Dec 28, 2011

Thank You, Bank of Luxemburg Customers!

As 2011 winds down and we spend the holidays with our families, we would like to thank our extended Bank of Luxemburg family -- you, our customers.

This has been another tumultuous year for the largest U.S. financial institutions. Fortunately, Bank of Luxemburg – an independent community bank owned by local shareholders – has fared much better. That’s a testament to you and your trust and confidence in us.

In fact, Bank of Luxemburg President John Slatky has this message to share with you:
As a bank, we do well because people in Northeast Wisconsin have great ethics. When they borrow money, they pay it back. That is not true everywhere. It reflects on how we were raised. This financial moral conduct is rewarded because our customers understand the value of money and therefore will make better financial decisions.
We are fortunate to have strong relationships in all the Northeast Wisconsin communities we serve. We appreciate those relationships and look forward to working with everyone in 2012 and beyond.

All of us at Bank of Luxemburg send you and your loved ones the warmest wishes for this holiday season. Please let us know how we can serve you even better in 2012!

Dec 12, 2011

Holiday Tips for the Last-Minute Shopper

How’s your holiday shopping going? We know some of you go-getters already have your presents wrapped and under the tree, but most of us still have a few gifts to get.


Here are some reminders as you finish up your shopping:

Make a list and set a budget: Heading to the mall without a plan is one of the surest ways to overspend during the holidays. Take a little time to figure out who needs a gift and then think about how much money would be appropriate to spend. Most stores have new sales starting every few days, so check the Sunday paper for deals. If you have a certain item in mind, you can even search online to make sure you’re getting the best price.

Beware of credit cards: Recent reports show more shoppers are using credit cards during this year’s peak holiday shopping season. Part of the draw could be the rewards and extras many credit card companies offer, but Consumer Reports reminds you to keep an eye on spending tiers, expiration dates, hidden caps and missed-payment penalties. Of course, using credit cards also means the potential of paying for your holiday purchases for months to come. That’s especially true with store credit cards, which often carry APRs of 20% and higher.

Use your debit card instead: Buying gifts with your Bank of Luxemburg Debit Mastercard will help you stay on budget because you can’t spend money you don’t have! Using the debit card is also faster, easier and safer than carrying cash or writing checks. Plus, you can use it anywhere MasterCard is accepted. Our Bank of Luxemburg debit cards do not have any fees for our customers -- NO monthly, annual or usage fees. We also offer fraud protection in case you find yourself the victim of identity theft.

Giving gift cards? This may be one of the best ways to give your loved ones the perfect present – the ability to buy what they want! Make sure this straightforward option doesn’t become complicated; read the fine print before you buy. This includes checking on fees, expiration dates and the procedures if a card is lost or stolen. Also, verify which locations will accept the gift card and what services or products the card will cover. You don’t want to spend money on a gift that can’t be used!

Buy local: What better way to spread the holiday spirit in your own neighborhood than by keeping money in the community? Bank of Luxemburg just participated in a Buy Local holiday shopping promotion in Kewaunee County, but it’s not too late to support businesses in your community! Visit Buy Local Kewaunee County to find helpful resources and business listings.

Check out our Bank of Luxemburg YouTube channel for more holiday tips from Chief Operating Officer Rebecca Edler.

Nov 30, 2011

Luxemburg Bancshares, Inc. Declares Dividend

Luxemburg Bancshares, Inc., parent company of Bank of Luxemburg, announced the approval of a semi-annual dividend of $.51 per share, payable on December 16, 2011, to shareholders of record as of December 5, 2011. The dividend was the same $0.51 per share paid on June 24, 2011.

The Company’s earnings as of September 30, 2011 totaled $1,465,967, which equates to annualized earnings of $1,954,623. The Book Value per share increased to $44.57, with Earnings per share of $2.83, as compared to a Book Value per share of $41.16 and Earnings per share of $2.41, as of September 30, 2010.

