Putnam Bank October 2017 Employee of the Month

Linda Brule was named Putnam Bank’s Employee of the Month for October 2017. Linda has been with the bank since December 1999, and is the Personal Banking Account Executive (Windham County).

Linda said, “I am very proud and honored to be recognized for this award, and that my fellow employees think so highly of me. It is a testament to the team spirit that is so clearly the backbone of this organization. We have a great group of people here and I am fortunate to be a part of it.”

Linda is an Affiliate member of the Eastern CT Board of Realtors and works closely with all the local Agents in making the Home Buyers’ experience with the bank as easy and stress-free as possible. She enjoys camping, working around the yard and lounging by the pool. She has two sons and three grandchildren, and resides in Plainfield with her husband, Dennis.

“Linda is a very dedicated and knowledgeable employee. With her many years of lending expertise she goes above-and-beyond for customers looking to purchase or refinance a home. We acknowledge Linda for her commitment, and are grateful to have her as part of our superb lending team,” commented Thomas Borner, Putnam Bank President & CEO.

Putnam Bank, in existence for over 155 years, is a $521 million state chartered and insured stock bank. Putnam Bank has branch offices in Putnam, Pomfret Center, Danielson, Plainfield, Griswold, Gales Ferry, and Norwich. It also operates a full-service loan center in Putnam. For more information call (800) 377-4424 or visit putnambank.com.

Organizing Your Finances for the Holiday Rush

The holidays are a time where we surround ourselves with family, friends and the people we love most. Whether you’re staying close to home or traveling across the country, the holiday season means you’ll be eating good food and spending plenty of time shopping.

While all that food may mean your clothes fit a little tighter, the shopping can have a similar impact on your wallet. It’s important to make sure your finances are organized before the real holiday rush is upon us. Not only will you be better prepared, but you’ll be less stressed so you can enjoy the holidays with your loved ones.

Make your holiday season more enjoyable by using these tips from Putnam Bank.

Technology is your Friend

It’s easier than ever to use technology to organize your finances. Take advantage of online and mobile banking to get a real-time look at your account balances. There are also several financial management tools available online that will help you with setting a budget and establishing saving goals.

Set Alerts

You already know that your bills are due at different times throughout the month, but it’s important to remember that the holidays may cause changes in those due dates. Verify any upcoming due dates and make note of any changes from your regular monthly payment schedule. Utilize the bill pay features of your online banking account to make sure payments are scheduled well in advance, and set up alerts to make sure you’re reminded of your payment and to verify that the payment went through.

Hold On To Your Statements

This is important to remember throughout the year, but keeping all your statements organized is important. Something as simple as keeping separate manila folders for your savings and checking account statements, IRA statements, 401(k) records and other financial documents can go a long way and won’t cost you much.

Get Rid of High Interest Debt

It can seem easier to use your credit card when holiday shopping. To make sure you can use your credit during the holidays, make sure you’ve paid down anything you owe.

Organizing your finances before the holidays hit will make your holiday season more enjoyable so you can focus on the things that matter most. Contact Putnam Bank to make sure your finances are set up for a happy holiday season.

 

Protecting Yourself While Shopping Online this Holiday Season

As the holidays roll up, buying items online increases exponentially. Unfortunately, cyber-attacks and identity theft also increases with that number. That’s why Putnam Bank has come up with some helpful tips and tricks to stay safe when shopping online this holiday season!

Don’t Use Unknown Wireless Networks

If you are in a coffee shop or an airport and a network pops up for you to connect to, your chance of being hacked skyrockets. When the network you are on is not protected, hackers have a chance to get into your mobile device and locate passwords, account information, and more. Even though you want to check your email or see if there is a good deal somewhere, try to resist in order to protect yourself.

Use Different Passwords

Yes, it is hard to use a different password for each site when you are connected to 50 or 100 sites. However, if a hacker gets ahold of one password, they can instantly use that password with your email to log into all other sites that have the same one.

Don’t Store Credit Card Info On Sites

When online sites have you enter your credit or debit card information, many of them give you an option to save your card information. They say it’s secure and most of the time it is, but hackers are still able to get into their account and find your information. Even though it’s a little more work to type your information in each time, it’s more work to deal with getting your money back after someone has stolen, and used, your information.

Avoid Clicking Links

When shopping online, there are millions of links connected to products or telling you they will bring you to the product you are looking for. These are easy ways for hackers to bring you to a site they created to give you malware. If you are on a trusted site, you can click the links there because they will only bring you to other places within their own site.

