CardValet App Helps Manage Debit Card Accounts

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The CardValet app is ideal to proactively manage Cornhusker Bank debit card accounts through your smart phones. Getting started is easy, simply download the CardValet app to your mobile device from the Apple or Android app store. Then customize your usage settings and alert preferences.

Features of CardValet

• Card usage controls: Spending limits can be established to allow transactions up to a certain dollar value and decline transactions when amounts exceed pre-defined thresholds. Transactions can also be monitored or controlled for specific merchant categories such as gas, hotel, travel, restaurants, groceries or electronic stores.

• Card on/off setting: When the card is “on,” transactions are allowed in accordance with each cardholder’s usage control settings. When the card is “off,” no purchases or withdrawals are approved until the card is turned back “on.” This control can be used to disable a lost or stolen card.

• Location-based controls: The My Location control can restrict transactions to merchants located within a certain range of each cardholder’s location, (using the phone’s GPS) or within pre-defined regions; transactions requested outside of the specified range can be declined.

• Interactive alerts: CardValet can send a real-time alert when a card is used, when a transaction is approved and exceeds any of the permitted use policies, or when a card transaction has been attempted but is declined.

Keeping Up With Your Financial Resolutions

It’s almost the end of February! Have you stuck with your resolutions for 2018?

If you’re like most people – 80% of resolutions fail by the second week of February – you’re bored with your resolutions as the holiday pace wears off and winter seems to wear on.

Like many people, your new year intentions likely included improving your finances. Now is a great time to take another look. A good motivator (especially during this time of the year) is to begin envisioning what your summer vacation and financial situation will look like.

ASSESS YOUR SITUATION

  1. Take a look at your January – April bank statements from the previous year.
  2. Where is your financial pace compared to what you wanted to improve from last year?
  3. What was a positive financial decision in January to replicate next month?
  4. What were your budget-blowing decisions in the first quarter of last year?
  5. How can you avoid these this year?

ONE QUANTIFIABLE STEP AT A TIME

Achieving goals takes time and planning. Goals are reached by outlining steps. Each step in your financial goal can and should be measured. For instance, to pay off your holiday credit cards by May, what’s the total to pay off, and how many months do you have to achieve your goal? Take into account your interest rate when making your payments. Total debt/number of months in your goal + following through each pay period = goal success. Stick to it, and remember that a summer vacation is part of your reward!

REVIEW YOUR PROCESSES (AND PROGRESS!)

Having a written monthly budget or journal is an essential tool to helping you stay on track (and celebrate progress).  Each line item, each step, each reason is part of your journey toward your goals. Start by taking your monthly income and deducting the payments you’ll need to make each month. From the remainder, decide what needs to be put aside for expenses like gas and groceries. Put the rest away for savings or use it to pay down other debts. If you want more control, narrow your budgeting to a weekly max spend. Controlling your budget on short term can sometimes be more attainable than looking at a month-long plan.

FIND A FINANCIAL PARTNER

Cornhusker Bank has all the tools to help you achieve your financial goals – we are committed to your success!  You can check out our online Education Center or “Your Goals” tab at our website.   Personal Solutions tab provides more info about savings, Certificates of Deposits, and money Markets.   You can contact Cornhusker Bank by mail, phone, and email.  Our 24 hr Account Line is always open! 402-434-2275.

Join us for this special FREE program on Identity Theft, Data Breaches and Cybersecurity/Privacy.

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AARP Nebraska & BBB Foundation present:
Eva Velasquez, President, Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC), nationally known speaker on consumer fraud and scams.

Join us for this special FREE program on Identity Theft, Data Breaches and Cybersecurity/Privacy. ITRC is a non-proft organization established to support victims of identity theft in resolving their cases, and to broaden public education and awareness of identity theft and related issues.

It’s a matter of when your identity will be targeted by a scammer, not if. Be prepared!

Lincoln, Nebraska | Tuesday, April 10, 2018 | 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
Cornhusker Bank, 8310 O St., Lincoln, NE 68510

A “sweet treat” with Q & A included

Entrance and parking on the north side of the building.

