Checking Your Full Credit Report!

Check your full credit report

Checking your credit report is an essential step in managing your financial health. Your credit report contains detailed information about your credit history, including your borrowing and repayment behavior. Monitoring this information regularly helps you detect errors, spot signs of identity theft and maintain a good credit score. Here’s how to check your full credit report:

  • Access Your Report: You’re entitled to one free credit report* annually from each of the three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Visit the only authorized website for free credit reports, to request them.
  • Verify Your Identity: To access your reports, you’ll need to provide personal information, including your name, address, Social Security number and date of birth. This is crucial to ensure that you’re the only one accessing your sensitive financial data.
  • Review Your Reports: Once you receive your credit reports, carefully examine each one for accuracy. Look for any discrepancies, such as accounts you didn’t open, incorrect personal information or unfamiliar inquiries. These could be signs of errors or fraudulent activity.
  • Understand Your Report: Your credit report consists of several sections, including personal information, account history, inquiries and public records. Take the time to understand what each section entails and how the information within it impacts your creditworthiness.
  • Dispute Errors: If you spot any inaccuracies on your credit reports, file a dispute with the credit bureau reporting the error. They’re required to investigate your claim and correct any mistakes within a reasonable timeframe.
  • Monitor Regularly: Don’t wait until you need credit to check your reports. Make it a habit to review them periodically throughout the year. Some credit monitoring services offer ongoing access to your reports and alerts for changes, which can be helpful in staying vigilant.
  • Maintain Good Credit Habits: Ultimately, the goal of checking your credit reports is to maintain good credit health. Pay your bills on time, keep your credit utilization low and only apply for credit when necessary to ensure your credit reports reflect positively on your financial responsibility.

By following these steps and staying proactive about monitoring your credit reports, you can better safeguard your financial well-being and make informed decisions about your credit management.

*Free credit reports do not include the credit score.

The opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the author and meant for generic illustration purposes only. For specific questions regarding your personal lending needs, please call RCB Bank at 855-BANK-RCB. RCB Bank is an Equal Housing Lender and member FDIC. RCB Bank NMLS #798151.

Sources:  Home Page. Annual Credit – Home Page. (2024).

Consumer Finance. (n.d.). I got my free credit reports, but they do not include my credit scores. can I get my credit score for free too?. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

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Creating a Holiday Budget to Stress-Free Spending

As the holiday season approaches, developing a realistic holiday budget, stress-free shopping, and a financially sound celebration are critical for everyone’s well-being. The hustle and bustle of the holiday season often gives way for individuals to overspend, resulting in financial stress that lingers long after the festivities end. With our step-by-step guide, we aim to empower individuals and families to take control of their holiday spending, allowing them to enjoy the season without the burden of excessive debt.

Assess Your Finances

Check your present financial status first. Document all of your financial transactions, including wages, savings, and obligations. When creating a practical budget, it is essential to know your current financial situation.

Set Clear Spending Limits

You should figure out how much money you can comfortably spend on holiday expenses. Allocate a portion of this sum for things like events, decorations, and gifts. With the goal of avoiding going overboard and stay on track with your budget, it is recommended to set specific spending limitations for each category.

Prioritize Your Expenses

Determine the expenses that are most important for you and your loved ones over the Christmas season. Spending should be prioritized according to what is most important to you, whether it be for thoughtful gifts, festive décor, or unforgettable activities that will be remembered.

Create a Detailed Gift List

List all the individuals you plan to buy gifts for, along with a budget for each person. Consider creative and cost-effective gift ideas to stay within your budget while still spreading holiday cheer. Make a tally of everyone on your gift-buying list and assign a certain amount to each person. To remain within your budget while still spreading holiday cheer, consider inventive and affordable gift ideas.

Shop Smart

Shop throughout the Christmas season to save money. For those last-minute holiday shopping, check around and see if you can save money by purchasing in bulk. Furthermore, look at do-it-yourself alternatives for an inexpensive, customized touch.

Plan for Events and Celebrations

Make a list in advance to save money on last-minute expenses at holiday parties, whether you’re hosting or just going. To prevent the celebration budget from getting out of hand, think about having a potluck style gathering or making some of the décor yourself.

Monitor and Adjust

Throughout the holiday season, check your expenses against your budget on a regular basis. Be sure you don’t go over your budget by making any required changes.

By following these simple steps, individuals and families can create a holiday budget that allows for meaningful celebrations without the stress of financial strain.


Opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the author and meant for generic illustration purposes only. RCB Bank, Member FDIC.

Sources:  Barroso, A. (2022, December 19). How to build a holiday budget that works every year. NerdWallet.

Duro, P. (2023, June 29). Budgeting for Christmas: A guide to stress-free holiday spending. MoneyCoach.

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Navigate Spending Black Friday and Cyber Monday


As the holiday season approaches, consumers gear up for the annual shopping frenzy known as Black Friday and Cyber Monday. In the midst of enticing discounts and limited time offers, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement and overspend. To help shoppers make the most of these sales events without breaking the bank, here are some valuable tips for strategic holiday shopping.

Set a Budget and Stick to It

One of the most crucial steps in preparing for Black Friday and Cyber Monday is establishing a realistic budget. Shoppers should determine how much they can afford to spend on their holiday shopping and allocate specific amounts to different categories, such as gifts, decorations, and personal treats. By setting a budget, consumers can avoid impulse purchases and keep their spending in check.

Research Deals in Advance

To make the most of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, shoppers are encouraged to do their homework ahead of time. Researching deals and discounts in advance allows consumers to identify the best offers and prioritize their purchases. Many retailers release their sales flyers early, giving shoppers the opportunity to plan their shopping strategy and focus on the items that matter most to them.

Utilize Price Tracking Tools

In the age of technology, there are numerous online tools and apps designed to help shoppers track prices and find the best deals. Price tracking tools can notify consumers when the price drops on a specific item, ensuring they get the best possible deal. By leveraging these resources, shoppers can stay informed and make informed purchasing decisions.

Beware of Impulse Purchases

The allure of deep discounts and time-limited offers can sometimes lead to impulse purchases. Experts advise shoppers to stick to their pre-determined budget and resist the temptation to buy items on a whim. Taking a moment to consider whether a purchase is genuinely necessary can prevent regrettable spending and contribute to a more mindful shopping experience.

Consider Online Shopping Safety

As Cyber Monday is predominantly an online shopping event, it’s essential for consumers to prioritize online safety. Ensure that the websites you visit are secure, use reputable payment methods, and be cautious of phishing scams. Protecting personal and financial information is crucial when navigating the virtual realm of Cyber Monday deals. You can visit RCB Bank Security Center to stay up to date on the latest fraud/scam schemes.