Shop Secure Sites

As mentioned above, it is okay to trust links within a secure site. However, if you are online searching for a certain gift to give someone and find a list that links to different sites, do not trust those sites. Search online about which sites are to be trusted before you go to them and give them your information.

These tips will aid you in being a security savvy shopper when the holidays begin. If you have any questions or concerns about your account, be sure to contact Putnam Bank. Our team of professionals is here to help if a problem of stolen information does arise!

 

It’s the Season to Save Money: Tax Deductions

While it might not be on your radar, now is the perfect time to start thinking about taxes. You may be thinking you just wrapped up the tax season, but April 15th will be here before you know it. The end of the year is the perfect time to make a few financially savvy moves to help trim down your tax bill.

While not all of the ideas below apply to everyone, they can help you fund your retirement account or even put you in a charitable mood.

Contribute the maximum to your retirement account(s) – If you have a tax-advantaged retirement account (meaning your contributions aren’t taxed), contributing the maximum lowers your taxable income, meaning you pay less on your tax bill. Even better? You’re helping contribute to your retirement savings fund!

Give to charity – As long as you have over $250 in costs directly related to helping a charity plus their acknowledgement (a receipt, statement, etc), you’re in good shape. Just be sure you also have the receipts from making all those meals or purchasing supplies. Remember, donations to individuals don’t count when claiming a charity deduction.

Job-hunting costs – If you were job hunting at all this last year (and have the receipts on hand), these costs can be deductible. Eligible expenses include transportation costs, food, lodging, employment agency fees, costs of printing resumes, business cards, etc.

Give to family or friends – This category is a two-for-one! Not only do you give the gift of money, but you reduce your tax burden. You can give up to $14,000 without having to file a gift-tax return, which lowers your taxable income, thereby reducing your tax bill.

Energy-saving home improvements – Made some energy-saving modifications to your home this year and have the documentation and receipts to prove it? You can claim a credit up to $500. While this isn’t a tax deduction, you can use the credit to help pay your tax bill if need be.

This list is just a start of tax deductions you can start planning for. For more information or questions, you’ll want to talk to your tax professional or Putnam Bank to help guide you. We hope this list provides you with a little inspiration to find some deductions this tax season!

 

Putnam Bank September 2017 Employee of the Month

Alyson Davis was named Putnam Bank’s Employee of the Month for September 2017. Alyson has been with the bank since October 2001, and is currently the CSR Supervisor at the Main Office in Putnam.

Alyson said, “I’m honored and grateful to receive this award. You’re only as good as the people around you and I’m fortunate to be part of a great team. While I appreciate the individual recognition, this could easily be a team award.”

Alyson is an avid runner and active in the community having participated in the Walk & Run for NECT Cancer Fund, Northeast Opportunities for Wellness, Inc 3.5ish Mile Road Race, and Quinebaug Valley Community College Foundation Tackle the Trail.  She lives in Putnam with her sons, Elijah and CJ.

“Aly is a highly competent, caring, and enthusiastic employee of Putnam Bank, and I’m not at all surprised that she received such glowing reviews from staff and customers alike. She excels in her position. She demonstrates excellent customer service and still finds the time to participate in community activities which is at the core of Putnam Bank’s mission.” stated Thomas Borner, Putnam Bank President & CEO.

PB Bancorp, Inc., headquartered in Putnam, Connecticut, is the parent of Putnam Bank, a state chartered stock savings bank founded in 1862. The Bank offers a wide range of financial services through its eight full-service offices. Putnam Bank also operates a full-service loan center in Putnam, Connecticut. The Bank’s deposits are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. PB Bancorp, Inc.’s common stock trades on the NASDAQ Capital Market under the symbol PBBI.

PB BANCORP, INC. ANNOUNCES INCREASED DIVIDEND

Thomas A. Borner, President and CEO of PB Bancorp, Inc., has announced that the Company’s Board of Directors has declared a quarterly cash dividend on the Company’s common stock of $0.05 per share. The dividend will be payable to all stockholders of record as of October 18, 2017, and is scheduled to be paid on November 1, 2017.

“We are pleased to announce this latest dividend payment for the Holding Company” said Mr. Borner. “We believe that providing a return to our stockholders is an important part of being a community bank.  We look forward to continuing to build our brand of community banking, a journey we embarked upon 155 years ago, and serving our mission of enhancing the quality of life in the communities we serve”.

