Putting Technology to Work to Manage Family Finances

Friday, May 18 at 07:00 AM
Category: Arvest News

Every parent knows, regardless of how many bells and whistles you employ to make managing family life easier, there is always room for one more tool - if it simplifies the juggling act!

Most parents are pros at maximizing smartphones, tablets and laptops. Technology assists us with everything from online grocery orders and pick-up to dinner delivery to managing homework and sports schedules, and so much more. But what about managing your family finances? How can technology help? 

Mobile banking, the use of a smartphone or tablet to manage a bank account or conduct financial transactions, is a leading preference among consumers when it comes to managing their money. A national survey by the American Bankers Association in August 2017 revealed that 70 percent of Americans surveyed had managed their bank account using a mobile device at least once during the previous month. Among the most popular features of mobile banking options is fingerprint identification for security. Touch ID, consistent updates within banking apps, and the ability to send secure messages or questions to your bank’s representatives, are all features in the latest generation of mobile banking apps. 

In 2017, more than 63 million U.S. adults used a person-to-person payment app on their mobile device. That’s roughly one-third of all smartphone users. This represented a 50-percent increase from 2016. Phone apps such as Venmo, Square Cash, Google Wallet, Zelle and others allow consumers to immediately transfer money from their personal account to a friend. That’s convenient for the non-cash-carrying parent who owes the room mom for a teacher’s gift, or for the parent of a college student who just realized they have 32 cents in their account and they need money – now! No check writing, no wait for funds to transfer – payment complete!

On a broader scale, technology hands the control of personal banking, budgeting and even applying for a mortgage loan to the hands of the customer.

By simply taking a photo of a check you need to deposit with your smartphone and submitting that photo through the bank’s mobile app, the deposit is complete. Consumers who take advantage of the ease, convenience and security of online or mobile banking can also enjoy the options of automatic bill payments, transaction monitoring, the ability to temporarily suspend the use of ATM cards and 24/7 account access - all at no cost.

Technology can help families put the numbers into perspective in terms of what is being spent where, areas of excessive spending, recommendations for adjustments and even options for saving. A few money management mobile apps worth exploring include:

Mint – For use in mobile or online budgeting. Mint tracks spending habits, sets bill reminders, is customizable, offers recommendations on budget adjustments and provides a free credit score, in addition to other features.

You Need a Budget (YNAB) - YNAB is geared toward those who are new to budgeting. It recommends budgeting practices and offers suggestions for adjustments when unexpected expenses arise. YNAB offers online classes and access to an advisor, if interested.

Mvelopes – An app based on the concept of budgeting via envelopes for different expenses. When the virtual envelope is empty, it’s empty. No borrowing from other areas.

Acorns – For those in favor of some savings on the side. Acorns rounds credit and debit purchases up to the nearest dollar and invests the cash difference into exchange-traded funds that you’ve pre-selected. 

For budget-savvy, or budget-desperate, parents – there are resources literally at your fingertips. Some are free; others charge a fee.

Making a concerted effort to find and utilize mobile and online money management tools can help make the family to-do list more manageable, freeing up time for activities you enjoy. When managed well, you could end up with a little extra savings at the end of the year.

Ashley Landon is a branch sales manager for Arvest Bank in Miami. She can be contacted at alandon@arvest.com.

Tags: Technology

Arvest Bank Collects SBA Awards in Little Rock

Tuesday, May 15 at 01:00 PM
Category: Arvest News

Arvest Bank was recognized twice at the 28th Annual Arkansas Small Business Awards Luncheon on Thursday, May 10, in Little Rock. The awards were announced by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) last month, and last week’s event was hosted by the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce.

Arvest was named the Arkansas Top SBA Lender in terms of both number of loans and dollars loaned. Brett Ausley, business banking manager for Arvest in central Arkansas, accepted the award on behalf of the bank.

“Participating with the SBA is a wonderful tool for many of our customers, and we are grateful those customers trust Arvest to help them with these transactions,” Ausley said. “We also want people to know that while we are proud of our past successes helping small businesses, it is something we are putting an even greater emphasis on as we move forward.”

The awards were based on SBA data for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2017. It marked the fourth consecutive year Arvest ranked as the state’s No. 1 SBA lender based on its number of 7(a) loan approvals.

