Monthly Archives: May 2015

Tips to Save on Your Summer Vacation



Summer is right around the corner! If you think you need to skip the family vacation this year because of a tight budget, think again! Raccoon Valley Bank has some tips to help you save on summer travel this year.


Save on gas: Instead of driving all day and spending a chunk of your travel budget on gas, opt for a one-tank mini-trip. You will still be able to get away for a while and there are likely some attractions near your home that the whole family will enjoy.


Look for by-owner rentals: If you are looking for a place to stay, call up the owners of vacation condos or homes. Sites like and have vacation rentals that often offer you more space for less money.


Find cheap eats: Eating out at restaurant for every meal adds up. Save on food expenses by picking up some basic groceries to prepare simple meals and snacks. When you do want to eat out, check out This site allows you to purchase coupon books for your destination. is another way that you can look up deals and find Kids Eat Free programs.


Camp in the backyard: If you are looking for an outdoorsy getaway, you don’t need to look any further than your own backyard! Let your kids scope out a “campsite”, pitch the tent and prepare a small camp. You can cook your meals on the grill, tell spooky stories and sleep outside. The best part is that you will have your own bathroom right inside!


Family vacations don’t need to be extravagant to be memorable. The time spent together as a family is priceless and moments that you won’t get back! For more tips on summer travel saving, talk to the experts at Raccoon Valley Bank. We have five locations to serve you!

Repay Your College Loans…Fast!


If there is one thing that keeps college graduates from saving and investing their money, it is the burden of college loans. According to analysis from credit bureau Experian, 40 million Americans have an outstanding student loan with the average balance looming at $29,000. This kind of debt can weigh graduates down and keep them from seizing new opportunities until that debt is cleared.


So how can you get rid of that debt quickly? Raccoon Valley Bank has some tips to help you repay your college loans fast!


Treat your loan like a mortgage

If you can afford it, make larger payments to reduce the principal quickly and pay less in interest charges. Another strategy you can use is adding payments by sending in checks every two weeks rather than once a month.


Make a 5 year plan

Figuring out exactly when a loan ends is comforting for many people and can help you set a goal to commit to. Sending in payments becomes part of your monthly routine just like paying for a mortgage, cable and cell phone bills.


Establish a college repayment fund

If you can save an extra $100 or $200 a month and automatically deposit it into a savings account, you will be able to pay off your debt faster. Depositing money automatically forces you to save what you may otherwise be tempted to spend. It is also important that you set up the account only to pay back your college debt, not other expenses.


Start early

If you are still attending college, you have an opportunity to be proactive and keep your college debt in check. Working a part time job while in college will provide you with real-world experience and earn income that will help lower future debt obligations.


Avoid traps

It can be easy to lose sight of your financial future when you start getting a bigger paycheck. Don’t fall into the trap of instant gratification. The most effective way to manage your college debt is to plan ahead and make some sacrifices in order to prepare for the future.


Those who succeed at paying off their college debts quickly are those who live within their means and are mindful about saving. Raccoon Valley Bank wants to help you prepare for the future and get out from under your debt as quickly as possible. Contact us about setting up savings accounts, checking accounts and other financial tools.

They Don’t Build Them Like They Used To



Think about the older homes you see in your community. Whether it’s the style they were built in, the identifying features or other characteristics, there’s just something about living in an older home that has a unique history behind it.


However, owning an older home also has its drawbacks if you aren’t careful. If you are looking to buy an older home this year, we have some pros and cons that may help you avoid a pitfall.



  • Location – Since older homes were generally built first in an area’s development, they are often closer to all the action in town.
  • Cost – This is more of a general statement, but you will typically pay less for an older home than a modern one of the same size.
  • Long-term investments – Old homes are limited in supply, yet high in demand in many areas. Check with local owners of other older homes to see how much their home values have risen in the past decade.
  • Availability- When you purchase an older home, there’s no waiting for the builder to put on the finishing touches or delays in the building schedule.



  • Roots – Old houses may have older trees, whose longer, deeper roots can wreak havoc on your foundation or plumbing systems.
  • Out-of-date building codes – Old heating, plumbing and wiring systems need to be checked to make sure they are up to modern codes, along with chimneys, windows and other vital parts of the home.
  • Places to put your stuff- People own more stuff now than they used to, meaning closets and other storage spaces may be much smaller than what you are used to.


Before you decide to purchase a home, become acquainted with the neighborhood.. Don’t be afraid to ask both your realtor as well as the neighbors too many questions. Buying a home is a big decision and it shouldn’t be taken lightly.


The mortgage experts at Raccoon Valley Bank can help you check rates and finance your ideal home, whether it is old or new. Give them a call to get started today!

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