Popular Paint Colors This Summer

Infuse an atmosphere of summer into your home

Spring is in the air,pain_featured but many of us have already got summer on the brain. If your house is feeling a little dreary, and you want to get a head start on summer, freshen things up with a new paint color. Here are some great colors to consider.

Pale Aqua
If you want to keep the summer feeling going all year long, painting a coastal color is an easy way to do it. Pale aqua is perfect for people who find deep teal too overpowering and pastel green too childish. It will give your home the atmosphere of a cool sea breeze while being light enough to not clash with any other color you like.

If you want to maximize the fun vibe in your house and you aren’t afraid to be a little daring, coral will make any room a showstopper. It was listed as one of the “Top 10 Summer Colors” by Tobi Fairley from HGTV, and it’s easy to see why.

“As one of the sea’s most vibrant hues, coral is a standout shade no matter where you use it,” states Fairley. “Accessories are a natural fit for this accent color, whether it’s a pillow sham or a throw for the foot of the bed. For a bigger statement, why not add an unexpected twist by pairing this punchy color with white for a striped ceiling?”

If you want to make a bold change in your home that will impress all your guests, pistachio is your color. Deep and rich but not dark, painting a room pistachio will make even the dreariest weather seem festive. Don’t be scared to go green, it will look great behind most color decorations, and it even helps neutral furniture that is brown or black really pop.

Indigo Blue
Capture the essence of the ocean with indigo blue. This dark color has enough richness to seem lighter than it is, while giving your walls new depth and sophistication. It makes your house seem beachy in a subtle way, which makes it perfect for summer and all year long.

Buttercup Yellow
There are so many shades of yellow to choose from, but they all create a completely different vibe in your home. Stay away from mustard or muted hues if you want your home to feel summery even in the depths of winter and stick with clear, bright shades of buttercup that feel like pure sunshine.

Barely There Blue
White walls were incredibly popular on decorating websites and blogs the past five years, but now it’s time for a new twist. Blue that is so light its almost white is now becoming incredibly popular, and it is perfect for summer. Your house will feel airy and bright, but the blue saves it from being boring or obvious.

“It feels like fresh air when you walk into the room. And it does read as blue — the palest, softest blue, as if you were floating in the sky. Very ethereal, and dreamy.” states Timothy Whealon.

Pick a summery new shade to decorate a room or even just an accent wall this month and you’ll capture that summer feeling in no time.

Used with Permission. Published by IMN Bank Adviser Includes copyrighted material of IMakeNews, Inc. and its suppliers.


The Problems with Loan Websites

Why online loans may not be the answer

Let’s face it: If you’re  LoanApproval_featuredstrapped for cash and need a loan, you want to be able to get it quickly. And that’s the reason why so many people turn to loan websites for their answer. Depending on your situation, loan websites may be beneficial to you. However, not everyone has the best luck with them. Sometimes, you risk losing a lot more than you’ve gained, and it’s smart to be aware of the cons when dealing with these kinds of sites.

For example, Lending Club, a peer-to-peer online lending company, connects people who need a loan to people all over the country who have the money to lend. However, many borrowers have run into several problems. One common issue is that they require a credit score of 640 to be considered for a peer-to-peer-loan, otherwise the application will be automatically denied.

In addition, the interest rates tend to be fairly high, as well as the monthly payments. For instance, sometimes loans can be as high as $35,000, and the monthly payment can be around $1,000, which is not something most people can afford comfortably. In addition, many online loan websites only offer loans in certain states.

Another loan website to watch out for is MoneyMutual. When you apply for a loan through this website, MoneyMutual sends all of your information to hundreds of lenders, who will then contact you in all sorts of ways with a typically overpriced loan.

“This site is nothing more than an aggregator of payday loans. All of these lenders charge outrageous rates and crazy fees that you probably missed in the fine print,” says Maxime Rieman, NerdWallet’s senior financial markets and insurance analyst. “Users report being charged membership fees that they never agreed. Sometimes there’s not even an explanation for the fee.”

Payday loans are definitely something you’d rather avoid.
“A payday loan can be approved within a matter of hours and there is typically no credit check,” explains Theodore W. Connolly, author of The Road Out of Debt. “Usually, you write a personal check payable to the payday lender for the amount you wish to borrow plus a fee. The check is dated for your next payday or another agreeable date within the next couple of weeks when you figure you’ll be able to repay the loan.”

It may be easy money, but in the long run, you’re probably going to pay much more than you were lent.

