Browse our library of financial articles and uncover lessons about making smart financial decisions and maximizing your money.
February 26, 2020
Similar to a credit card, a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) provides consumers with the ability to borrow and repay as they withdraw, only with a significantly higher credit limit and often times, a lower interest rate. This allows consumers to tap into their home’s equity for a variety of reasons. Although a HELOC can be a sensible solution to gain access to a large cash reserve and overall help to improve finances, it can also become a burden if used in the wrong way. When determining whether your home’s equity is the best source for financing a big spend - consider these factors!
January 31, 2020
Giving back to the community is important, and we should all strive to give back throughout the year. Donating clothes and volunteering can truly make a positive impact. If you are a regular when it comes to giving back, or someone who is balancing to fit it into your schedule, you can make simple adjustments to give back this year!
December 18, 2019
Whether it’s last minute shopping for holiday gifts, or planning upcoming trips for the new year, it is never too soon to get your budget and financials back-on-track. Start the new year off on the right foot by establishing healthy financial habits and creating new saving goals!
November 12, 2019
Are you looking to book the trip of a lifetime, finance your child’s college education, consolidate debt, or complete a large home renovation? When it comes to funding a large expense, it’s important to explore the right lending solutions for you. If you’re a homeowner with equity in your home, a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) might be worth considering.
October 23, 2019
Every fall tens of millions of Americans compete in the infamous online competition that is Fantasy Football. This year it is estimated that 21% of the U.S. population will be participating in the 2019-2020 season. That statistic is eerily similar to a report from earlier this year stating that nearly 20% of Americans neglect to save any of their annual income. Of course, these aren’t necessarily all the same people, but the correlation between these two statistics certainly raises some eyebrows. It’s easy to see that running a fantasy football team is more fun than budgeting, but what if someone said that personal finances could be managed similarly to how a fantasy football team is run?
September 27, 2019
Lower interest rates are here again! The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) met on September 17th and 18th for the third time since the start of the summer to discuss economic expansion and current labor market conditions in the United States. During this two-day meeting the Federal Reserve (Fed) decided to cut the federal funds rate for the second time this year, leading banks to follow suit and reduce the prime rate from 5.25% to 5%. Confused about the difference between the two rates? You’re not alone. Many consumers are wondering what this change means for them and their finances.
August 8, 2019
Are you ready to sell your existing home and upgrade to a new one? Maybe you’re looking to downsize or relocate? Whatever your motivation to sell your current home and purchase a new one, there are many types of loan options and home-buyer programs that can assist. An option you may not be aware of is a Bridge Loan. When deciding if a Bridge Loan is the right move for you, it’s important to know exactly what a Bridge Loan is and how it can best help during the home buying process.
June 12, 2019
Graduating from high school is a wonderful life achievement. Your big accomplishment also comes with great financial responsibility. Once the cake is served, and the graduation cards are open, it's time to move onto your next phase of adulthood.
May 6, 2019
Home projects that we have the best intentions to complete often remain line items on our to-do lists. Maintaining a home requires a lot of work. As with any investment, it is important to evaluate what improvements can be made to keep your home on target for maximum return. As you make updates, ensure the work you put in is worthwhile and will truly benefit the long-term value of your home. Here are several considerations to keep in mind as you decide what projects to prioritize.
April 9, 2019
Are you in the market for a brand new set of wheels? As you consider how you can get the most for your money, you may be considering whether buying or leasing will be the best option for you. Here are some pros and cons worth weighing before you make your decision.
March 20, 2019
Kids today are growing up in a world where information is readily accessible, which means the threat of information falling into the wrong hands is a prevalent risk. Identity theft that targets children is a fast-growing crime that can go undetected for years, however, there are simple ways you can safeguard your child's personal information now to avoid a major headache later when they are ready to start applying for credit cards, obtaining college loans, or renting their first apartment.
February 12, 2019
Through the eyes of a child, adults may seem to have an endless amount of money, even if they know it doesn’t actually grow on trees. However, when young children are given opportunities to earn and receive an allowance, money becomes a more tangible object that they can then learn about first-hand. Here are some benefits to consider if you are contemplating giving your child an allowance.
January 24, 2019
At the beginning of a new year, it can be freeing to leave old habits in the past as you pursue goals of all sizes. Perhaps you intend on taking better control of your finances in 2019. As you evaluate spending patterns that may be hindering your savings progress or budget objectives, take note of these three seemingly small habits that you may want to leave behind.
