Unexpected Costs of Having a Baby

There is a lot to prepare before your bundle of joy arrives, including your finances!

There is a lot to prepare before your bundle of joy arrives, including your finances!

July and August are the two most popular months of the year for having a baby. While a baby brings great joy and love to their family, having a baby can also add stress to your finances. These days, many parents are spending roughly $12,000 on their baby in its first year alone. From doctor’s expenses to furniture and supplies, having a baby is certainly not easy on your bank account.

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Alpine Bank Community Shred Day Coming to Roscoe

iStock_000002827290LargeAlpine Bank and Paper Recovery Service Corporation, a secure shredding solutions company, are partnering together again to hold Alpine Bank’s annual fall Community Shred Day on Saturday, September 12, 2015, from 9 a.m. to Noon in the parking lot of Alpine Bank’s Roscoe Branch at 5023 Rockrose Court, in Roscoe. This will be the first time since 2011 that  Alpine Bank has held a shred day at this location.

Alpine Bank Community Shred Day is a FREE event open to the entire community. Attendees will be able to drop off their documents at the “shredding drive-thru” and watch Paper Recover shred them during the event on site free of charge – all without leaving the comforts of their vehicle.

People are invited to bring a maximum of 2 boxes of the following materials to be shredded: clean paper of any color, file folders of any color, papers containing staples, paper clips, rubber bands, and/or small binders. Materials that cannot be shredded include: trash, cardboard, telephone books, hardcover books, hanging folders, 3-ring binders, lever-arch binders, and any plastics, including computer disks, CDs, DVDs, VCR tapes, ID badges, x-rays, transparencies, etc.

Nearly 9 million people are affected by identity theft each year.  According to the FTC, “Identity theft is a serious crime. It can disrupt your finances, credit history, and reputation, and take time, money, and patience to resolve.”  With over 4 million tons of junk mail received by Americans each year, there are millions of documents which contain your personal information.  In addition, most Americans still receive paper documents for bank accounts, utility bills, credit cards, etc.  When these documents are discarded, the risk of having your information stolen by a “dumpster diver” drastically increases.  By taking steps, such as shredding to protect yourself, you can potentially lessen this threat.

Alpine Bank hosts two Community Shred Days each year – one in the spring and one in the fall.

For more information about protecting your self from identity theft, visit https://www.bankalpine.com/security-privacy.

About Paper Recovery Service Corporation
Based in Loves Park, IL, Paper Recovery Service Corporation provides solutions from secure document destruction to recycling for businesses in manufacturing, retail, or professional services.

Protecting Yourself While Traveling with Debit & Credit Cards

Practicing safe debit and credit card habits can help protect you and your family from theft and fraud while on vacation.

Practicing safe debit and credit card habits can help protect you and your family from theft and fraud while on vacation.


Summer is a popular time to take a vacation and travel to new places.  Since traveler’s checks have become a thing of the past, the easiest way to bring cash on your vacation is by using a credit or debit card.  Although using plastic is more convenient while on your vacation, the risk of theft or loss can often be greater.

Whether you are traveling a few hours away or planning a major trip through Europe, Alpine Bank wants you to know how to travel safely with your credit and debit cards.

  • Contact your bank before you leave to let them know you will be traveling with your credit or debit card.  It is important to include where you will be going as well as how long.  If you don’t let us know this information, we may suspect the activity on your account is theft, not you having fun on your vacation!
  • Always keep your credit/debit card in a safe compartment. Whether you are staying within the country or going overseas, always keep your card in a secure bag or wallet.  Invest in a quality bag/wallet that can be zipped shut, or a front pocket wallet for extra protection against pickpockets.
  • Set up a travel specific account with your bank.  It might be beneficial to have a special travel card set up to a separate travel account, in case of an unfortunate theft or loss while on vacation.  A travel account would minimize your risk of total loss.

While on vacation, you should be relaxing and having fun!  Properly preparing your credit/debit cards will help you have the vacation that you deserve this summer.  As always, Alpine Bank is here for you if you have any more questions about traveling safely with credit and debit cards.

Feel free to give us a call or stop in any time!


Alpine Bank

Member FDIC

Equal Housing Lender

Alpine Bank Announces Junior Golfers for Pro-Am Foursome

Playing golf, ball on tee and golf club. Vintage, retro styleAlpine Bank has selected four up and coming golfers to play in the Alpine Bank foursome at this year’s Rockford Pro-Am on Monday, July 13, 2015. Alpine Bank is pleased to announce that its foursome will include: Adam Norwood, Jesse Slattery, Harrison Engelbrecht, and Carson Racich.

