Many people make their resolutions for self-improvement in the new year. While the most popular resolutions tend to focus on physical health, the start of a new year is also a perfect time to prioritize your financial wellness.
Ready to get started? Read on.
1. Make a Budget and Stick to it.
Budgeting is one of most effective ways to manage your money. Creating and monitoring a budget allows you to track your expenses, adapt to changes, and achieve your financial milestones. Budgeting can also help you save for emergencies and plan for the long run – including retirement.
Use our online budget building tool to break your budget down into simple, easy steps and get started:Budgeting Tool
2. Build Your Emergency Savings.
Unexpected expenses happen more often than we like to think. According to a 2018 Bankrate study, more than half of Americans are not financially prepared to cover the costs that come with emergencies, such as illness, job loss, or even home and auto repairs.
Get more information on the immediate steps you can take this year to start and grow your savings here: Emergency Savings Module
3. Plan for Your Retirement Now.
Less than half of Americans take the steps needed to set themselves up for a secure retirement. While saving for the future is easy to put off in favor of more immediate needs, the earlier you start, the more opportunity you’ll have to grow your savings over time.
There’s no better time than now to start planning for retirement. Learn about options, like IRAs and 401(k) plans, with our free retirement education here:Retirement module
4. Get Ahead of Your Taxes.
Taxes are confusing, and many people get bogged down by complex terms and lengthy paperwork. However, your taxes don’t need to be a source of anxiety. In fact, getting ahead of your taxes can reap many benefits, including lowering stress and having early access to a refund for year-long planning.
Make filing your taxes a breeze with tips from our five-minute interactive learning module here:Taxes Module
5. Take Control of Your Credit.
Your credit score can have significant impacts on your financial security and flexibility. Many people have never had the opportunity to learn what a credit score is, what factors impact a credit score, and what actions they can take to make sure their score is healthy.
Take a few minutes to understand the factors that impact your credit score and you’ll be well on your way to building a more secure financial future here:Credit Score module
Access our entire library of financial education topics here.
This article was developed in part by EVERFI, Inc., a resource of Bank Five Nine.
Have a financial question? Ask us! We will compile the financial questions we receive, big and small, into a blog to be posted on Fridays. Feel your question is silly? No question is silly, but no worries, you’ll remain anonymous.
There are so many credit cards out there. How do I choose the right one?
There are a lot of credit cards available to you. It is important that you apply for a card that offers you the best overall value. Look closely at the differences and don’t be afraid to ask around. Along with your spending habits, consider looking at the following when comparing cards:
Minimum Payment Requirement
Annual Percentage Rate (APR): This is the cost of borrowing on the card, if you don’t pay the whole balance off each month
Fees and Penalties
Credit Limit (This is the amount of money that the credit card issuer is willing to let you borrow)
Different credit cards offer different benefits, like:
Travel Rewards: Some cards contribute frequent flyer points for every dollar you spend.
Cashback Rewards: Instantly save a certain percentage off every purchase in the form of cash back at the end of the month.
Other Perks: Many credit cards offer other valuable benefits like extended warranties, reduced prices on car rentals, special bonus categories for extra points/cashback, and more.
What is a cashier’s check and what are they used for? A cashier’s check is a check drawn from a bank’s funds and signed by a cashier or teller. The most important difference from a regular check is that the bank guarantees its payment, not the check purchaser. Cashiers confirm that the purchaser has cleared funds in his or her account before issuing a cashier’s check. Cashier’s checks are best for large purchases, such as a house sale or car, or when you are unable to use your debit or credit card. When you receive one of these checks from a bank, all parties can be confident that the transaction is secure and the risk of theft or fraud is minimal. When getting a cashier’s check you’ll want to:
Have the exact amount and recipient’s name ready before requesting the check – you can’t get a blank cashier’s check.
If you’re using a bank where you have an account, make sure you have sufficient funds in your account to cover the amount of the check and any fees.
Visit your nearby branch and request the check from a teller.
