• Have you talked with your child about money?

    April 06, 2021, 3:57 PM

    If you’re wondering how to teach your children to better handle their money, the internet is full of tips, such as budgeting their allowance, saving their ice cream money for a big toy instead, discussing charitable giving and letting them learn the hard way from their bad choices.

    But precisely why you should teach your children to better handle their money is perhaps the more important question. So, let’s explore several of the most logical reasons.

    If you don’t teach them, they won’t learn.

    In his book, “Allowances: Dollars and Sense,” financial planner Paul Lermitte lists six dangers that can result when parents don’t teach their kids healthy habits and attitudes about money:

    1.     Your kids could become financially irresponsible, have poor money skills, become deeply in debt, and/or remain financially dependent on you.

    2.     Your kids could develop a destructive relationship with money, equating it with self-worth or becoming addicted to possessions. They may believe that their happiness depends on having all the latest gadgets and toys.

    3.     Your kids could become victims of paralyzing credit card debt and have no understanding of how to set financial goals, save money for the future, budget, or be a wise consumer.

    4.     Your kids could lack the confidence to make sound financial decisions, which could affect other parts of their lives.

    5.     In spite of your good intentions, you could inadvertently teach your kids the wrong values about money.

    6.     Families are often torn apart by financial disputes. You need strong principles and a plan of action to avoid the tension and arguments over money that can destroy family relationships.

    These may sound like worst-case scenarios, but remember: as adults, problems with money can almost certainly exacerbate whatever other problems your children are facing.

    That said, teaching your children how to deal with money gives them an advantage in life. Not only will they understand how to use, save and invest money, they can enjoy more personal responsibility and confidence and they’re more likely to avoid debt and the problems that accompany it.

    If you don’t teach them, they won’t learn correctly.

    You probably know that if you write a check, certain information has to go in each blank on that check. If the check is written incorrectly, the funds won’t transfer from your account to the account of the check recipient, and then you will end up paying an extra fee for the failed transaction.

    But think about it from your child’s perspective. Children can learn by watching, but how often do they get to see you write a check? If you do most of your financial transactions electronically – either online or with debit or credit cards – they may not pick it up organically. Children can also learn if you take the time to teach them, but if you don’t typically write checks, it may never occur to you to teach your child how to do it either.

    The same principle extends to all aspects of handling your money. Do you maintain a budget? How much money do you make? How much of that do you pay for necessities? How much do you save? How much you give to charitable organizations? How much do you spend on things you want?

    The key: Be transparent with your children. It may be easier to pay the bills and handle all your financial transactions either electronically or after they’ve gone to bed, but letting them in on the process teaches them what they’ll need to do with their money.

    If you don’t teach them, someone else will – and that someone may not have your child’s best interests in mind.

    Now, it may not be anything sinister – perhaps just advertisements encouraging an impulse buy on the latest action figure – but a study from the University of Cambridge found that money habits in children are formed by the time they’re 7 years old. In other words, if your child is learning to regularly indulge in impulse buys, those behaviors can last into adulthood. And, as adults, the impulse buys are likely to be significantly more expensive than that action figure.

    Then again, it may be someone sinister looking to scam a child, counting on their willingness to give their money to those in need. Or it could be someone who merely has different values about how to prioritize saving, spending and investing money, and the lessons would differ from yours.

    Ultimately, it all boils down to two major messages: It’s important to teach your children how to manage their money and giving them firsthand experience can dramatically change their outlook for future financial success.

    City Bank offers savings and checking accounts specifically designed for minors. The savings account’s interest shows how they can make more money on top of what they save. The checking account is a joint account with a parent or legal guardian, allowing them some financial freedom and you the opportunity to oversee their choices.

    Teaching your children to be financially responsible takes time, and the process can be frustrating. But for children to be able to manage their money as adults, they need you to teach them early on.

    Call us at 800-687-2265 to speak to a Customer Xperience Representative about available minor bank account options or open an account online here.
  • Looking for the best deal on a new car?