There is no cost for this event but RSVP is required by April 3. Register at aarp.cvent.com/IDTheft_Lincoln_41018 or call 1-877-926-8300 toll free

Top Credit Card Mistakes to Avoid

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If you are looking to get a little boost to your credit, or if you have little to no credit, people always say the best thing you can do is get a credit card. Having a credit card establishes and starts building credit. While this sounds great, new credit card users can become quickly overwhelmed and find themselves in credit card debt. When used responsibly, credit cards are great, but here are some top credit card mistakes you should avoid.

Avoid applying for multiple cards 
Applying for multiple credit cards in a short time frame will actually damage your credit. If you are opening a credit card to help build your credit this will do the opposite. Less is more when it comes to credit cards. Every time you apply for a credit card the lender does a hard inquiry which actually lowers your score a few points. Too many of these at once and you can see your credit score drop significantly.

Make more than the minimum payment 
It can be tempting to just make the minimum payments on your credit card, but by doing that you are increasing the amount of interest you will pay overall on the balance. This means that you end up paying more in the long run for items purchased with a credit card.

Avoid late payments
While this seems pretty self-explanatory, avoid paying your credit card late. Be mindful of payment dates, and that payments can take time to process and post to your account. A good practice is to pay your bill as soon as you receive the statement, that way it doesn’t get lost in the shuffle.

Don’t max out your available credit
Just because you have a $5,000 limit doesn’t mean you should charge $5,000 on your card. Maxing out your available credit actually reflects poorly on your credit. A good rule is to not spend more than 30% of your available credit.

Don’t take out a cash advance
Cash advances have a much higher interest rate than normal purchases and usually come with their own set of fees. If you need cash during an emergency a cash advance can seem tempting but it will actually just put you further behind.

Wait to cancel your card
When people start getting into trouble with credit cards they think the best course of action is to cancel their card. Doing this actually shortens the length of credit history and reduces your credit utilization (remember the 30% of available credit. Cancelling a card reduces your available amount). Your best option is to not use the card while you pay down the balance.

New Year’s Resolution for Saving Money

With the new year upon us everyone is looking for a New Year’s Resolution. If you are still struggling to find yours it is not too late, we have a suggestion! We want to make 2018 the year of saving money. While this always sounds like a good idea, a plan is needed if you actually want to start saving! Here are our New Year’s Resolutions to start saving money!

Divide up any extra income 
If you find yourself come into any extra money, us the rule of thirds to decide how to use it!
Designate one third to pay on a debt owed
Put one third into savings
Use the last third on a purchase for yourself!

Contribute to your emergency fund
If an emergency pops up, are you financially ready? A lot of Americans are not prepared for large, unexpected expenses. How much is enough? While it is hard to say how much you need because emergencies, by their nature, are unpredictable, a good rule of thumb is to have at least 3 months’ worth of your monthly expenses. Take your monthly budget for everything you spend money on and just multiply by three. Doing this can prevent your savings account getting wiped out in an emergency.

Leave your debit card at home
One challenge you can make for yourself is to have a set amount of walking around money, and then leave your debit card at home! It’s a lot easier to stick to your budget when you have a finite amount of cash on you.

If you don’t have a budget, make one! (and stick to it!)
The easiest thing you can do to start improving your financial health is to write out a budget and stick to it. Write out your monthly expenses and your monthly income. Add up all of the totals of your expenses versus your income. The most important thing is to make sure you are bringing in more money than you are spending.

Make 2018 the year of saving with these simple resolutions! If you have any questions about budgeting or investing, visit our website or call us today to speak with a banker!

Tips for Avoiding Online Dating Scams

Social media networks and dating websites have become increasingly popular tools for meeting and communicating. Unfortunately, fraudsters have capitalized on this trend and often create fake profiles to lure in victims, establish romantic relationships and eventually, extort money.

According to the FBI, over $220 million was lost in 2016 to online romance scam artists. Older Americans in particular have been targeted by this type of scam.

“While online dating can open doors to relationships, we are receiving more and more reports of criminals using these platforms to take advantage of unsuspecting users,” said Haley Coufal, Security/Risk Management Officer. “Approach these relationships with caution so you don’t end up with an empty wallet.”