Pay the check amount plus any applicable fee.
Can you please explain a bit about a credit score? Credit Scores are numbers that are roughly between 300 and 850, that measure your “creditworthiness”. Your credit score number is used to help determine whether you qualify for a particular credit card, loan, or service. There are many benefits of having a good credit score, like enjoying a lower interest rate on your credit cards and loans. There is no secret formula to building a strong credit score, but there are some guidelines that can help.
Pay your loans on time, every time. One way to make sure your payments are on time is to set up automatic payments, or set up electronic reminders.
A long credit history will help your score. Credit scores are based on experience over time. The more experience your credit report shows with paying your loans on time, the more information there is to determine whether you are a good credit recipient.
Only apply for credit that you need.
Don’t get close to your credit limit. Try to keep your balances low compared to your total credit limit. Paying off the balance each month helps get you the best scores.
What is credit? Why does it matter? And how do you find out if yours is good or needs improvement? These are all really good questions to ask as your credit helps different companies determine whether or not they will lend to you. Poor credit may affect everything from credit cards, car loans and apartment rentals, to school loans, and buying your own home.
Your credit-worthiness is determined by your credit score; a 3 digit number calculated by five different categories of information in your credit report, including:
Length of credit history
This 3 digit number helps creditors and lenders determine whether or not they think you’ll repay the loan you’re asking for. Let’s take a closer look at the categories that make up your credit score.
Payment history is by far the most important factor of your credit report. It’s essential to pay your bills on time, every single time. Any late payment is going to have a significant effect on credit scores. Your payment history accounts for about 35% of a credit score. 1
Utilization, which is the balance-to-limit ratio on your credit cards, is the second most important criteria. You never want a balance to be higher than 30% of the credit limit on a single credit card or in total. To determine your utilization rate, add up all of your balances and all of your credit limits and divide the total of your balances by the total of your limits. That percentage should not be more than 30% as a maximum. It has been found that the people with the best credit scores have zero late payments and utilization rates of less than 10%. Your utilization rate accounts for about 30% of your credit score. 1
Length of credit history, which is based on the length of time each account has been open and your credit mix, which is the different kinds of accounts you have including mortgage, credit cards, auto loans, etc… Having a variety of credit types can increase your score slightly, but you should not apply for a number of accounts all at once to try to improve this element. Doing so will do more harm than good.1
Recent activity looks at how much credit you’ve received or applied for in recent months. Specifically, it will look at if you have applied for new credit in the past 3 – 6 months, new inquiries, and whether you are paying off accounts or taking on more debt. 1
Overall capacity, such as how much installment debt you currently have outstanding. 1
While different creditors and lenders have their own standards for rating credit scores, generally, a score of 700 or higher is considered good.
As it pertains to a mortgage, which may be the biggest purchase you ever make using a loan, having a good credit score may mean the difference between getting approved or denied. Even if you have a credit score that qualifies for the lender, a better credit score means less potential risk to that lender, and they can offer you a better interest rate. With a better interest rate, you may be able to qualify for a higher loan amount. To qualify for the best possible rate, your score should be in the mid-700s or higher. But keep in mind, your credit score is just part of what lenders look at for determining your credit-worthiness. Even with an acceptable credit score, your credit report will be reviewed for items such as bankruptcy, foreclosure and other derogatory credit items.