Shop with a Plan

Whether venturing into crowded stores on Black Friday or browsing online deals on Cyber Monday, having a plan is key. Create a list of desired items, set priorities, and stick to the established budget. By shopping with a plan, consumers can maximize their savings and minimize stress. Black Friday and Cyber Monday present exciting opportunities to snag great deals on holiday gifts and essentials. By approaching these sales events with a strategic mindset, shoppers can navigate the hustle and bustle while avoiding the pitfalls of overspending.

Opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the author and meant for generic illustration purposes only. RCB Bank, Member FDIC.

Sources:  Ramhold, J. (2023, September 13). How to prepare for Black Friday like a pro. dealnews.

Lauren, L. (2020, October 26). How to set up your Black Friday budget and shopping plan. I Am That Lady.

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Financial Fitness: Embrace No-Spend Days

RCB Bank Learning Center - No Spend Days

In today’s consumer-driven society, it’s easy to fall into the trap of mindless spending. We often find ourselves tempted by the latest gadgets, trendy clothes and indulgent treats. It’s crucial to recognize the importance of financial fitness and the impact it can have on your budgets. One simple yet powerful technique to regain control of your finances is to incorporate a weekly “no-spend day” into your routine. Listed below are some benefits of this practice and creative ways to make the most of your no-spend days.


A no-spend day is exactly what it sounds like – a day where you avoid any unnecessary expenses. It’s an opportunity to hit the pause button on impulsive buying habits and reassess financial priorities. By setting aside one day each week for this purpose, we develop mindfulness around spending patterns and establish healthier financial habits.


Saving Money: No-spend days provide a golden opportunity to save money. By eliminating even a day’s worth of expenses, you can significantly boost your savings over time. The money saved can be allocated towards emergency funds, paying off debts or pursuing long-term financial goals.

Developing Mindful Consumption: Engaging in no-spend days forces us to evaluate wants versus needs. By consciously choosing not to spend, we become more aware of our spending triggers and gain a clearer understanding of what truly matters. This newfound mindfulness carries over to regular spending habits, helping us make wiser financial decisions.

Cultivating Creativity: Instead of relying on money to entertain us, discover alternative ways to have fun and enjoy life. This might involve exploring nature, engaging in hobbies, organizing game nights with friends or having a cozy movie marathon at home. The possibilities are endless, limited only by our imagination.

Making the Most

Plan Ahead: To maximize the benefits of no-spend days, plan your activities in advance. Take a few moments at the start of each week to brainstorm free or low-cost options for entertainment, relaxation and personal development. By having a plan, you’ll be less likely to give in to impulsive spending temptations.

Embrace Frugal Cooking: No-spend days provide an excellent opportunity to experiment with frugal cooking. Take stock of the ingredients already in your pantry and challenge yourself to create delicious meals from scratch. Not only will this save you money, but it can also improve your culinary skills.

Engage in Self-Care:  Self-care doesn’t have to come with a hefty price tag. Use no-spend days to prioritize self-care activities that don’t require spending money. Whether it’s practicing meditation, taking a relaxing bath, reading a book or exploring a new hobby, dedicate time to yourself for personal well-being.

Connect with Others: No-spend days are an excellent opportunity to strengthen relationships without spending money. Plan a picnic in the park with friends, host a game night at home or organize a potluck dinner. Focus on shared experiences rather than material possessions, deepen your connections and create lasting memories.

Incorporating a no-spend day each week is a powerful tool to enhance your financial fitness. Embrace the challenge of finding joy and fulfillment without relying on material possessions. Financial freedom is not about depriving yourself but rather about aligning your spending with your values and long-term goals. Implement no-spend days and embark on a journey towards a healthier and more financially fit future.

Opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the author and meant for generic illustration purposes only. RCB Bank, Member FDIC.

Sources: Dow, N. (2023, January 3). It’s time to cut yourself off: Here’s how to do a no-spend challenge. The Penny Hoarder.

Larsen, K. (2021, January 3). Tips for a no spend day or week or month. Believe In A Budget.


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Financially Fit Tip: Take Advantage of Technology

RCB Bank Financially Fit - Embrace Technology

In today’s digital age, technology has become an integral part of our lives, revolutionizing the way we work, communicate and even manage our finances. From mobile banking apps to budgeting tools and investment platforms, technology offers a plethora of opportunities to enhance our financial well-being.


Embrace Mobile Banking

Gone are the days of standing in long queues at the bank. RCB Bank mobile banking has made it incredibly convenient to manage your finances on the go. With just a few taps on your smartphone, you can check your account balance, transfer funds (RCB Bank’s OneWayPay, Bank to Bank Transfers), pay bills and even deposit checks. It not only saves time but also allows you to keep a close eye on your transactions, ensuring better financial control and security.


Harness the Power of Budgeting Apps

Budgeting is a crucial aspect of financial fitness and technology has made it easier than ever. Along with RCB Bank’s myCardswap, and other numerous budgeting apps, such as Mint and YNAB (You Need a Budget), are available to help you track your expenses, set savings goals, and monitor your progress. These apps provide visual representations of your spending habits, offer personalized insights, and send alerts to help you stay within your budget. By using these tools, you can make smarter financial decisions and achieve your financial goals faster.


Automate Your Savings

Saving money consistently can be challenging, especially when it requires manual effort. However, technology has introduced automated savings tools that make the process effortless. Automatic transfers to savings with RCB Bank’s myClickSwitch as well as apps such as Mint and YNAB analyze your spending patterns. By leveraging this technology, you can effortlessly build an emergency fund, build investment and save for long-term goals without even realizing it.


Explore Investment Platforms

Investing was once considered a complex and intimidating task, but technology has democratized the investment landscape. Online investment platforms offer easy access to various investment options, including stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). With user-friendly interfaces, educational resources, and automated portfolio management, these platforms have made investing more accessible and transparent, empowering individuals to grow their wealth.


Leverage Online Marketplaces

If you have unused items lying around, technology has made it effortless to declutter and make some extra money. Online marketplaces such as eBay, Amazon, and Facebook Marketplace provide platforms for selling used goods. You can easily create listings, reach a wide audience, and receive payments securely. By selling items you no longer need, you not only declutter your living space but also generate additional income.


Utilize Comparison Websites

Whether you’re looking for insurance or credit cards technology has simplified the process of comparing various financial products and services.


In an era defined by technological advancements, it is crucial to embrace the tools and platforms available to enhance our financial fitness. By leveraging mobile banking, budgeting apps, automated savings tools, investment platforms, online marketplaces and comparison websites, we can optimize our financial management, save time, increase our savings and make smarter financial decisions. However, it’s important to remember that while technology can be a powerful ally in achieving financial fitness, it should be used responsibly. Stay vigilant about online security, keep your personal information secure, always research and verify the credibility of the apps and platforms you choose to use.


Dive in and harness the power of technology to gain better control over your finances. By doing so, you’ll be well on your way to achieving your financial goals and securing a brighter future.



Opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the author and meant for generic illustration purposes only. RCB Bank, Member FDIC.



FinanceBuzz. (2023, May 4). Best budgeting apps [2023]. FinanceBuzz.

Sabatier, G. (2023, January 2). Ynab vs. Mint: Which budgeting app should you use?. Millennial Money.


Scheithe, E. (2020, May 5). Online and mobile banking tips for Beginners. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Tepper, T. (2023, July 5). 5 best investment apps of July 2023. Forbes.

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Mastering Account Reconciliation: A Guide for Overdraft Protection Users

RCB Bank Learning Center - Account Reconciliation

Maintaining a balanced account is crucial for financial stability and peace of mind. For customers who utilize overdraft protection and primarily rely on debit card transactions, reconciling your account balance becomes even more essential. This article aims to guide you through the process of reconciling your account balance effectively, providing useful tips and insights along the way. Whether you use a checkbook or online banking, these strategies will help you regain control over your finances.


Understanding the Basics:

Account reconciliation involves comparing your records of financial transactions with the bank’s records to ensure they match. This process allows you to identify any discrepancies and take appropriate action. While traditional checkbooks are less common nowadays, the principles of reconciliation apply regardless of the transaction method.


Online Banking: Pending vs. Posted Transactions

In today’s digital era, online banking has become increasingly popular. When reconciling your account balance through online banking, it is essential to understand the distinction between pending and posted transactions.


Pending transactions:

These are transactions that have been authorized but have not yet been deducted from your account balance. They include recent purchases, transfers, or any other financial activity that is awaiting final processing by the merchant or financial institution. Pending transactions may take some time to be posted, and the amount may change or even be canceled before final processing.


Posted transactions:

These are transactions that have been completed and officially deducted from your account balance. Once a pending transaction is processed and finalized, it becomes posted. Reviewing pending and posted transactions during the reconciliation process is important to ensure accuracy.


Steps to Reconcile Your Account Balance:

  1. Review your records: Gather all receipts, statements, and transaction records, whether physical or digital. This includes records of purchases, ATM withdrawals, online transfers, and any other financial activities.
  2. Access your online banking: Login to your online banking platform to view your account details. Take note of the current balance, pending transactions, and posted transactions.
  3. Compare transactions: Start comparing the transactions on your records with the transactions displayed in your online banking. Focus on posted transactions, as these have already affected your account balance.
  4. Identify discrepancies: Look for any inconsistencies or discrepancies between your records and the bank’s records. Common discrepancies may include missing transactions, incorrect amounts, or duplicate entries. Be meticulous during this step, as even minor errors can lead to larger problems down the line.
  5. Investigate pending transactions: Pay attention to any pending transactions and ensure they match your records. Be aware that the final amounts may differ from the pending amounts once they are posted. Contact your bank for clarification if you notice any discrepancies or unfamiliar transactions.
  6. Update your records: Make the necessary adjustments to your records based on the information provided by your bank. If you find any errors, notify your bank immediately to rectify the situation promptly.
  7. Establish a routine: Regularly reconcile your account to prevent any potential problems from escalating. Set aside a specific time each week or month to review your transactions and ensure they align with your records.


Reconciling your account balance is vital to maintaining financial stability, particularly for customers utilizing overdraft protection and primarily using debit cards. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can take control of your finances and avoid unnecessary fees or complications. Whether you prefer using checkbooks or online banking, understanding the distinction between pending and posted transactions and reviewing your records diligently will help you maintain an accurate account balance. Stay vigilant and make account reconciliation a regular part of your financial routine for long-term financial well-being.


Opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the author and meant for generic illustration purposes only. RCB Bank, Member FDIC.


Bichachi, R. (2022, August 28). Bank reconciliations defined: A definitive guide. Oracle NetSuite.


Birken, E. G. (2022, August 18). How to balance a Checkbook. Forbes.

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When Should You Use Your Emergency Savings Fund?

RCB Bank - When to use emergency savings

Having an emergency savings fund is considered an essential part of your overall financial wellbeing. But what exactly constitutes an emergency, and when should you use it?

Emergency savings funds are designed to pay for unexpected expenses, or to cover the bills if you have a loss of income. While you can’t control when something unexpected happens, you can control being prepared for the unexpected.

The most common reasons to dip into your emergency savings funds are salary reduction (to help bridge the gap); medical bills; unexpected repairs, such as vehicle or air conditioning/heating units; or replacing appliances.

And because everyone’s definition of an emergency differs, it might be easier to say what you shouldn’t spend your emergency savings fund on. Remember, these funds are designed for emergencies, so dipping into it to help pay for nonessential items like a vacation or concert tickets or other entertainment expenses should not happen.

A good baseline is this: Do you need the item to survive? If you don’t, you definitely should shy away from using the emergency savings fund for the purchase.

Having a reserve fund for financial emergencies can help you avoid relying on other forms of credit or loans that can turn into debt, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau states. If you use a credit card or take out a loan to pay for these expenses, your one-time emergency expense may grow significantly larger than your original bill because of interest and fees.

The CFPB also says don’t be afraid to use it if you need it, and if you spend down what’s in your emergency savings fund, just work to build it up again.

Practicing your savings skills over time will make this easier.


Opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the author and meant for generic illustration purposes only. RCB Bank, Member FDIC.


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Resolve to Take Control of Your Finances This Year

Resolve to take control of your finances this year.

It’s almost the new year, which means it’s time for new year’s resolutions. According to a survey by Statista, financial goals are one of the top 5 areas where Americans wish to focus on improving.

If improving your finances is an area in which you’d like to focus, here are some ways in which that could be obtained.

If you don’t know about the 52-week savings resolution, you can read about it here. However, if that seems too daunting of a task, or is too hard to keep up with, try asking your bank to set up automatic transfers to a savings account. Think of it as setting up an auto-pay bill – only you’re paying yourself!

Start a financial journal. If you keep track of every penny you spend, you may see things on paper that you don’t notice day to day. Keeping a journal will make you more mindful of where your money goes.

Starting a journal will help you if you want to organize your finances. Organizing your finances can reduce stress by showing you where you stand financially and can help you start a path to financial success.

Reduce your debt. Paying down your debt always is a good place to start with a new year’s resolution. Your debt-to-income ratio plays an important part in your finances, so finding a strategy to eliminate your debt can be a great boost to your financial well-being.

Improve your credit score. Improving your credit score can make it easier for you to get approved for loans and lines of credit, and even lower interest rates. A person with a higher credit score can save thousands of dollars over the course of their life than someone with a low score.

Making financial resolutions can help you make 2023 the best ever and even more enjoyable beyond that. Whether you want to reduce debt or save money, you can build financial security by setting these types of resolutions.

Opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the author and meant for generic illustration purposes only. RCB Bank, Member FDIC.


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Strategies to Eliminate Debt

RCB Bank - Strategies to Eliminate Debt

As inflation continues to rise in the first half of 2022, consumer debt is rising right along with it, according to the Federal Reserve System’s consumer credit report released on Aug. 5.

Consumer debt in the United States is nearly $3.4 trillion, according to the Fed. That is approximately $10,600 of debt for every man, woman and child living in the United States.

Staring at a mountain of debt is daunting. But with proper discipline – and a lot of hard work – you can eliminate your debt.

If you’d like to learn how, read on for these tips on how to greatly reduce and eventually get out of debt.

Know What You Owe and Track Your Spending

You can’t get out of debt if you don’t know where your money is going.

The first step toward taking control of your financial situation is to do a realistic assessment of how much money you take in and how much money you spend, according to Federal Trade Commission.

Start by listing your income from all sources. Then, list your “fixed” expenses — those that are the same each month — like mortgage payments or rent, car payments, and insurance premiums. Next, list the expenses that vary — like groceries, entertainment, and clothing. Writing down all your expenses, even those that seem insignificant, is a helpful way to track your spending patterns, identify necessary expenses, and prioritize the rest.

Change Your Routines

It’s important to account for every penny earned and spent. Most people are shocked at the amount of money spent monthly on fast food lunches, coffee shops and online purchases. Small expenses add up.

By changing your habits – packing a lunch instead of eating out or brewing coffee at home or drinking from the “office pot of coffee,” you can quickly accumulate “extra” money in your budget.

Then you can take those savings and make a debt payment immediately. The instant gratification of seeing balances fall can be extremely motivating.

Tackle Your Debt

Small debt victories likely will make you feel good and motivate you to continue. But you must find a strategy that is right for you, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The CFPB even offers a worksheet to help.

Here are the two methods the CFPB recommends. Both strategies have their pros and cons, the CFPB says.

Snowball Method – Tackle one debt at a time.

  • List all debts in order from smallest to largest.
  • Pay minimum payment on all debts while throwing as much money as possible to the smallest debt (for example, the money saved by changing your routines.)
  • After the smallest debt is paid, move on to the next smallest debt until debt free.

Highest Interest Rate Method – Pay a little more than the minimum payment on all debts.

  • Pay the minimum balance on each debt.
  • Take extra money and apply it to the debt with the highest interest rate.
  • Pay off debts in order from highest to lowest interest rates.

Don’t Take on More Debt

You cannot borrow your way out of debt. Low-interest payments and credit cards may indeed be a good deal, but you should work toward paying down what you currently owe before adding any new debt.

It’s important to try to make paying off your debt a top priority, because the way that you manage your credit could determine how much access you have to it in the future. Don’t be afraid to talk to a banker or a financial professional for suggestions on ways to attack your debt situation.

Financially Fit is your home fitness guide for all things financial, provided by RCB Bank. Find money-building tips, insights and inspiration to help you improve your financial well-being at Opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the author and meant for generic illustration purposes only. Member FDIC.


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Why Your Debt-to-Income Ratio is Important

You’ve probably heard of debt-to-income ratio, but just what is it and why is it important?

RCB Bank - Why Debt to Income ratio is important

Your debt-to-income ratio – commonly referred to as DTI – is all of your monthly debt obligations, divided by your gross monthly income.

This ratio is one way lenders check how you manage payments you make on money you’ve borrowed.

This number can affect how much money you’re qualified to borrow and your interest rate. Higher DTIs appear riskier to lenders, while lower DTIs may allow for a lower rate and a higher loan amount.

Lenders have different DTI limits and lending criteria. The same holds true on different loan types as well, be it a mortgage or an auto loan, the acceptable DTI numbers typically will vary.

Generally, a DTI of 50 or higher is concerning, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a U.S. government agency dedicated to making sure you are treated fairly by banks, lenders and other financial institutions.

A DTI between 36 and 49 generally is considered good, but there is room to improve it. A DTI of 35 and lower shows lenders you have enough money to take on new debt and pay it back on time, and that if an emergency came up, you likely won’t fall behind on payments.

How to figure your DTI

As previously mentioned, your DTI is your monthly debt obligations divided by your gross monthly income.

To calculate it yourself, first add up all your monthly bills – rent or mortgage payment; student, auto or other loan payments; credit card payments; alimony or child support (if applicable); and other monthly bills not mentioned. Next add up your gross monthly income, which is your monthly salary before taxes.

Now that you’ve obtained those two numbers, divide your monthly debt obligations by your monthly gross salary. You’ll be left with a decimal number, such as .3391. Move the decimal point two places to the right, and you’ve got your DTI – in this case, 33.91.

Do your best to lower your DTI as much as you can before taking on new debt. It can not only help you qualify for a loan but may also help you get a lower interest rate.

Financially Fit is your home fitness guide for all things financial, provided by RCB Bank. Find money-building tips, insights and inspiration to help you improve your financial well-being at Opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the author and meant for generic illustration purposes only. For specific questions regarding your personal lending needs, please call RCB Bank at 855-BANK-RCB. With approved credit. Some restrictions apply. RCB Bank is an Equal Housing Lender and member FDIC. RCB Bank NMLS #798151.


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Pledge to Start Saving This Year

America Saves Week is February 21-25.

Start Your Savings Journey

The national campaign encourages individuals and families to take financial action in building wealth through saving money and reducing debt.

Since 2007, America Saves Week has been an annual celebration as well as a call to action for everyday Americans to commit to saving successfully. The America Saves pledge is the online tool that allows savers to set a goal, and make a plan to achieve better financial stability.

The secret to saving money is to make savings automatic. Join the America Saves initiative and put your savings on auto-drive. Get started in three simple steps.

Step 1: Set a goal.

Why are you saving? An emergency fund, a car, a down payment on a home or your retirement? Set your goal and stick to it.

Step 2: Make a plan.

How much money do you need to achieve your goal? How much can you afford to put away each month, or in how many months do you want to reach your goal? You are more likely to save money with a plan than without one.

Are you worried you won’t follow through on your plan? Make a formal commitment to save.

Put your goal and plan in writing and place it on your fridge. Set up a personal support system by sharing your goal with a close friend and ask them to hold you accountable. Use your bank’s services, like text banking and online banking, to help you track expenses and set up email alerts to remind you about your goal.  Take the America Saves pledge – available at

Step 3: Set up automatic savings.

Ask your employer about automatic savings options at your job, such as split deposit, 401k retirement plans and holiday savings programs. Set up a savings account without a debit card tied to it. Basically, put your money where you can’t spend it.

Talk to your bank about setting up automatic transfers. Even setting up transfers in small amounts adds up over time. The idea is to pay yourself first by putting something – anything – away.

This year, take the pledge to save money.


