Thursday, February 22, 2018

Start Saving During America Saves Week

Anybody that remembers the Great Recession of 2008 can really appreciate our current economy, which seems to be humming along. Unemployment is at a 17 year low and the stock market is shattering records.

Despite these great economic times, we come upon some sobering statistics. Approximately 26% of adults have no savings set aside for emergencies. Another 36% of adults have yet to start saving money for retirement. The overall adult savings rate is 4.4%, a steep decline from the 10% rate in 2012.

The last week of February is “America Saves Week” according to the American Bankers Association. This is an event created to encourage people to automatically save. Below are some ways that you can build a savings habit. 

  • Health Savings Account (“HSA”). Why pays taxes on money that is going towards health expenses? An HSA is an interest bearing, tax deferred account for the purpose of saving for and paying the expenses associated with a High Deductible Health Plan (“HDHP”).
    • A key aspect of an HDHP is your ability to set aside money to be used to pay your deductible or qualified medical expenses. 
    • Contributions to an HSA are tax deductible or, in the case of an employer sponsored plan, made with pre-tax dollars.
    • Withdrawals from an HSA used to pay qualified healthcare deductibles and qualified medical expenses are tax and penalty free.
    • HSA funds that are unused at year end are carried forward into future years. Unused funds can even be used to supplement your retirement income.
  • Minor Savings Accounts. Start your children on the path to saving and financial responsibility while they are young. By providing the financial education and tools for saving now, you're contributing to your children’s financial freedom later. Parents and guardians can open a minor account at MSB with as little as $10.

  • Certificate of Deposits (“CD”). A certificate of deposit is a time deposit with specific terms and Annual Percentage Yield assigned to the length of time money is placed in the CD. This is a financial product commonly sold in the United States and elsewhere by banks, thrift institutions, and credit unions. CDs are similar to savings accounts in that they are insured "money in the bank" and thus virtually risk free.

  • Christmas Club Savings. This is a way to safeguard your money, usually from yourself, so you have enough funds to spend for gifts or even travel during the holidays. This is also a way of shielding yourself from a pile of credit card debt in January.

  • Individual Retirement Accounts ("IRA"). If you’re thinking it is time to start saving for retirement, you want to consider an IRA. An IRA is an account in which you sock away money for your future retirement. Depending on the type of IRA you have, you will either have tax-free or tax-deferred growth. 
At McHenry Savings Bank (“MSB”), we are a full service financial institution with a complete line of automatic saving products. MSB is a FDIC insured financial institution that provides federally backed insurance up to $250,000 per account owner. Your money is secured and insured. MSB has been serving the banking needs of the residents of McHenry County since 1955. We are local people making local decisions. Call us (815) 385-3000 or visit our website at to learn more about saving specials and rates offered.


Wednesday, January 31, 2018

New Year, New Plan - Financial Resolutions for 2018

New Year’s Resolutions are easy to make. Publicly claiming “I will eat more kale” might earn you some brownie points with the health gurus, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll go through with it. Or you could start off the year strong, working out daily, and two weeks later you haven’t given the gym a second thought. So when people say “2018 is the year that I’ll save more money,” what are some actual ways of putting their money where their mouth is?

Financial Resolutions

Determine Your Priorities
Drawing a line between necessary expenses and everything else will help you paint a picture of your savings potential. Sitting down and accounting for your monthly payments matched to your income also allows for a bit of spring cleaning and clarity to then grow from there.

Set Specific Goals
Now that you have an idea of the monthly costs that can’t be changed, it’s time to determine what you’re hoping to accomplish. Resolutions that are specific are typically easier to stick with. “I will save more this year” is great, but “I’d like to put $100 into a savings account each month” is a tangible goal that can then be worked out. 

Target Areas of Change
Just as important as identifying the spending that can’t be changed is identifying the habits that CAN be changed. This could be something as simple as looking at how often you go out for lunch or dinner; if you go out often after work or on the weekends; tiny things like how often you buy coffee vs. how often you make your own. If saving is important, then frivolous spending, no matter how small, should be considered a habit that can be changed to accommodate a new savings strategy.

Find Alternatives
Spending $10/day on lunch and coffee? Make coffee in the morning before you leave, or cook meals at home that can make plenty of servings for work lunches. Tallying up how much you spend on buying lunch each day can quickly add up. Doing this exercise gives you an idea of what you’d save with a packed lunch. Buying an afternoon soda to stay awake? Drink more water and go for a brisk walk to perk you up. 

Have a Buddy System
Have someone keep you accountable for your habits. It could be your significant other, it could be a family member, friend or coworker, but having a second pair of eyes on those unconscious spending habits can help curb a bad habit. 

The above examples are simple suggestions for making changes in your life, but if you are looking for financial advice that you can pair with your New Year’s resolutions, McHenry Savings Bank is here to help. We have been serving the banking needs of the residents of McHenry County since 1955.  Call us (815) 385-3000 or stop in at any of our locations.