Which brings us to credit reports. It’s a good idea to review your credit report on an annual basis, making sure the information is accurate, complete, and up-to-date, especially before you apply for a loan. Reviewing your report also helps guard against identity theft. Identity thieves may use your information to open a new credit card account in your name. When they don’t pay the bills, the delinquent account is reported on your credit report, potentially affecting your ability to get credit, insurance, or even a job. 2
The good news is that the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires each of the nationwide credit reporting companies – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion – to provide you with a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months. To order your free report, visit annualcreditreport.com, call (877) 322-8228, or complete the Annual Credit Report Request Form and mail it to the address found on the form. 2
If you find inaccuracies or errors, be sure to tell the credit reporting company, in writing, what information you think is inaccurate. Credit reporting companies must investigate the items in question – usually within 30 days. When the investigation is complete, the credit reporting company must give you the written results and a free copy of your report if the dispute results in a change. 2
All-in-all, your credit score is a very important piece, used throughout your life to obtain many of the larger items purchased during different life stages. If you find that your credit score could use a little improving, consider these five ways to help: 3
Make sure your credit reports are accurate
Fix any late payments
Clear up any collection accounts
Limit credit applications
Consider getting a credit card and pay the balance each month to build good credit
If you’re interested in obtaining a loan, or have questions regarding your credit as it relates to a loan, Bank Five Nine is happy to help! Give us a call at (888) 569-9909, visit your nearest branch location, or find a lender near you.
Finalizing your mortgage is perhaps the most crucial step in the home-buying process. It’s important to be prepared by creating a pre-closing checklist for home buyers and a closing checklist for buyers, so you know what to expect. The lenders here at Bank Five Nine have decades of experience and serve as your trusted advisor throughout the entire process. Our goal is to ensure that you feel completely comfortable with each step. Here is what to expect for a closing checklist:
Immediately Upon Acceptance of the Final Contract:
Provide your lender with a copy of the contract and earnest money receipt.
Discuss your interest rate locking options.
It’s important to be pre-qualified before you start looking for a home because typically you have only five days from the date of the contract to apply for the mortgage loan. It is crucial to provide your loan officer with all the supporting documents they request as soon as possible to alleviate a delay in closing.
Your lender is federally mandated to provide you with your Loan Estimate and other related disclosures within three business days of receiving your mortgage application and property address. The Loan Estimate lays out important information about the loan you applied for, including the estimated interest rate, monthly payment, and total closing costs for the loan.
If you have agreed with your lender to accept your Loan Estimate electronically and e-sign it by email, this is the quickest and most efficient way to receive them.
Regardless of how you receive the Loan Estimate and disclosures, it is crucial you view and sign them immediately after receiving them.
Order a home inspection if it is written in your contract.
Determine if you would like a radon inspection and order it from the home inspector.
During the Home Inspection:
Take any measurements for furniture, window
treatments, appliances, etc., that you may need.
Take any photos of the house, if desired.
Ask the home inspector any questions you may have concerning the home’s condition or construction.
One to Two Weeks Following the Acceptance Date of the Final Contract:
Have your real estate agent create a list of items, noted by the home inspector, that you request the seller to remedy.
Reserve a moving truck or schedule a moving service, keeping in mind that they tend to get booked up toward the end of the month.
Notify your lender to order an appraisal if your home inspection is satisfactory to you. Typically we will not order an appraisal until after you have viewed the home inspection.
Two Weeks Before Closing:
Contact your insurance company to purchase a homeowner’s insurance policy for your new home. Your lender will need an insurance binder from your insurance company 10 days before closing.
Check in with your lender to determine if they need any additional information from you.
Get a change of address package from the U.S. Postal Service and begin the change of address notification process. Arrange for a change of address with all of your financial accounts directly, and contact your utility, telephone, internet, cable, and/or satellite companies about a switch or termination.
One Week Before Closing:
If you haven’t already heard from your lender, touch base with them to ensure that your closing date is on schedule and confirm the time and location.
Request the certified funds you’ll need for closing from the appropriate financial institutions. Some funds, such as stocks and home equity loans, take three days to clear your bank account.
Make certain that your homeowner’s insurance agent provided your lender with the appropriate insurance documents.
Three Days Before Closing:
If applicable, verify that any required repair items in the inspection amendment have been addressed.
Your lender is federally mandated to provide you with your Closing Disclosure at least three business days before closing. The Closing Disclosure lists the final terms of your loan, final closing costs, and the details of who pays and who receives money at closing. Review your Closing Disclosure for accuracy to ensure you completely understand the figures and to verify you are receiving any contracted credits from the buyer.
