1st Mariner Bank's Annual Thanksgiving Video - 2013

by Stacy Tharp 20. November 2013

At 1st Mariner, we certainly know banking, but how much do we know about Thanksgiving? We decided to find out. We went around and asked our employees some Thanksgiving trivia questions.

Will you be impressed with our Thanksgiving knowledge? Will you laugh at our expense? Will you learn some new Thanksgiving facts? We're betting yes, yes and yes. Plus you may or may not get to witness some of us gobbling like a turkey (spoiler alert: you will).

Ladies and gentlemen, it's time for us to introduce 1st Mariner Bank's annual Thanksgiving video!

 

Want more entertainment? Check out our previous holiday videos:

Happy Thanksgiving from 1st Mariner Bank! (2012)

Happy Holidays from 1st Mariner Bank! (2012)

A Holiday Video Message from 1st Mariner Bank (2011)

Five Ways to Reduce Your Credit Card Debt

by Sara Seeger 13. November 2013

Good Credit Bad Credit

It's that time of the month again; the bills are piling up and accumulating in a growing stack on the nearest table. You may let a day or two (or more) go by before opening them because you know what awaits your attention – a dreaded credit card bill. Don’t worry. You have the power to take control of your financial situation and to free yourself from credit card debt. By following these five steps, you can confidently state, “The check’s in the mail,” and mean it!

1) Create a Budget - and Stick to It

The first step to eliminating your credit card debt is to create a realistic budget. There are a few ways to do this - you could use an online service like Mariner360, or you could simply track your monthly income and expense on an Excel spreadsheet. By tracking your income and expense, you’ll be able to determine your spending habits and, if needed, be able to identify areas you may need to adjust your spending. The most important part of this step is follow-through. Make sure you stick to your budget.

2) Reduce Your Monthly Bills

Some monthly expenses are constant, such as rent, mortgage, or a car payment. However, some expenses are discretionary. Ask yourself where you can reduce your expenses. Are you able to downgrade to a less expensive data plan for your smartphone? Can you manage with basic television instead of the “deluxe” channel add-ons, can you eat dinner at home a few more times a month? Taking a more conservative approach to spending, at least for a little while, will help you get your debt under control.

3) Cut Out Unnecessary Purchases

Before you get out your credit card, ask yourself, “Do I really need that item?” Categorize your purchases into “need to have” and “nice to have.” Keep track of those “nice to have” items as this expense is within your ability to control. Do you really need 500 pairs of shoes?

4) Choose Your Payoff Strategy

There are two fairly common ways to pay off your credit card. The first strategy is to put all your extra money toward the credit card with the highest interest rate, while paying the minimum balance on the others. Once the high-rate card is paid off, you can apply extra money to the card with the next highest interest rate, and so on. This strategy should allow you to save money on accumulated interest.

The second strategy is to pay off the credit card with the lowest balance first, while continuing to pay the minimum balance on the others. This strategy is the quickest way to eliminate debt on a single credit card - not to mention the psychological benefit of one less credit card debt.

5) Reward Yourself

Paying off credit card debt isn’t easy. It requires dedication and a responsible attitude. Make a game of it and set goals that help you stay motivated and track your progress along the way. When you reach these goals, reward yourself – within reason. Remember that the decisions you make in the short term impact you in the long term. Enjoy your road to becoming debt free!

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

Establishing Credit for Beginners

4 Things the Easter Bunny Taught Me about My Credit

True or False? Five Myths about Credit Scores Unveiled

4 Financial Mistakes Newlyweds Make

by Stacy Tharp 6. November 2013

Marriage Finances

One of the biggest decisions newlyweds have to make is how to go about combining their bank accounts. This decision requires a lot of discussion around personal money habits and short- and long-term financial goals. Depending on the couple, this conversation may be short and sweet or it may be excruciatingly long and painful.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but this money discussion will not be your last. No, not even close. It is important that you regroup on a regular basis to discuss your budget, the progress of your goals and any circumstances that may divert your current financial path.

To give you a head start on your wonderful journey of navigating the world of finances as a newly married couple, here are some of the top financial mistakes that newlyweds make and how to avoid them.

Mistake #1: Have one person take control of the finances.

 Why it's bad: Couples often divvy up household chores, so in theory, it makes sense to give one person the “chore” of paying the bills. However, this can leave the other person completely out of the loop when it comes to financial decisions that affect both people. Plus, if something were to happen to the person who is in charge of the finances, the other person must be ready and able to take over the financial responsibilities.

What you should do: It’s fine to give one person the responsibility of making sure the bills get paid – but both of you should be aware of bill due dates and account information. It’s also important to make sure that both of you are on the same page when it comes to your budget.

Mistake #2: Only have the “money talk” once.

Why it's bad: While it is essential to have that initial talk to establish your goals and budget, the difficult part is actually staying on track. It’s likely that the initial budget you create will not work as well in practice as it does on paper. It’s okay if your first budget ends up being impossible to follow. What’s not okay is doing nothing about it.

What you should do: Set up regular meetings with your spouse to discuss your finances. Since this isn’t exactly the most exciting topic to discuss, you can liven things up by doing it over a nice Sunday brunch, or any other activity you enjoy. I’d suggest setting up these dates at least once a month, at the beginning of the month, to discuss how well you were able to stick to last month’s budget, and to discuss any tweaks that should be made to this month’s budget. You should also discuss any large purchases that you plan on making that month. You may want to consider meeting again in the middle of the month to discuss your monthly progress.

Mistake #3: Refuse to compromise.

Why it’s bad: One of you is the spender, and the other is the saver. It’s good to have this balance, but one of you is likely to be more stubborn than the other. If one person is so stubborn that the other feels that they have no choice but to always give in, only one person wins.

What you should do: Both the spender and the saver should recognize that having this balance is a good thing, but that for most major financial decisions, you are going to have to meet somewhere in the middle. It can take some time, but you have to accept the fact that the financial habits which you have always lived by are going to have to change – and your spouse needs to accept that too.

Mistake #4: Fail to plan for worst case scenarios.

Why it’s bad: We never think something bad is going to happen, so it’s easy to tell yourself that putting money into an emergency fund can be put to better use somewhere else. But the fact is, unfortunate things are going to happen at some point or another, and if you aren’t financially prepared, your bad news just got much worse.

What you should do: Pay your “savings bill” first. If you have a large credit card bill one month, you should adjust your spending the next month, not your savings. It is a dangerous practice to pay for your overspending habits with your savings – doing so encourages you to continue to spend more than you had budgeted.

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

I Do...But Maybe I Don't Want to Share My Money

Money in Your 30s: Manage It, Don't Be Managed by It

The Cost of Love



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