November 30, 2018
We live in a society where shopping for new shoes is as easy as clicking “add to cart.” While there is certainly value in the convenience and efficiency of online shopping, we have to consider the impact on our local businesses that also compete for our hard-earned dollars. This story isn’t new.
October 4, 2018
There are many reasons why the Holidays are such an enjoyable time of the year. We get to share delicious meals, surround ourselves with beautiful decorations and make lifelong memories with family and friends, to name a few. Unfortunately, saving money is seldom at the top of the list. Basking in all of the joys of the holiday season can take a serious toll on your wallet and add unwanted stress to the most wonderful time of the year.
August 14, 2018
During its June 2018 meeting, the Federal Open Market Committee raised rates for the seventh time since the Great Recession in 2008, and the fifth time since the beginning of 2017. In May, the unemployment rate fell to 3.8%, a level reached only twice before in the past 50 years. While unemployment has since increased to 3.9%, the strong job market, coupled with rising inflation, has paved the way for continued rate hikes, two more of which are expected to occur in 2018. Understanding how these macroeconomic factors may impact your local real estate buying decision will be key in your ultimate rate of return.
August 2, 2018
For the millennial generation, many are of or almost to the age where homeownership is no longer a far-off dream. The thought of buying your first home – at any age – can seem overwhelming and intimidating, and there are so many existing myths, assumptions and unknowns to wade through. Step one in the journey is to take a look at some of the misconceptions that millennials may have and get a firm understanding of what the reality is.
June 25, 2018
Summer is officially here! The birds are chirping, the sun is shining, and adventure is calling. Summer is always an exciting time, but the cost of trips and activities can add up quickly. Whether you’re looking for a summer of adventure or one of relaxation, there’s plenty of fun to be had. Check out these tips for making this summer one to remember, without blowing your budget.
June 20, 2018
After hitting historic lows during the recession, mortgage rates are currently the highest they have been in the past four years thanks to a healthy economy and strong job market. These rates are still expected to rise in the coming months, potentially reaching their highest points since 2011. As rates change, lenders are continuing to adapt to meet the demands of the housing market.
May 1, 2018
After months of researching, touring, and applying to schools, you’ve finally selected the college you’ll be attending in the Fall! While you are most likely very excited to start this next chapter, it can be very overwhelming financially.
April 9, 2018
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the country’s largest tax overhaul since 1986, has forced business owners and investors across sectors to re-evaluate their business models and portfolios. While it’s too early to understand the full impact of the tax reform, analysts all agree that the commercial real estate sector should benefit from certain provisions.
April 4, 2018
As the housing market continues to climb, now is a great time to consider how you can maximize the value of your home. Whether you are preparing to put your house on the market, or simply want to spruce up your living quarters, there are a lot of options when it comes to making updates and improvements. Start exploring value-boosting projects that may be at your price point.
March 15, 2018
It’s tax season, which means one of two things: it’s time to pay or cash in. In the event that you do receive money back for your tax return, it can be tempting to let it burn a hole in your pocket. After all, it’s likely cash that you weren’t counting on. Don’t let that get the best of your spending habits! It’s important to prioritize and plan where you allocate these funds. Here are some questions that are worth asking yourself to help you determine where your tax refund would be best spent.
January 31, 2018
Melrose is a city blessed with a strong sense of community and it’s rewarding to be a part of it. Just walking along Main Street, you can pass by friends and neighbors, and find one-of-a-kind restaurants, stores and businesses that are blossoming. That’s a good thing for all of us. We live in a city where people do their part to ensure the community thrives in every way it can. Whether it’s an investment of time, energy, or resources, you, too, can give back to the community and make a difference. It’s a rewarding, positive, and powerful thing to do.
December 4, 2017
When an investor considers financing of a new asset – whether it’s an investment property, equipment, or another large purchase – it is important to factor in the interest rate associated with the loan. After all, this component has a long-term impact on the ultimate value of the asset. But, did you know that not all interest rates are created equally? Banks look at a multitude of factors each time an interest rate is determined, and they all boil down to the same premise: Is the bank getting paid for the risk that the asset presents?
November 22, 2017
Why wait until the New Year to tighten up your budget and resolve to make smarter financial choices? The holiday season can certainly put an added burden on your wallet, but there are plenty of ways to reduce costs and increase your financial well-being. Take these proactive steps to save big this season.
