Monthly Archives: March 2016

Basketball Budgeting: Game Winning Tips for Your Finances


Basketball season is in full swing and there are many comparisons to the sport that can apply to building your own personal budget. From knowing when to pass an expense, to hitting a three with an unexpected bonus, budgeting is a lot like basketball. Learn how to win at structuring your finances with this helpful game plan.


Brush up on your coaching.

Every team is built around the choices of its coach, just as your budget is. The coach selects the players based off merit, potential, and cohesiveness to create a well-rounded team structure. This coach represents you, you decide what direction your budget will take you, and if one piece isn’t working the way you desire it is your responsibility to make the change.


Recruit your team.

Every team has three key player types, centers, forwards, and guards. The center is going to be your all-around player, in the middle of all the action, just like your income. In your budget, this income is going to be after both taxes and your designated savings, this is your center player. Now those savings, giving you a financial buffer, are acting as your guard. Whether it’s a retirement savings, emergency fund, or personal investments, your guard player covers it all. Something additionally has to be driving your budget to financial success, and that is where your forward comes in. Spending is the determining factor to the successfulness of your budget. Just as in basketball, if no one takes the ball up the court there is no potential to score. By managing your spending, you create momentum through your forward player to move your money in a positive direction.


Keep your elbows in.

Every game comes with rules to keep the players safe, staying within these guidelines helps to protect you from receiving any unwanted fouls in the realms of finances.


Foul 1: Spending more than you earn.    Penalty: Paying Interest and losing savings capabilities.


Foul 2: Not having a savings plan.              Penalty: No structure for emergencies or retirement.


Foul 3: Carrying bad credit.                          Penalty: Added obstacles in gaining financial freedom.


Just as in basketball, practicing the fundamentals will push you to better your skills. If you work to create a successful budget based on what you can afford, your consistent monthly expenses, moderated spending, and a sound investment plan, you will be a winning coach in no time.


If you have in questions in how to begin a savings or checking account to help get the ball going, give Raccoon Valley Bank a call at (515) 993-4581 today!


Retirement Planning 101


A successful retirement plan involves extensive planning and lots of patience. Once accomplished however, you gain the benefit of watching your finances work for you! The average age of retirement is climbing. Currently averaging at age 62, reports speculate that the average retirement age may increase to 75 for recent graduates facing mountains of student debt. As in any successful game plan, the key is to have an effective and feasible strategy, here’s how to begin.


Start Saving Now

Even if it’s just a little at a time, saving 6% of your earnings annually can begin to set you up for a lofty retirement. Did you know if you save even 10% of your annual income you could save $1,555,000 and retire at age 70? (Based off of median salary of $45,478 and $35,051 in student loan debt.) Dig a little deeper and see what savings potential you have!


Hop on that 401k ASAP

Tucking away pre-tax money is like being asked if you want a puppy as a child, the answer is always yes! By using this valuable system you are able to put a percentage of your annual salary away without having to pay taxes on it that year. Generally employers may match a percentage of your contribution, so if you put 6% of a $45,000 salary ($2,700) into a 401(k), and your company contributes 3% additionally ($1,350), you would yield a yearly contribution of $4050 towards your retirement! Another perk of utilizing a 401(k) is the change in your taxable income. The amount that you invest in your 401(k) is deducted from your taxable income reducing the final amount you pay on your yearly income tax. (Example: $45,000 – $4050 = $40,950)


Grow a Diverse Portfolio

Ensuring your finances’ diversity is a large component to a successful retirement. The saying “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket,” is the epitome of investing. By creating an investment plan that entails stocks, bonds, equities and more you are able to gain the benefits and financial buffers that each individual product provides. Additionally this allows you optimize your savings, ensuring the gain and profit generated from each asset goes towards to your growing retirement fund.


These simple steps will get you on your way to saving for a successful retirement, no matter the age! Retirement can be exciting, so get started today with Raccoon Valley Bank!


Spotlight Feature: Mortgage & Consumer Loans

Consumer Loan

From new homes, vehicles, construction, and everything in between Raccoon Valley Bank is here to help! We recognize the importance of owning your own home or purchasing your first vehicle. With such large milestones of accomplishment, we want to assist you in crossing your t’s and dotting your i’s, so that when you get your new purchase it’s everything you hoped for!



Purchasing your own home is still very much a part of the “American Dream,” and Raccoon Valley Bank helps make home ownership possible. By offering fixed-rate mortgages, adjustable-rate mortgages and mortgage refinancing options, Raccoon Valley Bank can help you find the ideal mortgage solution. Visit the Mortgage Center for more information and to apply for a mortgage today!


Types of Mortgages

FHA – Most commonly used among new homeowners this loan option requires a smaller down payment and offers payment flexibility to fit your current income.


USDA – Typically used in more rural areas, the USDA loans are a great option if you’re looking to live in the countryside, or are repairing an older home.


VA – If you’ve served in the military, active or reserve, this a great option for you! With low down payments and terms built for veterans, these loans can be great for a first-time home buyer.


Traditional – This is our most common mortgage option which comes in 5, 15, and 30 year terms. Be sure to check our rate watch to find the best time for your next mortgage financing.


Consumer Loans

Whether you are trying to meet a personal financial goal, become more independent or are met with unplanned costs, there are times where you need additional funding, and Raccoon Valley Bank is here to help!


Auto – Finance your new car, truck, mortorcycle or other motorized vehicle with our helpful lending offerings.


Personal –Whether you’re looking to finally get that lake boat, or an RV to travel the country in, we have specified financing options for every situation.


Home Equity Line of Credit – Finally complete that home renovation or addition! Try using this type of lending option when your budget is a more of a ballpark figure, but not necessarily an exact number.


With lending capabilities for nearly any project, Raccoon Valley Bank is your trusted lender for all things financial. Stop by our nearest location today, and share with us your next purchase, we’ll help get you started!

Join us for the 52-Week Challenge!


Whether it’s a house, a new vehicle, or other lending options, having a down payment is always a great first step.  In this 52-week challenge you will begin saving a little at a time to accumulate $5000 this year! Here’s how it works, every week you deposit a different amount into your savings account. As the weeks go on you begin to build a steady base little by little. At the end of the year you will have saved $5000 if done correctly. You can also add to the numbers shown below if you’d like to save more than $5000. Simply take the additional amount you would like to save, and divide it by 52. Now add that number to each of the deposit amounts for the year and you have your game plan.


$5000 is a substantial sum of money that offers endless potential, so here are some ideas to get you started!

Vacation: Take a break and enjoy an exciting new destination with your family! Cruises start at less than $700/person, and a week in Florida typically runs $4000+ for a family of four.


New Vehicle: You can either purchase a used vehicle with the $5000 (or less), or you can use the $5000 to put a down payments on a more expensive vehicle you’ve had your eye on.


Down Payment on a Home: For first time home buyers using FHA loans, a down payment as little as 3.5% may be accepted. With lower closing costs, easier credit qualifications, and gifts allowed towards the home down payment, this $5000 potentially enables you to purchase a $140,000 home.


Wedding: A little creativity may be involved but the celebration can go on! With the largest event expenses being the venue, food, and photographer, finding inventive shortcuts can turn $5000 into the wedding of your dreams!


Begin your savings challenge with a savings account with Raccoon Valley Bank! We’ll help you get started, and continue to cheer you on along the way.

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