Day Before Closing:
At this time, you also can request to see your entire closing package. While your lender will review each document in your closing package with you during the closing, you may want to request the closing package in advance if you prefer to read each document in detail.
Conduct a walk-through of your new home with your real estate agent to verify that the condition of the house is the same as when it was placed under contract.
Double-check that inspection items have been addressed.
Receive your certified funds for closing. Remember, personal checks are not accepted.
Day of Closing:
Bring a photo ID for each mortgage holder.
Bring your certified funds.
Bring any additional documents your lender may have requested.
A Closing Checklist for Buyers on the Day-of:
Plan on your closing lasting approximately one hour. First, you will review your loan documents with your loan officer. Your lender will counsel you on each document and answer any questions you may have. Your real estate agent does not need to be present while you review your personal financial information unless you specifically request him or her to be there. After reviewing the loan documents, you may be joined by the sellers and any real estate agents. At this point, you will be signing documents pertaining to the purchase of the property. This is also the time to ask the seller any questions about the property that haven’t already been answered. The seller also will provide you with keys and garage door openers to your new home. Many people choose to have the locks to the house replaced or re-keyed for security.
If you’re in the process of purchasing or refinancing a home, or even just in the research stage, you’ve probably heard the term ‘closing costs’ more than once. Closing costs are a necessary part of any mortgage loan transaction. However, not everyone knows what they’re comprised of, why they exist, or how they work. Before we dive in, there are a few terms we’ll reference that we’ve defined below:
Lender – the financial institution you would borrow money from to purchase your home. Example: Bank Five Nine
Borrower – you, the person/people who are borrowing the money to purchase your home.
Purchase Transaction – when you are purchasing the home/taking out a mortgage loan from your financial institution.
Refinance Transaction – when you are refinancing an existing loan on an existing property, through your financial institution.
Here are some things you should know.
Who pays more closing costs, buyer or seller?
The term “closing costs” encompasses a variety of fees and expenses that must be paid before a borrower can officially close on their mortgage loan. Some of these costs include title-related fees, government fees, mortgage insurance, and property-related fees, to name a few. Below is a breakdown of who pays more closing costs, buyer or seller, and what the expenses may include.
Title related fees:
Lender’s Title Insurance – protects the lender in case a problem with the title of the property arises.
Title Endorsements – additional coverage for the Lender’s Title Insurance that can vary by property state, mortgage product, and by property type.
Owner’s Title Insurance – ensures that the borrower has rightfully become the owner of the property; protecting the borrower.
Attorney Fee – in certain states, an attorney may be used to conduct the loan closing. In other states, a borrower may choose the option of hiring an attorney for peace of mind that the transaction is done correctly.
Other title fees vary by state and may include a title search fee, closing protection letter, wire fee, and courier fee, to name a few.
Recording Fees – fees charged by the county to record the mortgage document. If it’s a purchase transaction, there will be a recording fee on the deed.
Transfer Taxes and State Taxes – depending on the state, there can be transfer taxes on a purchase transaction. Some states charge a tax based on the amount of the mortgage for both purchases and refinances.
If you’re using certain government products or certain conventional loans with less than 20% down payment/equity, the loan may require mortgage insurance. This could be an up-front and/or monthly fee.
Appraisal Fee – is required on nearly all loans.
Pest Inspection – in certain states, a pest inspection may be required.
Flood Determination – confirmation as to whether a property is in a federally declared flood zone.
If property taxes are going to be due, the lender may require they be paid at the time of loan closing. Homeowners insurance is a requirement, and again may be required to be paid at closing if not already obtained. Flood insurance is required if the property is in a flood zone. Prepaid interest will also be likely – Example: If the loan is closing on April 15th, and the first payment is due on June 1st, the extra 15 days of interest will be paid at closing.
Depending on the loan program, an escrow account for insurance and taxes may be required.
What is an escrow account? Established by the mortgage lender, it is a banking account meant to hold the money for the borrower’s property taxes and insurance payments.
