Taking control of your personal finances is a great resolution for the new year. At The Merrimack, we believe that the best resolutions are ones that can easily become good habits: If you stick with them, they can open doors to a better way of life for years to come.
Here are five resolutions to help you make 2012 a financial success:
- Eliminate credit card debt once and for all.
The holiday season is one of generosity and good cheer. Even with the best of intentions, it’s easy to go overboard with your spending. Commit to paying off credit cards by scheduling regular payments each month through Merrimack24 Online Bill Pay. You can enjoy the convenience of paying all your bills without ever having to find an envelope or buy a stamp, and setting up recurring payments makes paying bills easier than ever. Best of all, it’s free! Click here to sign in or register for online banking. Once you are signed in, click on the “bill payment” tab to get started.
- Make saving money automatic.
No more credit card debt? Congratulations! Consider transferring the amount of money you would normally spend on paying down your debt into a savings account. It’s easy to do with Merrimack24 Online Banking. The regular amount you wish to save can be transferred automatically on a weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, twice monthly, quarterly, semi-annual or annual basis. To begin, click here to sign in and register for online banking. Once you are signed in, click on the “scheduled transfers” tab to set up your desired amount and transfer schedule.
- Commit to a healthier lifestyle.
With healthcare costs at an all-time high, staying healthy has never been more important. Educate yourself and adopt new habits around nutritious eating and more physical activity. A regular exercise routine can be one you look forward to if it is fun. In no time, you will see positive improvements in your physical well-being. More importantly, your new habits will lead you down a path toward a long, fruitful life.
- Pay attention to your daily routine and eliminate non-essential spending.
Think carefully when making purchases and pay with cash or your debit card whenever possible. Eliminate non-essential spending by opting for basic cable instead of the deluxe package, preparing meals at home, and borrowing books and movies from your local library.
- Be vigilant about protecting yourself from identity theft.
Check your credit report on a regular basis for unusual behavior and shred all financial and personal documents. When it comes to what you share online, never disclose account or personal financial information on social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter or via email. The Merrimack will never ask for your account information, password, social security number or other identifying information in social media or through email. Please visit the following websites to learn more about how you can keep your identity safe: ITRC http://www.idtheftcenter.org; FDIC http://www.fdic.gov/consumers/theft/
Login Security Enhancements for your Business Account
Your online security has always been a top priority for The Merrimack and we do all that we can to help protect you from identity theft. That’s why we’re in the process of implementing an enhanced login security system that will:
• Further protect against identity theft and fraud
• Provide added security on any computer, wherever you are
• Be easily set-up through a quick one-time process
Stay tuned, as details will be communicated to business customers soon.
Simplify your tax filing with TurboTax for Online Banking®
In partnership with TurboTax, the leading software that automates your tax preparation, we are excited to offer access to TurboTax for Online Banking through Merrimack24 Online Banking. Instead of spending hundreds of dollars on a consultant or struggling with the forms on your own, TurboTax offers an easy solution. TurboTax guarantees accumulation of the largest refunds and accurate calculations when you answer pre-set questions. Use your Merrimack County Savings Bank online banking login to access TurboTax and get started today! If you’re not already registered for online banking, it’s quick, easy and free.
Curious about the 2012 Financial Landscape?
Paul Provost, Senior Vice President/Investment Executive of The Merrimack’s Wealth Management Group Offers an Optimistic Outlook
Paul Provost is a Certified Financial Planner with a B.A. in Economics and an M.A. in Administration and Management. In addition to a long career in banking and wealth management services, he has taught college level economics.
We asked Paul to weigh in on the 2012 economic landscape and provide a summary of the information he examines as part of his everyday responsibilities. “The economy is showing signs of improvement,” said Paul. “Corporate profits, normally closely tied to market performance, rebounded to record levels in 2011.” He continued, “The stock market, however, was held in tight range with concerns over European sovereign debt.”
Paul encourages us to, “keep an eye out for the following economic improvements that are highly possible this year”:
- The Federal Reserve is telegraphing plans to keep interest rates low through 2012.
- Employment is showing the first signs of improvement with unemployment trending downward towards 8% by the end of 2012.
- Consumers are spending again with encouraging signs for retail sales, auto sales and the first signs of a housing recovery.
- When the world gains confidence in the policy prescriptions designed to resolve the debt problems in Europe and at home, a stock market rally is likely to follow, leading markets to trend up, matching the already improved corporate profit picture.
The start of this new year is one of the best times to think about your future. To meet with our specialists, please contact Diana Osgood at 603.223.2710 to arrange a free, no-obligation consultation today.
Merrimack Style is Giving Back
More Than $55,000 donated to the Granite United Way
Together with our employees, we recently donated more than $55,000 to the Granite United Way, $28,000 of which represents The Merrimack’s corporate pledge.
