SMART MONEY

We are Smart. At Skyline, we help you become more successful in your daily life by providing helpful tips and resources on how to better manage your money.

Here you will find videos, tips, and articles of how you can be more successful in your financial goals as well as how to better safeguard your accounts.

 

Try these 8 easy and proven tips for savings success.

A healthy savings account is a powerful tool. It positions you to pursue your dreams, live with confidence, conquer the unexpected, have choices, enjoy peace of mind, and ultimately do what you love. However, nearly half of all Americans don’t have $400 on hand to cover an unexpected expense, reports the Federal Reserve.

Many workers live paycheck-to-paycheck, in large part because they are living beyond their means, according to CNN Money. Here are 3 clues to determine if you’re doing the same:

  1. Your credit score is low.
  2. Your housing costs eat up more than 30% of your paycheck.
  3. You’re not saving any money.
Becoming a saver is easy once you get the hang of it. Approach it the right way – with a positive attitude. Think of it as a fun challenge. A healthy habit that gets easier the more you do it. Once the spirit of savings captures you, there’s no turning back. You’ve got this. Just follow these 8 easy and proven tips for savings success. Then watch as your life transforms.
  1. Pay yourself first. Think of your savings as a bill that you pay yourself. Make it a priority every month. It’s easy to do. Simply write down how much money you take home per month after taxes. Then write down what you want to put aside in savings per month. That amount should include what you want to put toward retirement as well as short-term and long-term savings goals, such as $200 a month toward buying a new car, $50 a month toward an annual vacation, $300 a month for a child’s education, etc. Add up the money you want to save each month and subtract it from your net income. Whatever amount is left, spend freely.
  2. Automate your savings. “Set it and forget it,” advises Farnoosh Torabi, best-selling author and personal finance expert. Reroute money from your paycheck directly to savings. These automatic transfers remove willpower and effort from the equation. Commit to a monthly percentage of your take-home pay that will be automatically transferred into its own account. Torabi recommends at least 10 percent. Within a year, you’ll be shocked by how much you saved and with little effort.
  3. Invest wisely for retirement. Many employers offer a 401(k) plan and match your contributions up to a limit. Be sure to at least earn that match before investing elsewhere. If you’re already contributing to a 401(k) or don’t have one, you can open an individual retirement account. In a traditional IRA, your contributions are tax-deductible but distributions in retirement are taxed as ordinary income. A Roth IRA is a cousin of the traditional version, with the opposite tax treatment: Contributions are made after-tax, but money grows tax-free and distributions in retirement are not taxed. There are also retirement accounts specifically designed for self-employed people.
  4. Distinguish wants from needs. Avoiding instant gratification is one of the most important rules of personal finance. If you have an urge to make a purchase, try waiting 30 days before buying it. Quite often, you’ll find the urge to buy has passed. Waiting gives you a better perspective on whether it’s truly worth the money.
  5. Monitor your credit score and credit report. Your credit report is a summary of your borrowing and repayment history—any new accounts, closed accounts, unpaid bills, late bills, and other activity. If you have a loan, mortgage or credit card, it will show up here. Your credit report provides the basis for your credit score. You're entitled to one free credit report, once a year, from each of the three credit reporting agencies -- Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Higher credit scores (also called FICO scores) mean lower interest rates and can save you thousands of dollars. Try to boost your score before you apply for a loan. Start now. Order your free credit report at ANNUALcreditreport.com.
  6. Set aside a Rainy Day Fund. Saving for emergencies is critical, advises Dave Ramsey, author of The Total Money Makeover. He suggests saving $1,000 first, and then pay off your debt. After your debt is paid, save for three to six months’ worth of expenses. Saving for life’s little and larger emergencies means you’ll be ready for the unexpected. An easy way to give your savings a boost is to bank your raise, writes Robert Barba for Bankrate. Since you’ve already grown accustomed to living on the old amount, adjust your direct deposit so the extra cash flows directly to savings.
  7. Understand the power of compound interest. Setting aside money early on and watching it grow can be a powerful motivator. Whether you're in your mid-30s or mid-60s, it's never too late to start saving, according to LearnVest. If you can afford to put away even $100 a month, starting now, compound interest will duly reward you. For example, at age 33, a $100-per-month ($1,200 annual) contribution at a 1% annual interest rate will turn into nearly $54,000 by age 70. If you start at age 66, this same investment amounts to just $5,000. Still, not bad. But, it clearly demonstrates that the longer you can let your investment sit and earn interest, the better.
  8. Make saving money a family affair. Talking about saving money won’t mean much if your children see you spending frivolously, according to Take Charge America, a nonprofit financial education resource. Introduce the concept of saving early to your children. Bring them along to comparison shop at the grocery store. Let them know you are regularly contributing to an emergency savings fund (you are, right?) as well as putting away money for retirement. Remember, the way your kids see you relating to money will shape the way they live their financial lives in the future.
     