    March 05, 2021, 3:15 PM

    Besides a house, a new car is usually the biggest purchase we make in our lives. When you’re planning to shell out tens of thousands of dollars for a vehicle, you want to make sure you pick one that fits your need and your bank account. And, most importantly, there are a few other steps you can take to limit how much you pay over that purchase price.

    Step 1: Are you ready for a new car?

    This is the step most people miss, because it seems intuitive, right? If your current car is failing you and is no longer reliable, then yes, you’re probably ready for a new car.

    If you’re tired of your current vehicle, but it’s still working fine, you might not be ready. Here’s the question to ask: Are you still paying for it?

    If you are, you might not want to buy a new car yet, and here’s why. Many dealers will offer to pay off your current loan, but really the balance on that loan could actually be added into the financing of your new car. In essence, you’re paying for two cars – one of which you don’t even own anymore.

    So, if you’re still paying on your car, the better plan might be to wait until that loan is paid off and you’ve saved enough money for a down payment on your next vehicle.

    Step 2: Get prequalified for a loan before you look at vehicles.

    This is a good idea for multiple reasons.

    For one, how much can you afford to pay? You should spend no more than 20%-25% of your monthly household income on all the cars in your household, including loan payments, gas and insurance. For the monthly payment on your new vehicle, shoot for 15% of your monthly income.

    Getting prequalified can also help reveal any issues with your credit that might affect the terms of your loan. Dealerships are allowed to offer you a much higher interest rate than you qualify for, so understanding all your options can help you avoid paying more in interest.

    Once you have your preapproval in hand, you can use it as a bargaining chip at the dealership.

    Step 3. Do your homework.

    This is the time to think not just about your new car, but also your life and driving style.

    Do you want new or new to you? A new car is in perfect condition, but it’s also much more expensive. A used car can be substantially cheaper, but you also have to consider the condition it’s in – and how long it will last. A certified pre-owned vehicle offers a good balance of price and condition: it’s still under warranty from the manufacturer and has to meet approval that it’s still in like-new condition, but it can be thousands of dollars less expensive than a new model.

    Once you’ve considered these questions, think about what you need your vehicle to do. Is it for in-town or highway driving? Do you need to haul equipment? Does it need to carry multiple children with bulky car seats? Thinking about your needs can help you decide whether a sedan, truck or SUV is a better fit, but remember to consider both your situation now and what you expect it to be within the next few years.

    After narrowing down to what you need, think about what you want. Online research can help you find models you like and how much you should expect to pay for them. Are you planning to trade in your current vehicle? A little extra research will tell you approximately what your trade-in should be worth.

    Armed with all this information, it’s time to go look at your choice vehicles in person. Visit multiple dealerships. If you find one you prefer but its price isn’t the lowest, see if it can match another dealership’s quoted price.

    Step 4. Drive a hard bargain.

    After you’ve picked the car you want, it’s time to buy it – that means negotiating a price. Keep in mind how much you want to pay, and how much your research says you should pay.

    Once you’ve agreed on a purchase price, you’ll find yourself in the finance office, where the dealership will offer you lots of added-on products and services, like extended warranties. They’ll be putting the pressure on, because that’s one of the ways they make money, but just say no. You don’t know what those “extras” are really worth, and if you want the extended factory warranty, you can always buy it later.

    Understand there are some things you can negotiate and some you can’t. The car’s registration and taxes, for instance, are set by the government, and there’s no wiggle room on them. It is possible to negotiate some of the dealer fees or unwanted extras, however. Use that to your advantage, and if you make any concessions in price, make sure you get something you want out of the deal – like upgraded floor mats or lifetime oil changes.

    Using your loan preapproval for comparison, consider the loan the dealership is offering you. Look at the both the interest rate and the length of the loan. A six- or seven-year loan may have enticingly lower monthly payments – but you’ll pay much more in the long run. That’s because longer loan periods have higher interest rates, and the interest is front-loaded, meaning you pay more interest than principal in the first four years.