Sent 21 hours ago

Thursday, December 28, 2017

The Benefits of Money Markets

When we think about investing, it is common to feel anxiety. People are curious about stocks and bonds but they are also concerned about the risk. Money markets can be a happy medium in putting money somewhere and seeing it grow without high risk and with a great deal of safety.

Money Market

What is a money market?

A money market account is an interest-bearing account that typically pays a higher interest rate than a savings account and which provides the account holder with limited check-writing ability. Money market accounts offer the account holder benefits typical of both savings and checking accounts. This type of account is likely to require a higher balance than a savings account.

Money markets are able to offer higher annual percentage yields than savings accounts. Money market accounts can offer a higher interest rate by requiring a higher minimum balance. These types of investment tools offer higher yields than traditional savings accounts. They also place restrictions on the number of withdrawals the account holder may take over a given stretch of time.

What are money markets fees and minimums?

The minimums to establish an account generally vary among financial institutions. Some banks range anywhere from $100 while other banks require a deposit of $10,000 to open an account. Some accounts require a minimum balance of $500, avoiding a $10 monthly service fee. Other banks require a $50,000 glance to sidestep monthly fees of $50 a month. Shop around. Most institutions offer check writing privileges.

Other Benefits

FDIC Insurance. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insures deposits and the interest accrued up to the maximum amount allowed by law- currently $250,000. FDIC insurance protects the money in your money market account the same way it does in regular savings accounts.

Money markets are a great home for emergency savings, something you can access immediately. One way to think of a money market account is to think of it as less liquid than a checking account, but more liquid than bonds or Certificates of Deposits.

At McHenry Savings Bank, we are a full service financial institution with a complete line of deposit and loan products. We have been serving the banking needs of the residents of McHenry County since 1955. We are local people making local decisions. Call us (815) 385-3000.


Thursday, November 16, 2017

Veteran Assistance Loans - How Do They Work?

With so much positive growth expected in the housing market during 2017 and expected into 2018 and further, many veterans are researching the  benefits of VA housing loans.  

The VA home loan program was created in 1944,  VA Home Loans are provided by private lenders, such as banks and mortgage companies. VA guarantees a portion of the loan, enabling the lender to provide you with more favorable terms.
VA Housing Loans

Here are many of the benefits when taking advantage of the VA housing loans.  
  • No down payment.
  • No monthly mortgage insurance.
  • Limitation on buyer's closing costs. Sellers can pay all of a buyer’s loan-related closing costs and up to 4 percent in concessions.
  • Lower interest rates. Since the VA guarantees a portion of every VA loan, financial institutions can offer lower interest rates to VA borrowers that are typically 0.5 to 1 percent lower than conventional interest rates. Rates are based on the inherit risk assumed by the lender to finance the loan. On a 30-year $250,000 loan, the difference between paying a 4 percent and 4.75 percent rate can mean approximately $40,000 in savings over the life of the loan.
  • No prepayment penalties.   Because many  people realize how much money they can save by paying off their loan early, but are often forced to pay prepayment penalties if they wish to do so. Prepayment penalties were created to protect lenders and investors from the financial loss of losing years and years of interest payments on issued loans.  Fortunately for VA borrowers, you can pay off your VA loan early with no fear of getting hit with any prepayment penalty.  This is a huge benefit and makes VA loans so desirable.  
  • No credit score apprehension. Veterans don’t need anything near perfect credit to secure home financing at competitive interest rates despite the relaxed credit score requirements. VA loans are also more forgiving when it comes to bouncing back after a bankruptcy, foreclosure or short sale.

McHenry Savings Bank has been serving the banking needs of the residents of McHenry County since 1955.  We encourage Veterans to research VA loans and visit one of our local branches where we can further explain the process. Call us (815) 385-3000 NMLS#630527.


Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Shop Local, Bank Local: 3 Reasons to Choose a Local Bank

By shopping local, residents are not only supporting other residents but the local economy as well. By keeping dollars local, this revenue is more likely to continue circulating locally than if the same money were spent at a big box store or chain. Shopping local helps create new jobs in the community, it reduces the environmental impact, and it adds to the local tax collection annually. This means more money for schools, parks, roads, and non-profits. So, we stick to the local butcher, the local diner, the local veterinarian, why should one choose a local bank?
Shop Local MSB

1.      Lower costs – Smaller financial institutions can provide all the same services as big-name chains but with lower costs. On average, local banks, like McHenry Savings Bank, will offer better interest rates on home and used auto rates as well.

2.      Grow Local Economy - The largest 20 banks in the financial community control 57% of banking assets. Sadly, only 18% of their commercial loans are given to small local businesses. Small banks help small businesses start or grow by taking on these smaller financing loans. These loans are done face-to-face and banks develop relationships with these local businesses, not just with their check books. For local banks, it’s not all about dollars and cents. It’s about providing and bettering a community that they too call home.

