Enter our Halloween Coloring Contest


It’s easy to enter!

  1. Color your coloring sheet
    0-5 years coloring sheet
    6-9 years coloring sheet
    10+ years coloring sheet
  2. Complete the Registration Information at the bottom of this page
  3. Drop off or mail your completed coloring sheet to your nearest Merchants Bank location by October 29 to be entered in our contest. You could win a prize!*

And, because you and all of our young savers are important to us, we’ll have a special Halloween treat waiting for you for returning your entry. We look forward to seeing you and don’t forget to tell a friend about our Halloween coloring contest!

*Please submit entries by October 29, 2014. Judging will take place on October 29, 2014 at 4:00 p.m. Three age groups: 0-5 years, 6-9 years, and 10 years and older. A prize will be awarded to each age group. No purchase or customer relationship necessary to enter or win. One entry per person. Winner will be notified by telephone. Children of Merchants employees are not eligible to win.

Learn the Secret to Understanding Quickbooks and Your Business Finances

ONABusinessSeminarbloggraphicPlease join us for one or more of the following FREE business sessions featuring speakers from JRM and Associates. All sessions include breakfast and will be held at Stoney Creek Inn (3060 S Kinney Coulee Road, Onalaska) from 7:30 – 9:30 a.m.

  • Quickbooks Beyond the Basics Part 2 on Thursday, November 6 – Learn how to understand and utilize the income statement.
  • Year-End Tax Update on Thursday, December 4 – Prepare for your year-end taxes.

RSVPs are appreciated for planning purposes:

  • Becky Herrmann (blherrmann@merchantsbank.com or 608-779-8268)
  • Tricia Barnes (tricia@jrmcpa.biz or 608-781-8712)

Cheer on your high school football team and more at these October events!


10/3 Lakeville North vs. South Football Game: 7 p.m.
Join our staff for the city’s high school rivalry football game. Stop by our tailgate party where we’ll be serving food with all the proceeds going to local high school athletics.
10/21 Eau Claire Business Expo: 11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Stop by and visit our friendly staff at our booth.
10/21 Red Wing Business Expo: 4-6:30 p.m.
Stop by and visit our friendly staff at our booth.
10/25 Halloween on Main
Bring your kids to Merchants Bank-St. Charles for tricks and treats at this pre-Halloween event.
10/30 La Crosse Chamber Business Expo: 8 a.m.-12 p.m.
Stop by and visit our friendly staff at our booth. Free chair massages available.
10/30 Events & Adventures: 8:30 a.m. doors open, 9:30 a.m. movie begins
Winona 7 Theatre Movie Day
Join us for a free movie and light breakfast. Free will donations will be accepted for the 10 Days of Giving Food Drive. Please RSVP to Jen by Monday, October 27 (507-457-1108 or jewelch@merchantsbank.com).

Drunken Chicken Recipe



  • 1 cut up chicken (2 breasts, 2 legs, 2 thighs, 2 wings)
  • flour
  • paprika
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 2 cans cream of mushroom soup
  • 2 cans cream of chicken soup
  • 1 can of water
  • 2 Tbsp parsley flakes
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 4 Tbsp Italian dressing
  • 2 Tbsp onion, chopped



Place flour, paprika, salt and pepper (to taste) in a plastic bag. Shake chicken pieces in flour mixture, to coat. Brown coated chicken in a frying pan.

Mix remaining ingredients in a roasting pan. Place chicken in roaster and spoon ingredients over chicken. Cover and roast slowly at 350 degrees for about 2 hours or until tender.

Meet Machelle Anderson, Cash Management Specalist

Machelle Anderson after a hole-in-one on the Pezhekee National golf course in Glennwood, MN.

Machelle Anderson after a hole-in-one on the Pezhekee National golf course in Glennwood, MN.

When did you start your banking career?

Machelle: I started in banking in 1978 at First National Bank in Cannon Falls. I was actually a waitress at a local café in town and one of our regulars helped me get a job at First National. I’ve had many roles during my banking career including customer service, tellering, information technology, bookkeeping and became a Cash Management Specialist when First National was acquired by Merchants Bank in 2007.

What is your top banking tip?

Machelle: I think we all need to play an active role in making sure our bank accounts are secure. It’s so important to pay close attention and monitor your accounts for fraud, especially now.

What’s one thing your mom or dad taught you about money?

Machelle: My parents encouraged me to start saving at a young age. I’ve had a savings account since I was a little girl. They taught me that you can spend a little money on the “fun stuff” and still grow your savings account.