Financially Fit is your home fitness guide for all things financial, provided by RCB Bank. Find money-building tips, insights and inspiration to help you improve your financial well-being at Opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the author and meant for generic illustration purposes only. Standard carrier fees for data and text messaging may apply. RCB Bank, Member FDIC.




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Resolve to Save More Money This Year

As the new year draws closer, it offers a time to reflect on the previous year and give an opportunity for a fresh start.

The 52-Week Savings Resolution

New Year’s resolutions help keep people motivated to stick to their new-year goals. And if you’re looking to kick-start your savings this year, try the 52-week savings resolution.

Just think, by the end of the year, you could have nearly $1,500 stashed away.

What you do with the money accrued from this savings is up to you. It could be set aside and used strictly for emergencies. It could be used for your Christmas shopping. It could be used to pay for a well-earned vacation.

Or you could choose to keep it in your savings account and add to it with the same challenge next year.

The basis of the challenge is simple: Every week, you add money to your savings account. In Week 1, you save $1. In Week 2, you save $2, and so on, all the way to Week 52, where you will save $52.

At the end of the year using this method, you’ll have saved $1,378.

With this method, the brunt of the savings comes toward the end of the year. And for many, that could be a hefty amount of money to sock away during the holiday season.

If that seems like it’s too daunting of a task, you can reverse the order of savings: i.e. save $52 in Week 1, $51 in Week 2, $50 in Week 3, and so on, all the way to Week 52, where you will save $1.

Here is an example of how the plans will look:

Even if there are some weeks where you can’t meet that week’s savings goal, save what you can that week. There may be some weeks where you can catch up later in the year. Or there may be some weeks earlier in the year where you can save more.

Whatever you do, don’t give up. Staying motivated is the key to sticking with your resolutions, and watching your money grow weekly can help keep you motivated. If you’re ready to get started, click below for more information.

Financially Fit is your home fitness guide for all things financial, provided by RCB Bank. Find money-building tips, insights and inspiration to help you improve your financial well-being at Opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the author and meant for generic illustration purposes only. RCB Bank, Member FDIC.

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Having a Budget Can Make for a Stress-free Christmas

Having a budgeted list and sticking to it will help you navigate all the expenses that come with the holidays.

Follow these tips to help you navigate your Christmas budget

The holidays are a time when it’s tempting – and easy – to toss your budget out the window and splurge on your friends and family.

After all, it’s the season of giving. And often, giving the perfect gift is just as fun as receiving a gift.

However, with proper planning, you can stay on budget while spreading Christmas joy and avoiding the stresses that come with searching for that perfect present.

There’s no magic secret to a holiday budget. You’ll have to put the pen to the paper and figure out ahead of time how much you can afford to spend. Then you have to stick to it.

In other words, make a list and check it twice.

Having a budgeted list and sticking to it will help you navigate all the expenses that come with the holidays.

Make a list of everyone you need to buy for and then a price range for each person with gift ideas. If you do this, it will come in handy later.

Let’s say you find a great deal on a gift for one person on your list and it comes in $25 under budget. That can help you later if a gift you found for another person is $20 over budget – you can still purchase that gift, because you were under budget on the first person.

One final tip is to start thinking about next year. Save your receipts. They can come in handy next Christmas when making your budget. You’ll know who all you shopped for and how much you spent on them.

Also, when planning for next year’s Christmas budget, talk to your bank and see if they have options that will help you save throughout the year. They’ll most likely be happy to set up a separate account that you can deposit money into every payday. Then you’ll automatically have your money ready to go!

Make it a challenge to see if you can come in under budget. If that happens, you can reward someone who wasn’t on your list – yourself!

Opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the author and meant for generic illustration purposes only.  RCB Bank, member FDIC.

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Starting an Emergency Savings Plan

box with money that says, break glass in emergency

Starting a savings plan for emergencies may seem like a daunting task. Your goal may seem unreachable or impossible, especially if you’re living paycheck to paycheck.

According to a May 2021 survey, not saving enough for emergencies is Americans’ biggest financial regret.

But why is an emergency savings plan important? Because while you can’t control when something unexpected happens to you, you can control being prepared for the unexpected.

Imagine your air conditioner going out in the July heat on the hottest day of the year. Or, your car breaking down. Unforeseen circumstances can cause problems that can then snowball, if not addressed as soon as possible.

An emergency savings plan creates a financial buffer which helps in times of need and can stave off debt. An emergency savings fund can keep you from needing to take out a payday loan or using high-cost credit cards to cover the cost of the emergency.

According to a July 2021 survey, more than half of Americans have less than three months’ worth of expenses saved in an emergency fund – and 25% have no emergency fund at all – which is up from 21 percent in 2020.

Three months’ worth of savings won’t happen overnight.

So how do you start saving?

If money is tight, start small, with a goal of saving $100. Then $500. Then $1,000. Work your way up to six months’ worth of expenses. It’s not about how much money you make — it is how you manage your money that matters.

Once you have it established, resist the temptation to dip into it.

Have the money direct deposited from your paycheck into a designated emergency fund account – not your checking account – so it’s automatic.

Financially Fit is your home fitness guide for all things financial, provided by RCB Bank. Find money-building tips, insights and inspiration to help you improve your financial well-being at Opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the author and meant for generic illustration purposes only. RCB Bank, Member FDIC.

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How to Create a Budget and Savings Plan

Piggy Bank and coins

It starts with a morning coffee or a quick lunch out. Maybe you want the newest tech gadget or video game. Before you know it, you have the item, but you also have more financial stress.

This is common scenario for many Americans. In fact, 71% of Americans report feeling stressed about money, according to a recent survey done by American Psychological Association. However, these simple budget strategies may help relieve stress and improve your finances.

Step 1: Know your Expenses 

Before you can create a budget plan, evaluate your personal money habits. For a few weeks, use text banking, online banking or your debit card records to track your spending. Once you know what you are spending money on, determine if those things are wants or needs.

A simple way to track these personal expenses is to take a piece of paper and write “wants” on one side and “needs” on the other. Wants are things you enjoy, but don’t necessarily need. Needs are essential items you need to live such as your rent or mortgage payment, food, water and clothing. Calculate how much you are spending in each column, then look for places to cut costs.

Step 2: Create a Budget Plan  

After you know all your expenses, evaluate your monthly bills and see where you can cut costs. One simple budget idea is to reduce the amount you eat out or order take-out. Instead, create a grocery list, plan your meals and cook at home. You may be surprised at how much money you save. To pinch a few more pennies, look for coupons on items you regularly purchase and buy off-brand items.

Another good way to save money is to change your phone plan or provider. If you signed up for 10GB of data per month and your phone company shows you only use half of that, change your plan and reduce your bill. You can also research deals other carriers offer a few times a year. Even if you only save $20 or $30 each month, those savings add up.