President John Slatky noted,
“The dividend reflects an improvement in earnings in 2011 and is an example of the solid financial position of Luxemburg Bancshares, Inc. and Bank of Luxemburg. While the Bank continues to contend with the challenging economy and the current real estate market, the Bank is profitable and expects to remain profitable.”
Luxemburg Bancshares, Inc. and Bank of Luxemburg have banking offices in Luxemburg, Green Bay, Forestville, Dyckesville, Casco and Algoma. The company also operates Raymond James Financial Services, offering financial planning and the sale of alternative investments to its customers in each community.

Nov 28, 2011

Get Smart About Credit

How’s your credit?

If you don’t know the answer to that question, it’s time to get smart about credit. Fortunately, Bank of Luxemburg is here to help.

A great way to gain credit knowledge is to get a copy of your credit report. This shows your open lines of credit and gives you the opportunity to find out your credit score. This number helps lenders determine whether you should get certain loans, credit cards or services.

How is your credit score determined? The credit bureaus look at several factors:
  • Amount of open credit you have available
  • Types of credit you have
  • Timeliness of your payments
Each credit-reporting agency has a slightly different version of your credit score, but these ranges will generally apply:
700 – 850: Very good or excellent
680 – 699: Good
620 – 679: Average or OK
580 – 619: Low
500 – 579: Poor
300 – 499: Bad
To improve your credit score, limit the number of credit cards you open and be aware of your open credit. It’s best to close those department store credit cards you’re not using.

The official website to get your free credit report is You also have the option to purchase your credit score when you receive your report.

Our $mart Banking page has a number of resources to help you get smart about credit. Click on Credit/Debit and you’ll be able to listen to several $mart Money podcasts. And you can always stop by your local Bank of Luxemburg with any questions.

Chief Operating Officer Rebecca Edler offers some more suggestions to get smart about credit in this video:

Oct 26, 2011

Financial Trick-or-Treat Tips From Bank of Luxemburg

That spooky holiday is quickly approaching! Be sure to stop by your local Bank of Luxemburg branch to pick up a free trick-or-treat bag for the kids. Inside, they’ll find coloring sheets, pumpkin carving advice, trick-or-treat safety tips, savings information for the whole family, and a sweet treat to get you in the Halloween spirit. The bags will come in handy if the little ones are planning to collect some candy!

And for the grown-ups, here are some tricks to avoid and treats to look for when it comes to your finances:


  • Hidden fees. Some banks -- especially the larger ones – may tack on fees for online banking, getting cash at ATMs, using your debit card and more. Always ask about all fees and potential charges before you decide to open an account with a financial institution. We’ll be happy to talk to you about ways you can save money by using a Bank of Luxemburg account
  • Identity theft. If you’re not careful, thieves can easily get access to personal information such as social security and bank account numbers. Visit our Security Information page to recognize common scams and minimize your risk.
  • Offers to “fix” your credit. Negative accurate information cannot be removed from your credit history. Time and a positive payment history are the only things that will fix your credit report.


  • Local support. Local leadership gives community banks like Bank of Luxemburg the ability to respond to customer needs quickly and appropriately. Shareholders in Northeast Wisconsin own Bank of Luxemburg, so we understand what’s happening in your neighborhood. You can always call us or visit a branch location to bank with someone you know!
  • An accurate budget. Knowing what you have and what you can spend provides peace of mind. This confidence empowers you to make the best financial decisions for you, your family, or your business.  Visit our $mart Banking Information page to learn how you can develop a budget. 
  • Low rates. Our loan and mortgage officers are finding historically low rates for our customers who are able to reconsolidate and refinance. Give us a call to see if this could be an option for you!

We’d love to hear what financial tricks or treats you’ve experienced. Leave us a comment below!

Oct 19, 2011

Making Banking as Easy as 1, 2, 3!

