First Columbia Bank Lifestage Strategies


Managing the financial responsibilities of family life

By the time you have a family of your own, there will be a host of new expenses such as fees for activities and lessons for your children, family vacations, saving for college educations or buying a new home. Throughout this time, you should regularly evaluate your progress towards achieving the financial goals you set earlier in your life and adjust your spending, budgeting and saving to make sure you stay on track. With all the demands a family places on your income, it is still important to build your long-term investments.

Exercising planning and discipline will contribute to your future financial success. Here are some tips First Columbia Bank recommends for sound financial management during this demanding time of your life.

1. Shop for the best mortgage and consumer loans

When looking at your financing options, you’ll want to compare all the costs involved in obtaining a mortgage including interest rates, points, fees and down payment and private mortgage insurance requirements. Home equity loans and lines of credit can be helpful when extra cash is needed to reduce significant credit card debt—but be cautious about re-building credit card debt once it is paid.

With competitive rates, experienced lending professionals and local decision-making, you’ll be sure to find a loan at First Columbia Bank that meets your needs. To apply for a mortgage or consumer loan now, click here, or stop by and talk with one of our Mortgage Originators.

2. Understand your credit report

Your financial behavior over the past seven years, including how much credit you have, how long you've had it and whether you pay your bills on time is information included in your credit report.  Three credit reporting agencies - Equifax, TransUnion and Experian - maintain these reports, and  lenders buy them to help them decide whether to offer you a prequalification.  Your credit report also carries your credit score ranked between 300 and 850 that many lenders use to decide whether you are creditworthy and will you'll repay a loan.  Your credit score can also influence the interest rate you pay.  In many cases the higher your score, the lower your interest rate. Your credit score is available from the three credit reporting agencies:

3. Start saving for college

By starting early, when your child is in preschool or before, you can build a realistic fund through the power of compounding over many years.  The earlier you start, the less you'll have to save per month.

Through First Columbia Financial Services, you can access products designed to help you fund your child's higher education. To learn more, or set up an educational account, talk with the financial professional at First Columbia Financial Services.

4. Save time and money with e-Banking

While keeping up with the demands of raising a family, your banking should be as simple and easy as possible. First Columbia Bank provides our customers with many convenient online options to help you streamline and simplify.

Sign up for Online Banking
You’ll reduce the time and effort it takes to pay your bills—and help the environment as well. Transfer funds, view balances, pay bills, sign up for paperless e-statements, and more whenever you want and wherever you are with this helpful feature.
Click here for more information and to enroll in Online Banking.

Enroll in Mobile Banking
Further simplify your busy life with our mobile banking services that allow you to bank right from your mobile phone. It’s one less errand to run before you pick up the kids, get groceries, and make dinner.
Click here for more information and to enroll in Mobile Banking.

Enjoy Fee Free ATM Access
We bring you Fee Free ATM access at over 55,000 locations worldwide–in your town, where you shop and when you travel. It's one of the many ways First Columbia is working to make banking better for our customers.
Click here to learn more about our Fee Free ATM Network.

5. Set up direct deposit

Your paycheck will go straight to your First Columbia Bank account. This will save trips to the bank and help you stick to a budget.  Be sure to split your deposit—put some in checking to cover expenses, then put some into savings.  Even if it sjust a little, you’ll be automatically saving every pay day.

6. Save for retirement

Many people underestimate the amount of money they’ll need in retirement. There are many considerations to think about. For example, will your mortgage be paid off by retirement? If so, you may need less income than you do now. Do you plan to buy a vacation home or travel extensively? Will you have to pay for your own health insurance? These and other important financial considerations all come into play.

Now is a good time to increase contributions to your retirement savings accounts. Talk with the financial professionals at First Columbia Financial Services to learn about the products we offer that can help you meet your retirement goals.


 Tips for Effective Financial Management

  • Make sure your mortgage payment, including taxes and insurance, represents a manageable percent of your gross monthly income.
  • Review the cost of your health care insurance and make sure you are getting adequate coverage at the best price. 
  • Make wise purchasing decisions by determining  what you "need" compared to what you "want."  This will help you make ongoing decisions to keep your finances in check.   
  • Guard against impulse shopping, especially for costly purchases such as vehicles, major appliances, furniture, jewelry and the like.

Financial Calculators for the Family on the Go..

Use these calculators to help you determine what you need to achieve your goals—and to stay on budget.

Mortgage Calculator Retirement Calculator Home Budget Analyzer


For help determining the best accounts and products for sound and productive money management during this active family lifestage, please contact us at 570.784.1660 or email us. We're here for you!