Another way to reduce financial stress is to budget the amount of money you spend on streaming or cable services. If you can reduce one or more streaming service every month, you can save a hundred dollars or more every year. You can also call your cable company and talk about ways to reduce your monthly bill.

Step 3: Make Saving Money a Habit

Once you know how much money you are spending and have created a budget, start saving. One way to save is to call your bank and set up automatic savings. In this case, the bank can schedule a recurring time to move your money to a savings account before you have a chance to spend it. Even if you only contribute $50 or $100 each month, these savings allow you to prepare for unexpected costs such as medical bills, car or home repairs.

Once you have started saving and have an emergency fund in place, you should consider long-term savings goals such as education funds for your kids or retirement accounts for yourself. It is best to meet with a wealth advisor to discuss these long-term investment options and how to plan for the future.

Just remember, it all starts with one small thing. Whether you brew your own coffee at home, bring your lunch a few days a week or cut one streaming service, every little bit helps.

Opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the author and meant for generic illustration purposes only.  RCB Bank, member FDIC.

Sources: 2020 APA Stress in America Report

Connect with an RCB Bank Trust Wealth Advisor in your area.

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Understand your Retirement Plan

Chairs on a beach.

Saving for retirement can be overwhelming. This is especially true for the 44% of Americans who feel they aren’t on track to meet their retirement savings goals, according to a recent report by the Federal Reserve. So how can you improve your retirement savings? First, you need to know the difference between common retirement investment accounts. Once you understand your investment options, then you can meet with your financial advisor to create a financial strategy that works for you.

IRA vs. 401(k)

Almost anyone can open and contribute to an IRA. All you need is to be under 70 ½ years old and have earned income. Earned income includes wages, salaries, tips, commissions and nontaxable combat pay. One advantage of IRAs is they offer tax-free growth. Once you put money in the account, the dividends or growth of that money are not taxed in the future. In addition, IRA contributions are often pre-tax dollars, which means you can likely deduct them and lower your current tax bill. Traditional IRAs are taxed when you withdraw the money and you must start withdrawals at 70 ½ or there are penalties. IRAs also have lower caps on the total amount you can contribute.

There are several different types of 401(k) plans, including traditional, safe harbor, SIMPLE, Roth, and solo plans. All of these are investment accounts that allow employees to contribute a portion of their wages to retirement savings. If your workplace offers a 401(k) plan, you should contribute regularly. If they match your contributions, contribute up to the maximum match if possible. Don’t pass up free money for your retirement.

You may also contribute significantly more money to a 401(k) per year than to a traditional IRA. For instance, in 2020 the 401(k) contributions increased to $19,500 per year if you are under age 50 and $26,000 if you are over age 50. Traditional IRAs currently have $5,000 and $6,000 limits respectively.

Roth IRA and 401(k) Benefits

When you pay taxes on your retirement investments depends on the kind of account you choose. If you choose a Roth IRA or 401(k), your contributions are taxed when you put the money in, but withdrawals are tax-free. This is helpful in retirement, especially if you are on a fixed income. There are also conditions in which you can pull money out of your IRA and avoid the 10% early withdrawal penalty. This includes if you withdraw money because of a disability, are a first-time homebuyer or if the withdrawal is made by a beneficiary after your death.

Create an Investment Strategy

Once you understand the basic investment account options, it is time to talk with a wealth advisor. Your wealth management strategy should build sustainable income, diversify your portfolio of stocks and bonds and focus on growth that outpaces inflation. When you meet with a wealth advisor, explain your retirement goals and ask the following questions:

  • How is the account invested?
  • What is the expected return?
  • How long can the account produce that level of income?
  • Can we define how much is reasonable to withdraw from a retirement account?


Whether you are a customer or not, RCB Bank is here to help. Our wealth advisors can help with all of your questions about retirement investments. Give us a call at 855-226-5722 or visit RCB Bank here.


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Retirement Plans | Internal Revenue Service (

When it comes to investing, there are risks. Consult a financial advisor before beginning any investment plan. Opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the author and meant for generic illustration purposes only. The monthly interest calculation expressed above is not for any specific account type and is meant for generic illustration purposes only. Investment products are not insured by the FDIC. Not a deposit or other obligation of, or guaranteed by the depository institution. Subject to investment risks, including possible loss of the principal amount invested. Wealth advisors do not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. Seek advice of professional tax consultant.

We offer free portfolio reviews at no cost, no obligation. Connect with an RCB Bank Trust Wealth Advisor in your area.

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Create a Savings Plan

Three ways to save for the future.

create a savings plan

While most of us know saving money is a good idea, we often struggle to save for the future. Saving is not a one size fits all solution, but building a savings plan for your future is an important step to becoming financially independent. Talk with a wealth advisor about your personal goals. Your future self will thank you.

Build an Emergency Fund

Set a reasonable goal. Start by trying to save a small amount, such as $1,000. Don’t feel pressure about how much you are saving, just save something.

Take the next step: Track your spending and develop a budget. Do everything you can to stay within your budget. Little things will help you succeed, e.g., set up automatic savings with your bank, create a grocery list (and stick to it), cut coupons and save change.

Save for Education

Consider education investment programs. A traditional savings plan is good, but you also may want to consider an investment account.

Take the next step: Look up your state’s options for 529 plans or speak with a wealth advisor on interest-earning, tax-advantage plans. Some education plans allow you to use earnings on tuition and fees (including K-12 public and private), books, computer equipment and room and board.

Retirement Planning

Save today for your future self. There are four primary ways you can fund your retirement: personal savings (e.g., IRAs and investment accounts); Employer retirement plans; Social Security benefits and retirement income (rental property, part-time job).

Take the next step: Talk with a wealth advisor who can help you build a retirement savings plan and income strategy to maximize your savings.

Opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the author and meant for generic illustration purposes only. Investment products are not insured by the FDIC. Not a deposit or other obligation of, or guaranteed by the depository institution. Subject to investment risks, including possible loss of the principal amount invested. Ask for details.

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Upgrade your life: Tips to get ahead financially

Lady holding bag of money and debt

I challenge you not to accept your financial life as it is. This coming year, aim to get ahead — start an emergency fund, build your retirement savings, pay off your debt or take control of whatever money situation is causing you stress.

The key to getting ahead is to get started. Here are some tips to help you make a financial change.

Invest in you

To build your wealth, start paying yourself first. When you receive money, before you spend a penny, put some of it in your savings account or retirement fund. Set up automatic deposits and watch your savings grow with little effort.

Changing your saving habits may require changing your spending habit, but the payoff – not worrying about paying your bills, taking a trip you’ve been dreaming of and retiring on your terms – is worth it.