November 10, 2017
Do you ever daydream about the financial freedom you could experience if you were free of monthly mortgage payments? Without this significant expense, perhaps you could finally have the extra flexibility needed to reallocate funds for investments, and potentially position yourself for a more comfortable retirement. No-brainer, right? You may want to think again.
October 2, 2017
Selling your home is a major decision. While it often means a new life chapter is about to begin, there are plenty of details to sort out before you can move on. Before popping up the “For Sale” sign, there are several things you can do to catch the attention of potential buyers and encourage a speedy sale.
September 22, 2017
Congratulations, you’ve made the exciting decision to venture into homeownership. You may have heard rumblings that we are in the midst of one of the most competitive home buying markets in decades. Those rumors are in fact true. With a record number of home buyers actively searching, learning how to navigate this competitive home buying market is imperative if you want to succeed in finding and securing your future home.
August 21, 2017
With the looming threat of climate change constantly in the background of everyday life, businesses and people alike are prioritizing sustainability more and more. It has become the responsibility of the business sector to continue to lead the way in developing renewable energy and other green infrastructure. Green banking is becoming the institutional solution for the growing need for responsible business practices within this industry, with some banks having gone as far as linking executives’ compensations to corporate climate-related goals. Today, banks are making efforts to improve the lives of those in the communities they serve by incorporating some of these green initiatives into everyday services and practices.
July 21, 2017
Whether you’re grabbing cash for the babysitter or filling up your car, the last thing you want to worry about is getting scammed when using a credit or debit card.
July 3, 2017
Congratulations! You moved your tassel from right to left and now have your diploma in hand. With your college career behind you, you’re looking forward to the many new adventures ahead. Have those post-grad dollar signs started flashing yet? As you enter a new era of financial freedom, you can expect a much greater deal of financial responsibility. There’s no time like now to prioritize smart financial choices and set yourself up for a bright financial future.
June 6, 2017
What number follows you around as closely as your age? If you guessed your credit score, you are on the money. In simple terms, this influential digit is a rating of how likely you are to repay money borrowed, so it has a significant amount of power in many financial situations. Credit scores are most commonly utilized to help lenders determine loan eligibility and interest rates. As a direct reflection of your monetary habits, your score is unique and must be nurtured with sound financial practices.
March 23, 2017
Buying a house is likely one of the greatest investments you will make in your lifetime. Not only do you invest your hard-earned money, you also invest your valuable time and energy into a space to call your own. One of the advantages of owning a home is that it will likely increase in overall value. When the time comes that you’ve built up some equity and need to make some necessary improvements or want to make aesthetic updates, you can make your home work for you. A home equity loan or line of credit (HELOC) may be just the ticket. Learning how this type of financing works, however, is an important first step.
January 31, 2017
Despite your best intentions, financial ups and downs can often throw you for a loop. Whether you’re striving to keep recent resolutions on track or resolving to recommit to your financial goals once and for all, a clear plan is essential. Avoid losing momentum while pursuing your goals by considering these strategies.
January 24, 2017
Brace yourself: Higher interest rates are coming.
In order to keep the economy stable, one of The Federal Reserve Board’s most important tasks is to establish interest rates for the United States through the use of monetary policy. In times of economic downturn, the Fed often lowers interest rates to encourage additional investment spending. On the contrary, in a growing economy, the Fed may increase interest rates to keep inflation at bay.
January 10, 2017
When life throws you a financial curveball, are you ready to knock the challenge out of the park? Are “what ifs” a match for your emergency savings stash? Whether you’re faced with a major home repair cost or surprised by an inconvenient parking ticket, having a designated account to cover these unexpected expenses can help you keep your budget balanced.
November 28, 2016
In the midst of twinkling lights and upbeat holiday tunes, scrooges are scavenging for confidential information in an unfortunate attempt to make the season less merry. While it can be easy to get swept up in the rush, it is ever important to keep your personal security top-of-mind. Avoid letting a scam artist or identity thief get the best of you or your wallet.
November 1, 2016
Crisp air will linger longer into the day as the winter months near. Ready or not, 24/7 frigid temperatures are coming. As you brace yourself for the chilly months ahead, make sure your home is ready to endure the seasonal elements. Preparing now, before winter arrives, can ultimately help to reduce the financial burden that the season can bring.
October 7, 2016
The back-to-school sales have fizzled out and the excitement of new teachers and classes may have worn off, but your school year budget should still be top-of-mind. It’s not too late to make saving a priority. Reduce the burden of continuing school expenses and help your budget make the grade.