“You will most likely end up paying three, four or even 10 times the amount you originally borrowed. Debt created by payday loans will often quadruple in just one year,” says Connolly. “One tiny mistake can mean lifelong debt.”

If you need a loan, the best place to go is your local financial institution. No matter what kind of loan you need — home equity loan, auto loan, student loan, personal loan — your financial institution is the most practical and personal way to receive a loan. Call or stop by today to find out how we can help you get approved for a loan.

Used with Permission. Published by IMN Bank Adviser Includes copyrighted material of IMakeNews, Inc. and its suppliers.

Should You Have More Than One Savings Account?

We answer the question for you and explain why

Savings accounts are not justmultiSavings_featured for use in an emergency. Actually, they are best utilized when allocating money for large purchases, such as a home or a new car. However, to properly save money for these different goals, you will need differing savings accounts.

Neal Frankle, a CFP and blogger at WealthPilgrim.com, says that fuzzy savings goals usually don’t pay off, resulting in chaotic finances. Without targeted savings accounts, people are more likely to raid their emergency savings accounts for big purchases. Instead, specific savings targets spur good spending behaviors because you must monitor your savings and spending to meet your goals.

Here are four more reasons you should have multiple savings accounts:

Internal transfers are usually fee-free
Sign up for direct deposit through your employer for your paycheck to be electronically deposited into your checking account. Then, schedule an internal transfer for any extra money that you don’t need to pay your monthly bills with to a base savings account. From there, divide that money into your additional savings accounts based on your goals. Remember, your base account should generally maintain a balance of three to six months of pay at any given time in case of emergency.

Your savings goals can be tracked
Using online banking, your progress toward reaching each individual goal can be easily traced. You can also utilize spreadsheets to follow your goals. In fact, more and more financial institutions are offering online tools such as downloadable budget spreadsheets and weekly spending journals to help depositors.

Prioritizing or tweaking accounts is easier
Some goals can be fast-tracked over others by using targeted savings accounts — for example, if certain goals are time sensitive or carry a heftier price tag. Multiple accounts make it easier to meet goals than by just lumping money into one big account; plus, as mentioned above, this money can be easily organized with the click of the computer mouse or a tap on your smartphone.

The reason multiple accounts make the savings process streamlined is simple: It makes the goals themselves, along with the amounts of money needed to meet them, clearer. You will be better able to tell how much money you need for each individual purchase and can divide that by the amount of time you are allotting for yourself to determine how much you will need to save per month or per week, for instance.

Of course, once you accomplish one savings goal, any of that money can be diverted in the future to more quickly reach the goal of another targeted account.

You can play the yield game more simply
For more advanced bankers with a solid financial bedrock, multiple savings accounts can be a savvy way to play the higher-yield game because you can shift money from lower-yielding bank accounts into higher-yielding bank accounts. Furthermore, you can take advantage of websites such as Betterment.com that have online investing tools. You can link your accounts with the site’s secure tools to direct savings into preselected Treasury bond exchange-traded funds.

Put plainly, yes, you do want multiple savings accounts because it will help you reach your goals more quickly and efficiently, thanks to the numerous organization and financial planning tools that are available for savers these days.

Used with Permission. Published by IMN Bank Adviser Includes copyrighted material of IMakeNews, Inc. and its suppliers.

Green Ways to Stay Cool in the Summer

Relief from the heat can come in many forms

Operating an air conditionerKeepCool_featured is an $11 billion a year venture for Americans. What’s more, those a/c units release about 100 million tons of carbon monoxide into the air annually — two tons for each home using one, according to WebMD. You can, however, reduce your own carbon footprint while staying cooler this summer, and save some money on electricity costs while you’re at it.

Reducing body heat
“The lowest-tech ways to keep cool this summer start with your own body,” said Camille Peri in a WebMD feature provided in collaboration with Healthy Child Healthy World.

Wear clothes made from natural fabrics such as cotton, hemp and linen, which breathe better than synthetic fibers and naturally wick away moisture. Dine on ‘cool,’ light meals like salads and sandwiches instead of protein-rich meals that warm up the body, not to mention the oven or the stove, working against your goal. Use cool water to decrease your body temperature by soaking your feet in a tub of cold water, wearing a wet bandana or taking a cool shower. A spray bottle of cold water to spritz yourself throughout the day is a good idea, as well.

Furthermore, remember that warm air rises; therefore, the basement or ground floor is the coolest story of your home or building. Plan to spend most of your time there, or embark on trips to air-conditioned public places like the mall or the library.