Alpine Bank returns this year as a prime sponsor of the Rockford Pro-Am. The bank is choosing to fill its foursome with young, aspiring golfers, giving them the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play in such a prestigious event alongside golf professionals. In April of this year, the bank extended a special invitation to young golfers to apply to play in the Alpine Bank foursome. The application process involved an application where applicants noted their golf skill/ability, extracurricular activities and a personal statement explaining how playing at the Rockford Pro-Am would benefit them. In addition, each applicant was asked to submit a one-page letter of recommendation from a non-family member (i.e. coach, teacher, mentor, etc.). Fifteen junior golfers from the area applied to play. A selection committee reviewed the applications.

“I would like to thank all of the young golfers who applied.  There skill levels were very impressive and any one of them would’ve made a great addition to our team.” said Matt Roegner, executive vice president of Alpine Bank.

In the coming weeks, Alpine Bank will choose the PGA Pro Golfer who will play alongside these talented individuals.  Last year’s foursome, with Kenny Perry, took first place in the tournament, marking the first time our foursome has taken that honor.

Alpine Bank will be hosting a special luncheon for the foursome players, as a special thank you and to become acquainted with one another.  Following the luncheon, the players will be treated to a round of golf at Rockford Country Club.

About Rockford Pro-Am 
Beginning in 1977, The Rockford Pro-Am is the nation’s longest-running, free-standing pro-am not associated with a professional tournament. This year it will be held at Rockford Country Club on Monday, July 13, 2015, and will feature amateur foursomes paired with professional golfers. The foursomes play in a best-ball handicapped format, while the pros keep straight 18-hole scores. Cost is $10 and tickets are available at the gate. For more information, visit www.therockfordproam.com.

About Alpine Bank
Alpine Bank is a locally owned financial institution serving Winnebago, Boone, and DeKalb counties with a total of 15 locations in Rockford, Belvidere, Cherry Valley, Kirkland, Loves Park, Machesney Park, and Roscoe, Illinois. Founded in 1908, Alpine Bank offers a variety of financial products and services for consumers, small businesses, agricultural businesses and commercial companies and provides investment and financial services through Alpine Trust & Investment Group. Alpine Bank is committed to being a bank you can actually like. For more information, visit www.bankalpine.com.

Creating Your First Budget

Organizing your finances as early as possible can help you begin to build wealth and avoid debt.

Organizing your finances as early as possible can help you begin to build wealth and avoid debt.


So, you’ve graduated college, got the job, and now have a steady income.  Congrats! For many, setting up bank accounts, starting for retirement, and investing can seem like the most confusing thing in the world.  However, it is very important to start learning how to spend your money BEFORE you even have it.  In other words, create a budget!

Don’t worry, Alpine Bank is here to help you get started.  Here are a few things to keep in mind when creating that first budget.

  1. Find out where your money is currently going. Identify your income and what you have to spend, identify what you currently spend your income on, and identify what you needto spend your income on.  This may take you a while to figure out and can get frustrating, but stick with it. Thankfully, there are many checklists out there that can help you easily organize this part of the budget.
  2. Evaluate your long-term financial goals and big purchases that are soon to come.  Retirement is huge here!  Although that is years away, the sooner you start saving the more time it has to grow.  Also, are you planning on buying a house within the next 10 years? Want a new car? This is where you can start saving and planning for big purchases and invest in your long term goals.
  3. Create an emergency fund.  An emergency fund can help cushion the blow for those unexpected events that tend to happen.  Car repairs and home repairs can be unexpected costs that an emergency fund can help cover.  An Alpine Bank representative can also help to get your emergency account set up.
  4. Stay on Track!  It will be difficult at first.  Learning to stay on a budget is hard work, but it will help you to reach your financial goals and be in control of your money.  Keep this in mind: if you do the things you need to do when you need to do them, then later you can do the things you want to do when you want to do them.

Many households in the United States spend more than they even make and create bad financial habits.  Don’t let this be you!  Alpine Bank can help your manage your money by setting up the new accounts you may need.  Don’t wait any longer, stop in today!


Alpine Bank

Member FDIC

Equal Housing Lender

How to Save Money While You Move

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Moving to a new home is an exciting time! Whether you are going through a career change, personal life change or just want to try something new, there are big changes ahead. Moving can also be expensive. We aren’t just talking about the mortgage or insurance, but the expenses of physically moving can really add up, especially when you have a lot of possession accumulated. Alpine Bank has some strategies that you can use to cut back on costs:

De-clutter: The time before a big move is the perfect time to go through your stuff and figure out what you need to keep and what can be sold. When selling items, Craigslist is a good place to sell larger items. eBay is more powerful for small or collector’s items. Yard sales and consignment shops are also great ways to get rid of larger bulk items like clothes and furniture.

