Budgeting 101

Rainy-day funds, savings for college, or just making your rent payment can all be made easier with a budget. Although a simple and oftentimes overlooked strategy, budgeting your finances will help make the difference in managing your money. Putting together a household budget requires time and effort. Stock Yards offers the following steps to create a budget:

• Be a Spending Sleuth. Track every penny you spend for a month. Keep receipts and write everything down. This will be an eye-opening experience and will help you see where you can cut back.

• Count Your Money. Determine the total amount of money coming in. Include only your take home pay (your salary minus taxes and deductions). Your income may also include tips, investment income, etc.

• Itemize, Categorize, and Organize. Review the records and receipts you’ve been collecting over the last month. Categorize your spending using a budget sheet. You can utilize the free templates in Microsoft Excel to create a budget sheet that is fit for you and your family.

• Achieve Your Goals. Set a realistic financial goal and develop your budget to achieve that goal. Subtract your monthly expenses from your monthly income. Find ways to cut spending and set limits on things like entertainment expenses.

• Save, Save, Save. Make one of your financial goals to save a certain dollar amount each month. Start an emergency fund if you don’t already have one. You never know when you may need it.

• Stick to it. Keep track of your spending every month. Update your budget as expenses or incomes change. Once you achieve your financial goal, set another.

Resource information provided by American Banker’s Association.

In The News – Great Britain Leaves European Union

AMark

June 24, 2016

Dear friends and clients,

In a very close vote the citizens of Great Britain voted to formally leave the European Union. Prime Minister David Cameron has resigned and will step down in October after failing to rally support for remaining a part of the EU. Global stock markets are responding negatively and the Euro and Pound are both falling against other currencies. The U. S. stock market responded this morning with a negative opening.

What are the consequences of the vote? There is a real fear that the British vote will be the beginning of the end for the European Union by encouraging other members to leave. This would have negative implications for global trade and further weaken economic growth in both Great Britain and Europe. Markets are being negatively impacted by the uncertainty surrounding the process of leaving the EU. Strategists are also concerned about the impact on the sales and earnings of multinational companies domiciled in the United States and the rest of the world. Many of these companies gained access to European markets through Great Britain and will now be forced to contract separately with Great Britain and the EU. The rising dollar will also impact the earnings of U. S. multinational companies due to currency translation accounting rules.

The worst fears are probably being overstated. Great Britain will more than likely retain preferred trading status with the European Union. It is in the best interest of the EU to negotiate trade agreements without restrictions, penalties, or tariffs so as not to disrupt the fragile economic growth in that region. The strong dollar, stable political and economic environment, and the very low interest rates throughout the Eurozone will encourage capital flows into the United States which will support our capital markets.

What happens next? Prime Minister Cameron will travel to Brussels next week to meet with the other twenty seven member country leaders. They will begin the process of defining the new relationship between the EU and Great Britain politically and economically. His successor will then begin the formal two years of meetings required by law to negotiate Great Britain’s way out of the European Union and to renegotiate trade accords with member countries. European leaders will be focusing on the agreements necessary to regulate future trade between the EU and Great Britain, the access British companies will have to EU markets, and any banking restrictions on banks domiciled in Great Britain. The hope is Great Britain will still have access to the European mainland markets without tariffs or other barriers to trade.

In conclusion, expect continued market volatility. We advise clients to remain invested through these periods of higher than normal uncertainty. We will continue to manage risk in portfolios through the diversification and security selection process. Please contact your wealth advisor with any concerns or questions.

The Wealth Management Group

Louisville
200 South Fifth Street
Louisville, KY 40202
Phone: (502) 625-1005
Email:WealthManagement@syb.com
Indianapolis
11450 N. Meridian Street
Carmel, IN 46032
Phone (317)-238-2816
Email:WealthManagement@syb.com
Cincinnati
101 W. Fourth Street
Cincinnati, OH 45202
Phone: (513)-824-6146
Email:WealthManagement@syb.com

We provide the information in this newsletter for general guidance only. It does not constitute the provision of legal advice, tax advice, accounting services, investment advice, or professional consulting of any kind. The information provided herein should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional tax, accounting, investment, legal, or other competent advisers. Before making any decision or taking any action, you should consult a professional adviser who has been provided with all pertinent facts relevant to your particular situation. The information is provided “as is,” with no assurance or guarantee of completeness, accuracy, or timeliness of the information, and without warranty of any kind, expressed or implied, including but not limited to warranties of performance, merchantability, and fitness for a particular purpose.

