loan or Line of Credit to finance the purchase to benefit from potential tax advantages (but be sure to consult your tax advisor first). Whichever way you go, be sure to enjoy your new car. If you’d like some ideas on how to save money at the pump with your new car, check out our blog: Ten Ways to Ease Your Pain at the Pump.

If you found this article helpful, be sure to check out these related articles:

Debt to Income Ratio: What It Is and How It Helps (or Hurts) Your Chances of Getting Loan

How to Decide: Home Equity Loan or Line of Credit?

The Imaginary Mortgage: Fake It Til You Make It



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