Monthly Archives: April 2014

4 Ways to Teach Kids The Importance of Money

April is Financial Literacy Month and Alpine Bank believes it’s the perfect time to teach your kids about money. Experts say kids need to be taught that reaching their goals and aspirations requires a healthy understanding of money basics, but unfortunately many parents fall short with these lessons.

Money habits for kids from Alpine Bank

Most kids learn money habits from their parents, so be sure you’re setting a good example

While many mom and dads give their children allowance, a recent study done by DoughMain, a financial education website, shows that only 4 percent of parents require their children to deposit money into a bank account. Regardless of whether you have a lot of money or not, starting your child’s financial habits at a young age will help them make wiser money decisions later in life.

Teaching kids financial habits at an early age can sometimes be difficult; therefore, Alpine Bank has come up with a few ways to help make this process easier.

Bring them to the bank: Open a Next Generation Savings Account with your kids. This limited withdrawal savings account helps your child start to save at a young age. Ask your banker for a savings register and when you get home, go over the importance of keeping track of money spent and their current balance. Encourage them to put their birthday, holiday and tooth fairy money into their account.

Clip the coupons: Get your kids involved with the family’s weekly grocery shopping. Have them write a shopping list and set a budget before going to the supermarket. Before you go, have your kids hunt for coupons in the paper and online for items on your list. Just be sure you’re using coupons that are for items you actually need.

Money-hungry piggy bank: Not many people like carrying change around with them, so why not give it to your kids? Empty your pockets out each night, and at the end of each week have your child count the money and put it into their piggy bank. Once a month, go to the bank and watch your child’s face light up when they see how much money they can collect just from change.

Be a role model: Remember that you have a large impact on your child’s life. Set a good example and focus on making good financial habits yourself. Statistics show that 32 percent of parents tell their children they can afford something when they really can’t. Tell the truth about your finances to prevent them from lying about their financial issues later in life.

April is Financial Literacy Month and an excellent time for you to start that money talk with your child. Alpine Bank encourages you to set a good example and help educate your kids on good financial habits this month. We hope to see you and your child soon!

Calling All High School Golfers: Would you like to play in the 2014 Rockford Pro-Am?

ProAmTeam2013

As a prime sponsor of this year’s Rockford Pro-Am, on July 14, 2014, Alpine Bank will have one foursome play in the tournament. Like the last five years, it is our desire to provide four up and coming golfers in our area the opportunity to play in this prestigious event.

All interested candidates are encouraged to apply, per the following application criteria.   Applicants must be currently enrolled in 9th – 12th grade, reside in Northern Illinois, and have previous golf experience – whether playing for a school team or independently.  Golfers who have played in one of our previous foursomes are not eligible to reapply.

The 2014 Pro-Am Golfer Application can be found at www.bankalpine.com/ProAm2014 or can be picked up at any Alpine Bank location.  The completed application, along with a one-page letter of recommendation from a non-family member regarding your golf skill and experience, can be returned to any Alpine Bank branch or mailed to Alpine Bank, Marketing Department, P.O. Box 6086, Rockford, IL 61125-1086.  The deadline for submission is Friday, May 16, 2014.

A selection committee will review all applications and the foursomes will be announced in May.

 

Learn More about the Rockford Pro-Am >

3 Negative Financial Habits You May Be Teaching Your Children

Whether we want to realize it or not, the way we were raised has a tremendous impact on how we make decisions as an adult. April is Financial Literacy Month and Alpine Bank wants you to consider the negative financial habits that you may unintentionally be teaching your children.

Good financial habits for kids

Saving money is just one financial habit kids can learn from their parents

Did you know most children’s financial habits are formed by age seven? It’s widely known that children pick up on words, dress style and food habits at a young age, but it hasn’t been predominantly communicated that financial habits were on the list of precautions to take when around children.

Children under the age of eight years old may be able to count and recognize money, but it’s suggested that they do not have an understanding of the difference between “luxuries” and “necessities”, meaning they see items, not the amount of money spent to purchase them. It is crucial that financial education starts at a young age.

Here are three common parenting behaviors that can negatively influence children’s money habits.