NOT FDIC INSURED | MAY LOSE VALUE | NO BANK GUARANTEE

9 Tips to Green Your Home and Save Money

1. Location, location, location efficiency. Carefully consider the location of your home. If you’re close to work, shopping and entertainment, you may not need a car. Without a car you would save money on gas, car insurance and maintenance, not to mention reduce pollution. If you’re thinking about moving further out, try to find something near public transportation and shopping.

2. Light up the house, not the electric bill. Replacing incandescent light bulbs with more energy efficient compact florescent light (CFL) bulbs will save you about $6 a year in electricity costs per bulb and more than $40 over its lifetime. According to ENERGY STAR, if every American home replaced just one light bulb, we would save enough energy to prevent 9 billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions per year. Remember to recycle used CFL bulbs. Go to http://www.epa.gov/bulbrecycling for recycling locations.

3. Some like it hot, hot, hot…or cold, cold, cold. Closely monitor your thermostat. Adjusting it just a few degrees while you’re out can save energy and money. You can make it easier by installing a programmable thermostat. Use fans and close the blinds during the warm months and let the sun in for natural warmth in the winter. Also, change your filter every three months.

4. Make it mean-green-clean. Cleaning supplies can be expensive and are made with toxic chemicals. You can save money and the environment by making your own cleaning supplies. All you need are some basic household ingredients like vinegar, lemon juice, baking soda and borax to clean everything from windows to tile.

5. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle! Sticking to this mantra can help you save money around the house. Use a rag instead of paper towels. Buy products in bulk, concentrate or refillable containers to reduce packaging waste. Look for products made from recycled content. And don’t forget to recycle!

6. Win-dos for your windows. There are a number of ways you can make your windows more energy efficient without replacing them. For better insulation from the weather you can caulk exterior joints, put shrink wrap on them or hang blackout curtains.

7. Fan the green flames. To keep your refrigerator running efficiently, keep the fan clean. The motor won’t have to work as hard if the fan is clear of debris.

8. Decorate green. Houseplants are like living air-filters. English Ivy, rubber trees, peace lilies and red-edged dracaena can help clean the air and look pretty too.

9. Vampire energy is sucking you dry. On or off, anything plugged into the wall sucks energy. Vampire power costs U.S. consumers more than $3 billion a year, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Unplug your electronics and appliances when they’re not in use.

Resource information provided by American Banker’s Association. For more green home solutions, visit: epa.gov/greenhomes

Derby Week Safety Tips

We are officially in the midst of 2016 Kentucky Derby week! With “the most exciting two minutes in sports” comes a week full of great events. As we quickly approach the first Saturday in May, Stock Yard’s Security Team wants to ensure everyone has an enjoyable time while providing some essential safety tips:

Plan your trips carefully. Think about where to park ahead of time, and consider walking a little further to and from the event. Depending on the event, street closures could send you on an unexpected detour, so make sure to plan an alternate route accordingly. Designate a driver who will be responsible for getting everyone to and from safely.

Never go alone. Especially if you are in an area you are not familiar with.

Always lock your car, and hide valuables pre-trip. Don’t leave any valuables in plain sight. Additionally, ensure that your home will be safe while you are away for an extended period of time. Let a trusted neighbor know where you will be, and have them keep an eye out for any suspicious activity.

Keep your cash, ID and your cell phone in a front pocket to prevent being pickpocketed. Be conscious of where you put your cash – particularly after placing a bet at the track. Make sure that your belongings are not in a place where thieves would be able to snatch.

Ladies – If you bring a bag to the races, make sure it is not oversized. The track has some specifications on what size bag to bring, and the larger the bag, the easier it is for thieves to sneak into your belongings. Be sure not to accidentally take any of the banned items as well.

Be on the lookout for counterfeit notes. Derby time is also a time for a significant rise in counterfeit notes entering the Louisville Metro area.   Right now, the $20.00 note is the most counterfeited in America.