Depending on when the insurance or taxes will be due, an amount will likely be collected at closing to make sure those items will be paid from the escrow account when the time has come.
Lenders may charge additional flat fees such as processing, administration, and origination fees.
Discount Points – depending on the rate the borrower chooses, the borrower could be charged a fee in order to select a reduced interest rate.
How are closing costs factored into a loan closing?
These fees are typically paid at closing on a purchase transaction. Some lenders may require certain fees to be paid prior to closing, such as an appraisal fee. Typically, you wouldn’t see closing costs figured into your loan as part of your regular mortgage payment, however, on refinance transactions, and certain government up-front mortgage insurance, costs can be included in the loan, resulting in a higher loan amount and higher payment.
Who typically pays more closing costs, buyer or seller in the final closing costs?
On refinance transactions, the borrower pays the costs. On purchase transactions, the fees are mostly paid by the borrower. But in certain states, the seller may traditionally pay certain fees. For example, in Wisconsin, transfer taxes and owner’s title policy are typically paid by the seller. Depending on what is agreed between the seller and buyer, the seller may give credit towards closing costs.
Will the location of my new house affect what I pay in closing costs?
Yes, depending on the location, certain fees may be higher. A Florida homeowner’s insurance policy may be higher than a Wisconsin insurance policy due to the threat of hurricanes. Lender’s and owner’s title policy costs vary by state. Closing fees can vary within a state as well, for example, metro Chicago closing fees are much higher than those in a rural area of Illinois.
Do I have to pay closing costs if I refinance my existing loan?
Typically yes. Another appraisal will be needed to ensure the value remains. The lender’s title policy is needed again to ensure no additional liens were put on the property. Certain fees such as transfer taxes would not apply though.
Are the fees set in stone?
Most fees aren’t something the borrower can negotiate. However, title-related fees are “shoppable”, meaning the borrower is allowed to determine who will provide services like the title and closing, which may result in a lower fee depending on what organizations are chosen.
If you would like more information about who pays more closing costs, buyer or seller, or would like to talk to a Mortgage Lender about a loan, please visit bankfivenine.com/mortgage.
Several one-off expenses are involved in buying and moving into a new home. When you’re thinking about fees associated with buying a house, make sure you plan for these:
Home inspection: A home inspector will do a visual inspection of the dwelling to identify any defects in the home.
Closing costs: Closing costs are expenses over and above the price of the property in a real estate transaction. Costs incurred include loan origination fees, discount points, appraisal fees, title searches, title insurance, surveys, taxes, deed recording fees, and credit report charges.
Homeowners insurance: Homeowners insurance is a form of property insurance designed to protect an individual’s home against damages to the house itself, or to possessions in the home. Homeowners’ insurance also provides liability coverage against accidents in the home or on the property.
Extra furniture or appliances
Origination fee: This is a fee charged by a lender on entering into a loan agreement to cover the cost of processing the loan.
PMI: Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) Insurance is required to be paid for by the borrower to protect the lender in the event payments are not made on time; most often required when the loan amount exceeds 80% of the purchase price.
Title insurance: Title insurance is an insurance policy that covers the loss of ownership interest in a property due to legal defects and is required if the property is under the mortgage.
Recording fees: The fee charged by a government agency for registering or recording a real estate purchase or sale, so that it becomes a matter of public record. Recording fees are generally charged by the county since it maintains records of all property purchases and sales.
Appraisal fee: A home appraisal is an estimate of a property’s value. Mortgage lenders require an appraisal on your home before they’ll provide a loan for the simple reason that the property is the underlying asset that serves as collateral for the loan. Paying for the appraiser falls on the shoulders of the home buyer.
Purchasing a home is probably one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever make. There is a lot to consider and often a lot of questions you would like answered including where to start. You can start with Bank Five Nine and our local lenders to learn about all the fees associated with buying a house. They’ll be able to walk you through the process, look at your unique situation and form a recommendation, in addition to offering a free pre-approval or second opinion. Not everyone has thousands of dollars hidden in their mattress for a rainy day. If you’re one of the millions who don’t, Bank Five Nine has lending options for you. Click here to learn more about our mortgage lending.
