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Workplace Banking Quarterly Newsletter 2Q21

Workplace Banking Quarterly Newsletter June 2021

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You’re receiving this newsletter because your company has partnered with First Merchants to bring you First Merchants Workplace Banking. This premier partnership offers employees like you exclusive program products and services to simplify your financial life and help you make confident, informed decisions.

MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR MONEY BY ORGANIZING ACCOUNTS

Your money lives in many places. You likely have a checking and saving accounts. You may invest or have a retirement account. You could even have some cash and checks lying around! When managing your assets, it can be easy to become disorganized and forget what is in each account.

First off, we recommend finding a way to track your finances. Put together monthly budgets and anticipate large purchases. You can also simplify your finances by linking all of your checking, savings, credit, loan and investment accounts to First Merchants Personal Finance in online and mobile banking.

When you better understand your assets, you can determine how much of your income should go to each of your accounts. There is no perfect rule that fits every family, but here are some general guidelines:

Checking: Your checking account is used mostly for day-to-day purchases. You may also use your checking to pay credit cards at the end of the month. We recommend keeping enough in this account to cover your necessities like groceries and rent, which tend to take 50% of most people’s income.

Savings: A savings account should be focused on—you guessed it—saving! A good rule of thumb is to keep at least 20% of your income in savings. It is also wise to keep an emergency fund of at least three months of living expenses. When you’re planning to make a big purchase and need to set money aside, it should go to savings. A savings account should accrue interest.

Retirement and Investments: If possible, it is great to devote 10 to 15% of your income to retirement. While it may sound daunting, your employer may have a matching program to help you save up. Investing comes with higher risk but the potential of a larger payout over time. We recommend those interested in investing have a strong understanding of the risks and benefits.1

First Merchants offers checking, savings and retirement accounts to fit your needs. Open an account online or come by your local banking center to get started.

First Merchants Workplace Banking May Newsletter Understanding Loan Options

UNDERSTAND YOUR LOAN OPTIONS BEFORE BUYING YOUR NEXT HOME

There is no one-size-fits-all option when it comes to choosing a mortgage. Your loan should be tailored to your unique financial needs. But with so many options, it can be difficult to know where to start.

When reviewing loan options, you should understand your loan term, interest rate type and loan type. These choices can impact monthly payments, upfront and overall costs, and level of risk. A shorter-term mortgage may offer a lower total cost but higher monthly payments. A longer-term loan may offer a higher total cost but lower monthly payments. You also can choose between fixed and adjustable rates, which impact the risk of your overall loan. Outside of conventional loans, purchasers may qualify for special programs or government loans.

Check out this helpful primer from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to learn the basics.


TAKE ADVANTAGE OF FIRST MERCHANTS FIRST DIRECT CHECKING

First Merchants First Direct Checking is an account with premium benefits exclusively for employees of participating businesses, first responders and members of the military.1 As an employee of a participating company, you can open a First Direct checking account with no minimum balance requirement and no opening deposit with direct deposit signup.

First Direct also earns interest starting at $2,500,2 offers free official checks and money orders, provides discounts on various services and more. Start taking advantage of this account today!

Visit firstmerchants.com/personal/checking/first-direct to learn more or call 1.800.205.3464.


TIPS FOR A SAFE AND FRUGAL SUMMER VACATION

At long last, warm weather is here. After a difficult 2020 where many were isolated, a vacation seems well-deserved. Still, the costs of a trip can add up fast. We’ve compiled a few tips on planning a safe, financially responsible vacation. Additionally, we recommend checking CDC and local recommendations for safety guidance regarding travel during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Notify your bank before traveling. Before you take off, take a moment to notify your bank you will be spending money in an unfamiliar location. If you have a First Merchants debit card, you can adjust your geographic boundaries with debit card controls.

Consider your method of travel. It’s almost always cheaper to drive than to fly, and driving is a safer choice during COVID-19 restrictions. Choose a destination closer to home this season for a short road trip. If you do fly, travel light to avoid fees and check multiple sites for the best price.

Get reacquainted with the great outdoors. Camping, hiking, swimming, exploring—what’s not to love? An outdoor vacation can save big on lodging when your family camps together. Parks are free or cheap to visit and offer a variety of activities for families of all sizes. Plus, taking a trip to the woods is a great way to socially distance.

Travel midweek or during the off-season. Research the peak season for your destination. Not only will locations be more crowded during peak season, but cost of travel, lodging and activities can skyrocket. Additionally, consider arriving midweek when fewer people are traveling.

Cook for yourself and stock the snacks. You can save big on vacation by finding lodging where you can cook your own meals. Bring plenty of snacks for the ride—avoiding costly gas station treats—and plan to visit a grocery during your trip. Consider cooking for yourself while splurging on one restaurant meal a day. You can also save by making lunch your biggest meal, which is often cheaper than dinner.

First Merchants Workplace Banking May Newsletter Vacation Tips

First Merchants Workplace Banking May Newsletter Manage Money

MANAGE YOUR MONEY ON THE GO WITH DIGITAL BANKING TOOLS

Simplify your financial life with First Merchant’s digital banking tools. We offer a variety of ways to manage your money simply and securely—all from your mobile device.

First Merchants is proud to offer Zelle®, which allows you to safely send or request money between U.S. banking accounts within minutes. Learn more about First Merchants and Zelle® in this short video.

You can also pay on the go with Apple Pay® and Samsung Pay®. Make your First Merchants MasterCard® debit card your default card in your mobile wallet and use it at millions of participating retailers. All you need to do is hold your device next to the terminal, authorize your purchase and you’re done! First Merchants monitors all transactions through fraud detection systems and protects your card number and code. Need help using mobile wallet? See more details here.

If you need help getting started with any aspect of mobile banking, we are happy to assist you at a physical banking center location or call us at 1.800.205.3464.


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Remember, First Merchants will never request your username or password. 

SCAM ALERT

First Merchants will never ask for your username or password to your accounts. Scammers can use sophisticated tactics to make calls and messages that appear to be coming from First Merchants and ask for your personal information. If you’re targeted by a suspected scam, ignore the message or hang up, and call First Merchants Customer Service at 1.800.205.3464 right away. We can help scope out fraud and verify legitimate communications when you have concerns.


 

1First responders include police, firefighters and paramedics. Military includes active members and veterans of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard and National Guard.

2Interest tiers starting at $2,500. Interest is accrued daily and credited monthly.

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