If you could ring the bell at the New York Stock Exchange with anyone, who would it be and why?

Machelle: I was very close to my grandmother, Irene, on my dad’s side. It would be fun to share that experience with her.

Besides money, what’s your favorite green thing?

Machelle: Golf courses! I golf a couple of times a week. It’s an opportunity to enjoy the outdoors and nice weather in the summer.

If you could start your own business, what would you do?

Machelle: To be honest, I don’t think I would start my own business. I would much rather spend my time volunteering because it’s something I truly enjoy. I’m active in a few community organizations now and I would like the chance to volunteer for more organizations. I like meeting new people and trying new things.

Click here to learn more about how our Cash Management Specialists, Machelle and Tammy Johnson, can help your business.

Do You Have a Spending Problem?

How to know and how to fix a spending problem.

How to know and how to fix a spending problem.

If you’ve ever checked your bank account and wondered where all your money went, or how you could possibly have such a small sum, you may have an unintentional spending problem. And that’s harmful because overspending can lead to mass amounts of debt and dissatisfaction with yourself.

But how can you know for sure if you have a spending problem? If you’re surmising the thought, ask yourself these questions:

  • Are you having a hard time following a budget?
  • Do you feel the need to shop every day or more than once a day?
  • Do you buy things when you’re sad, angry or other emotion to justify feeling that way?
  • Are your friends and family commenting about your spending or telling you to stop?
  • Are you going over your credit card limit on a monthly basis?
  • Do you ever wonder, “Where did my last paycheck go?”
  • Do you have a hard time finding a place for all the items you buy?
  • Do you avoid looking at your bills?
  • Do you have a range of items you don’t use?
  • Are collectors and creditors on your case about past-due bills?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may have a spending problem. Follow these tips to take steps toward cutting back on your spending:

Get rid of your credit cards – If you know you use plastic for most of your purchases, it’s advised that you cut them up and only carry cash. Yes, credit cards are convenient, but research shows that you spend less when you only have cash.  According to a 2000 study, consumers are willing to spend more for something when they use a credit card rather than cash. So next time you’re out, test this theory by leaving your credit cards behind and only bringing with you a small amount of cash.

Track your spending – This is especially useful for those who can’t fathom where their money is going whenever they check their statement. Simply jotting down what you spend every day will help you identify patterns. Did you grab a coffee before work? Head to the mall on the weekend? Get a car wash? Every penny you spend should be written down and added up to see how much you’re doling out each day. If you’re a techie, you might like keeping an online diary or downloading a journaling app to your smartphone.

Purge – If it’s clothes that you buy a lot of, go through your closet and dresser drawers and make a pile of all the items you haven’t worn in the last year or those that you don’t like anymore.

“Identify the clothes you love, and get rid of everything else,” says author Donna Smallin. “If you haven’t worn something for a year, there’s something wrong — it’s not your style, or it doesn’t fit right — and there’s no point in holding onto it.” You might find that most of your clothing items are in pristine condition, and if that’s the case, head to a local thrift store, who will offer you money for certain items. You’ll feel better and make a little extra cash in the process. If any of the clothes you want to get rid of are slightly ripped or stained, then you may consider donating them to charities.

Purge — the online version – You know all those daily deal e-mails that are clogging up your inbox — Groupon, RetailMeNot, etc.? Unsubscribe to these. These e-mails are marketed to make you want to spend money, and you don’t need that kind of temptation. Doing this may also help you realize how many e-mail lists you’re on, which can be eye-opening to an overspender who wasn’t sure whether or not they had a spending problem.

Avoid situations that make you spend – If you’re aware of when you spend the most, try to skip those occasions as much as you can. For example, if you tend to overspend when eating out with friends, suggest to the group you’d like to have a potluck dinner party instead. Or, if you dish out money on clothes more than anything else, it’s best to keep away from the mall at all costs.

Seek help – There’s no shame in speaking with a professional about your spending habits. If your spending is too far out of control, then you’ll likely benefit from talking to an expert. Many psychotherapists are trained to help people with compulsive spending.  Also, ask your friends, family or spouse for their help as well. After all, it’s hard to change your ways without support from your loved ones.

Includes copyrighted material of IMakeNews, Inc. and its suppliers.

Play Dough Recipe

2 cups flour
1 Tbsp cream of tartar
1 cup salt

3 tbsp oil
2 cups cold water
1 fluid ounce bottle of food coloring

Mix together and cook over low heat or in electric fry pan, stirring until it thickens and can’t be stirred. Remove from pan and knead. This play dough lasts a long time when it is stored in a covered ice cream pail.