Stop throwing money away

Paying late fees is like pulling money out of your wallet and throwing it into the wind. Start paying down debt, beginning with the highest interest debt. Pay your bills on time. If need be, call the company and see if you can adjust your due date. Never hurts to ask and it could save you from paying late fees.

Try the 50/30/20 budget plan

Harvard bankruptcy expert Elizabeth Warren suggests splitting your monthly income into three categories:

  1. Fixed expenses – survival needs – should total no more than 50 percent of your income.
  2. Non-essentials – wants like TV, morning coffee, hair appointments – should total no more than 30 percent.
  3. Savings – emergency fund, retirement – should be 20 percent or more.

Match your spending

Have a hard time sticking to a budget? Try this. Before you spend money on something you want, first put the same amount of money in a savings jar.  You will be able to see exactly how much money you are spending, or how much you could be saving or using to pay off your debt. If you cannot afford to match your spending, you cannot afford whatever it is you want to purchase.

Live within your means

Rich people stay rich by living like they are broke. It is a matter of what you value more, instant gratification or freedom from debt and having money when you really need it.

You work hard for your money. Do not waste it on things you do not really need.

50/30/20 Plan: Elizabeth Warren and Amelia Warren Tyagi. All Your Worth: The Ultimate Lifetime Money Plan. Opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the author and meant for generic illustration purposes only. RCB Bank, member FDIC.
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Benefits of Online Banking

woman using a tablet


Life often takes place outside business hours. Need to transfer1 money into your account before dinner? No problem. At a soccer game and need to make sure the electric bill is paid? Check it instantly. You can also avoid late fees and set up automatic, recurring bill payments2. To access these features, call your bank or ask your bank representative to sign you up when you open an account.


Industry standard bank technology protects your money with firewalls, anti-virus protection, encryption, fraud monitoring and automatic logout, among other features. These create a strong defense against hackers who want to access your account. Scammers will also try to get information from you. Phone calls pretending to the be the IRS, emails claiming the bank needs your account information, charity scams, sweetheart scams and wire fraud are only a few of the culprits. Don’t give information to anyone unless you are absolutely sure they are legitimate.


The more time you save banking, the more time you can spend with your family, kids, friends or partner. Technology offers you the ability to customize your banking experience. If you only use your phone to check balances or make simple transfers, text banking3 is for you. Mobile deposit4 is perfect for those folks who need to deposit checks, but can’t make it into the bank. Depending on the bank, other services such as person-to-person5 payment systems and phone banking are also available.


1Funds may not settle or be available immediately. 2Some fees and restrictions apply. Ask us for details. 3Standard carrier fees for data and text messaging may apply. 4Message, data rates, and fees may apply. All accounts utilizing service must be enrolled in eStatements to avoid fee. Subject to eligibility and further review. Deposits are subject to verification and may not be available for immediate withdrawal. Deposit limits and other restrictions apply. 5Available in the RCB Bank Mobile App. $1/transaction fee applies (non-refundable) and will be combined with the transaction amount. Requires an active debit card to initiate transaction. Transaction amount including fee is deducted from available balance immediately but may not settle on the same business day. Insufficient or Bounce fees may be incurred if adequate funds are not available at settlement. Funds may not be available to the recipient the same business day as transfer. Recipient must claim funds within 10 days. Fee is not refunded if recipient does not claim funds. Message, data rates, and transaction limitations apply. Opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the author and meant for generic illustration purposes only. Member FDIC.

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How to Stretch your Money

Look for areas where you can cut costs.

How to stretch your money.

Reduce Expenses

It’s a good habit to annually review your monthly expenses, looking for areas where you can cut costs. Start by discontinuing unused memberships/subscriptions. Call your cable, phone and insurance companies and ask for options to reduce your bill. Compare prices of other companies or consider alternatives like pre-paid phones or streaming services. Reduce utility expenses by adjusting your thermostat a few degrees. Unplug electrical items when not in use and reduce the number of days you water the lawn.

Reuse Stuff

Use less. Save more. An easy start is to ditch disposable items. Clean with rags rather than paper towels or cleaning wipes. Use reusable water bottles and dishes instead of buying bottled water and paper plates. Look for creative ways to repurpose common household items. Save glass jelly jars or clear plastic containers to organize your kitchen, office or craft room items. Cut up your old t-shirts for cleaning rags. Grab those Easter eggs and use them as handy snack containers. Find more money-saving ideas online.

Rethink Spending

Rethink your purchase decisions. Start by making a list and sticking to it. Consider paying with cash. And bring only the cash you need, so you’re not tempted to splurge. Before grocery shopping, plan out your meals, check your cabinets for what you already have and buy only what you need. Use coupons and avoid impulse purchases. Choose off-brand items. They’re made the same but without an expensive label.

Opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the author and meant for generic illustration purposes only.

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Low Cost, Big Heart Gift Ideas

Get$Fit Tip: Stress less.

The art of giving

By Jocelyn Wood, RCB Bank

I stress over gift-giving.

I never know what to give people. I’m embarrassed when I can’t afford their wish list.

Holidays are a time for gratitude and fellowship. Gifts are to be an expression of joy and generosity, not a stress inducer. Definitely not a debt instigator.

If you fret over gift-giving, try one of these no stress, pay less ideas that won’t break your budget.

Low cost, big heart gift ideas:

“We give memories,” said Michelle Duhaime, Lawrence. “I bought 20 cans of silly string. I gave each grandchild two cans; told them Grampa was hiding somewhere on the property; and to go find him! Best $20 I have ever spent!”

“I follow a four-gift rule for my kids,” said Melissa Welchel, Oklahoma City. “Buy something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read.”

“For families, we do group gifts, board games, homemade gift baskets, rather than buying for each individual,” said Welchel.

“I help someone with a project they’re working on,” said Kim James, Verdigris. “It means more than buying something they may not need or want.”

“We restrict ourselves to one store bought gift and we set a price limit,” said Stephen Taylor, Tulsa. “For friends, we make homemade goodies or gifts. People are happy getting it, and we don’t spend time agonizing over whether someone will like their gift.”

“We give money to our pastor to give to someone who could use extra help,” said Tara Depperschmidt, Stillwater. “We don’t want to know who it goes to; just that it goes to someone who really needs it.”

Invest in yourself.

Opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the author and meant for generic illustration purposes only. For specific questions regarding your personal lending needs, please call RCB Bank at 855-BANK-RCB, RCB Bank is an Equal Housing Lender and member FDIC. RCB Bank NMLS #798151.


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Best Financial Advice

Get$Fit Tip: Sweat the small stuff.

Wise Monday Advice

There is a saying that wisdom comes from listening to advice, so I asked bankers to share the best money advice they have received and the impact it has made in their lives.

No. 1: Pay attention to your small expenses.