At Bank of Luxemburg, we want you to remember that managing your money and investments doesn’t have to be difficult! As a local bank in your community, we are here to help you. That’s one reason our Chief Operating Officer, Rebecca Edler, was glad to stop by FOX 11’s Living With Amy recently for the “Easy As 1, 2, 3…” themed show.

In case you couldn’t tune in, here’s the interview segment. You’ll find more information below the video box.

Make Your Banking Easy:

  1. Online Banking: Our safe, secure website allows you to check your accounts and make changes online -- on your own terms and your own time. Visit your local Bank of Luxemburg location to get started.
  2. eStatements: Receiving account statements in your email allows you to balance your checkbook and manage your accounts when it’s convenient for you. That’s much easier than waiting for your paper statement in the mail!
  3. Refinancing: We can’t tell you that refinancing is as simple as clicking a button. But some preparation will make saving money easier than you could imagine on mortgages, credit card debt and loans! Those preparations include checking on credit scores and getting copies of pay stubs, account statements, property tax receipts and existing mortgage paperwork. These steps will allow you and your loan officer to look at reconsolidation, which will help you take advantage of historically low rates. Putting in some effort up front will save you time and money in the long run.

Now doesn’t that sound easy?

Sep 29, 2011

Deflecting Debt: Credit DOs and DON’Ts

When you need to make a purchase, do you automatically reach for your credit card? If so, you seem to be in good company.

According to credit card research firm, Americans added $18.4 billion to their debt load in the second quarter of 2011. That’s a 66% increase from the debt accumulated during the same time period last year and 368% more than was added in 2009.

But there is some encouraging news. As a recent CNN Money article points out, “the total amount of credit card debt consumers have accumulated is still significantly lower than in previous years. Total outstanding credit card debt as of July was $792 billion, down 18% from the September 2008 peak of $972 billion, according to data from the Federal Reserve.”

To avoid adding your debt to those massive national totals, take note of these credit tips:

DO know the power of credit. You’ll need to build a good credit history to be approved for loans, secure housing and make a large purchase, like a car or house.

DO read the fine print on the credit application. Interest rates, credit limits, grace periods, annual fees, terms and conditions will be different with each card.

DO pay at least the minimum payment, but feel free to add more to pay off your balance quicker! If you’re having trouble making the minimum payment, contact your creditor to assess your options.

DO order a copy of your credit report annually. You have the right to know what is in it. Click here to get a free copy of your credit report.

DON’T feel pressure to get a credit card. You can even opt out of receiving prescreened offers by calling 1-888-5-OPTOUT or visiting

DON'T pay your bills late.  Late payments can affect your credit rating and increase your balance.

DON'T spend more than you can afford.  Credit is a loan and has to be repaid. Avoid reaching your credit limit or "maxing out" your cards.

DON'T ignore the warning signs of credit trouble.  Do you pay only the minimum balance, pay late, use cash-advances to fund daily living expenses or transfer a lot of balances? You might be in the "credit danger zone." Contact your local Bank of Luxemburg to get recommendations on area financial counseling organizations.

DON'T share your credit card number. Never give out personal information if you didn’t initiate the transaction. Be aware of identity theft and phishing scams that ask for credit card numbers. You can file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission if you think your identity has been compromised.

Which credit card tip works best for you? Tell us in the comments or leave a tip of your own!

Source: American Bankers Association 

Sep 26, 2011

September is Financial Report Card Month

The kids are back in the classroom, and it won’t be long before they’re coming home with their first report cards of the new school year.

Before you look at their grades in English, Math and Science, Bank of Luxemburg wants you to “make the grade” when it comes to your finances.

