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Basic Financial Literacy

Financial literacy is critically important to the economic well-being of the communities we serve.

Your knowledge of saving, building a positive credit history, and managing debt is critical to your success.

A lack of financial literacy can hold you back. First Bank and Trust's knowledgeable bankers will listen to you carefully and help you choose the best option for your individual needs. We will provide guidance in how to safeguard, build or restore your credit. And, we will encourage you to save so you are ready for both planned and unplanned events that can impact your life positively or negatively.

Keys for a healthy financial future include:

  • Develop a plan with goals and timelines-know what you want to achieve
  • Break your goals down into specific steps that are realistic and achievable
  • Create a budget making sure that it includes all your income and all your expenses
  • Review your budget and your bills to see where you can reduce expenses
  • Pay yourself first to help build your savings
  • Grow your savings over time
  • Implement your plan, review it regularly, and stick to it

In addition to planning for a healthy financial future, it is important that you understand some banking practices to help keep you on track.

  • Establish a bank relationship with a banker you can trust. This helps build your credit history and gives you a financial resource.
  • Open an account, check your balance regularly and monitor your spending. Online banking provides you the ability to see your transactions and balances on a daily basis.
  • Don’t overpay for your banking products. Understand the features and benefits and choose the right product for you. By maintaining certain balances, going electronic, and monitoring your transactions, you can avoid many service charges and fees.
  • Set up a savings account and automatic transfers to build balances – if it’s automatically transferred you will adjust to spending only what you can and you will be paying yourself first.
  • Don’t overdraw your account. Insufficient funds and overdraft fees are expensive and can drain your account.
  • Build your credit by borrowing only what you can afford and pay your bills on time. Poor credit can keep you from accessing a loan when you need it and can cost you more in interest. A good credit history can provide you a lower rate on loans.

First Bank and Trust has online tools to help you develop and maintain your plan, track your expenses, minimize the potential for fraud, and keep you on track.