June 30, 2016
In our data-driven day and age, personal information is in perpetual circulation. Maintaining optimal security is a growing concern as technology progresses, but advancements are continually being made to counter potential threats. When it comes to debit cards, EMV Chip Cards are the financial industry’s response to prevalent issues associated with card fraud and data breaches.
June 28, 2016
Applying for a commercial loan is a detailed and time consuming process which requires both the client and lender to work together to meet a common goal: a financing package which satisfies the needs of both parties. Loan-seekers who are receptive and willing to ask questions will undoubtedly find the process easier and will stand a much better chance of obtaining the financing package best suited for their unique needs. Start off on the right foot by taking note of these pointers before going into your lending institution to begin the process.
April 8, 2016
Whether retirement feels like a lifetime away, or the new life chapter is quickly approaching, the effort you put in now to financially prepare for the future can make all the difference. Saving is essential, and creating a sound investment strategy now can generate dividends in your retirement years.
April 7, 2016
Maneuvering the commercial real estate market requires a roadmap of its own. Whether purchasing properties is a new venture, or you have experience under your belt, these tried and true do’s and don’ts can help you seal a deal that is best for your business goals and budget.
December 30, 2015
The New Year is upon us with fresh opportunities, challenges and surprises; a good number of which are financially-focused. Reflecting on the year behind provides new perspective for what was and what is to come. Are you feeling confident with last year’s financial choices, or are you ready to start fresh? Are your financial patterns ones you hope to continue, or are they detrimental habits that need to be broken? You were taught a multitude of financial lessons and given several financial tests throughout the year, and now it is time for final grades. Take a moment to evaluate your personal fiscal year as 2016 begins.
November 23, 2015
‘Tis the season of giving! Holiday cheer bolsters charitable initiatives while year-round needs are magnified. If you are searching for a way to get involved and make a difference, you need not look far. From red kettles at storefronts to collection boxes in office lobbies, there is no shortage of opportunities to support a cause at this time of year. Embrace the influx in generosity, but also be mindful of appropriate measures to safeguard your good intentions.
October 30, 2015
Before it comes time to start dashing through the snow, make sure your pockets will jingle all the way through the start of the new year. With gatherings to be planned, decorations to be hung and gifts to be purchased, there are many potential distractions that can make your accounts anything but merry and bright.
September 30, 2015
Students begin their collegiate career equipped with the financial basics, but through the whirlwind of late nights, research papers and nerve-wracking exams, important financial practices can fall by the wayside. Scholastic pressures weigh heavy while the reality of adulthood expenses begin sinking in. Ace the transition by taking note of these valuable lessons.
August 28, 2015
Technological advancements have opened new doors for the banking industry, allowing for the development of enhanced money management tools and financial resources. The emergence of online banking in the late 1990’s was an innovative convenience that gave customers the ability to bank on their own schedule at their own convenience.
August 7, 2015
In a world where the vast majority of transactions are now digital, old-fashioned methods of monitoring cash flow are less commonly practiced habits. When was the last time you balanced your checkbook? Do you know how much money you have in your wallet? When making purchases is as easy as swiping your card and account balances are accessible on-the-go, it can become easy to spend mindlessly and neglect the responsibility to develop money-savvy practices.
June 26, 2015
Anyone who has a social security number is at risk of becoming a victim of identity theft. This includes the children in your family - even babies. A lack of credit history make those not of legal age ideal targets for identity thieves who prey on clean credit reports. Fraudsters who claim children’s identities as their own often fly under the radar since credit histories of those who unlikely have a history are not frequently monitored, if at all. In these situations, fraud can continue unnoticed for years.
May 27, 2015
With just a few clicks, it’s easier than ever to purchase products, make a charitable donation or pay bills online. Convenience is an enticing perk, but don’t overlook the risk involved. It is critical to be aware of where you are sending your information and who has access to it so that you can make sure it stays out of the wrong hands.
January 29, 2015
The bitter chill of winter has settled into New England. Waking up to single digit temperatures and forecasts inundated with snow showers is the norm while we yearn for the first sign of spring to appear. Sloppy roads and dark skies are reason enough to daydream of warmer days, and winter expenses leave our wallets feeling cold and empty. However, there is a bright side! Winter is only temporary and there are ways to cut back on the expenses that some may think are inevitable at this time of year.