We’ve coined September Financial Report Card Month. Here are three ways to get an A+ this year:

  1. Order a Free Credit Report: Seeing your credit score gives you a look at your financial standing with creditors and other decision-makers. Examining your credit report can also be a wake-up call if it becomes clear you need to make some changes. Visiting is a good way to get started.
  2. Review Your Family Budget: Are the kids joining some new after-school activities? Are your relatives descending on your house for the holidays this year? No matter what your family is planning, make sure you account for those related expenses in your budget. It’s also a good idea to save some money for unexpected costs that inevitably pop up throughout the year.
  3. Review Stocks and Insurance: Take a look at your investment portfolio and insurance needs regularly. Do you need to make some adjustments to your 401(k) plan? At the same time, remember that investment portfolios are meant for the long run; ups and downs are common in the stock market. Also, make sure the insurance you have is still appropriate for your family’s changing needs. 

Financial Report Card Month is designed to help you make an honest assessment of your finances. If you think you could use some “tutoring” to improve your financial grade, please contact or visit your local Bank of Luxemburg.

Extra Credit:
Chief Operating Officer Rebecca Edler has a video study guide for you (feel free to take notes!):

Sep 9, 2011

5 Tips to Stay Safe at the ATM

ATMs are certainly easy and convenient to use – many people visit them for nearly all of their banking needs! But Bank of Luxemburg wants you to remember some tips to make sure you’re safe when using the ATM:
  1. Be aware of your surroundings, especially at night. Keep an eye out for any suspicious people or vehicles.
  2. Have your card ready as you approach the ATM. This way, you won’t spend time fumbling through your wallet , which could allow someone to come up to you unnoticed.
  3. Use your body to “shield” the keyboard as you enter your PIN. No one else should be able to figure out your code.
  4. Take any receipts with you to verify your transactions, and also to ensure your account details won’t fall into the wrong hands.
  5. Don’t count or show the cash you’ve just received. It’s safer if other people don’t know how much cash you’re carrying.
It’s particularly important to keep your personal safety in mind when you stop by an ATM at night. Look for a well-lit area and park close to the machine. If you don’t feel comfortable with the lighting, or if there are lots of trees and shrubs around, you may want to keep moving and stop at another available ATM.

 Chief Operating Officer Rebecca Edler discusses ATM safety in this video:

Looking for an ATM that’s convenient for you? Visit our Bank of Luxemburg locations page or check out this ATM Finder from the Community Bankers of Wisconsin.

Aug 30, 2011

Money Saving Tips From Bank of Luxemburg

Everyone knows it’s easy to spend money – especially on fun summer activities! Saving money is a little tougher. To get you started, here are some tips from Bank of Luxemburg’s Rebecca Edler:

Create a budget and stick to it. It can be intimidating at first, but knowing how much and where you’re spending your money will help you keep your finances under control.

Keep control of credit card debt. Try the “debt snowball” – pay off small balance cards first. Once those balances are paid in full, apply the money you were using to pay off that debt to the next card.  Also, use credit cards only for emergencies and pay off the balance each month.  Make sure those payments are on time to avoid penalties, late fees and interest.

Be selective with banking accounts. Look for accounts that don’t charge fees and banks that charge reasonable fees for services you use. Don’t overdraw your account, and use bill payment services to eliminate postage stamps, envelopes and paper checks.

Consolidate or refinance. Look into refinancing your mortgage to reduce the monthly payment and interest rate. Consolidate student loans to reduce interest rates and fees.

Other tips include buying a quality used car, making a shopping list and sticking to it, and waiting a month before making a major purchase to make sure you really need it! You can also make saving money fun by setting goals and rewarding yourself when you reach them. 

Rebecca recently appeared on FOX 11’s Living With Amy to share some of her tips:

What tips are you using to save some money?

Jul 15, 2011

Invest in Your Future With Bank of Luxemburg

Planning for your financial future is important at any stage of life, and Bank of Luxemburg is committed to your success. 

If you’re graduating college, a banker can help you set up a budget for things like rent, car payments or college loans.

When you’re buying your first home, meet with a mortgage originator to find out what kind of house you can afford and to set up a spending plan.

Thinking about retirement? Meet with an advisor in investment services to set up initial goals and spending habits for the future.

