Heat, Storms and Power Outages: Were You Prepared?

by Stacy Tharp 2. July 2012

A fallen tree causes severe damage to an Arlington, VA home.

With local temperatures blazing into the three-digit range, this large-scale power outage couldn't have come at a worse time. Now, three days after the storms that caused the outages, many are still without power, and it could be several days before power is restored. The freak storm winds knocked trees not only into power lines, but also into cars, homes and other buildings. This isn't the first time we've seen a natural disaster cause such damage and distress, and unfortunately, it won't be the last time.

At this point, the best thing you can do is ask yourself, "Was I prepared for this?" If the answer is no, it's time to prepare yourself for next time. Take a look at your current auto and home insurance policies. Do you have all the coverage you feel you need? Would you be covered by damages caused by natural disasters? If you do have all the coverage you feel you need, it is still important to shop around and gather quotes from different companies every so often to be sure you are getting the most competative rates.

Are you one of the unlucky millions without power? Whether you are lucky enough to be reading this from your air conditioned home, or if you are sitting in your running car, reading this from your phone as it is charging, everyone should take a look at these gadgets that are helpful during power outages. One of our favorites from this list: a solar cell phone charger (so you don't have to keep your car running).

How is your food situation right now? If your power has been out for three days, do you have to throw out everything in your fridge? Here is a great guide to which foods are safe to keep and which should be discarded.

With this severe weather, your best solution to staying safe from the heat is to escape to a place that has air conditioning (shopping mall, movie theater, friend's house, etc.) When you are at home, stay in the lowest level of your home where it will be the coolest, and drink lots and lots of water, even if you aren't thirsty.

Here are some additional power outage and heat safety resources:

And once you know you are safe:

Introducing the New 1stMarinerBank.com

by Stacy Tharp 26. June 2012

As you've probably noticed, 1st Mariner Bank has made some changes to its website and blog.  Hopefully you've gotten a chance to explore some of our website's new features and benefits. Either way, here is a quick tour of what our new site has to offer:

 

To access your online banking account, click on the Secure Login button on the home page and enter your Log-in ID.

Our updated branch and ATM locator helps you find the branch or ATM nearest you. You can find information about your local branch by checking out our unique branch pages.

Use the top menu links to help you navigate to the information you're looking for.

Using the left-hand navigation menu, you can find specific information about our products and services.

The new 1stMarinerBank.com offers a variety of banking resources to help you stay informed and reach your financial goals.

 

Now that you've been formally introduced, explore all of the new benefits on your own!

Mom, You Want Me to Put My Money WHERE?

by Stacy Tharp 1. June 2012

Let's face it - putting money in a savings account isn’t exactly the most exciting thing to do with your hard-earned cash, even for adults.  If you find it difficult to motivate yourself to save, imagine how kids feel about saving.  Here are some tips on how to help motivate your kids to save money and become financially responsible individuals:

1) Give your kids a weekly allowance and help them set a budget.

Have your kids agree to an amount that they should save weekly and the amount they can spend on whatever they want for the week.

 2) Give your kids a reason to save.

Don’t just make your kids save money for the sake of saving money or “because you told them so.”  Help your kids set goals for themselves.  If there is a toy your child wants, make him or her earn it with his or her savings.  Or, find a charity that your kids would be interested in helping, and have their savings go to that charity.

 3) Use visual aids.

Visual aids are great tools to use for young children to help them see the benefits of saving.  For example, give your kids two transparent piggy banks or jars, and have them put the agreed upon amount of allowance in these “savings accounts”.  Pay your kids a set percentage of interest in the second piggy bank or jar.  Your kids will be able to literally see their savings accounts grow, and they will be able to see the money they earned by simply putting their money in the “bank.”

 4) Open a savings account.

Once your kids are older and understand the concept of saving, open a savings account for them at your local bank.  Take your kids to the bank each week to deposit their money rather than doing it for them, and have them look at their deposit receipts and bank statements so they can see how their accounts are growing.

5) Match your kids' savings.

Similar to paying your kids interest, you can match the amount, or a percentage of the amount, that your kids put away.  This technique will help your kids learn the benefits of 401(k)s, as many employers match a portion of their employees 401(k) contributions.  Many first jobs teenagers get do not have 401(k) benefits, so you can provide this service for them yourself.

6) Set a good example.

Whether you like it or not, your kids are constantly observing you.  Use this to your advantage by making wise financial decisions.  If you don’t have the greatest history of financial management, now you will have the extra motivation of not only feeling like you need to be financially responsible for your own sake, but also for your children’s sake.

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

Four Things the Easter Bunny Taught Me About My Credit

How I Graduated Debt-free from College

The Imaginary Mortgage - Fake It Til You Make It



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