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Growing a Family

Managing the financial responsibilities of family life

Growing a family is one of the most rewarding experiences you'll have in life. Its also expensive! You might be buying a home, purchasing a bigger vehicle, paying for various activities and lessons for your children, family vacations, and saving for college educations. Throughout this time, you should regularly evaluate your progress towards achieving the financial goals you set earlier in your life and adjust your spending, budgeting and saving to make sure you stay on track. With all the demands a family places on your income, it is still important to build your long-term investments.

Tips  for sound financial management during this demanding time:

  1. Shop for the best mortgage and consumer loans – When seeking a mortgage or other type of loan, you’ll want to compare all the costs involved including interest rates, points, fees and down payment and private mortgage insurance requirements. With competitive rates, experienced lending professionals and local decision-making, Citizens Bank is sure to have a loan that meets your needs. To find out more, click a link below or stop by and talk with one of our Loan Officers.
    • Mortgage Loans - With the right mortgage plan, your dream can come true.
    • Home Equity Loans - Home Equity loans are a smart and inexpensive way to borrow money. Use the equity in your home to meet your financial needs
    • Consumer Loans - Need a new vehicle? Want a recreational vehicle? Have other financing needs? We have a loan solution for you.
  2. Understand your credit report - Your financial behavior over the past seven years, including how much credit you have, how long you've had it and whether you pay your bills on time is information included in your credit report. Three credit reporting agencies — Equifax®, TransUnion®, and Experian® — maintain these reports, and lenders buy them to help them decide whether to offer you a prequalification. Your credit report also carries your credit score ranked between 300 and 850 that many lenders use to decide whether you are creditworthy and will you'll repay a loan. Your credit score can also influence the interest rate you pay. In many cases the higher your score, the lower your interest rate. Your credit score is available from the three credit reporting agencies:
  3. Start saving for your child’s education – By starting early, when your child is in preschool or before, you can build a realistic fund through the power of compounding over many years. The earlier you start, the less you’ll have to save per month. Through Citizens Bank, you can access products designed to help you fund your child’s higher education. To learn more, or set up an educational account, click on the links below.
    • Certificate of Deposit (CD) – A savings account that has a specific, fixed term and earns a fixed interest rate.
    • Flexible Add-On CD – Certificate of Deposit that allows additional deposits anytime. You can choose a term between 6 and 12 months.
    • 529 Educational Savings Plan - Contact a Financial Advisor for information.
  4. Get your children excited to save on their own – Prioritizing savings over spending is a valuable life lesson, and one that takes time to learn. Opening a savings account with your child begins a dialogue about money – how to earn it, why to save it, and the importance of spending it wisely.
  5. Establish an emergency fund – A good guide is to save three to six months’ worth of living expenses to cover rent or house payments, utilities, car payments, food, transportation and insurance into a separate bank account that could be easily accessed in the case of job loss or uncovered medical expenses. Don’t use the money for anything else.
  6. Open a checking account - Choose the checking account that works best for you and YOUR needs.
    • Cash Back Checking - Between grocery shopping, driving kids to events, and all the other responsibilities you have as a busy parent, you need the convenience of a debit card for making purchases. Why not earn cash back while you're using it?
    • Advantage Checking – Simplicity, value and convenience with no minimum balance.
    • Advantage Plus Checking – Put higher balances to work for you and earn interest.
  7. Make it easy – Save time, money and paper with Citizens Bank’s Online Banking Solutions.
    • NetTeller – Internet banking that allows you to access your financial accounts 24-hours a day, seven days a week.
    • Mobile Banking – Access NetTeller through your web-enabled cell phone or other mobile device.
    • VISA® Debit Card – Card that allows you to access funds from your checking account to pay for purchases at any retailer that accepts VISA cards.
    • ATM Card – PIN protected card that allows you to access your checking or savings account funds at an ATM machine or the Point of Sale.
    • Bill Payer – Internet banking service that allows you to pay your bills online 24-hours a day, seven days a week.
  8. Be safe – Get all your insurance needs met at the same great place you do your banking! Citizens Bank Insurance Services, a department of Citizens Bank, can serve all of your personal insurance needs. We will shop over 30 different insurance carriers to find a program of coverage that’s customized to your individual needs and budget.
    • Auto Insurance
    • Homeowner’s or rental Insurance
    • Recreational Insurance
    • Umbrella Liability
    • Specialty Policies
    • Disability, Health and Life Insurance
  9. Save for retirement – Many people underestimate the amount of money they’ll need in retirement. Be realistic about major expenditures, e.g., will your mortgage be paid off by retirement? If so, you may need less income than you do now. Do you plan to buy a vacation home or travel extensively? Will you have to pay for your own health insurance? These and other financial considerations all come into play. Now is a good time to up your contributions to your retirement savings accounts.
    • Certificate of Deposit (CD) – A savings account that has a specific, fixed term and earns a fixed interest rate.
    • Flexible Add-On CD – Certificate of Deposit that allows additional deposits anytime. You can choose a term between 6 and 12 months.
    • Money Market Account – A liquid demand deposit account that pays a competitive market rate of interest.
    • Traditional IRA – A tax-deferred individual retirement account that generally allows tax-deductible contributions. All distributions are treated as tax deductible.
    • Roth IRA – A nondeductible individual retirement account that generally allows 100% tax free distributions during retirement years.
    • Retirement Planning - Talk with a Financial Advisor to learn about how he can help you meet your retirement goals.

More tips:

  • Make sure your mortgage payment, including taxes and insurance, represents no more than 28 percent of your gross monthly income.
  • Review the cost of your health care insurance and make sure you are getting adequate coverage at the best price.
  • Make wise purchasing decisions by determining what you “need” compared to what you “want.” This will help you make ongoing decisions to keep your finances in check.
  • Guard against impulse shopping, especially for costly purchases such as vehicles, major appliances, furniture, jewelry and the like.