Bank of Luxemburg’s Chief Operating Officer, Rebecca Edler, explains how we can help you invest in your future in this video: 

Jun 23, 2011

Luxemburg Bancshares, Inc. Declares Dividend

Luxemburg Bancshares, Inc., parent company of Bank of Luxemburg, announced the approval of a semi-annual dividend of $.51 per share, payable on June 24, 2011, to shareholders of record as of June 13, 2011.  The dividend was increased from the dividend of $0.50 per share paid on June 18, 2010.

President John Slatky noted, “The dividend reflects an improvement in earnings in 2011 and is an example of the solid financial position of Luxemburg Bancshares, Inc. and Bank of Luxemburg.  While the Bank continues to contend with the challenging economy and the current real estate market, the Bank is profitable and expects to remain profitable.”

Jun 8, 2011

Learning the Basics of Budgeting

It’s graduation season! Students have completed their classes in subjects like English, history and science and are proudly displaying their diplomas. But many graduates have one more course to pass:

Budgeting 101.

Managing money may be one of the biggest challenges for young adults living on their own for the first time. But learning the basics – such as how to create a budget – can help you find the right path.

According to the American Bankers Association, knowing how much you have to spend and where your money goes is essential for financial success.  That means it’s time to create a budget.
  1. Income: It’s important to learn what you’re working with. Using a notebook, spreadsheet or worksheet, list your monthly income sources – take home pay, overtime, tips, etc. Include as much information as possible.
  2. Expenses: List your current expenses – and don’t leave anything out, no matter how small the amount! This will cover expenses related to housing, food, education, health, transportation, entertainment, credit cards, saving/investing and other miscellaneous sources. 
  3. Monthly Net Income: Then take your total monthly income, subtract your total monthly expenses, and write down your monthly net. When you know what you have, you can make informed decisions on your budget and spending habits. 

Expenses and income equal? You could be getting by, but are you prepared for unexpected expenses? Look into a regular savings plan.

Expenses less than your income? This is good news, and you should be able to set reasonable financial goals to make your dollars go further.

Expenses more than your income? This is a problem that needs immediate attention. Visit Bank of Luxemburg to help you before you fall deeply into debt.

Determining your monthly net income may bring up more questions about how you use credit, whether you have enough money to pay monthly expenses, or about developing savings goals. 

Keep checking the Bank of Luxemburg blog for advice on sticking to a budget and cutting expenses, and you’ll be sure to get an A+ in Budgeting 101! 

May 5, 2011

Saving Time With Bank of Luxemburg

Bank of Luxemburg's Chief Operating Officer, Rebecca Edler, recently appeared on FOX 11's Living With Amy to explain some ways the bank can help you save time.

Here are a few of the tips Rebecca outlined in her interview with Amy:
  • Auto Bill Pay: This is a safe and secure way to pay your bills without taking the time to write and mail paper checks.
  • Auto Savings Transfers: You can have a certain amount of money taken out of your checking account every pay period and transferred directly to your savings account, instead of visiting the bank in person.
  • eStatements: Reading your account statements is as easy as checking your email.
  • Remote Deposit Capture: This service allows business owners to save time and reduce expenses by scanning checks and transmitting the images to the bank for posting or clearing.
What are some other ways you save time with your banking?

Apr 26, 2011

April is Community Banking Month

Bank of Luxemburg is one of nearly 7,000 community banks across the United States.  Community banks work to enhance the quality of life in their local marketplaces.  And the Independent Community Bankers of America wants to celebrate the positive characteristics of community banks this April.

Here are some of the benefits of using a community bank like Bank of Luxemburg:
  • Community banks focus on families, not large corporations.
  • We support local communities by channeling your deposits into loans for your neighbors and area businesses.
  • Community bank officers are on-site (not in a far-away city) and active in the local community.
  • Business loan decisions are made locally, so you don’t have to wait for committee choices in other states. 
  • Community banks are small businesses themselves and understand the needs of other small businesses.

