How to Maximize Savings in the Midst of a Pandemic
Written by IBC Bank-Brownsville CEO Al Villarreal and IBC Bank-McAllen CEO Adrian Villarreal
It's been almost a year since the U.S. shifted to a new, pandemic-produced normal, when the lives of many were adjusted to stay safe and healthy. Although a significant part of the adversity we're facing
While the idea of saving money can seem daunting, particularly when facing economic hardships like those caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, below are four easy ways to start taking control of your savings and to maximize your money while we work to recover from this crisis.
Establish a savings goal and plan
There are many different reasons why people save money. Some save for a car or home purchase, while others save money to have a reserve for unexpected expenses or emergencies. Whatever the reason, setting a goal and having a plan are of critical importance. Community bankers are especially trained to assist you with this. The first step is to visit with your local banker to help create a common-sense savings plan that fits your budget.
Analyze reoccurring payments
According to a CreditCard.com survey, 35% of Americans are unaware they're signed-up for automatic monthly debits, like streaming services and online magazine subscriptions. In today's recovering fragile economy, it's especially crucial to monitor those charges to your bank accounts. Take advantage of credit card fraud and management tools provided by your bank, to more closely monitor your debit and credit card activities. IBC Bank utilizes IBC Card Controls, an app that allows you to manage your account by turning your cards on and off, adding spending limits, managing merchants or locations, and receiving immediate transaction alerts.
Today, with interest rates at historic lows, it may be time to consider refinancing your mortgage or taking out a home equity loan. The low rates combined with the rapid increase in home prices, means homeowners may have more equity than they realize. A good first step is to consult with your lender or a local real estate agent.
Consolidate your debt
The best way to consolidate debt will depend on how much debt you have, your credit score and other factors, but rolling credit card debt into longer term loans with lower interest rates can save you a significant amount of money. Additionally, owning and investing in assets such as a home, vehicle or retirement plan may give you the means and flexibility to restructure debt on your own. Talk to your banking advisor for a more personalized recommendation based on your financial profile.
Taking charge of your savings is about prioritizing what's most important to you and focusing there first. As the pandemic continues to affect the livelihood of many, it is important to reevaluate your budget. Start by contacting your local banker. They can help you identify products and services to fit your needs and help you reach your financial goals.
About IBC Bank - Brownsville/ McAllen
IBC Bank-Brownsville is a member of International Bancshares Corporation (NASDAQ: IBOC), a $13.6 billion multi-bank financial holding company headquartered in Laredo, Texas, with 187 facilities and 282 ATMs serving 88 communities in Texas and Oklahoma. IBC Bank's slogan "We Do More" reflects the bank's dedication to the growth and success of the customers and the communities it has been serving since 1966. IBC Bank-Brownsville was recognized as The Brownsville Herald "Reader's Choice" for favorite bank in 2020. IBC Bank-Brownsville has been serving the area since 1984 and has a retail branch network of 12 locations. IBC Bank-McAllen has been serving the Hidalgo County community since 1990 and has a retail branch network of 30 locations throughout the area MEMBER FDIC / INTERNATIONAL BANCSHARES CORPORATION. Follow our Facebook and Instagram page, @IBCBankWeDoMore. More information is available at ibc.com.