Are you still planning to head south for the winter? If so, you may have even more on your mind than usual this year as you prepare to travel. Keep in mind these three tips to ensure smooth sailing while you’re somewhere warm.
1. Communicate your change of address
There are several businesses that should be aware of your change of address for the winter season, including Merchants Bank. To ensure you continue to receive important financial, medical or family information or to discontinue specific subscription services, you should contact the following regarding your address change:
- Your bank
- The Post Office
- Your local newspaper (if you have it delivered)
- Other delivery services
To alert Merchants Bank of your address change, stop in or call your local branch, or even submit a secure message in Online Banking to let us know of the change. Please include dates of departure and return as well as the names of other account holders living at your address.
2. Know how to access your bank account information.
Managing your money across a few states or a country is critical to helping you feel at ease during your trip. Make sure you are comfortable with getting information about your accounts and managing your money through with the following options:
- Merchants Online Banking – Access on desktop and mobile. (TIP: set up account alerts, so you are notified of any activity).
- Merchants Bank Credit Card App – To control your Merchants Bank credit card.
- CardValet – To control your Merchants Bank debit card.
- Give your local branch a call – Make sure you know your privacy code. If you’ve forgotten, stop in to your local branch to be reminded or set one up. That way we can verify your identity.
3. Be diligent in protecting your identity.
In the course of your travels, there are a number of circumstances that could impact the chance of identity theft. You could lose track of a card, leave financial statements in the mailbox, or post publicly on a social media site that you’re out of town, which lets criminals know that your house is empty. Review our security tips to ensure that your personal information is safe.
During your travels stay safe, and be well!
Since you were a little kid with a piggy bank, you’ve heard about the importance of saving money. Building your savings – whether for an emergency or retirement – is a practice preached repeatedly by financial advisors, economic experts and probably even your parents.
But while we know how important it is to save, the fact remains that 52% of Americans don’t have a savings plan or savings goals, according to a May 2016 Bankrate.com study.* So why should you start?
- Build Your Savings Habit
The easiest way to get used to putting some money into savings is by creating an automated deposit from your paycheck into your savings account. You won’t have to remember to set aside savings each month and you’ll hardly notice the extra money missing from your checking account.
- Prepare for Unforeseen Expenses
According to the same Bankrate study, 66 million Americans have absolutely nothing saved in case of an emergency.* In fact, 47% said they would not be able to cover an unexpected expense of $400.*You never know when you might need to replace the tires on your car, pay for a trip to the hospital or cover an unexpected bill. Typically, most financial experts agree that setting aside enough money to cover 6-8 months of expenses is a sufficient start for an emergency fund.
- Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck
Your financial independence and the amount you have in savings are typically closely tied. The more you’re able to the save, the more you can base your financial decisions on your total financial picture and not simply your monthly pay.
- Save for Annual Expenses
Give yourself the gift of a stress-free financial life by planning ahead for annual expenses. These could include holiday gifts, vacations, weddings, taxes, childcare, home repairs and more.
How Merchants Bank Can Help
Now that you have four more reasons to save, get started with a Saving Account at Merchants Bank. We offer a variety of options, including our Summer and Winter FUNd accounts that help you automatically save from August-May or January-November each year with an extra special rate.
Learn more about our Savings Accounts or apply now on our website.