Families on the Go
Managing the financial responsibilities of family life
By the time you have a family of your own, there will be accompanying expenses such as fees for various activities and lessons for your children, family vacations, saving for college educations or buying a new home. Throughout this time, you should regularly evaluate your progress towards achieving the financial goals you set earlier in your life and adjust your spending, budgeting and saving to make sure you stay on track. With all the demands a family places on your income, it is still important to build your long-term investments.
Planning and discipline that determines what and how you spend contributes to your future financial success. Here are some tips St. Johns Bank recommends for sound financial management during this demanding time of your life.
A mortgage—whether for a home purchase, refinancing or a home equity loan—is a product, just like a car, so terms may be negotiable.
You’ll want to compare all the costs involved in obtaining a mortgage including interest rates, points, fees and down payment and private mortgage insurance requirements. Home equity loans and lines of credit can be helpful when extra cash is needed to reduce significant credit card debt—but be cautious about re-building credit card debt once it is paid.
With competitive rates, experienced lending professionals and local decision-making, you’ll be sure to find a loan at St. Johns Bank & Trust Company that meets your needs. To apply for a mortgage or consumer loan now, click on the links below, or stop by and talk with one of our lending officers.
Understand your credit report - Your financial behavior over the past seven years, including how much credit you have, how long you've had it and whether you pay your bills on time is information included in your credit report.
Three credit reporting agencies — Equifax, TransUnion and Experian — maintain these reports, and lenders buy them to help them decide whether to offer you a prequalification. Your credit report also carries your credit score ranked between 300 and 850 that many lenders use to decide whether you are creditworthy and will repay a loan. Your credit score can also influence the interest rate you pay. In many cases, the higher your score, the lower your interest rate. Your credit score is available from the three credit reporting agencies:
Start Saving for College — By starting early, when your child is in preschool or before, you can build a realistic fund through the power of compounding over many years. The earlier you start, the less you’ll have to save per month.
Through St. Johns Bank & Trust Company, you can access products designed to help you fund your child’s higher education. To learn more, or set up an educational account, click on the links below.
- Interest is paid or compounded quarterly
- Interest is earned on the ledger balance
- For CDs of $5,000 or more, you may choose to have your interest credited monthly to a St. Johns Bank checking or savings account
For CDs of $10,000 or more, you may choose to receive your interest monthly by check
CDs are automatically renewable
Conserve time, money and paper with St. Johns Bank convenient checking accounts with online banking and bill pay and no-charge ATM services – You’ll reduce the time it takes to pay your bills and save on the expense of printed paper checks and postage while helping the environment as well.
Save for Retirement — Many people underestimate the amount of money they’ll need in retirement. Be realistic about major expenditures, e.g., will your mortgage be paid off by retirement? If so, you may need less income than you do now. Do you plan to buy a vacation home or travel extensively? Will you have to pay for your own health insurance? These and other financial considerations all come into play.
Now is a good time to up your contributions to your retirement savings accounts. Talk with St. Johns Bank & Trust Company financial consultants to learn about the products we offer that can help you meet your retirement goals.
- Interest is earned on the ledger balance
- Interest is compounded quarterly
For a Fixed Rate IRA:
- 12- to 60-month terms are available
- No additional deposits are allowed
For a Variable Rate IRA:
- Additional deposits are allowed, in minimum amounts of $100
- 12-month Variable IRA CD rate is equal to the 18-month fixed rate CD and changes accordingly
Tips for Effective Financial Management
Make sure your mortgage payment, including taxes and insurance, represents no more than 32 percent of your gross monthly income.
Review the cost of your health care insurance and make sure you are getting adequate coverage at the best price.
Make wise purchasing decisions by determining what you “need” compared to what you “want.” This will help you make ongoing decisions to keep your finances in check.
Guard against impulse shopping, especially for costly purchases such as vehicles, major appliances, furniture, jewelry and the like.
For help determining the best accounts and products for sound and productive money management during your Active Families Lifestage , please contact us at (314) 428-1000 or email us.