Stolen (and Late) New Year's Resolutions

by Renee' Anderson 8. January 2013

It's January 8th, have you made any progress with your New Year’s resolutions? With everything to do surrounding the holiday, it took me until now to really think about resolutions for the New Year. Well, if I’m being honest, I actually just stole some resolutions that I heard from my family members! If you’re like me, and have yet to take the time to come up with a New Year’s resolution or two, consider some of mine:

Resolution #1 (Stolen from My Sister): Do not use my phone while driving (unless using Bluetooth).

With smartphones, it is extremely tempting to use your phone while driving. Besides being against the law, it is also extremely dangerous! My sister sent a text saying she’s throwing her phone in the back of the car, so if anyone needs her she will be back in action after the car ride. I thought this was a great idea. That way, you can’t reach your phone even if temptation gets to you, and if you really need to use your phone, it forces you to pull over.

Cell Phone Etiquette

Resolution #2 (Stolen from My Husband): Limit my cell phone usage around other people.

It is very tempting to use your phone while in the presence of other people, especially when businesses like 1st Mariner have user-friendly apps allowing you to access your bank accounts 24/7. I feel that there are times when it’s just inappropriate to be on your phone. Common courtesy rules have evolved with technology, but there is still a line to be drawn for being inappropriate, unprofessional or just plain rude. I’m going to think twice about pulling my phone out while in the presence of others, whether at a meeting, at the dinner table, or while interacting with a cashier while checking out.

Resolution #3 (Stolen from My Sister): Be more organized.

I feel like I’m always trying to be more organized, but maybe it just seems that way because I keep saying that I need to be more organized but am not actually doing much about it. It’s time to actually do it! Lists are always good, right? I should start with a list of the areas I need to be more organized. For example, I’m never on time, what are some reasons for that? Organize my clothes so it doesn’t take an hour to find something to wear. Finances…enough said. My husband shakes his head when I come back from the grocery store and he says, “How much did you spend?” and I say, “I don’t know.” “Didn’t you pay at the register?!” he says. I then roll my eyes, but he’s right. I complain about where our money goes, yet I’m not paying attention to my spending patterns. Mariner360 is probably a good first step to get me financially organized. That way, instead of trying to keep track of my spending on the spot while my kids are climbing out of the cart and throwing items around, I can let Mariner360 do it for me. I just log on when the kids are asleep and take my time to go over my spending patterns. Then, I can turn to my husband and just recite what Mariner360 tells me!

Resolution #4 (My Own): Stop being so lazy that I need to steal someone else’s resolutions!

 

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An Easy Way to Stick with Your Financial New Year's Resolution

by Andrew Schreiber 2. January 2013

2013 New Years ResolutionsThe New Year allows for a fresh start. Many of us celebrate this new beginning by making a New Year’s resolution. I, like most people, make a New Year’s resolution and make a promise to myself to follow through with it indefinitely. However, oftentimes my motivation and desire fizzles out within a couple of weeks and I never look back. Whether your resolution is to exercise more, eat healthier, save money, or quit smoking, we all know how hard it is to stay motivated and follow through with our resolution. Sometimes in order for you to succeed in making a change you need someone or something to hold you accountable.

Financial resolutions can be some of the most complicated and stressful resolutions to make. Whether you resolve to free yourself from debt, buy a new car, save money or spend less, everyone can use a helping hand to accomplish financial goals. One of the most useful tools you can use in creating financial stability is a Personal Finance Manager such as Mariner360. Mariner360 links all of your accounts at all of your financial institutions so you only have to make one stop in order to manage all of your finances. This PFM is a great resource to help hold you accountable and visually see the progress of your goals and budgets.

Mariner360 is simple to use, easily accessible, and free for Online Banking customers. It automatically categorizes your spending which allows you to visually see how much you spend dining out, on a car loan, on your utilities, in gas, etc. each month. With Mariner360, you can also see your monthly cash flow, set up a budget, or set a goal.

So how exactly might you use Mariner360 to help with your financial resolutions? Let’s look at a couple of examples:

Resolution #1: I want to buy a new car by the end of 2013.

If you’re looking to purchase a new car, you have some options. What make and model are you looking for? New or used? What kind of monthly payment you are willing to take on?

Mariner360 can help you narrow down your options to help you set a realistic goal. Let’s say that after doing some research, you decide that you would like $10,000 saved by the end of the year.

