Alpine Bank's Financial News · Vol.4 · No.5 · May 2017
The Importance of a Budget in Wedding Planning
If there is a wedding in your near future, whether it is for you or for your child, it’s time to get excited about planning for the big day. While a wedding is one of the most important days of your life, remember, it is just one day and not worth years of debt. One of the most important first steps in the planning process is to determine is how much you can afford to spend on the big day.
Creating a budget is critically important for planning a wedding and should be done before booking a venue or committing to other major aspects of your nuptials. Since weddings are a multi-billion-dollar industry, there is no shortage of accouterments that money can be spent on for your wedding. The wedding industry has convinced today’s brides and grooms that everything from elaborate invitations, to DJs or bands, favors, a photographer, a wedding dress and countless other accessories are essential for the celebration. According to IBISWorld, as of 2016, $72 billion per year is spent on weddings in the United States. Countless websites devoted to wedding planning have budget functions to help with your plans.
As part of the budget process, it is important to make a list ranking items of the greatest importance to you.
Keep in mind the following:
- It is no longer expected that the bride’s parents handle all of the wedding costs. Most couples contribute financially to their weddings—particularly if they are getting married later in life.
- To determine a realistic overall budget, call local venues to get an idea of average costs.
- Factor unexpected costs into your budget. Consider taking event insurance if you are getting married where weather could be a problem.
- If finances are tight, consider purchasing, or even renting, a previously worn wedding dress. Given the high cost of wedding gowns, coupled with the fact that they are usually used only for one night, buying a new dress may not make sense for your situation.
- Consider a longer engagement if you need more time to save to avoid a loan or significant credit card debt. You don’t want to pay interest charges for credit card debt that will add a significant amount of money to what you’ll ultimately pay overall.
Wealth Management Officer
Products of Alpine Bank's Wealth Management service are not FDIC insured, may lose value, and are not bank guaranteed.
Melissa Matlock has more than six years of experience in the investment field, and prior to joining Alpine Bank Wealth Management, she lived and worked in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. There, Melissa worked extensively in developing financial plans for a diverse group of clients and worked with teams of bankers and business specialists to expand and enhance financial relationships with clients. Melissa has earned several financial certifications including the Series 7 General Securities Representative designation. As a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Science in communication studies, Melissa is serving clients and developing new business in Glenwood Springs and throughout the Roaring Fork Valley.
Financial Literacy for Teens and Beyond
Reconciling Your Bank Statement
At the end of each month, just after you receive your bank statement online or by mail, you should verify that the transactions in your checkbook register match your bank statement. This process is part of reconciling your bank account. Reconciliation means to compare two records: your bank statement and your checkbook register, to ensure the numbers are in agreement and accurate. It is not unusual to forget an entry such as a monthly fee or an ATM fee until you see your bank statement. However, if you overdraw your account even by a small amount, the bank may charge you an overdraft fee. Your bank is your resource if you have questions about reconciling your bank statement. Once you do it a few times, you’ll get the hang of it and have valuable money management skills. Also, if you sign up for online access to your bank account, view your banking activity every day and reconcile your checkbook with your online account information on a regular basis.
(Source: Kirsten Petre McDaniel, I am Financial Knowledge. www.youthentity.org)
SBA Funds Organizations Offering Entrepreneurship Training to Women Veterans and Military Spouses
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) recently announced that it would award as much as $300,000 in Women Veteran Entrepreneurship Training Program grants to three organizations that provide small business development resources to women veterans and military spouses. The funding comes specifically from the SBA's Office of Veterans Business Development.
SBA says each awardee was chosen based on their "demonstrated history of and commitment to" providing training programs and resources to women.
SBA Administrator Linda McMahon, who in February was sworn in, said, “Increasingly, women small business owners are contributing in a major way to the growth of the U.S. economy, and women veterans bring a unique and valued skill set to entrepreneurship. Funding these organizations involved in helping women veterans and military spouses establish successful businesses will go a long way towards securing the future for these women and their families.”
Awardees for the new Women Veteran Entrepreneurship Training Program grants include Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University, Bunker Labs and Lift Fund.
Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University was awarded $135,000 based on its V-WISE program, which is described as "an intensive three-phase program containing a 15-day online preparatory course, a two-day residency program and post-training technical support." It also provides an accelerated version of the course called “IGNITE.”
Bunker Labs was awarded $90,000 for its Entrepreneurial Program for Innovation and Collaboration (EPIC) and "Bunker in a Box." The former is a 14-week training course, where participants meet weekly and have access to “Bunker in a Box," which is an online program.
The Lift Fund, a nonprofit organization that helps small business owners with limited access to capital, secured a $75,000 grant from the SBA. It offers a seven-week course including in-person and online training, covering technical assistance, capital requirements, etc.
The SBA says women veteran-owned small businesses represent a "burgeoning economic powerhouse" in the military small business community, and that as of 2012, women veterans owned 383,302 businesses, generating $17.9 billion in sales.
The number of women veteran-owned small businesses increased by nearly 300 percent over the five years from 2007 to 2012, according to the SBA…even though they represent just 15.2 percent of all veteran-owned businesses.
As long as the SBA continues to provide assistance and focus-specific initiatives on both women-owned businesses and veteran-owned businesses in this country, the numbers should continue to move in the right direction from there. Considering that these are among the first announced grants from the administration under its new leadership, this could be a sign of good things to come.
Wherever You Go, There We Are!
With graduation season upon us, Alpine Bank would like to remind graduates and parents alike that there is no need to switch banks when moving on to the next chapter—even if the new chapter is out of state. With online banking, the Alpine Bank mobile app*, and access to surcharge-free Allpoint® Network ATMs† throughout the U.S., Alpine Bank is wherever you go. Read more.
* Alpine Bank does not charge a fee for using AlpineMobile®; however, your wireless carrier’s standard web access and text message rates may still apply.
† If using any international, non-Allpoint or non-Alpine Bank ATM, the $2.00 ATM fee per withdrawal will still apply as well as any fee charged by the third-party ATM holder.
World Environment Day
Join Alpine Bank in celebrating World Environment Day on June 5 to advocate for a better tomorrow by doing what you can to help preserve our natural environment for our families and our communities. To learn about Alpine Bank’s efforts, please visit alpinebank.com/green-initiative.htm.