PB Bancorp, Inc., headquartered in Putnam, Connecticut, is the parent of Putnam Bank, a state chartered stock savings bank founded in 1862. The Bank offers a wide range of financial services through its eight full-service offices. Putnam Bank also operates a full-service loan center in Putnam, Connecticut. The Bank’s deposits are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. PB Bancorp, Inc.’s common stock trades on the NASDAQ Capital Market under the symbol PBBI.

Four Ways to Raising Your Financial Game

Whether you’re a football fanatic who’s happy that your favorite team is finally back on the field or you can’t tell the difference between a quarterback and a punter, football can actually teach you a lot about managing your finances. Don’t believe us? Check out the Putnam Bank game plan that can help you get a financial win.

It’s Important to Win on Offense, Defense and Special Teams

Good teams need to play well in all three aspects to win games. In your finances, your offense is your income. If you think of dollars as yards, the more money you generate, the more secure you can be. If income is your offense, then spending is your defense. Coaches don’t want their defense to be on the field too long, so keeping the spending to a minimum is the best way to keep your finances in check. Your special teams are items like investing. You only need them a few times per game, but you need them to perform well when they’re on the field.

Defense Wins Games

If spending is your defense, controlling spending is the best way to ensure your defense is successful so you can get a financial win. Taking a defensive approach to your finances that controls spending and saves a little each and every month may not seem like the most exciting thing, but it will get you a win. Slow and steady saving can help you be successful for a long time.

Understand the Game Clock

The game clock can dictate how a team plays. At some times, you can be aggressive, while other times may call for a more conservative approach. Taking an aggressive approach, such as making a smart investment, can help you improve your financial situation quickly. However, a more conservative and steady saving approach can help you accrue wealth, too, it may just take a little longer.

Surround Yourself with Good Coaches

A good coach trusts others to develop players and game plans. There are a lot of financial experts that have a wealth of knowledge that you can take advantage of by providing a unique perspective, including right here at Putnam Bank. Trust these financial experts to use their experience to help you get a win.

Just as a good game plan can help your favorite team on the gridiron, it can help you with your finances. If you have any questions, contact Putnam Bank and we’d be happy to help you develop the right game plan.

4 Steps to Safeguard Your Security

cyber security

Who knew four little steps could be the difference between keeping your information secure, and falling victim to cyber predators. With today’s current cybercrime tactics, you can never be too careful! At Putnam Bank we want to help ensure you and your finances stay safe, and offer these four strategic steps to boost your personal cyber security.

  1. Safeguard your passwords. Instead of desktop post-it notes, store your passwords somewhere secure like the LastPass app. Not only will apps like these help you remember which password to use for what, but because they’re all stored in one place, you can continue to make more complicated to create an added layer of protection.
  2. Do NOT use public wifi when possible. While hot spot coffee shops may offer high-speed wifi to customers, never sign on until you have confirmation from a store employee that the business is genuinely offering the service. Many cyber criminals will prey on locations such as these to gain access to both your devices and your information. We suggest waiting until you’re on your own dedicated wifi to access secure information such as your bank account or credit card portal.
  3. Never give out your personal information. Cyber criminals are getting cleverer each and every year. With many phishing schemes now incorporating the names of your family or distant relatives, these complicated schemes can make it seem essential to share your banking or credit card information. No matter what the occasion or reason, NEVER give out your personal financial information out over the phone or online. Always contact the representative you know, or call the business’s official number to authenticate the request before acting on it.
  4. When purchasing online, always choose credit over debit. Thankfully credit card providers such as VISA and Mastercard offer zero percent fraud liability for their customers. For this reason, it is far safer to make purchases online via your credit card compared to your debit card. While your debit card can certainly be used online, should it become compromised, you could be out those stolen funds until the proper insurance or reports are filed.

There are always new ways to be proactive when it comes to your personal security. If you have further questions on how to keep your financial information secure, our team is here to help! Give us a call or stop by your nearest Putnam Bank location to speak with one of our personal bankers today.

6 Ways to Save on Your Study Abroad

Study Abroad

Are you or your child dreaming of learning abroad, perhaps on the coasts of Spain, or the mountains of Italy? As a young adult, now is a perfect time broaden those horizons, and explore new lands while continuing an education. Unfortunately, all of these great experiences don’t come for free! If you’re searching for some innovative ways to scrimp and save to make a potential study abroad a reality, we have a few strategies to help you make it happen.