There are several financial activities can change your approval for a mortgage, and some that may even disqualify you. Here are ten things that could negatively affect your application for credit.
Making expensive purchases. Buying a new car, furniture, appliances or opening a new charge account adds additional payment liability and could impact the loan qualification.
Getting a new job or reducing your hours. A job change may be okay but work closely with your loan officer to review changes prior to making a move. A reduction in hours causes a concern about income.
Switching banks or transferring money. To eliminate potential fraud, most lenders require a thorough paper trail to document the source of all funds.
Disregarding your lender’s requests for information. Lenders need copies of bank statements, W-2s, pay stubs, and other paperwork in a timely manner.
Not making timely payments on credit card, installment or utility bills. The credit report has an expiration of 90 – 120 days depending on the loan program. A new credit report may be needed prior to the closing of your loan.
Neglecting to list a debt or other significant item on the application. A review of income documents will often reflect other obligations such as child support or business expenses.
Starting any new legal proceedings. Divorce, being a party to a lawsuit, new judgments and filing for bankruptcy are all found on court records and will be noted in the title insurance policy.
Co-signing a loan for anyone. A recently co-signed loan may be calculated as part of your monthly debts and could impact loan qualification.
Making large deposits to accounts if the money cannot be tracked on paper. Undocumented money can cause the whole account to become unusable for the transaction.
Spending the money needed for closing prior to closing. Many times updated balances are requested on loans.
Before you make any purchases or employment changes, talk to your lender.
With so many different bank accounts available, it’s hard to know which one is best for your particular needs. Here, we’re going to discuss money market accounts and whether they might be a good fit for you.
Let’s start at the beginning. A money market is essentially a savings account with a couple extra perks. It will typically pay a higher interest rate than the average savings account, and you have the ability to write checks from it. So, not only is your money earning more interest, but it’s more easily accessible as well. A money market will generally require a higher minimum balance than your average savings account, so if you don’t have at least a couple grand to put away, this might not be the best savings plan for you.
When you compare a money market to a Certificate of Deposit (CD), you can expect to earn less interest than a CD, but again, your money market will offer you more liquidity.
Typically, money market accounts work best for customers that carry larger balances that need to remain liquid. Each customer is different, and everyone has their own needs, so meeting with your banker to understand your need for liquidity vs. your desire for higher returns is important in order to make the right decision for your money.
Bank Five Nine offers a variety of savings and money market options to help your money grow.
Throughout the month of April, Bank Five Nine employees celebrated Community Banking Month and Power of Community Week by “paying it forward” to local citizens and organizations in the communities we serve! From donating time and supplies to local animal shelters, surprising customers with free lunch, filling community members gas tanks, buying coffee for patrons of a community coffee shop, providing meals to local fire and police departments, to delivering flowers and small surprises to hospital patients and staff, Bank Five Nine had a lot of fun demonstrating the commitment we have to our communities through many random acts of kindness! If you have a moment, we would encourage you to scroll through the photos and read some of the fun things Bank Five Nine did (maybe even get a few ideas yourself to do a random act of kindness!)
To see all of the photos from this year’s Random Act of Kindness, visit our Facebook Album here!
Branch: Brookfield East
Delivered breakfast to Dixon Elementary School and headed to Piggly Wiggly to help out people in the community with their grocery shopping by handing out $10 gift cards.
Volunteered at the Elmbrook Humane Society and bringing treats and other various needs for the shelter.
Bought flowers from a small local flower shop (Barb and Dick’s Wildflower Shop) and bringing them to residents within the Congregational Assistance Living Center.
Brought fruit baskets and/or other snacks to both Bruk Enterprises & Burleigh Road Animal Shelter.
Branch: Brookfield West
Headed to the Movie Theatre to pay for movie tickets for customers and subs for customers at the local Subway.