“Spend more time thinking about $20 decisions rather than $20,000 decisions,” shares Gregg Conklin, RCB Bank lender. “You’ll make $5, $10, $20 decisions daily. These add up. Learn to be wise in how you spend and save $20, so as you build wealth, you’ll be wise in how you spend and save $20,000.”

“I received this advice from a man who immigrated to the U.S. from Holland in the 1950s,” Conklin says. “He left Holland with $20 in his pocket and taught himself English by watching Saturday matinees. He eventually owned thousands of acres of ranch land, raising cattle in Kansas.”

No. 2: Invest in your future.

“Pay your obligations first, invest in your future second, indulge in non-essentials last,” shares Emily Dake, RCB Bank loan document specialist. “My grandparents taught me to see money as a tool that could guarantee future comfort. If I buy something, I want to walk away having gained something permanent such as knowledge, an experience or an asset.”

No. 3: Build an emergency fund.

“Build up a savings to cover at least three months worth of bills,” says Jessica Hamman, RCB Bank eServices. “After having ER surgery, I was without a paycheck. No savings and no paycheck can quickly put you behind on bills. It took three times as long to get caught up as it did to get behind.”

No. 4: Learn Rule 72.

Rule 72 will help you better understand the power of compounding interest over time,” shares Brad Ward, RCB Bank lender. “Take the number 72 and divide it by the annual rate of interest that your money is earning to determine the number of years it will take for your money to roughly double.”

No. 5: Pay yourself like a bill.

“Put money into a savings account directly from your paycheck so you don’t have time to spend it,” says Kim Harrison, RCB Bank loan assistant. “Since I started doing this I have been able to steadily save, and I was able to use part of it to buy my first house this year.”

No: 6: Start young.

“Early in my career, I was told about the value of saving now for retirement later,” says Jenna Louderback, vice president, eServices. “Putting that advice to work at a young age has paid off as I have watched my investments grow immensely over the years. Starting as early as possible has put me ahead of the game for my retirement plans.”

Invest in yourself.
You’re future self will thank you.

Opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the author and meant for generic illustration purposes only. For specific questions regarding your personal lending needs, please call RCB Bank at 855-BANK-RCB, RCB Bank is an Equal Housing Lender and member FDIC. RCB Bank NMLS #798151.
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No-Stress Savings Plan

2 ways to build your wealth with little effort.

Lady sitting in chair resting feet on piggy bank

By Jocelyn Wood, RCB Bank

You want to save more money.

The truth is you can save more money.

The struggle is you want things now. Waiting is hard. Saving money requires discipline.

What if saving could be easy?

Here are two ways to build your wealth that involves little effort.

1. Set the task on auto-drive.

Direct Deposit – Ask your employer to deduct a certain amount of money from your paycheck each month and transfer it into a savings or retirement account. When you receive a pay raise, transfer that to savings too. It’s called direct deposit, and the only discipline required is initiating the process.

While you may not think you have money to set aside, you do. When money is transferred before you see your income, you’ll soon forget it. You’ll adjust to living on the money you do see. And you’ll feel less stressed when you see your savings grow. Ask your company’s human resource department for details.

2. Set up auto savings.

Auto Money Transfer – Schedule an automatic money transfer from your checking account to a savings account through your online banking or mobile banking app. Set it up to recur monthly, or weekly for faster savings.

If you’re nervous, start with a small amount. Transfer the money into an account you don’t have easy access to, no debit card, no checks.

Not convinced you have the funds? Do this. Call your cell phone and TV providers, insurance companies and others and ask how you can reduce your bills. Schedule the differences you save each month to transfer to your savings account. You can set up an automatic transfer in 10 minutes or less. Ask your bank if you need help.

Saving money is a choice.

Choose to take control of your financial well-being. Then set the cruise control.

Opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the author and meant for generic illustration purposes only. Member FDIC and Equal Housing Lender, RCB Bank NMLS #798151.
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3 ways to change your attitude about spending

Get financially fit

Ladies holding money on yoga mats

By Jocelyn Wood, RCB Bank

This is the year you’re going to take charge of your money. No more rationalizing overspending. No more excuses why you can’t put money into savings. No more regrets.

Everyone can save more money.

The question you have to ask yourself is what kind of life do you want? Do you want to be debt free? Do you want those new black leather boots? Do you want to retire comfortably? Do you want the newly released smartphone? Do you want to stop living paycheck to paycheck? Do you want your daily large caffe latte from your favorite coffee shop?

Saving money is a personal choice only you can decide, and making the commitment takes effort. It requires discipline and self-control, but the end result – more money in your savings, a larger down payment on a home or being debt free – is worth your diligence.

Here are three practical tips to help you change your attitude about spending and start thinking like a saver.

#1 Match your spending

If you struggle with sticking to a budget or tracking your expenses, try this: save an amount equal to whatever you spend on nonessential indulgences. If you want your morning java, put $4 in a jar. If you plan to eat lunch out, put $8 in jar. You will literally see your spending habits and potential savings.

If you can’t afford to save the matching funds, you can’t afford whatever it is you want.

#2 Remember you work hard

Before you spend your hard-earned money, take the cost of the item you want and divide it by your hourly wage. If you want a $90 pair of boots and you make $10 an hour, are those boots worth the nine hours of work?

Also, pay yourself first. That means put money aside from every paycheck into a savings or retirement account. Saving even $25 a month adds up. Set up automatic savings through a direct deposit or money transfer. You may surprise yourself how fast your savings grows when you put it on auto-pilot. Ask your bank for more information.

#3 Do not buy on impulse

Start thinking like a saver. Never purchase expensive items on impulse. Think over each purchase for at least 24 hours. During that period, do steps one and two. This will help you consider how necessary the item is that you want to buy. It will also help you have fewer regrets about purchases and more money for savings.

You don’t have to do it alone. Find someone who will help you stay on track of your savings goal. Check out, a site dedicated to helping individuals save money, reduce debt and build wealth. You can take the savings pledge and set up text alerts to receive encouraging money saving tips targeted to your specific goal.

Also, ask your bank about products and services that offer money-management tools. Get financially fit and take charge of your money.

Photo Credits: Pam Brown and Cherise Saltmarsh
Opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the author and meant for generic illustration purposes only. Member FDIC and Equal Housing Lender, RCB Bank NMLS #798151.
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A penny earned is a penny saved

5 money lessons from grandparents

Group of ladies smiling

By Jocelyn Wood, RCB Bank

Every year, my granddad would sit his grandkids down at the kitchen table and pour out a big jar full of coins he’d saved. We could have these coins but only after we sorted them, divided them equally and then rolled them. As little children, it felt like hours to complete this task, but the reward was a bag full of money.

When grandparents talk, we ought to listen, especially when it comes to money. They’ve lived a lifetime earning, spending and saving money. They can teach us a thing or two about the value of a dollar and the importance of saving for a rainy day. Here’s five lessons learned from grandparents.

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