If you’re concerned that you or a loved one are being scammed, we recommend taking the following precautions:

  • Talk to someone you trust. Don’t let a scammer rush you.
  • Never wire money, put money on a gift or cash reload card, or send cash to an online love interest. You won’t get it back.
  • Contact your bank right away if you think you’ve sent money to a scammer.
  • Report your experience to:
    • The online dating site
    • FTC
    • FBI

To learn more about online dating scams, view the ABA Foundation and FTC’s infographic.

Teens and Money Management

Father And Teenage Daughter Looking At Laptop Together

We’ve talked about simple ways to teach your children about finances but what about teaching your teen? This is a great time in life to re-hone some of the basic money saving strategies you taught when they were younger but on a larger scale. They’re more likely to have a job, have more items they are saving for and will soon be off on their own.

Here are simple ways to teach your teens how to be a better money manager that they will take with them through life and set them up for success.

Show how to save 

While growing up, you may have instilled saving habits in your children for smaller items they want to buy, such as a candy or toy of their choice. During their teen years though, it’s important for them to understand what saving is like for large ticket times, like a car.

If you were going to purchase a car for your teen, try just paying for half or three-fourths of the vehicle. Then, your teen can save up for the remainder and learn the value of saving for something they truly want and need.

Assemble a Budget with them

It is important that your teens know the money they make through a paycheck, allowance or gifts needs to be spent wisely. Instead of giving them funds as needs come up, teach them to save the money they earn. And part of saving means a budget!

There are awesome teen budgets online to help you with this if you’re not sure where to begin. Remember, make sure to cover the basics of a budget; calculate your income (from work, allowance, etc.), what percent to place in savings each month, a list of necessities (like gas) and what they should allow for spending money.

Walk the Talk

Again, these are important to teach your teens because they won’t necessarily get taught all these skills in school. It’s helpful if they have a good role model to look up to with money management and finances; remember to practice what you preach.

If you’re compiling a budget with your teen, share with them an example of you budget for. If you’re having them save money for a car, share what you are saving up money for. The more teens see their parents practicing money management skills, the more likely they are to do the same.

If you have questions on budgeting or teen banking, visit us online at cornhuskerbank.com. We are happy to walk alongside you and your family through any stage of life!

Easy Money Hacks for College Students

It’s fall already, the school year is well underway and we are already thinking about how quickly the holidays are coming up! It’s around this time of year that many of us (not just college students), are looking for ways to save a little more money. To help save for those finals week coffee shop marathons and gifts for your loved ones, read on for these easy hacks to save money in college.

Shop Around for Used Items

While it takes a bit more resourcefulness and creativity, you can find stylish clothing and home decor for cheap or even free by going to used stores. If you’re looking for cheaper furniture to refurbish your dorm or apartment, check out the Habitat for Humanity ReStore. For free clothing and household goods, the People’s City Mission Help Center (68th & O) offers shopping nights on Wednesdays, 6-8pm specifically for college students, or find cheap clothing at a local thrift store.

Oftentimes, with a little bit of digging, you can find fantastic gently used or even new items at all of these stores. Especially if you’re a DIY-er or just want to try making homemade gifts for the first time, it’s easy to find items to reuse or upcycle; everything from baskets, to cloth, picture frames, books, or whatever you need for your next project.

Not only will you have the satisfaction of saving money, but you’ll also feel good about keeping valuable items out of landfills! It’s great for Mother Nature, your style and your wallet.

Brew Your Own Coffee

We know how convenient it is to swing by your favorite coffee shop for a quick caffeine fix, but ordering coffee regularly adds up quickly. In fact, you could save hundreds of dollars each year by brewing your coffee at home, instead of shelling out $3.50 for your favorite brew.

Do you want to achieve that same coffee shop taste but at home? Try tweaking your coffee recipe or process until you find the way you enjoy your coffee best!

  • A french press is a fast, easy way to brew darker coffee
  • Grind your coffee beans fresh before each brew
  • Try adding cinnamon to the grounds for extra flavor
  • Put in 1-2 tbsp. of butter to your finished coffee for a creamy taste

Free Amazon Prime for 6 Months

Save on all those shipping fees by signing up for a free 6-Month trial for Amazon Prime! You’ll get free, two-day shipping on most Amazon purchases, access to thousands of movies and tv shows through Prime Video and receive student specific discounts. This is perfect for when you’re purchasing textbooks, holiday gifts and even your household basics!