In-home techniques
If you ever plan to start caring about your home’s décor, now would be the time. Use window coverings to your advantage by keeping your dark-colored curtains or shades pulled throughout the heat of the day, as that can block up to 80 percent of solar heat. Appliances inside the home such as the aforementioned stove add to the internal heat and energy consumption of your household, so utilize microwaves or toaster-ovens, which use up to two-thirds less energy.

Also, consider changing your light bulbs to energy-efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs or halogen infrareds. Lastly, use fans inside the home, especially when it starts to cool down in the evening. Portable fans placed in front of an open window can bring that cool air inside, and a ceiling fan will help circulate it. Even if you have an air conditioner, turn on your ceiling fans to help make the room feel cooler.

Outside the home
“Shading from the inside with curtains and blinds is a good first step, but shading from the outside can be even better,” Peri said.

One of the least expensive ways to do so is to install awnings. The Department of Energy estimates that awnings can reduce solar heat gain in the home by as much as 77 percent. Woven mesh solar, solar control windows, and reflective window film are some additional, yet more costly options.

Maintaining your air conditioner
If you do opt to use an a/c unit, keep the filter clean so airflow is not limited and the appliance lasts longer. Filters should be cleaned or replaced every month or so, depending on usage. Similarly, make sure the air conditioner gets a tune-up from a professional every few years to make sure it’s still running efficiently. Install a programmable thermostat to turn on right before you come home, and set it a bit higher than normal for when you’re home. A few degrees make a big difference, in terms of energy, but your body won’t notice the difference. Finally, a shaded air conditioner uses up to 10 percent less energy to operate, so don’t place your central a/c in direct sunlight.

Going into a cool room on a hot day is among the most enjoyable feelings you can experience. Follow these helpful suggestions and make this summer your best yet.

Used with Permission. Published by IMN Bank Adviser Includes copyrighted material of IMakeNews, Inc. and its suppliers.

The Most Important Documents for Unmarried Couples

Two documents that no couple should be without

If you were incapacitatedDocs_Featured in any way, and someone else had to make important financial or health-related decisions for you, who would you choose? The next important question to ask yourself is if that person would be legally able to step in and make these decisions.

It is important for unmarried couples to realize that their partner doesn’t automatically have the same legal rights that married couples do, even if they’ve been living together for many years. In order to ensure that your wishes are carried out in the way you want and by whom you want, you need to set up two important documents: a durable financial power of attorney and a healthcare proxy (also known as a power of attorney for healthcare).

Setting up a healthcare proxy is the most important step that unmarried couples can take to protect their ability to speak on their partner’s behalf in medical situations. Without these documents, you or your partner might find yourselves unable to take part in important decision making that can affect you both. Furthermore, if you aren’t established as each others healthcare proxies, you may not even be allowed to visit at the hospital since you aren’t legally family.

Setting up a financial power of attorney is also a critical step that unmarried couples need to take. Couples that have been together awhile tend to combine finances, especially if they live together. If your partner becomes incapacitated, you may not be able to make financial decisions on your partner’s behalf, even if those decisions have a dramatic impact on your own finances.

“A court may grant a family member authority to make decisions about your partner’s finances,” states Sandra Block from Kiplinger’s Personal Finance.

You may assume that your partner’s family will respect your relationship and allow you to have a say in the decision making process, but that is a risky prospect to gamble upon. Furthermore, times of emotional stress can make people act in unpredictable ways. So even if your partner’s family tells you that they will defer to your opinion in medical or financial situations, you can’t depend upon them acting in a predictable manner and not changing their mind.

Even if you do have a power of attorney set up, if you haven’t read the conditions carefully, it may not include everything you think.

“When it comes to powers of attorney, just because you have one does not mean that it covers both healthcare and financial decisions, unless it specifically says so,” according to Investopedia.

“An estate-planning lawyer can help you draw up power-of-attorney documents…” states Sandra Block. “Some banks and brokerage firms won’t honor power-of-attorney documents unless they meet certain conditions, so make sure the form you use will be accepted by your financial institutions.”

It is also important to make sure that your family knows who you have selected as your financial and healthcare power of attorneys, so that there is no delay in seeking that person out in the event of an emergency. Also, relevant documentation should be in a safe and easily accessible location, with multiple copies in convenient and safe locations.

Once you set up these important documents, you will feel much safer knowing that you and your partner will have their rights and wishes protected.

Used with Permission. Published by IMN Bank Adviser Includes copyrighted material of IMakeNews, Inc. and its suppliers.