  1. You Spoil Your Children: Your child may expect that they can and should still get whatever they want when they grow up. The problem is they may not have the income to support the ability to live large. Challenge yourself to put money in a savings account for your child instead of giving them games, clothes and toys.
  2. You Make Financial Decisions on a Whim: Go out for dinner? Sure. Go see a movie? You bet. Go shopping for new clothes? Why not? If you are always saying yes to questions that involve buying something, you are showing your kids that financial decisions should be made without much thought. Sure, it may be fine to go out for dinner tonight, but explain to them that this means they’ll have to sacrifice that movie night later in the week.
  3. You are Very Frugal: Whether you need to keep a tight budget or you are a penny pincher, this money saving tactic could potentially affect your child’s spending habits in the future. It has been shown in a few studies that excessive spending can be a side effect of living an extremely frugal childhood. Talk to your child and explain the reasoning for being careful with money so that they can learn the benefits of saving and not feel resentful.

Since children learn a lot from their parents, Alpine Bank wants you to celebrate Financial Literacy Month by improving your financial habits while educating your children on how to stay financially successful. Make a commitment to help your child grow into a financially independent person this April.

The Heartbleed Bug

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There has been a lot of talk about the Heartbleed Bug this past week.  Alpine Bank has been proactive in researching all aspects of www.bankalpine.com to view our vulnerability.  We have run diagnostic tests on our website to insure that it is not at risk to this threat.  We have also asked all of our third party vendors to complete vulnerability risks on their sites.  At this time, there are no known vulnerability threats to any Alpine Bank sites.

We will continue to monitor the situation and if the need arises, we will take the necessary steps to mitigate the threat of this bug.

Learn more about it at www.heartbleed.com.

Learn what you can do at http://krebsonsecurity.com/2014/04/heartbleed-bug-what-can-you-do/.

Learn what banks are doing at http://www.americanbanker.com/issues/179_71/ffiec-tells-banks-to-fix-heartbleed-security-risks-asap-1066839-1.html

Alpine Bank 2014 Service Star Awards

Service Star Winners Wendy Bryan Sue 22714

Bill Roop, president & CEO of Alpine Bank, announced the Employee Service Star Award winners for 2013 at Alpine Bank’s annual Employee Recognition Dinner. Alpine Bank has been awarding the Service Stars since 1998. The Service Star awards are a way to pay special tribute to those employees who really set the standard for bank employees, in the level of service they provide.

Throughout the year, Alpine employees are asked to submit nominations, called a WOW! (What Outstanding Work), in three categories.  The categories are Service to Internal Customers, Service to External Customers and Brand Champion.  At the end of each quarter a winner(s) is chosen out of the nominees to receive a quarterly award.  Out of the quarterly winners, a final yearly winner is chosen to receive the Service Star Awards.

The Service to Internal Customers Service Star Award went to Wendy Goldsworthy, Senior Application Systems Administrator.  Ms. Goldsworthy received numerous nominations throughout the year from several departments and branches.  One employee commented, “Wendy is the ‘go to’ person for any out of the ordinary supplies.  Have a button that needs to be sewed back on; Wendy has a needle and thread…”  Many others commented on her pleasant demeanor and that she is very knowledgeable and helpful.

The Service to External Customers Service Star award was presented to Bryan Gatlin, Assistant Manager – Roscoe Branch.  Nominations for Mr. Gatlin noted that he is always kind and follows through with whatever task he is given.  One coworker wrote, “He communicates well and I appreciate that so much.  I know I can count on Bryan and his kindness and his caring ways make him a wonderful asset to Alpine Bank.”

The Role Model Service Award was given to Susan Cadie, Marketing & Communications Coordinator, for her numerous nominations as Brand Champion.  Her colleagues said that she is a genuine and caring person who is always so full of excitement and exemplifies what it means to “Alpine.”  One commented, “She is the first to arrive and the last to leave a bank function, making sure it goes off without a hitch…”

In addition to the Service Star Awards, employees with 5, 10, 15, and 20 years of service received their Alpine Bank Service Pins.  Over thirty employees were also recognized for having 20-plus years of service with the Alpine Bank family.