December 2, 2014
Your home is likely your greatest investment. You have dedicated endless amounts of time and dollars to ensure that you have a safe, secure and comfortable home. When making this investment, you are taking a courageous step in committing to pay for and maintain a house that will require a lot of work in order to preserve its value. Although that sense of accomplishment is one in a million, bills, repair costs and the labor of upkeep will snap you right back to the reality of the situation: it can be costly.
November 5, 2014
Narrowing down mortgage options and selecting the loan that best suits you can be intimidating. Sometimes it’s hard to even know where to start. If you’re on the road to homeownership, here is some information outlining the major types of mortgages that you should know about as you begin exploring options.
October 20, 2014
Post-grad life welcomes the beginning of a professional career and brings a new array of challenges and opportunities. As you adapt to a more steady pay schedule and take on new financial responsibilities, it is pivotal that a budget takes priority. Learning how to budget for your new lifestyle takes time, but will help you significantly in the long run as you strive to keep your finances in line.
August 20, 2014
As children make their way through adolescence, responsibilities increase, and in many cases these responsibilities bring new monetary obligations. Through getting their first job and earning their driver’s license, finance management concepts become more tangible.
July 24, 2014
It may only be the end of July, but back-to-school season is upon us. For some this may mean new pencil boxes and crayons, but for others the start of a new school year is associated with a hefty bill. College and university price tags can be intimidating, but financial aid is available to help ease the burden.
June 27, 2014
Summer is here and vacation season is upon us. Dealing with the misfortune of having personal information compromised while trying to enjoy your travels is the last thing you want to be concerned about. Take the proper precautions as you set out on your next vacation, and you will have peace of mind knowing that your personal information will be more secure.
May 16, 2014
A good credit report is essential to your financial well being. Credit scores are often used by lenders as a predictor of how likely you are to repay your loans. Creditors will also use this score to help determine your credit worthiness and how much you can afford to borrow.
May 16, 2014
When teaching children about the value of money, borrowing should be a component of the lesson. Saving, rightly so, is often a focal point, but as people mature and life gets more complicated, it becomes evident that saving may not always be as glamorous or straight-forward as one would wish.
January 23, 2014
Almost everyone wants to save more money, and the New Year is a great time for reviewing your financial goals. You don't need advice on how to spend less - you already know that sacrificing meals out and shopping for new clothes less frequently can save money. But there are other ways to be smart about your finances and watch your savings grow in 2014.
October 23, 2013
The first step in creating an energy efficient home is taking the initiative to learn how you can create a house that doesn't waste energy. Throughout the entire house, there are many opportunities to improve the quality of life while also saving money. By making a few changes, you will start to see your energy bill get smaller and your bank account getting bigger from the money you will be saving.
July 23, 2013
Taking control of your money can be a hard task for many. With the cost of food, electronics, and almost everything on the market rising, it is hard to know where to draw the line. Let’s start by reflecting on some of your recent purchases. Were these products needed for your everyday life? For the next week, write down every penny you spend and don’t leave out the daily coffee! Start to eliminate purchases you do not need.
April 19, 2013
Buying a home can be one of the most rewarding experiences in life, yet it can also be one of the most stressful.
March 28, 2012
Don't let the thought of your teenager behind the wheel stress you out. Instead, sit back, buckle up and enjoy the ride of this monumental occasion.
September 29, 2010
Online banking is the future; it is important to become familiar and comfortable with the technology to protect yourself and your assets.
February 8, 2010
Whether it's here in Melrose or in other communities nationwide, there's long-term value in supporting local businesses.
July 1, 2009
Without action, the accumulation of debt can have a drastic effect on your life.
March 19, 2009
Does a certificate of deposit (CD) make sense for you?
February 11, 2009
Knowledge is the power to control your financial future.
August 25, 2008
We are all vulnerable to identity theft. Here are some tips to protect yourself.
July 17, 2008
You're having a baby, and your mind is reeling with the changes that are about to happen in your life.
July 1, 2008
Did you recently receive a bonus or an unexpected windfall such as an inheritance? Or maybe you just have some extra money sitting in a checking or savings account as an emergency fund.
July 3, 2007
While building your own home can be an exciting and rewarding process, it can also be stressful and confusing. Knowing how to save and finance for this time in your life can make things much easier.
April 4, 2007
IRA's are just one tool in an arsenal of financial resources available at your disposal.
June 30, 2006
Building and maintaining a good credit record is one of the best ways to insure that you consistently receive the best credit rates available to you, and will give you financial peace of mind.