Under the “Goals” tab of Mariner360, you can type in your goal and Mariner360 will let you know how much you need to save each month in order to meet your goal:

Setting Up a Goal in Mariner360

 

Viewing Your Goals in Mariner360

According to Mariner360, if you had about $1,500 saved already, you would need to save $701 each month in order to meet your goal. Then you can ask yourself if this seems like something that you can realistically do. If not, figure out how much you feel you are able to put away each month, then think about lowering the down payment or delaying your purchase by a few months.

Resolution #2: I want to limit the amount of money I spend dining out.

This is always a popular New Year’s resolution since it kills two birds with one stone – it helps you eat healthier while spending less money. A great way to stick with this resolution is to set up a budget in Mariner360. Simply navigate to the “Budgets” tab, plug in the amount of money you would like to limit yourself to each month and you’re good to go!

Creating a Budget in Mariner360

You can check back throughout the month to see how you're doing. So, if a friend wants to meet you for lunch, check and see if you have enough left in your budget before agreeing.

Viewing Your Budgets in Mariner360

If your New Year’s resolution is finance related, do yourself a favor and use the services of a Personal Financial Manager like Mariner360. Make it as easy and effortless as possible to follow through and stick with your goals. Your bank accounts will thank you.

Mariner360

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The Ever-Evolving Landscape of Banking

by Wade Barnes 31. December 2012

Online Bill Payments

When you think of managing your finances, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Do you envision walking into a bank branch to conduct transactions? Or do you immediately think of signing into online or mobile banking? For many people and for most transactions, it’s the latter. Over the past few years, the landscape of financial management, and banking in particular, has changed drastically in that you as the customer are put in control.

According to Serge van Dam, VP of Mobile Solutions at Fiserv1, financial transactions can be broken into three categories: snacking, lunching, and fine dining. Snacking consists of transactions such as transferring funds or checking balances. Lunching includes bill payments and viewing online statements. Fine dining involves conversations with financial advisors, opening trust accounts, or other highly interactive transactions.

We appreciate the various levels of need when it comes to banking, and we work hard to ensure our delivery meets the needs of our customers. While we continue to provide the personal service offered by our branches, we also look to provide electronic services to meet your needs. As our customers know, we went through a conversion to upgrade our services and delivery in October of this past year. While change is never easy and growing pains may be difficult, we did this to set the stage for a more robust delivery moving forward, and we thank everyone for their patience as we’ve been working through this process.

Mobile Banking

Throughout 2012, we enhanced our electronic delivery in many notable ways. In February we launched a branded mobile banking application for both Android and iOS powered devices. Through this application you can check balances, transfer funds, view history, find branches and ATMs, and a recent upgrade offers mobile bill payments as well.

As part of our conversion, we upgraded our online banking platform which sets the stage for a more robust, user friendly interaction. Along with this, we upgraded our Bill Payment system, which now delivers up to 85% of payments electronically. With this upgrade, payments are guaranteed to be delivered by the date you specify, and better yet, the money stays in your account until the merchant receives or deposits the money. 

Popmoney® is a new online offering that delivers person-to-person payments. Using Popmoney® you can initiate a payment to anyone through a text message or an email. This addition is great for sending money to kids in school, repaying a friend for lunch, or sending a gift in place of a check.

Mariner360

Finally, we re-launched Mariner360, our Personal Financial Manager. The new Mariner360 provides a great platform for aggregating accounts across financial institutions to track spending, manage budgets, and set financial goals.

While we’ve made significant enhancements in 2012, we look forward to 2013 as we continue to refine our current delivery and introduce new technology. We will continue to keep you abreast of new technology and improvements to our services through our monthly eNewsletter. If you haven’t already, be sure to sign up. We also welcome your feedback and suggestions for future enhancements by emailing our customer service center.

As your community bank, we have the unique opportunity to offer the electronic delivery that has become fundamental in managing finances, but we also haven’t forgotten what it means to welcome you into any of our branches and provide you with friendly, local service. We are grateful for all of our customers and appreciate your loyalty over the years. We look forward to the new year and to continue embracing the ever evolving technology that enhances your banking experience.

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1 Shaw, S., & van Dam, S. (2012). Mobile Financial Services: Snacking, Lunching, Fine Dining. Fiserv Client Conference Spring 2012.

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