Headed to Mitchell Dog Park and Loaf & Jug to hand out gift cards to the Dog Walkers and customers.
Headed to Circle B Bowling and bought pizza for bowlers.
Headed to Big Brothers Big Sisters, dropping off caramel apples to the staff.
Headed to Subway in Grafton giving out $5 gift cards to Subway customers.
Handed out $10 bills for free car washes at the Citco Gas Station in Grafton.
Purchased and delivered much needed supplies to the Humane Society.
Delivered $15 Meijer gift certificates to Family Sharing to supplement the grocery needs of Family Sharing clients.
Provided Dog Treats (organic and all natural – from our customer Fresh is Best) to Dr. Noah’s Vet Clinic
Provided breakfast to the teachers and staff of Dominican High School
Provided popcorn and snacks to both the the Whitefish Bay Police Department and the Glendale Police Department. Popcorn was from “What’s Poppin”.
Headed to their local senior center to deliver a Keurig and a variety of k cups that they have been wanting.
Visited the Washington Country Humane Society and donated puppy and kitten food and much needed bags of cat litter.
Visited The Jackson Boys and Girls Club and donated some much needed sports equipment and new Wii remotes and a Playstation consol.
Headed to the Kwik Trip in Germantown to pass out $5.00 gas cards to lucky customers.
Stopped in at the Hartford Fire and Rescue Department with pizza, breadsticks and soda to treat the amazing men and women that serve the community.
Handed out $5 gift cards and Bank Five Nine reusable bags at Fox Brothers Piggly Wiggly.
Walked dogs at the Washington County Humane Society.
Headed to the Hartland Police Department to deliver a lunch of Cousins Subs to the staff
Headed to the local coffee shop, Great Coffee Place, to give customers $5 towards their purchase.
Purchased items off the wish list for “Movers for Moms” to donate and are being a drop off site for the event.
Headed to the Hartland Terrace Assisted Living to hand out flowers and a fruit basket to employees and residents.
Branch: Menomonee Falls
Handed out gift cards to customers at Subway and the local movie theatre.
Handing out Just Kilm Time and Point Burger Bar gift cards.
Delivered breakfast for the police and fire department.
Donated books to a local parish.
Donated $75 worth of flowers to the nursing home.
The entire Mequon branch handed out bunches of flowers to local businesses including a hair salon, a nail salon, a veterinary clinic, a waiting room at doctor’s office, and an investment firm.
Handed out money to people seeing movies at Marcus Theaters.
Donated gift baskets to the Mequon police and fire department.
Donated gift baskets to the Village of Thiensville police and fire department employees.
Branch: Oconomowoc Main
Donated hygiene products and other needed items to the Women’s Center.
Provided a Starbucks treat to the employees and to the patients at Azura Memory Care.
Handed out $10.00 gift cards to customers as they are shopping at Books & Company.
Volunteered and serve a meal at the Oconomowoc Senior Center.
Branch: Oconomowoc – Brown Street
Put together volunteer snack baskets and little treat bags along with a $5 Subway Gift Card for adults going to the Food Pantry.
Headed to the Wildlife In Need Center with a basket of Wish List Supplies and a basket of treats for their staff.
Headed to the Town of Oconomowoc Police Department and the Stone Bank Fire Department with assorted stuff animals for them to distribute to kids/seniors in crisis situations while taking the policeman and staff some breakfast to enjoy!
Branch: Oconomowoc – Summit
Bank Five Nine’s Summit branch headed to a local Chocolate Factory and the Whitman Park Shopping Center to hand out $5 gift cards to customers.
Purchased items off Tricia’s Troops wish list to donate.
Branch: West Bend
Headed over to the West Bend movie theater on Tuesday April 10th for their $5 Movie Deal day. Employees paid the movie admission for 25 people who came to enjoy an afternoon movie. Everyone was very appreciative of the gesture and thanked us for being so kind. One of the people even gave an employee a hug saying “thank you so much!”