As with any new adventure, it helps to have a partner at your side to support you. Here at Skyline National Bank, we have just the right tools to get you started, including a variety of savings accounts and automation services. We want you to achieve your savings goals and are here to help make it happen. You’ll always get our best on the journey to becoming your best.

Try our Budget Planner to help you with your savings goals!

Budget Planner Form

 

Protect your identity

In today's advancing world, it is important to know how to safeguard your identity. That is why we have provided these videos to help you prevent possible Identity Theft for both your Personal and Business Accounts.

Identity Theft Prevention - This video provides helpful tips on how to protect your identity.
ID Theft For Business - Watch this video to learn how you can better secure your company's sensitive information.


MasterCard ID Theft ProtectionTM

As a Skyline National Bank MasterCard debit card holder, you can receive MasterCard ID Theft Protection TM - at no extra cost - to help you protect your identity, your accounts, and your credit and debit cards from unauthorized use.

This benefit includes:

  • ID Theft Alerts – This service tracks thousands of websites to learn if a cardholder’s personal information is being bought or sold online. Cardholders can register for Advance Alerts for early detection at mastercard.us/idtheftprotection.
  • Expert Resolution Services – Expert assistance is available to help cardholders 24/7 if they think their identity has been stolen. They can call 1-800-MASTERCARD. They will be assigned their own personal certified specialist, who will guide them through the process every step of the way.
  • Emergency Wallet Replacement – Experts assist cardholders to quickly cancel and re-order the content of their physical wallet such as social security card, driver’s license and more. They can call 1-800-MASTERCARD for assistance.

For more information on this important service, click here.


Protect your account

How can you keep your accounts, and your money, safe?

All of us at Skyline National Bank are dedicated to keeping your accounts protected — whether you bank at the branch, online or over the phone — and we have a range of systems in place to do just that. We continually update and refine our systems to help ensure we stay on top of the latest threats and techniques to combat them.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your help. Here’s a list of steps you can take to safeguard your identity and finances. And we urge you to share these with your family and friends. Together, we can make a difference.

TRADITIONAL BANKING

  • Guard your paper statements or switch to online statements.
  • Get to know your tellers. The better they know you, the better they’ll be at spotting strange transactions in your accounts.
  • Shred all documents that contain private or critical information.
  • Never write your Social Security number or driver's license number on your checks (it’s not required by law).
  • Don’t provide personal information over the phone. Even if a call sounds legitimate, ask for the number, say you’ll call back and check into things before sharing private data.

ONLINE BANKING

  • Never do your online banking on a public computer.
  • Never use a public wifi to conduct online banking.
  • Always sign off and close your browser when you’ve finished your banking. This is especially important if you are banking with a mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet.
  • Make sure the information we have for you (e.g., phone, address, etc.) is current in case we need to reach you.
  • Choose your Personal Identification Number (PIN) carefully, and make sure the security question is something only you would know. If you decide to write your PINs down, keep them in a safe, discreet place.
  • Consider using an online tool such as Dashlane, LastPass or 1Password for your login information for Skyline (and other websites). These apps generate and store random combinations of letters, numbers and characters that serve as your passwords.
  • Make sure the URLs you use are secure. Look for the "s" at the end of “http” in your browser window. The “s” in “https” signifies secure communications.
  • Banks do not send out emails asking for account information. Be wary of any messages you receive asking for confidential information. And remember you can always call us to double-check.

MOBILE DEVICE 

  • Use the passcode lock on your smartphone and other devices. This will make it more difficult for thieves to access your information if your device is lost or stolen.
  • Log out completely when you finish a mobile banking session.
  • Protect your phone from viruses and malicious software, or malware, just like you do for your computer by installing mobile security software.
  • Use caution when downloading apps. Apps can contain malicious software, worms, and viruses. Beware of apps that ask for unnecessary "permissions".
  • Download updates for your phone and mobile apps. These updates often contain important security updates.
  • Avoid storing sensitive information like passwords or a social security number on your mobile device.
  • Tell your financial institution immediately if you change your phone number or lose your mobile device.
  • Be aware of shoulder surfers. The most basic form of information theft is observation. Be aware of your surroundings especially when you're punching in sensitive information.
  • Wipe your mobile device before you donate, sell or trade it using specialized software or using the manufacturer's recommended technique. Some software allows you to wipe your device remotely if it is lost or stolen.
  • Beware of mobile phishing. Avoid opening links and attachments in emails and texts, especially from senders you don't know. And be wary of ads (not from your security provider) claiming that your device is infected.
  • Watch out for public Wi-Fi. Public connections aren't very secure, so don't perform banking transactions on a public network. If you need to access your account, try disabling the Wi-Fi and switching to your mobile network.
  • Report any suspected fraud to your bank immediately.

 

Go To Top