Be aware of your surroundings.  Situational awareness is key to staying safe in any environment.  If you need help call LMPD at 502-574-7111 and give them your location. If you find yourself in the middle of an emergency, call 911 immediately.

Be aware, be alert, be ready, and be safe. Best wishes for the winning Derby ticket and most of all have fun!

Save or Spend: 5 Ways to Make Your Refund Count This Tax Season

According to the Internal Revenue Service, the nation’s taxpayers received an average tax refund of nearly $3,000 in 2015. This year, with more than 70 percent of taxpayers receiving a refund, the American Bankers Association is highlighting five tips to help them make the most out of their windfall.

“Tax season is a great time for consumers to reassess how they allocate extra cash,” said Corey Carlisle, executive director of the ABA Foundation. “It’s wise to take steps toward securing your financial well-being like storing your refund for rainy days or using it to get a jumpstart on saving for retirement.”

To help consumers make the most out of their money, ABA has highlighted the following tips:

• Save for emergencies. Open or add to a savings account that serves as an “emergency fund.” Ideally, it should hold about three-to-six months of living expenses in case of sudden financial hardships like losing your job or having to replace your car. Click here for more information regarding Stock Yard’s account options.

• Pay off debt. Pay down existing balances either by chipping away at loans with the highest interest rates or eliminating smaller debt first.

• Save for retirement. Open or increase contributions to a tax-deferred savings plan like a 401(k) or an IRA. Where can you get one? Stock Yards can help set up an IRA, while a 401(k) is employer-sponsored.

• Put it toward a down payment. The biggest challenge that most first-time home buyers face is coming up with enough money for a down payment. If you intend to buy a new home in the near future, putting your tax refund toward the down payment is a smart move.

• Invest in your current home. Use your refund to invest in home improvements that will pay you back in the long run by increasing the value of your home. This can include small, cost-effective upgrades like energy-efficient appliances that will pay off in both the short and long term. If you have more substantial renovations in mind, your bank can help with a home equity line of credit. Click here for more information on how to make the most of your investment.

Resource information provided by American Bankers Association

6 Money Mistakes Newlyweds Should Avoid

With wedding season upon us, many newlyweds will soon be managing their finances as a pair. The American Bankers Association is encouraging couples to waste no time addressing how they will handle money issues as spouses and financial partners.

“Developing a financial plan can often take a backseat to the excitement of a wedding,” said ABA president and CEO. “But it’s important to remember that this is not only a marriage of hearts but also a marriage of finances.”

To help couples start their journey on strong financial footing, ABA warns consumers of these post-wedding money mistakes:

  1. Avoiding the money talk. Discussing your finances can be a bit uncomfortable for many couples, but those who tackle it head on will be better for it. Understand your partner’s financial goals and spending habits. While you may have different answers, this conversation can help you develop an approach to money management that works for both of you.
  2. Not setting a budget. A mistake many couples make is not establishing a budget early on. After assessing your finances as a pair, determine how you’ll spend your money each month. Are there certain expenses that you should be cutting back on and others you should be saving up for? Coming to an agreement on these things and setting a budget will be beneficial for the health of your bank accounts and your relationship.
  3. Not having a plan for your accounts. There is no ‘right’ way to manage your accounts. Couples can choose to have exclusively joint accounts, a joint account as well as separate accounts for saving or personal spending, or keep things entirely divided. Discuss your preferences together and decide what makes you both the most comfortable.
  4. Failing to set up an emergency fund. Life is full of surprises and unfortunately, some of these surprises can be expensive. Having an emergency fund will help you avoid precarious financial situations should something come up. It’s important that you decide together how you’ll set aside the money.
  5. Not establishing a minimum cost for discussing big expenses. While not all purchases demand a conversation, more expensive ones that impact the family budget should. Determine what that threshold is as a couple. For any expenses above that cost, you both should be in agreement on whether it’s a necessary purchase.
  6. Forgetting to update your beneficiaries. Now that you’ve officially tied the knot, you should likely identify your spouse as the person who will receive the benefits of your will, life insurance policy and financial accounts like your 401(k), checking and savings. Don’t make the mistake of waiting for an emergency to arise to handle this.

    Resource Information Provided by the American Bankers Association

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