Donated supplies to Family Promise of Washington County. Family Promise provides children and their families, as well as single women, basic needs and assists them as they seek permanent housing. They were very pleased with the donations and let us know they would be put to good use.
Employees headed over to Regner Park to hand out $5 Stein’s Gift cards to volunteers that were helping to pack and deliver over 500 trees for Arbor Day Celebrations at the Regner Park Pavilion in West Bend. The volunteers were all grateful.
Headed over to the near Starbucks to buy some lucky customers their coffee.
Oconomowoc – Corporate Departments
Bank Five Nine’s Marketing Department headed to Nature Hill Elementary School to take part in a random act of kindness event by delivering juice, donuts, and several hundred dollars in gift cards to a deserving 7th grade classroom and a very thoughtful student.
In December of 2017, Bank Five Nine was introduced to a little boy named Maverick Weimer during their Holi-days of Giving Program. Maverick Weimer suffers from Leukodystrophy, a degenerative brain disease. The Wiemer family’s holiday wish was for funds to help them purchase a wheelchair ramp for the family’s van and to help get the word out about the disease itself. Bank Five Nine was honored to present this family with a check to help with their expenses and help voice their story through video. Maverick’s story spread throughout the community and when a local classroom at Nature Hill Intermediate School heard it, they raised several hundred dollars for the Weimar family by holding a fundraiser. Bank Five Nine was so moved when hearing about what these kids had done for the Weimer family that the bank wanted to recognize them for their kindness and let them know that their generosity was appreciated. Bank Five Nine provided the Nature Hill Intermediate School 7th grade classroom with a $500 Amazon gift card for books as well as a snack of donuts and juice. Down the hall, student Camille learned of Maverick’s story and donated $50 to the family to help with local medical bills. Camille had been given the money by her grandmother to buy a new pair of shoes. Bank Five Nine wanted to reward her for her noteworthy kindness, so Bank Five Nine provided her with a $100 gift card during their visit to the school. The bank hopes she finds a pair of shoes she loves with her gift card.
Bank Five Nine’s Corporate second floor designated our allotted RAoK money, time and energy to those who protect our community and to those undergoing chemotherapy and radiation therapy at ProHealth Care’s Cancer Center in Oconomowoc. Oconomowoc and its surrounding communities are extremely safe places to live, very much due to our outstanding police and fire departments. As a show of appreciation for these individuals and the hard work and danger they face on a daily basis, the second floor bought lunch for both the City of Oconomowoc Police Department and the Station One Fire Department lunch.
A number of our own members of the Bank Five Nine family battled cancer last year; therefore, while brainstorming ways in which we could give back to the community, we immediately thought about the cancer patients at the Cancer Center and the suffering they go through on a daily basis. In hopes of spreading a little cheer, they went out and bought items for care packages for the patients. The care packages contained healthy snack and drink items like granola bars and flavored sparkling water, health products like aloe and lip balm, and other items for facilitating a healthy mind (e.g., Sudoku, crossword puzzles, etc.). A group of Bank Five Nine employees delivered the care packages in person at the Cancer Center to patients in the waiting room and to nurses and staff at the front desk.
Bank Five Nine’s Corporate third floor took the time to collect puzzles and come up with several ideas to touch the community in many wants.Employees collected puzzles and headed over to the local library to deliver them for the community to use.
A few close to those on the third floor, battled Alzheimers within this past year, and having this be cause be close to heart, a group went to the Azura Memory Center and provided activities that are specifically geared towards individuals with Alzheimer’s and dementia.
A group of employees headed over to the dog park and surprised dog owners with treat bags and a $5.00 gift card to Petco.
Employees headed out into the community to hand out random gift cards for Jimmy Johns, Qdoba and Mod Pizza.
The third floor reached out to all of corporate to collect donations for Tricia’s Troops. We helped create bags for cancer patients of items they might need-blanket, mints, puzzle books etc.
To see all of the photos from this year’s Random Act of Kindness, visit our Facebook Album here!