Our eight Bank of Luxemburg branch locations will be celebrating all this month!
  • Children can enter a coloring contest at each branch.
  • Customers can enter a drawing for a coffee basket.
  • Watch our Facebook and Twitter pages for facts about community banks.
  • If we reach 300 fans on our Facebook page, we’ll randomly draw one fan’s name to win a Flip camera.

Watch this video to find out more benefits of banking locally with Bank of Luxemburg!

Apr 12, 2011

Teach Children to Save Day

April 12, 2011 is officially Teach Children to Save Day.  It was declared by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker this month.  Teaching children to save money may not be easy at first, but the lessons they learn now should stay with them for the rest of their lives.

Here are a few ideas to encourage children to save money:

  • Help children set goals for their savings -- whether it’s a buying a new toy or even paying for college.  You could also give them non-money rewards for reaching certain milestones. 

  • Provide an allowance or let children earn money for household or neighborhood tasks.  A small income will encourage kids to budget and manage money.

  • Encourage giving to charities, churches or other organizations your child has an interest in.  This will help them get in the habit of helping their communities.

  • Lead by example and explain your own savings and spending plans to your children.  You can tell them what you’re doing when you visit an ATM, pay for groceries and pay bills.

Bank of Luxemburg has a number of tools and ideas to encourage children to get in the habit of managing money.  Visit our Money Talks page for more tips and ideas.

Mar 24, 2011

School of Super Saving Contest

Paying for higher education is a challenge, but the most inventive students usually find a way to pay!  Bank of Luxemburg wants to know how you're funding your college education.  Giving plasma?  Drawing caricatures?  Playing your musical instrument on the street corner?

We're awarding one person $750 for sharing his or her creative plan with us through a short essay or video.

Check out the details at and watch this video to learn more!

Mar 16, 2011

Debit Card Warnings

Bank of Luxemburg urges you to use your debit card -- but here are a few warnings:
  • When purchasing with a debit card online, never do business with a company that does not offer a physical address and phone number.  Remember, some phone numbers are fake, so check the number out by calling first.
  • Never give out debit card information if someone calls you and asks for it.  The bank will not call asking for your information.
  • Whether online or off, never pass debit card information to another person, especially through mail.  Not only can a third party find the golden opportunity to suck an account dry, taking all your hard-earned money -- but they can also be the headache of a lifetime if the account must be closed and reopened.
When in doubt, feel free to contact Bank of Luxemburg with any questions.

Mar 3, 2011

Saving for Emergencies with Bank of Luxemburg

It's a part of life -- unexpected expenses come up!  That's why it's important to save up for emergencies.  Creating a fund is as easy as automatically depositing some money from each paycheck.

Rebecca Edler explains how to get started in this video:

Feb 24, 2011

Improve Your Financial Future with IRA Days

Bank of Luxemburg's IRA Days are coming up next week.  This is a great opportunity for you to learn about ways to improve your financial future.

Here are some of the topics that will be covered:

  • Traditional IRAs vs. Roth IRAs
  • Contribution limits
  • Tax advantages
  • Beneficiaries
  • 401(k) rollovers
  • Receive a bonus rate on Bank of Luxemburg IRA contributions
  • Receive a complimentary retirement analysis
Join us Wednesday, March 2 at 6:00 p.m. at the Casco branch, or Saturday, March 5 at 8:30 a.m. at the Luxemburg branch.  

Please RSVP by calling (920) 845-2345.

Feb 14, 2011

Encouraging You to 'Buy Local' in Wisconsin

Here at the Bank of Luxemburg, we're encouraging you to spend your money in the local community.  We'll share more in future posts, but for now -- check out our radio ad to remind you to 'Buy Local'!

Feb 11, 2011

Apply for the Bank of Luxemburg Scholarship

Attention high school students!

