Mother's Day Ideas That Are (Nearly) Free

by Stacy Tharp 6. May 2015

Mom Blocks

Don't know what to get mom for Mother’s Day? The most valuable gifts are the ones that are given the most thought and effort. It’s easy to throw some money down and purchase some material goods, but chances are your mother would much rather have something from the heart, and something that won’t break your bank.

Cook for Her

Everyone enjoys going out for a Mother’s Day brunch, at least in theory. In practice, you will likely be crammed in a busy restaurant to eat overpriced eggs. Staying home and cooking your mom food is not only thoughtful, it’s cheaper and more comfortable and relaxed (you won’t be rushed out of your own home for the next reservation). You can even wake up early and bring her breakfast in bed. And everyone knows you can’t beat breakfast in bed.

Make Her Something

Do you like to draw? Paint? Make jewelry? If you have a crafty hobby, make your mom something beautiful. If you don’t feel you are particularly “gifted” when it comes to arts and crafts, that’s when Pinterest becomes your best friend. Check out our Homemade Mother’s Day Gifts board on Pinterest to get you started with some ideas.

Spend the Day with Her

It doesn’t matter what you do, just make the day about her. In fact, the more low-key, the better. Today, your mom should forget about the everyday hustle and bustle of keeping your lives in order. Take a walk in the park, venture over to a part of town you don’t normally go, even take a day trip to the beach. Wherever you go, your mom will just be happy to spend some quality time with you (keep the cell phone at home!).

Role Reversal

Do all the things she normally does for you. Clean the house, go grocery shopping, water the plants, etc. Most importantly, at the end of the day don’t forget to tell your mom that you have a new appreciation of how much effort she puts forth to make your life easier!

Financial Literacy Month Recap

by Stacy Tharp 5. May 2015

Financial Literacy - 1st Mariner Bank

As Baltimore's community bank, we feel it's essential that we do our part to support financial literacy in our community. During the month of April, we partnered with Operation HOPE: Banking on our Future, and Junior Achievement of Central Maryland to help educate students in the Baltimore community about financial literacy.

Through Operation HOPE: Banking on Our Future, volunteers visited Medfield Heights Elementary School and Old Court Middle School. We educated a total of 176 students about budgeting, banking and credit, and how dignity can play a role in managing your money.

Through Junior Achievement we participated in their BizTown program which is held at their location in Owings Mills. This event allows students to experience the energy of a real economy by being given a "job" and experiencing a simulated typical day in the life of an adult. The event inspires critical thinking, teamwork and decision-making skills.

We also participated in Junior Achievement's JA in a Day program, located at several Baltimore-area schools to help teach their interactive curriculum of financial education, college preparation and work-readiness skills.

During the month of April, 1st Mariner had over 30 volunteers participate in these events. The events were organized by 1st Mariner's Community Lending Officer, Charles Maykrantz, and Associate Corporate Counsel and CRA Officer, Autumn Wallace.

About the events, Maykrantz stated, "The importance of, and our involvement in Financial Literacy is one which shows our effort to help improve the community knowledge through education. It is one which helps to shape the future of our young people and give them a sense of pride in knowing what the future may hold for them and how best to handle whatever life may present. Education sets the tone for their future years. We at 1st Mariner take pride in knowing we do our part to make those years a success."

While April is specifically devoted to financial literacy, the subject is important year-round, which is why we are continuing our volunteer efforts in the coming months.

Visit our Facebook page to view our full album of Financial Literacy Month photos.

Photos courtesy of Operation HOPE: Banking on Our Future, Inc.

Home Improvements: Some Things Should Be Left to the Pros

by Renee' Anderson 23. April 2015

Home Equity Loan and Lines of Credit

It's true that saving money is important. However, sometimes you need to spend a little in order to not lose a lot. You know what I mean? No? Okay. Let me explain.

As you consider whether to hire professionals to handle your next home improvement project or do it yourself, there are some things to keep in mind.

  • How much is time worth? Often times, doing things yourself slows down the process. This could be fine, IF you’re not working on a time sensitive improvement like a new roof (you’d want to get your leaky roof fixed before the next big storm).

  • Is the type of improvement you’re doing something that could result in further damage? Pluming, for example, is a trade. If your project requires a complicated plumbing aspect, are you really skilled enough to do it? Or is it possible that you would make a mistake and end up with water damage, which could cost more money to fix than it would have to hire a plumber in the first place? Let’s be realistic here, people. We all would like to think we can do anything and everything, but sometimes the smarter person is the one who sticks to what they’re good at.

  • Wall demolition. Do you know which walls in your house are load-bearing walls? If your answer is no, do NOT knock anything down! If your answer is yes, do you know how to work around them? Sometimes it’s better to have a professional assess the situation before you decide if your wall demo project is a DIY or not.

  • Just because you see it on YouTube or Pinterest does NOT mean you can do it too. These days, you can pretty much find a YouTube how-to video on anything you search. That does not mean you should attempt to do just anything that there’s a how-to video on. For all you know, it could be a professional whose been doing it for 25 years and they just make it look a lot easier than it is. Not to mention, their situation may not be exactly like yours, i.e. if you decide to follow a video on building your own patio and it’s time to pour the concrete, perhaps you didn’t think about the fact that the weather where the how-to video was filmed was 70 degrees, but it’s 95 degrees where you are and the concrete starts to harden before you can get to it. (I mean, you’re not a professional, so let’s be honest, you’re not moving at lightning fast speed.)

While it might be fulfilling to complete home improvement projects yourself, there are just some things that should be left to the pros.

Finance Your Renovations with a Home Equity Loan or Line of Credit

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

Using Home Equity Loans and Lines of Credit to Your Advantage

5 Inexpensive Ways to Improve the Look of Your Home

Quick Tips for Staging Your Home to Sell



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