“It’s an honor to be able to contribute to the Granite United Way and to make a meaningful impact on the programs they support,” said Paul Rizzi, President and CEO of The Merrimack. “We’re proud to stand behind a group who provides such leadership for positive change in the community.” “The Merrimack has provided consistent support to the United Way for as long as we can remember,” said Patrick Tufts, President and CEO of Granite United Way. “We continue to be deeply grateful and feel privileged to be on the receiving end,” added Tufts.
The Granite United Way serves local New Hampshire and Vermont regions in Southern New Hampshire (Manchester/Derry/Salem), Merrimack County, North Country and Upper Valley Regions of New Hampshire and Vermont as well as Southern Windsor County, Vermont. The Merrimack has stood behind United Way for four decades, championing the organization since the mid-1970s with volunteer time and financial support.
You “Liked” Us We Like to Give Back
Liking The Merrimack on Facebook led to a $618 bonus donation to the Granite United Way this month. For every new “like” that was received between October 1 and December 31, 2011, $1 was donated. By liking The Merrimack, a much greater cause was supported. More than fundraisers, The United Way is a partner in change, working with a broad range of people and organizations to identify and resolve pressing community issues. If you haven’t already, click here to visit our Facebook page and “like” us today and stay in touch with all things Merrimack and the communities we serve.
The Capital Regional Development Council (CRDC) received $22,500 in Tax Credits from Merrimack County Savings Bank
We are honored to contribute to an organization as dedicated to the economic advancement of our community as the CRDC. The CRDC is a non-profit organization focused on providing financial support in order to promote economic development, to foster the creation of quality jobs, and to enhance the economic well being of New Hampshire. The CRDC lending programs include the SBA 504 program (statewide) and a number of Revolving Loan Funds in Merrimack and Sullivan Counties, as well as, portions of Hillsborough County.
More information about the work of the CRDC can be found at www.crdc-nh.com. The Community Development Finance Authority administers the Tax Credit Program. It offers New Hampshire businesses the opportunity to invest and target their tax dollars to community development projects throughout the state in exchange for a 75% State Tax Credit. More information is available at www.nhcdfa.org.
Merrimack Style is about Having Fun
Claudia Walker and Don Bennert, VP and SVP at The Merrimack, are teaming up for the 2012 Dancing with the Concord Stars’ Winter Fling. We are a proud sponsor of the event to be held on Saturday, January 28th at the New Hampshire Technical Institute, NHTI/Concord’s Community College ballroom, benefitting NHTI. Wine Tasting begins at 5:30 PM while the dance competition starts at 7 PM. For more information, please visit http://www.nhti.edu/winterfling/index.html.
For video clip of Claudia and Don practicing, please visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a2InBzkQP_k&feature=youtu.be.
Customer response to our year-end eStatements promotion was tremendous. We are pleased to announce over 300 new enrollments in eStatements since October 15, 2011! As a result, over $1,500 was rewarded to customers that enrolled in November and December. We also donated $1 per enrollment to local organizations that help feed the hungry in our communities: the Friendly Kitchen in Concord, the St. John Newmann Food Pantry in Nashua and the Hopkinton Food Pantry.
Still not signed up for eStatements?
There are lots of reasons to register to receive eStatements from The Merrimack, the electronic versions of your regular bank statements available online for free.
Traditional bank statements are inefficient. They use too much paper for printing and mailing, take anywhere from a day to a week to arrive in your mailbox, and require room for storage. eStatements are free and available online as soon as your information is ready. You can access your eStatements anywhere you can get online, and you can file them on your computer for easy reference.
Click here to get started today »
Meet Jessica Szacik, Electronic Banking Commercial Services Administrator
Jessica is our Electronic Banking Commercial Services Administrator here at the Merrimack. Jessica can be found tucked away in the back of our main office, located on 89 North Main Street in Concord. Although you most likely have not seen her during regular visits to the bank, Jessica is a major force in ensuring electronic payments and deposits are secure.
Jessica also teamed with Tom Dustin, Vice President, and Patty Ball, Electronic Banking Commercial Services Supervisor, to implement our remote deposit capture (RDC) service for business clients. The RDC software program allows electronic deposits to be made remotely, saving our customers trips to the bank.
Jessica’s history with the Merrimack began six years ago in deposit operations. Jess is one of three people in the entire organization who is an AAP (Accredited ACH Professional). When asked what the most rewarding aspect of her job, she responded, “hearing relief in a customer’s voice as soon as an issue is resolved,” without skipping a beat.
Jessica has a friendly and bubbly disposition that makes her a joy to be around. Her vigilance about our customers’ welfare and the safety of their money encapsulates Merrimack Style. Please be sure to say hello to Jessica if you see her in our lobby.
Don’t Forget to Check Out Upcoming Events by Visiting Our Calendar Regularly!
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Call toll-free 800-541-0006 or visit www.TheMerrimack.com to learn more
about The Merrimack and how we can help make a difference for you.