Avoid hiring movers: Moving services can be expensive. Instead of dropping cash on movers, look into what you would need to move on your own. Do you have friends who would be willing to help for a day? Treating some friends to dinner after loading up a rental truck is a much cheaper option than paying someone to load the truck for you.

Strategize utility and service shutoffs: Many utilities require you to pay for a full month’s services at a time. If one of the services isn’t essential, cut it off before you leave rather than after so you aren’t pay for something that you aren’t using. This means you need to plan ahead and contact your service companies more than a month before your move-out date.

Be smart about finding moving boxes: As soon as you decide to move, start saving any cardboard boxes and packing materials that you can get your hands on. There are several places in your community, such as liquor stores, bookstores and grocery stores that will usually have free boxes laying around.

Moving is a stressful time and you may not have the time to use all of these strategies. But getting organized and planning ahead could help you save a bundle of money and your sanity. For more tips about the housing market, saving money and more, talk to a friendly staff member at Alpine Bank.

Money Advice for High School Graduates

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A large number of American students graduate from high school without knowing the basics of managing their money wisely. Their first step is often to take on a student loan to pay for college without understanding the scope of that debt. Whether your graduate plans to attend college, enter the working world, travel or join the military, all young people should know these basic personal finance rules.

Track your spending – Too often, people will spend mindlessly as long as there is money in their account. However, these are usually the people that can’t pay their bills at the end of the month. Keeping track of where you spend your money allows you to understand where you money has gone and where you can cut back.

Create a budget – Once you know where your money is going, creating a budget will help you designate where you want it to go. If you make a reasonable budget and stick to it, you won’t have to worry about not having enough money at the end of the month.

Earn compound interest – When you start to save or invest money, it earns interest. That interest can earn interest as well over time. This is why it is a good idea to start saving as soon as you can. Even if you can only save $5 or $10 a week, that money will add up over time.

Use cash – Research has shown that we are more careful with our money when we are handing over card than when we swipe a credit or debit card. If you do choose to use credit, never spend more on that card than what you can pay off at the end of the month. That will get you into even more problems with debt in the future.

If your child just graduated from high school, teach them what you can about what it means to manage money wisely. For help starting up a checking account, savings account, Online Banking or another financial tool, talk to Alpine Bank.

Alpine Bank Adds 55,000 Surcharge-Free ATMs

Allpoint-GrnYel-cmykAlpine Bank has joined Allpoint Network, which means Alpine Bank customers now have access to America’s largest surcharge-free ATM network, with some 55,000 surcharge-free ATMs worldwide.Allpoint Network is an affiliate of Cardtronics, Inc. (NASDAQ: CATM), the world’s largest retail ATM owner.

In addition to Alpine’s branch locations and ATMs, with Allpoint Network, our customers will never be far away from surcharge-free ATM access to their cash, especially in the United States where Allpoint offers 43,000 cash machines in places they’re already visiting as part of their daily routine. Conveniently located in destination retail outlets including major discount retailers, convenience, grocery and pharmacy stores, Allpoint Network ATMs save customers of Alpine Bank time as well as ATM fees.

“By becoming an Allpoint Network member, in an instant Alpine Bank grows its surcharge-free ATM locations to more than double that of even some of the largest banks,” said John Vanderheyden, executive vice president of Operations for Alpine Bank.  “People want a financial service provider that delivers the most convenient account access and management options, and that includes access to their cash.  With Allpoint, we can meet that need.”

How to find Allpoint NetworkAlpine Bank customers looking for the nearest surcharge-free Allpoint ATM—including 12,000 locations in Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, the United Kingdom, Australia—can do so with their smartphone using the free Allpoint Network ATM locator app. And once at the store hosting an Allpoint ATM, look for the green Allpoint logo.

Allpoint Network resources:

About Allpoint

Allpoint Network is the largest surcharge-free ATM network with more than 55,000 ATMs in leading national and regional merchant locations across the United States, Canada, Mexico, United Kingdom and Australia.  Allpoint provides greater access, convenience and savings to customers of financial institutions while providing institutions the tools to compete more effectively for customers. For more information or to find the nearest Allpoint surcharge-free ATM, please visit www.AllpointNetwork.com, like us on Facebook and follow @Allpoint on Twitter. Allpoint Network is an affiliate of Cardtronics, Inc. (NASDAQ: CATM)