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Romance Scams

Love may be blind, but with career cyber criminals at an all-time high, our team at First National Bank of Moose Lake wants to leave you with 7 tips to keep your heart’s vision 20/20.

Romance scams don’t stay on dating sites anymore. They are the “Hello Beautiful” in you DMs, the requests to “connect” on your business networking sites or a “follow” while you’re showing off your mad dance skills in a short video. They usually seem innocent, quite interested in all you do, and talking with you every time you appear online, night or day. This can quickly change to:

  1. Asking for money and to switch to another way to talk with them off the site you met them on.
  2. Claiming they need money for emergencies, medical bills, travel and more.
  3. There is always a sense of urgency.
  4. Swearing they are madly in love with you but…
  5. Not able to video chat or meet face to face “right this minute”, or always having a reason to cancel plans to meet up.
  6. They usually say they are from the U.S. but have jobs overseas, such as an engineer on an oil rig, a wealthy retired person who recently lost their spouse, or in a branch of the Military.
  7. Asking for gift cards, or your personal information.

If you feel like something isn’t right, or have any questions regarding potential scams, don’t hesitate to contact one of our Customer Service Representatives at 218-485-4441.

Meeting people in the digital age is difficult, and our team is here to make sure keeping your funds safe isn’t.

6 Simple Ways to Start Saving

Glass jars labeled "Save" "house" and "car" in an outdoorbackground.

Whether you want to save money for a down payment on a house, build an educational fund, or prepare for an emergency, building a savings can be overwhelming. A strong savings account can help achieve your financial goals and keep your mind at ease. In this article we will show you 6 ways to build a strong savings.

1. Create a Monthly Budget

Before you can start saving money, it is important to understand where your money is going each month. Track all expenses and income, including your coffee trips and regular monthly bills. There are many ways to track your information, including using eStatements to electronically access your monthly statement.

2. Cut Down on Unnecessary Spending

If you want to increase your monthly savings, cutting back on expenses is a great place to start. Find the unessential expenses that you can cut, like forgotten subscriptions and eating out. This doesn’t mean that you must completely cut out unessential costs. If a trip to the local coffee shop makes you happy, keep that in your budget! Balancing your wants and needs along with your budget will help you stay diligent and on track.

3. Set a Specific Goal

Setting a savings goal is one of the best ways to keep up with your savings journey. Some common savings goals are:

  • Building an emergency fund
  • Vacations
  • Down payment on a new home
  • Retirement

Once you identify your goal, you can calculate how long it might take you to save.

4. Prioritize your Savings

Building a strong savings can help prepare for future expenses, both unexpected and planned. The earlier you start, the larger your savings will grow. One tip is to view your savings as a monthly bill. A good place to start is putting aside 10% of each paycheck and adjust as your savings needs change.

5. Save Money Automatically

Automatic transfers allow you to save without thinking about it! Use online banking or the Moose Mobile app to create a monthly transfer with the amount of your choosing.

6. Find the Right Saving Tools for You

Once you have money set aside, there are many ways to boost your savings. Consider your long- and short-term goals to see what is best for you. Some different tools are:

Savings Account

A savings account can help set money aside, so you are not tempted to use it in your monthly spending. Savings accounts will accumulate some interest.

Certificate of Deposit (CD)

A CD is a savings tool that typically earns more interest than a standard savings account. With a purchase of a CD, you are agreeing to leave a certain amount of money in the account for a certain amount of time. Unlike a savings account, the money must remain untouched for the full term to avoid any penalty fees or lost interest. Terms are as short as 3 months and as long as 5 years.

Individual Retirement Account (IRA)

An IRA is a long-term savings account specifically for retirement. Whether you need to rollover a 401(k) or you are just starting to save for retirement, First National Bank of Moose Lake offers different types of IRAs for your consideration.

First National Bank of Moose Lake is always here to lend a helping hand. If you have any questions about the right savings plan for you, call us at 218-485-4441 and speak with any of our personal bankers or lenders.

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