    Most importantly, don’t be afraid to walk away at any point in the process if you’re not getting the deal you want. Spending thousands of dollars on a bad deal just to avoid walking away is a bad choice. Remember, you have plenty of options out there, and if something just doesn’t feel right, it’s probably not.

    Step 5. Signing isn’t the last step.

    By the end of a long day of car shopping, you may want to just be done and go home. That’s fine – go home and consider it, and then buy the car tomorrow. When it’s time to sign the paperwork, you want to take your time to read and understand what you’re signing. Make sure it says what you agreed to because, after you sign, there’s probably no going back.

    Once you’ve signed the paperwork and driven away in your new car, you could be done with the process. But here’s an expert tip: to make sure you have the absolute best deal on your loan, check out the loan market a few months later. It’s possible that interest rates have dropped, and you could get a cheaper loan by refinancing.

    Happy hunting!

    If you have any questions about auto loans, give us a call at (800) 687-2265. One of our auto loan lenders would be happy to guide you through the process.

    Ready to buy*? Apply today.


    *This is not a commitment to lend.

  • How to write a check

    February 22, 2021, 8:34 AM

    In our increasingly electronic world, debit cards are everywhere. They’re fast and convenient, they’re secure and, because they withdraw funds from your account immediately, you’ll find out instantly if you don’t have sufficient funds in the account to cover the purchase.

    So why should you learn how to write a check? It’s pretty simple: Sometimes, you don’t have another option. And if you do it wrong, it can cost you.

    When might you want or need to write a check?

    ·      When a business charges an extra fee for card payments. Governmental agencies and utility companies may accept debit or credit cards, but their third-party payment processors charge a fee on each usage. By writing a check, you actually pay less.

    ·      When a business requires a minimum amount for card payments. Because of the fee businesses must pay on card transactions, your small purchases using a card might actually cost them money. To prevent this, they may not allow card payments for small amounts.

    ·      When a business doesn’t accept card payments. From insurance and governmental transactions to donations, organization dues and rent, a variety of purposes still may require a check.

    ·      During outages. Debit and credit card transactions require electronic equipment, which may not work if the power or phone systems aren’t working. In that situation, you’ll need cash or a check.

    ·      When gifting money. Gift cards restrict where a recipient can use the money, and cash can’t easily be replaced if it’s lost, whereas checks solve both problems. After the check is deposited, the money can be used anywhere by the recipient, and if the check goes missing, you can always void it and send a new one.

    Now you know why you should write a check, let’s talk about how to do it.

    Writing checks correctly is important because, if you don’t, the check may bounce – that means, the funds won’t transfer and you’ll end up paying a fee for the failed transaction.

    If you write a check without sufficient funds in your account, it’s considered a “bad” check. The bank may charge you a fee and, if you do it repeatedly, you could lose the ability to write checks altogether, not to mention the legal problems you’re risking.

    So, here’s how to write a check:

    1.     In the top right corner, on the line marked DATE, write the current date. While it’s not illegal to write a date that’s still in the future – called “post-dating” – it’s a good idea to tell the person you’re paying so they don’t deposit it immediately. Banks may return checks with a missing or future date.

    2.     On the line marked PAY TO THE ORDER OF, write the name of the person or business to whom you are writing the check.

    3.     In the box following the dollar sign, write the amount of the check in numerals, including both dollars and, after the period, cents. For instance, 174.29.

    4.     On the line below, write out the same amount in words for the dollar amount and cents as a fraction out of 100. For instance, One hundred seventy-four 29/100. Draw a line from the end of the cents to the word DOLLARS to make sure no one else can change the amount you’ve written. Double check that the written amount matches the numeral amount – this is one of the most common mistakes, and banks may return such checks.

    5.     On the line marked MEMO, write what the check is for. For instance, “Babysitting” or, if you’re paying a bill, the account number the check should be applied to. That way, if your check gets separated from the account slip, it can still be processed.

    6.     On the final line in the bottom right corner, sign your name. This is one of the most important parts. Banks absolutely will return unsigned checks.

