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John F. O'Hara

John F. O'Hara
731 W Skippack Pike  Blue Bell  PA 19422
Phone:  610-277-4060
Office:  215-643-3200
Cell:  267-481-1786
Fax:  267-354-6973

My Blog

8 Banking Tips for Millennials

April 18, 2016 1:48 am

Nearly half of millennials feel “chronically stressed” about money—with good reason. But a strong financial footing, says Rob Nichols, president and CEO of the American Bankers Association (ABA), is not as difficult to come by as some may perceive.

“Millennials are digital natives who understand the importance of staying connected socially, but staying connected to their bank can help their finances as they encounter life’s many milestones,” Nichols explains. “From enhanced mobile resources to free budgeting tools, banks offer a variety of products and services to complement millennials’ unique lifestyles and ease their worries as they prepare to make some of life’s biggest financial decisions.”

Your bank, says Nichols, can be a valuable partner in your financial journey. To make the most of that partnership—and see benefits as a result—Nichols suggests the following tips:

1. Cyber-shop for a bank that fits your style. There are lots of options out there with different advantages. Be selective and get the best prices, services, convenient locations and lowest fees for credit cards, bank accounts and loans.

2. Use your bank’s tools to save without thinking about it. Consider automatic payroll deductions or automatic transfer from checking to savings. Arrange to have a specific amount transferred to your savings account every pay period.

3. Download your bank's mobile app. Manage your finances from the palm of your hand. With the click of a button, you can easily make a deposit or access a record of all your recent transactions. Be sure to download the latest updates when they are available.

4. Sign up for email or text alerts. Get up-to-date info, on the go, the way you want it. Ask for an automatic alert when your balance falls below a certain level, or to confirm when certain types of transactions occur, such as online purchases or transactions of more than $500.

5. Use the personal finance tools your bank may offer. Banks offer an array of budgeting tools and resources to help you keep your finances in check. Access these via your bank’s mobile app and website.

6. Expect the unexpected. The last thing you want to be is stressed when life’s unexpected expenditures come knocking at your door. Set up a secondary checking or savings account for emergencies, or link an existing account to your main account as an added layer of protection.

7. Get a head start. Banks play a major role in helping customers prepare for life events, such as buying a house and planning for retirement. Ask your banker how you can establish credit or start a retirement account.

8. Stay connected with social media. Interact with your bank via social media to get the latest news on products and services, ask bank-related questions, join in on conversations and find links to exclusive bank content. 

Source: ABA

Published with permission from RISMedia.


Home, Hearth and More: 5 Trends to Watch

April 18, 2016 1:48 am

We’ve found that one of the best ways to tap into the most current trends for the home is to check into trade shows, where massive numbers of industry professionals show off the latest and greatest.

Earlier this year, more than 7,500 manufacturers and retailers flocked to the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association’s (HPBA) HPBExpo 2016 to showcase innovations in home heating and indoor-outdoor living.

The expo’s top trends included:

Improved Biomass-Burning Products – New mandates for wood-burning and pellet products will affect how manufacturers design products to meet more stringent emission standards. HPBA anticipates this trend toward reduced emissions and increased efficiency to accelerate through this year and beyond.

Integrated Smart Technology – As the world embraces smartphone apps, more hearth and barbecue products are becoming smart-enabled. From fireplace temperature controls to grills and propane tank monitoring systems, app-friendly products will abound this year, giving homeowners control at the push of a button.

Linear Fireplaces – Linear fireplaces continue to interest homeowners with their sleek, modern design. Available in sizes up to 12-feet wide, with high heat-tolerant glass and no-trim options, as well as electric models with multicolored, realistic flames, linear fireplaces are being sought by homeowners seeking a sophisticated, contemporary style.

Specialized Accessories – Specialized accessories are set to surge this year, as homeowners look for new ways to barbecue. According to recent HPBA research, pizza stones, fish/broiling baskets, cedar planks, rotisseries and grill woks are among the top accessories.

Upgraded Outdoor Kitchens – Today, 10 percent of grill owners have an outdoor kitchen, featuring primarily premium grills, furniture, lighting and outdoor fireplaces and/or fire pits. Of these outdoor kitchen owners, 35 percent are likely to upgrade in the next three years. Amenities such as storage spaces, refrigerators, dishwashers, built-in sinks, bottle rails, cocktail bars, seating options and food preparation areas, as well as entertainment features like televisions and surround sound, are among the products HPBA expects to gain prominence.

In future segments, we'll explore each of these trends, including taking a look at all the latest products, services and inspirations coming out of HPBExpo 2016. 

Published with permission from RISMedia.