Managing Your Money

Managing Your Money

Does banking technology really make your life easier? Look for these features that really matter.

Technology promises to make your life easier, and sometimes it does. But what we’re after isn’t the latest app or online feature. What we’re really chasing is something that’s simple and saves us time and effort. When it comes to banking technology, these are the features you should focus on: the ones that actually make things easy.

Plan Year-End Giving Wisely

‘Tis the season for giving. Approximately 31% of all annual charitable giving occurs in December, with 10% in the last three days alone. In addition to helping a good cause, charitable donations can also make a difference in your tax bill. If you’re planning to make a gift to a charity over the holidays, here are some general guidelines to keep in mind. As always, consult an accountant or tax advisor for information specific to your situation.

Paying it Forward: Making Probate Easier for Your Estate and Beneficiaries

No matter your age, income or marital status, your assets will be distributed to someone else when you die. While a last will and testament captures your wishes for who inherits what, there are a number of steps you can take to ensure your beneficiaries receive assets more quickly, easily and with as few probate court costs and attorney fees as possible.

Are you and your business ready for an audit?

While it remains to be seen exactly how the Internal Revenue Service will spend the $80 billion from the Inflation Reduction Act, it’s fair to assume that some portion will go to enforcement of tax laws, which includes increased audit activity. There’s no crystal ball to know who’ll be selected, but we do know where the IRS’s Global High-Wealth Industry Group tends to focus its efforts and what you can do to be ready in the event you are audited.

Payment Apps: How to Spot a Scam

Cash apps are so convenient when you need to split a dinner tab with friends or pay a babysitter or dog-walker. But they're also easy money for scammers who trick people into sending them cash, and it's near impossible to get it back once you approve the payment. Here are some common scams to watch out for.

Pros and Cons of Overdraft Privilege

Whether it’s a mistake balancing your checkbook or an unexpected expense, an overdraft incident happens to almost everyone. There are mixed views on overdraft privilege services. Let us help clarify so you can find the best fit for your needs.

Everyone's Money Needs a Plan

It doesn’t matter where your money comes from: hourly wages, salary, commission, pension, Social Security or trust fund. If you don’t have a plan for your money, you won’t get the maximum benefit. And you’ll spend too much time and energy worrying about it. A good financial plan puts structure and intention into your financial life. It helps you pace your spending, saving and borrowing through the tight years as well as the prosperous ones to avoid the chaos of a feast-or-famine existence.

Putting Wealth to Work for You and Your Heirs

Whether you earned wealth or inherited it, chances are you want to spend some, save some, give some and leave some for your loved ones. If you’re still working, you likely have plans to retire someday, with many goals and life events in between. How can you put your wealth to work for you throughout your life and beyond? First and foremost, find a trusted, experienced and certified professional to help you put an active plan in place and revisit it annually to adjust for market conditions, evolving goals and unexpected curveballs.

Keeping Your Cards Safe from Fraud

As credit card rewards get more popular, the volume of credit card transactions is rising sharply, along with opportunities for fraud. According to the Nilson Report, 131 billion credit card transactions were processed in the U.S. in 2021. Luckily, rewards aren’t the only appeal. Unlike debit cards, most credit cards offer cardholder protection against fraud loss. But to take advantage of that protection, either the cardholder or their bank has to catch the errant transaction. Banks and cardholders both have strong incentives to ward off fraud. Here's how to keep your cards safe.

Shopping for interest rates? Keep this important advice in mind.

For the first time since 2018, the Federal Reserve has raised its benchmark federal-funds rate by one quarter of one percentage point. This news doesn’t just affect banks and bankers; it also has an impact on business and personal finances. A rising rate environment might draw your attention to the money you are saving, the interest you pay on loans and credit cards, and (most importantly!) how your finances fit together. Eventually, you may see flyers and postcards offering promotions and bonuses for your deposits. Are they worth taking?

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