In keeping with its tradition of community service & commitment to the education of future business leaders, the Bank of Luxemburg awards scholarships to the children & grandchildren of Bank of Luxemburg customers.  The scholarship was established to assist a graduating high school senior to continue his or her education at a university, college trade or vocational school.  Since starting this program in 2002, the Bank of Luxemburg has awarded scholarship funds totaling $120,000.

The scholarships awarded are for $1000.00 per year, for up to four years of full-time enrollment per student.  The Bank issues several scholarships for students attending the Luxemburg Casco High School and outlying school districts that are in our market area.  This year, due to our prevalence in Algoma, we will be awarding one scholarship to a student attending Algoma High School.

Applications for students attending the Luxemburg Casco High School or Algoma High School will be at the Guidance Counselor's offices.  The applications for the students outside of the Luxemburg or Algoma school districts will be in our Bank of Luxemburg offices located in Forestville & Bellevue.

Applications should be submitted to:
Bank of Luxemburg
630 Main Street
Luxemburg, WI 54217

Feb 3, 2011

5 More Savings Tips for the New Year

We've given you 5 Tips for Saving Money, but we have even more ideas to save some cash:

Automatic savings — You know you want to save money, but you just can’t seem to get started. That’s where an automated savings plan can work wonders, siphoning money from your paycheck or checkbook on a regular basis and depositing those monies in a bank savings account. Tip: link your checking account with a savings account at an online institution to avoid the temptation of making a withdrawal when you know you really shouldn’t.

Buy a home — If you’re in the market for a new home, 2011 may be the best year to buy one for two reasons: 1) mortgage rates are still low, near historically low levels, and 2) home values are low with bargains available in many areas. Avoid the foreclosure unless you’re handy — there should be plenty of other homes available at prices not seen in the past 5 to 10 years.

Jan 26, 2011

Bank of Luxemburg on FOX 11

Bank of Luxemburg's Rebecca Edler spoke to FOX 11's Amy Hanten this morning about fighting the winter blues when it comes to your finances.
That includes:

  • Consolidating debt
  • Creating a budget
  • Planning for retirement

Jan 19, 2011

5 Tips for Saving Money

Having trouble building up your savings?  Always wondering where your money goes?  Here are five ways to save:

1. Track spending and evaluate results.  By tracking your spending habits, you'll get an idea of where you spend your money.  By evaluating the results, you can see if you're using money for things that aren't really necessary.

2. Forget the plastic.  Limit yourself to one or two credit cards with the best rates, and use them for only major purchases or emergencies.  Also, pay off your credit card balances monthly.

Jan 14, 2011

Consolidating Your Debt

Mounting bills can be overwhelming for anyone dealing with debt.  In 2011, consider taking some steps to alleviate your stress and lower your level of debt.

Think about using a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) for credit card debt consolidation.  With a Home Equity Line of Credit simply write yourself a loan whenever you need it, pay it back and use it again.  Battling credit card debt can be frustrating. One way that many homeowners are solving their credit card debt woes is by taking advantage of the equity built up in their home and the low interest rates being offered today. If you take out a home equity line of credit, you can get a very low interest loan that can pay off your credit cards.

You can approach your bank about a low interest personal loan to pay off your credit card debt.

Consolidate your debt onto a single 0% interest or low interest credit card, then make double payments to ensure you're paying down the principle of your credit card debt. has some helpful resources to help you assess your debt, like the Financial Calculation Tools.  Scroll down and click on "Personal Debt Consolidation" to find the debt consolidator pictured below.

Visit for financial calculators like this one.

Jan 6, 2011

Tips for Financial Fitness

Are you trying to get financially fit in the new year?  Here are some ideas to get you started:

1) Establish a budget for yourself.

2) Determine what you need financially each month, and if necessary, cut out unnecessary expenses.

3) Choose the right credit card for your lifestyle, and use it sparingly and wisely.

4) Make sure you have a savings and checking account that also fit your lifestyle and are from a reputable banking establishment.

5) Don't be afraid to purchase "used" instead of "new," when looking at cars or other pricey items.