Fun Ways to Save Money: Money Saving Game

Are you notorious for being more of a spender than a saver? Are you looking to change your saving habits but are unsure where to begin? Has saving money always seemed more like a chore? Follow along with us and within a few months, you’ll have better saving habits and won’t want to pull your hair out!

First things first, you don’t need to wait for the new year to begin a resolution and start being intentional about saving money. If you notice a problem with your spending and saving habits, address it as soon as you can. 69% of Americans have less than $1,000 in their savings account and with that little in savings, most families would not be able to cover a medical emergency or a layoff. It is recommended to have three to six months of your earnings saved in case of these unforeseen circumstances.

With that in mind though, saving money can seem like pulling teeth sometimes. But, if you start with a set goal in mind, are motivated and can have a little fun with it too, you’ll see that saving money doesn’t have to be a nightmare. And when something feels like a game, we’re more likely to do it! “Let’s play a game!” sounds way better to us than “Stop spending money now!”

Come on, let’s play the Week-by-Week Money Saving Game!

The premise is simple. For the next year, you’ll set aside a certain amount of money into a separate savings account. The amount you put in will correlate to the week you’re in (Week 1 of the game, you’ll put $1 in savings, Week 2 of the game, you’ll put $2 in savings and repeat).

By the end of the year, you’ll have saved over $1,300, or more if you really get into it! If going week-by-week in sequential order won’t work for you, there are numerous variations to try. For example, if you’re starting in September and know you won’t have many expenses in the next couple of months, try starting at the end of the game. (Week 1 of the game, place $52 in savings, Week 2 of the game, place $51 and repeat).

Another way to make it feel more like a game is to create a money-envelope game board! If your income fluctuates week to week or month to month, this is another fun option to try. On a big piece of cardboard or cardstock, tape 52 envelopes to the front, all numbered 1-52. Then, at the beginning of each week, depending on your mood or your cash flow that week, pick an envelope and place that designated amount in savings. This allows you to place $32 in Week 1 but then $2 in Week 45, or whatever works for you. Just remember that by the end of the year, all the envelopes will need to be gone so plan ahead for what envelopes you choose when! This is also a fun way to show off your money saving game to your friends or family that visit.

If you already have about three to six months worth of your salary in savings, take the game to the next level. Instead of placing in $1 in savings at the start, place $2 and continue to put in double what week it is. (Week 1 of the game, place $2 in savings, Week 30, place $60 in savings).

Banking Tips for Traveling

Couple Sitting on Sailboat

At Cornhusker Bank, we want all of our clients to enjoy their vacation and not worry about financials while you’re having fun, whether you’re travelling across the globe or just a few states away. Here are some travel tips that may help benefit you before you take your next vacation.

Alert Your Bank Before You Leave

It’s simple; just let us know when and where you’ll be travelling before you leave for your trip. That way, we can ensure your accounts are safe and we can monitor and alert you if any odd transactions take place.

Cornhusker Bank takes fraud and identity theft very seriously so it is important to call prior to your trip. Otherwise, you may run the risk of your cards being flagged while traveling and no one wants that! You could also enroll in our Fraud & Identity Theft protection plans before your travels as another safety measure to keep your accounts secure.

Mobile Banking

Use the Cornhusker Bank mobile banking app while you travel to stay up to date with your accounts, wherever you are. From a mobile device, you can pay bills, view your latest transactions, check account balances and transfer funds between accounts.

You don’t want to be on the road or in a foreign country and notice you are about to overdraft or that you forgot about a payment. By using the mobile app while travelling, you can quickly move funds between accounts, pay that bill you forgot about and keep track of how much you’re spending on your trip.

Enroll in Bill Pay

When you’re travelling, the last thing you want to think about is missing a bill payment. Before you leave, set up bill pay to make it easier. Cornhusker Bank Bill Pay is available 24/7 and with it you can: schedule a one-time payment for while you’re gone, or keep it recurring, set up helpful reminders to let you know when your payment is due and review pending payments. Set all your bills up before your vacation and you won’t need to worry about it!

Travel Credit Cards

If travel is a passion of yours or part of your work, and you’re travelling frequently, consider investing in a travel rewards credit card.