United Bank uses contest to promote saving money

Photo by Evan Bevins United Bank Parkersburg Branch Manager Zach Stanley, left, talks with Boaz resident Cindy Lynch, right, about the bank’s America Saves Week initiative Thursday as sales and service representative Jessica Shepherd, center, listens.

PARKERSBURG — It’s not hard to figure out that saving money can help a person achieve his or her financial goals.

Actually doing it — that’s more of a challenge.

United Bank is encouraging people to set up automatic savings plans as part of America Saves Week 2018, which starts Monday and runs through March 3. To make the option more enticing, the bank is offering customers who do so the chance at a prize — an Apple Watch Series 3.

“Whether buying a home, paying for college or creating an emergency fund for car repairs or health care expenses, saving automatically can help individuals and families achieve financial goals,” said United Bank Market President Patrick Bryan. “Even small, weekly contributions add up over time. America Saves Week is a great opportunity to help people in our community set a goal, make a plan and save automatically.”

Although America Saves Week ends on March 3, anyone who sets up automatic, recurring transfers from a checking account to a savings account through United between Monday and March 30 will be entered for a chance to win the Apple Watch. It can be done on the United mobile app, said Zach Stanley, United’s Parkersburg Branch manager.

“You can set it up on your phone. It’s nice. It’s convenient,” he said.

And while United retail banking associates will be available to discuss savings options and provide assistance, Stanley said the online option is helpful to people who might otherwise put off setting up the account in person.

“I think life gets in the way of you (planning) for your future,” he said.

Individuals may also request an entry form for the giveaway from a branch associate. No purchase or account opening is necessary.

Coordinated by America Saves and the American Savings Education Council, America Saves Week is a campaign to promote good savings habits and get people to assess their own savings status. More information is available online at americasavesweek.org.

Participating in America Saves Week is part of the bank’s commitment to encourage financial literacy, Bryan said.

“Financial literacy is dynamic and changes over one’s lifetime,” he said. “Both adults and children can benefit from financial education.”


Five Tips for Creating an Automatic Savings Plan

* Establish automatic and regular deposits into a savings account. Have a portion of your paycheck directly deposited into a savings account or set up automatic, recurring transfers from a checking to a savings account.

* Pay yourself first. Determine an amount you can save after paying your monthly expenses and schedule your automatic savings shortly after. If you wait too long, you may not have any money left for saving.

* Start small and work your way up. Begin with a savings amount that is easily manageable. As you begin to not miss the saved amount, start increasing it to an amount with which you are comfortable.

* Don’t spend it (unless you need it). The idea is to get used to covering your monthly expenses without the amount you are saving. If you tap into it every time you run a little short, there won’t be anything available when you really need it.

* Take advantage of other types of savings plans. Whether it’s your employer’s 401(k) plan or other individual retirement and investment accounts, automatic contributions can help with long-term savings goals.

Source: United Bank