SBA 7(a) loans are its primary means for helping startup and existing small businesses deal with a variety of general business purposes, and volume climbed to a record amount – more than $25 billion – in 2017, according to Bill Manger, associate administrator at the SBA’s Office of Capital Access.

Arvest remains an SBA-preferred lender, meaning the process is streamlined for applicants. Small business owners who need to explore financing options should talk to an SBA-approved lender who can offer them a complete range of available options.

Tags: Little Rock

Hunger Initiative Surpasses One Million Meals with Three-Plus Weeks Left to Give

Friday, May 11 at 09:00 AM
Category: Arvest News

Arvest Bank announced in early April the beginning of its eighth annual 1 Million Meals initiative, which challenges bank associates, customers and community members to fight hunger in the more than 120 communities the bank serves by providing meals to those in need.

Today, the bank announced the campaign has exceeded one million meals, reaching the goal with more than three weeks remaining in the campaign. A total of 1,002,353 meals have been raised.

Arvest branches throughout Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma have been participating in the 1 Million Meals initiative by collecting nonperishable food items and monetary donations. These efforts will continue through June 2, with the donations given to the local communities Arvest serves later in the month.

Every dollar raised through 1 Million Meals provides the equivalent of five meals for local, hungry families.

For more information about 1 Million Meals, visit arvest.com/millionmeals.

Tags: 1 Million Meals

Arvest Foundation Contributes to Kiwanis Club of Bartlesville

Friday, May 11 at 08:00 AM
Category: Arvest Community News

Sooner Junior Miniature Golf will be receiving much-needed updates and improvements thanks to a $2,500 donation from the Arvest Foundation.

The gift was announced at the Downtown Kiwanis Club meeting in Bartlesville. Annah Fischer of Arvest Bank was on hand to present the check.

The funds will help the Kiwanis Club install new turf and make various improvements at the Sooner Junior course.

“Sooner Junior has been a staple in family entertainment for over 30 years,” said Rachelle Wilson, president-elect, Kiwanis Club of Bartlesville. “Thanks to the Arvest Foundation, we can continue to maintain and improve this wonderful community facility.”

“The Kiwanis Club of Bartlesville is extremely grateful for our continued partnership with Arvest. The generous donation from the Arvest Foundation for the Sooner Junior Miniature Golf Course is just another examples of Arvest’s commitment to our community,” said Nathan Thompson, president, Kiwanis Club of Bartlesville.

Sooner Junior opened for its 2018 season on April 28. The course features 18 holes, and the funds raised from the course go to supporting local Kiwanis projects such as Kids Fishing Derby, scholarships and more.

“We are pleased to present this donation on behalf of the Arvest Foundation,” said Fischer, marketing manager, Arvest Bank. “Sooner Junior truly is a gem in our community. This donation is just one of the many we have made throughout the area. It demonstrates the foundation’s ongoing commitment to enhancing the quality of life for our community.”

Tags: Bartlesville

Forbes Names Arvest Bank One of America’s Best Employers

Thursday, May 10 at 08:00 AM
Category: Arvest News

Arvest Bank has been recognized by Forbes magazine as one of “America’s Best Large Employers” for 2018, the second consecutive year it has received the honor.

Arvest ranked 266th out of the 500 businesses – with 5,000 or more full- or part-time employees – nationwide that scored highest in an independent survey.

“Maintaining a culture that appeals to, and supports, our associates leads to having happy, loyal and satisfied customers,” Arvest president and CEO Kevin Sabin said. “It is extremely rewarding to know our associates think so highly of our bank. It’s even more gratifying to see that translate into the way they take care of our customers every day. At Arvest, our commitment to the communities we serve and creating a positive, fulfilling work environment for our associates go hand in hand.”

More than 30,000 employees from 25 industries were consulted anonymously to compile the Forbes survey’s nationwide results. First, they were asked to rate their willingness to recommend their own employer to friends and family on a scale of 0 to 10, with 10 being the best possible score. Participants also were prompted to evaluate other employers within their industry that stood out either positively or negatively. Furthermore, employees were asked 35 questions about work-related topics, including working conditions, salary, potential for development and company image.

This is the third year Forbes has compiled its list of America’s Best Employers. Assessments for 2018 were conducted during a four-week period last year.

Tags: Arvest, Arvest Biz

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