    7.     You’re done writing the check. Take another look at each blank. If you see a mistake, it may be possible to simply cross through it, write the correct information above it and initial the change. For more serious errors, write VOID in large letters across the entire check, flip to the next check in your checkbook and redo it.

    8.     When you’ve double checked everything, and the check is ready to give to its recipient, don’t forget to list it in your check register so you have a record of it later on, particularly if you don’t have carbon copies in your checkbook.

    Happy check writing!

  • Debit or credit? What to know when it comes to online shopping

    February 01, 2021, 4:33 PM

    If you are one of the millions of people planning to shop online this year, it will be vitally important to make sure you’re doing it wisely. One of the most important questions you should ask is, credit or debit?

    What’s the difference?

    A debit card is similar to a credit card in that it can be used to make purchases at millions of locations worldwide. But there’s one important difference between the two.

    A credit card essentially gives you a small loan, letting you pay later for the purchases you make now. If you pay it back right away, it won’t cost you any more than the initial purchase. However, if you can’t pay it off that month, you’ll be charged interest, meaning you ultimately pay more. Whether you pay it back immediately or take your time, using a credit card and paying it off builds credit. That means when you need a good credit score for a big purchase – think, a car or a house – you’ll have it already, just by virtue of your normal, everyday purchases.

    By contrast, a debit card purchase is immediately deducted from your checking account – there’s no borrowing, so no credit check is required to get a debit card, you won’t incur debt and there are no interest charges or late fees. However, because the money comes out immediately, if you try to spend more than you have in your account, you could incur an overdraft fee1 depending on how your account is set up. Keep in mind, also, that your card may have a limit on how much you can spend each day.

    Which is more secure?

    You know that new microchip on the end of your credit and debit card? It’s designed to make it harder for someone to fraudulently collect your card information. The bad news, and what you may not know, is that technology doesn’t extend to online purchases.

    The good news, though, is that card purchases still carry certain protections online.

    Federal protections are greater for credit card purchases. Thanks to the Fair Credit Billing Act, if your credit card number is used to make a fraudulent purchase and you report it within 60 days, your liability is capped at $50.

    Also, if your purchase arrives broken, doesn’t arrive or if the wrong item arrives, you are able to dispute a charge or withhold payment. All card issuers will help you file a dispute but credit card companies are especially helpful. Think about it this way: With a debit card, the money has already come out of your account, so it’s your money on the line. With a credit card, the card company’s money is on the line – which situation will they work harder to remedy?

    With debit cards, because the funds come out of your account immediately, fraud could cost you everything you have – plus overdraft1 charges if the thief tries to use more than you have. City Bank mitigates this with daily limits and the option to opt out of overdraft completely but this may not be the case for all debit cards. Under the Electronic Funds Transfer Act, if your card is Compromised –– you have 60 days to report a fraudulent charge with no liability. Remember, though, that 60 days begins on the first day of the statement period in which the charge occurs, so you need to monitor your statements carefully.

    Which is the better choice?

    A credit card almost certainly offers more fraud protections, but not everyone can get a credit card. If you don’t have a credit card, you can still limit your potential loss by taking a few simple steps. One option is to limit the amount of money in the account you’re spending from, so no more money is at risk than you intend to spend immediately. Another option is to use a prepaid card onto which you’ve loaded only a set amount of money.

    You should know, using a debit card works slightly differently for online purchases than for purchases in stores. Unlike purchases at a checkout counter, you will have the option to provide your personal identification number, or PIN. Online purchases are processed as a “credit” transaction, meaning funds may be pending on your account until hard posting about 2 – 4 days later.

    City Bank, like most credit card issuers, offers rewards on their cards2. This could be in the form of cash back, travel rewards or some other benefit. Why not cash in on your spending, especially if you plan on paying it all off at the end of the month.

    Another point to consider is where you’re shopping. If you’re shopping from a reputable, well-known online retailer, the debit vs. credit card debate is probably a moot point, as the company likely will work to rectify any problems without involving your card issuer. But if you’re buying from a company you aren’t familiar with, a credit card might be the way to go.