3.      Investments vs. Gambling-  Big banks are busy trading on Wall Street generating big profits for themselves. Smaller banks, are more old-fashioned and choose to turn small loans and investments in revenue. This practice is safer for the bank and gives them more time to focus on what matters most, the community!

Since 1955, McHenry Savings Bank has been a proud supporter of all things local. With 3 local locations in McHenry, Richmond, and Johnsburg, MSB offers hometown amenities you won’t find at other big-name banks. We offeronline banking, investment services, personal and commercial loans, and more. We are open from 9 AM-5 PM Monday through Friday and 9AM – 1PM on Saturdays with additional hours for our convenient drive-up services. 

Monday, September 25, 2017

Advantages of Banking Online

McHenry Savings Bank Online After a long day at work, that to-do list is looking far less appealing than that television, that bicycle, or perhaps that bottle of wine. With the advancements in technology surrounding the internet and mobile applications, taking a trip to the bank doesn’t need to be a trip at all. We all have a bank in our home office, in our pocket too. Online banking has revolutionized the way customers are managing their finances. Whether you need to deposit a check, transfer funds, or pay bills online banking can help. What are some of the advantages of enrolling in online banking?

Say Good-Bye To Banking Hours

Banking hours no longer apply to consumers. Online banking provides access 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for those looking to manage accounts. 24-hour online banking is extremely convenient for customers who want to access their account outside of business hours and when banks are typically closed. Online banking is great for professionals who work 2nd or 3rd shift as well. There are no lines for online banking. Your accounts are just a swipe and a tap away!

Simple Transactions

At McHenry Savings Bank, Consumers can now transfer funds, make deposits, send money to people, and pay bills through online banking. Online banking allows you to autopay bills monthly which means no late payments and no more purchasing stamps. Keep an eye on your transaction through the mobile app or on the customizable SecurLOCK App for all debit card purchases. Set up low and high balance alerts so you always know the level of funds in your checking and savings account. Have a check to deposit? Just snap a picture and it can be deposited in just minutes!


Personal and financial information is shared through online banking transactions. McHenry Savings Bank has significant safety measures in place to protect the information of our customers. It is important that users are educated on how to keep their information safe too. Users should never access banking information on public WIFI networks. When accessing on a computer, always clear your cookies after a banking session. Don’t use your “usual” password that everyone knows. Make this password extremely unique containing letters, numbers, capital letters, and symbols. Change your password often and never share it with anyone.

The Internet has changed the way we bank! McHenry Savings Bank is proud to offer online eBanking and mobile banking to all our wonderful customers. With safe and secure online services, check account balances, transfer funds, pay your bills automatically, transfer to friends or family, and receive eStatements. Our eBanking website is also fully functional through your tablet or Kindle. For more information on McHenry Savings Bank, visit our website or call 815-385- 3000.

Monday, August 28, 2017

6 Banking Tips for Millennials

Millennials have grown up alongside technology. They remember the days when having a RAZR flip phone made them the talk of the 6th grade. They remember playing Solitaire on a tube monitor connected to dial-up internet on a clunky desktop computer. Technology continues to evolve, and banking has evolved along with it. Here are 6 aspects of banking to consider before choosing a bank to trust with your finances.  

Millennials McHenry Savings Bank

Best Banking
You’re allowed to be selective! Find a bank with services, prices, locations, and loans that are in line with your personal preferences. Also consider security features with regards to things like PayPal and online shopping. 

Saving Smart
Set up an auto transfer from a checking account to a savings account. This is a great way to save up without having to transfer each pay period.

Accessible App
Banking through a smartphone is fast, easy, and convenient. Make sure to investigate the privacy settings and never use public wifi when accessing your banking app. Make sure to keep the app updated for the newest features.

Automatic Alerts
Most banks automatically call or text the account holder if an account falls below a predesignated amount. Account holders can also request a confirmation on purchases made at or above a certain amount.

Secondary Savings

If we expect the unexpected does that make it expected? Set up a secondary savings account for large purchases like car maintenance, health problems, or costly home updates. This can help save an account holder money when these unexpected financial situations arise. This allows interest rates to be avoided and loan applications to be omitted. Plus, the money deposited will collect interest every month!

Staying Social

Social media is a great way to connect with a local bank, ask questions, and keep up with any changes.

When it comes time to choose a bank, we hope you’ll trust McHenry Savings Bank with your finances. McHenry Savings Bank (MSB) offers helpful tools like mobile banking, people pay, eGift Cards, bill pay services, mobile check deposit, SecurLOCK to monitor and protect your MSB debit card, and more. Visit our website to find out more or give us a call at (815) 385-3000.