  1. Scholarships, scholarships, scholarships. Whether it’s through a prospective program, current university, or perhaps even an area Amvets organization, make it a dedicated part-time job to apply to any and every study abroad application that is relative to your upcoming study abroad. You can save anywhere from a couple hundred dollars up to the entire cost of your travel and tuition through a combination of various scholarship programs.
  2. Work study. This is a fantastic opportunity many foreign programs offer. In exchange for a small amount of work during the week, such as AV management or library maintenance, you can reduce your educational costs by thousands! Be sure to apply for these early as they’re typically capped at a specific number of students.
  3. Plan your own excursions. Many study abroad opportunities also offer pre-planned excursions to go to neighboring cities or countries. Instead of footing an inflated travel bill, plan your own excursions with a group of friends and split the costs. You may find yourself having a better time than the official itinerary attendees!
  4. Pay with cash. Once you’ve arrived at your destination, continue your savings journey, by only taking the amount of cash you need for your planned purchases. It does help to have an international credit card such as Mastercard or Visa for emergencies, but when shopping day-to-day, spend less and pay with cash.
  5. Pack your staples and buy your conveniences. When packing for several months, it helps to include clothes which can be combined for multiple outfits. Couple this with versatile shoes and accessories, and a two-week wardrobe can easily last you a whole semester! Other amenities such as toiletries, snacks, and basic school supplies can be much easier to purchase once you arrive.
  6. Use apps to call home instead of expensive calling cards. Helpful apps like WhatsApp, Skype, and Facetime make it simple to connect with loved ones back home without having to pay costly fees. If you can find a local wifi hotspot, or happen to have internet where you’re staying, there’s no need to pay for an international cell phone or expensive cell phone fees. If you plan to use your regular U.S. based cell phone while abroad, just be sure to keep it on airplane mode to avoid astronomical roaming charges.

No matter where you or your child are planning to study abroad, the key is to enjoy it! We can help you set-up a dedicated savings account, all we ask is you make the most of your time and explore as much as you can!  We’ll help you take care of the rest.

How to Create Better Habits

better habits

If you’re like us, starting a new diet, or working to exercise more often is more difficult than we initially planned. The same is true with many financial goals you may have. Saving for retirement, eliminating credit card debt, increasing your credit score; these are all things that take time and dedication to complete, but sometimes it’s hard to stay on track.

Luckily, Business Insider released an article that showcases just how long it takes for your brain to form a habit. Surprisingly, it’s less than you’d think! It takes approximately 66 days for a consistent behavior to be added to your brain’s list of automatic actions. Thankfully, those 66 days do allow for some error. We’re all human, so there’s no need to be perfect during your trial practice. However, by committing to your new habit for 66 days or more, you can ensure that this new beneficial behavior sticks with you well into the future.

This new habit can be as simple as remembering to take the trash out, or as complex as maintaining a specified number of calories in a day. At Putnam Bank we want to inspire you with some important financial habits to help you progress down the path of financial success. Take a look at these three examples.

  1. Use the Envelope System: To help train your brain to only spend what you budget for, withdraw your total miscellaneous spending budget for the month. Then, divvy it up amongst your budget categories like food, entertainment, transportation, etc. After it’s been segmented, stick to your dollars, and only spend what you have in the envelope. No credit or debit cards to spend extra. If you can successfully make this a habit, you could see a large amount of extra savings which can then be used for vacations, retirement, or other savings ventures.
  2. Pay All the Bills Before They’re Due: Many habits appear easier than they truly are. In order to process this behavior into a habit, there are several steps you’ll need to repeat each month. To get started, make a calendar at the beginning of every month to mark the dates bills are due and for how much. Then, as the bills arrive, structure your payments to pay one at a time, leaving extra cushion in your account, should an unexpected expense arise. Using this recurring schedule, you can help yourself to get each expense paid before the designated due date. As an added bonus, an ongoing history of on-time payments may benefit your credit score!
  3. Save for Retirement: This one is often a habit that takes longer than 66 days because there is no immediate reward for the effort you put forward. Later in life, your future self will thank you for putting the time and savings away early on. The first step in this process is to research your options. If your company offers a 401(k), and a match, then that may be the first place you want to start. By automating payments from your paycheck, you can use pre or post-tax dollars to bolster your savings without the temptation of spending. Then, when you save extra money with your envelope system, remember to add those surplus funds into your retirement savings account to give it an added boost.

We love the three goals listed above, but that doesn’t mean you can’t create your own unique financial habits! If you’d like to get started on a new financial behavior, stop into your nearest branch today and speak with one our personal bankers. Our team would love to help kick off your next 66 day habit!