    So, which is the better choice? In short, it depends on the situation and, especially, on you. If you’re more likely to overspend while shopping, it might be a better idea to use a debit card to limit yourself. If you’re more concerned about potential fraud, a credit card might be the better call. Don’t hesitate to contact your local City Bank representative for more info on our Credit and Debit Card offerings.

    Either way, happy shopping!


    Here are some tips to make the most out of your online shopping experience:

    ·      Check the URL. Sites that begin with https:// and show a locked padlock icon in the URL space have added security measures to protect your card information. Sites that begin with http:// do not. Remember, no “s” = not secure.  

    ·      Use a secure Wi-Fi connection. Not sure if it’s secure? Wait until you’re at home or work to do your online shopping.

    ·      Use common sense. If a website seems unprofessional or if something just feels wrong, it probably is.

    ·      Be vigilant. You can’t fix fraudulent charges if you aren’t looking for them, so check your account regularly.

    ·      Pay off your balance. If you pay your credit card balance every month, in full, you will never have to pay interest. This ultimately could save you lots of money.


    1Always a discretionary service: Overdraft Protection does not constitute an actual or implied agreement between you and City Bank. 2Subject to Credit Approval. Ask for details.

  • LOVE WHERE YOU LIVE: Support Local

    April 02, 2020, 11:06 AM

    As we continue to navigate through evolving safety measures, we must make the choice as a community to embrace our new normal. Now more than ever, local businesses are facing some of the most challenging, unprecedented times — and they need all of us. 


    We can all play a part in flattening the curve and boosting our local economy by supporting our local makers. Small business owners have adapted and retooled the way they do business to better serve our community, so let’s celebrate their efforts by shopping, eating, engaging and supporting all things local.


    Here are some of our favorite ways to support the local businesses you love: 

    • Shop online
    • Purchase gift cards
    • Order takeout (perfect for date-night-in or family game night)
    • Pickup food at the drive-thru
    • Reschedule salon services instead of cancelling (or pre-pay for appointments)
    • Subscribe to online workout classes from local workout studios
    • Review, comment, like and share your favorite businesses on social media
  • City Bank proud to provide immediate and long-term help to the South Plains Food Bank during the COVID-19 Pandemic

    March 24, 2020, 4:45 PM

    A Legacy Cornerstone Partner of 25 years steps up to pledge $150,000

    [Lubbock, TX] – City Bank will present a check that will provide relief to the South Plains Food Bank immediately with $30,000 toward the COVID-19 Pandemic and a total of $150,000 over 5 years. An original Cornerstone Partner, City Bank has been a supporter of the mission to End Hunger, Give Hope and Enrich Lives since 1994.

    The donation is coming at a pivotal time for the food bank, according to South Plains Food Bank CEO, David Weaver. “In these very uncertain times, this gift will help make an immense impact on our neighbors who are and will be struggling for months to come.” says Weaver. “With needs increasing and changing daily we are all attempting to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.  Once again City Bank is stepping up to help with critical basic needs on the south plains.  This contribution will help for years to come as our community works to come back from this crisis.”

    “City Bank is proud to partner with the South Plains Food Bank in these unprecedented times and in the brighter days ahead. As a long-time community partner, we know the needs are great and we want to do all we can to provide the resources to meet those needs today, and in the years to come,” said Cory Newsom, City Bank President and CEO.

    About the South Plains Food Bank
    Food banking solves two problems ... hunger and waste. The South Plains Food Bank, Inc. is a humanitarian resource responsible for securing, growing, processing, and distributing food to charitable organizations and persons in need. South Plains Food Bank, Inc. also strives to provide opportunities for persons to break out of the poverty cycle. The South Plains Food Bank is committed to alleviating hunger and giving hope to the hungry. We touch 1 in 8 people across the South Plains and serve over 57,000 people each year. The South Plains Food Bank also supports programs that improve food security among the people we serve through our Kids Cafe program, Mobile Pantry program, and GRUB, Growing Recruits for Urban Business, program. Our vision is to see a hunger-free community.

    Original Press Release and Source: South Plains Food Bank March 24, 2020


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