Monthly Archives: May 2016

5 Ways to Save For Your Next Vacation

5 Ways to Save for Your Next Vacation

Whether it’s skiing in the mountains, scuba diving among the reefs, or exploring history throughout famous museums, your ideal vacation can be anything you make it. Wherever you dream of traveling to, price is sure to be a factor in your decision. Make the trip of your dreams into a reality with these smart savings tricks to help fund your travels wherever they may lead.

  1. Open a dedicated savings account. To keep your goal clearly in sight and prevent overspending, establish a dedicated savings account for family vacations. You can use these funds throughout the vacation planning stages to book hotels and tickets. During your trip, easily track your designated spending while preventing unneeded dips into a primary savings account.
  2. Trust the change jar. The nickels and dimes that collect at the bottom of your pockets may seem insignificant, but a mere $1.25 saved every day in spare change adds up to just under $500 in only one year. Establish a large lidded container for your trip funds, for gas or gifts. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for loose change both at home and during your work day.
  3. Designate a pantry week. In the months leading up to your vacation, pick one week each month to skip the grocery store and eat out of personal food storage. By eating meals such as spaghetti, soup, or rice, you’ll par down the grocery bill while consuming pre-purchased food before it goes bad.
  4. Repurpose gift cards. Instead of letting that plastic currency go to waste speak with friends and family members to see if any of them are interested in a trade. If there is no trade to be had, selling the gift card for slightly less than the card’s value may create a better incentive for buyers while still allowing you to receive the best benefit.
  5. Save energy. Cut down on your monthly utility bill by creating a list of action items to save on energy costs. Running the dishwasher for extreme loads only, switching to cold instead of hot water for laundry, setting a time limit for showers, and only turning on essential lights can lower your utility bill piece by piece. Take the difference saved and funnel it into your travel savings account.

 At Putnam Bank, we love seeing you accomplish your financial goals and enjoy all of the incredible places they can take you. If a vacation is on your horizon, make an appointment with one of our financial advisers today and learn how to make the most of your savings.

10 Must-Try Tips for Every Spring Cleaner

10 Must-Try Tips for Every Spring Cleaner

You’ve decluttered your closets, rearranged the furniture, and thrown open the windows, and yet – you know your spring cleaning can go even deeper. With just a couple of simple tools you already have around your house, you can take your cleaning to the next level. Get your spring cleaning on with these easy hacks courtesy of Putnam Bank.

  1. Dust blinds in a jiffy. To remove a winter’s build-up of dust and grime that’s settled on horizontal blinds, roll an old tube sock over your hand and spray it with a blast of vinegar before running it over the surface.
  2. Get streak-free windows. Clean smudged windows inside and out with an even mixture of vinegar, water, and dish soap. After scrubbing with a soft cloth, buff and remove streaks in a final once-over with a wadded piece of newspaper.
  3. Banish hard water build-up. To prevent unsightly water streaks on glass shower doors, rub a teaspoon of lemon oil over the surface twice a month and watch drops roll right off.
  4. Remove scratches naturally. To repair dinged or scratched wooden furniture, remove a walnut from its shell and rub it along the scratch. After rubbing the nut’s oils into the wood with your finger, let it sit for five minutes and buff it over with a soft cloth.
  5. De-gunk kitchen cabinets. Remove oil splatters and grime accumulation on kitchen cabinets with a simple scrub of one part vegetable oil to two parts baking soda. Scrub with an old tooth brush to reach extra-fine lines that make cabinetry look dark and dull.
  6. Sterilize Toys. By throwing fabric toys in a mesh laundry bag, you can disinfect and shine armfuls of plush toys in just one spin through the washing machine. Try this same trick in your dishwasher with those tough plastic toys!
  7. Remove pet hair. Grossed out by pet hair in the carpet the vacuum can’t seem to pick up? Run a window squeegee over your carpet by hand – the rubberized edge will pull up and collect hair in one easy-to-grab clump.
  8. Revamp your garbage disposal. Fill an ice cube tray with a mixture that’s eight parts water and one part vinegar, and drop a sliver of lemon rind in each slot. Drop a few frozen cubes down the drain to clean, deodorize, and sharpen your garbage disposal in one fell swoop.
  9. Get rid of grout scum. With ¾ cup of baking soda and ¼ cup bleach, create a paste that you can apply between mildewed tile on showers and oven backsplashes. After 10 minutes, gently scrub off with a toothbrush and a damp rag to reveal clean and clear grout.
  10. Sanitize everything. From windows to tubs, hit areas in need of deep disinfectant easily by screwing a spray bottle head onto a bottle of hydrogen peroxide for an instant, even spray. Hydrogen peroxide is the perfect remedy to get tough stains out.

Is your spending plan in need of some spring cleaning? Our financial experts can help you clean up your expenses and make the most of your budget. Give us a call at (800) 377-4424 and learn how today!

The DO’s & DON’Ts of Credit and Debit Cards

Personal Finance

NEW CARD – NEW PIN – NEW SECURITY

This week we are excited to dive into the Do’s and Don’ts of Credit and Debit cards! Offering two very similar, but uniquely different services for your financial needs, our cards can help you reign in your finances! Learn all about these tips and tricks courtesy of Putnam Bank.

Debit Card: A card issued by the bank that is tied directly to a checking or savings account. This card allows money to be electronically transferred from one bank account to another when making a transaction.  New chip enabled debit cards and your associated PIN numbers will arrive in the mail between 4/23-5/23.

DO

  1. Use the chip enabled debit card for daily transactions. It’s always great to have a paper trail reminding you of your purchases.
  2. Use for repeated expenses such as gas, groceries, and other costs you can plan for.
  3. Balance your check book. Sometimes charges such as gas or dining can take several days to run through so be sure to keep track of your spending by balancing your checkbook weekly.

DON’T

  1. Use your debit card online unless you absolutely have to. Having your credit card information stolen is one thing, having your bank information stolen is another.
  2. Spend more than you have in your account. Overdraft fees are no fun for anyone!
  3. Give your PIN number or other bank account information to anyone.

Credit Card: A small plastic card that is offered by the bank or other financial institution, allowing the card owner to purchase goods and services on credit.

DO

  1. Use for online expenses through secured vendors. Many discounts may be offered online only and can save you and your family a bundle.
  2. Pay your bill in full each and every month. Make to avoid hefty interest rates and other timely fees by not extending your balance over the next month.
  3. Utilize points to help you earn while you spend. These points are great for supplementing costs of family trips or other extra activities.

DON’T

  1. Spend more than you have allocated for the month. Paying more for interest and other fees is money wasted.
  2. Open too many credit card accounts. Keep one or two cards that you use and payoff each month to help boost your score.
  3. Max out your balance, even if you pay if off each month this can potentially damage your credit score and serve as a red flag to potential lenders.

Get started on your finances today with a secure credit or debit card from Putnam Bank! We’ll help you understand the ups and downs of each, and find the best solution for you and your needs.