Ideas for Affordable Summer Fun
It's official: As of June 21, summer has arrived. Summer fun doesn?t have to cost a fortune, and often the simplest things bring the most pleasure. Here are some ideas for you and your family to consider this summer.
* Look for local events. From concerts to festivals, there are many ways to have fun without going great distances for it. Keep an eye out for ads, and check your local newspaper often for events in your own town and surrounding areas. Local attractions may include county fairs, museums, parks, zoos, historical sites, drive-in movie theaters and special events at local libraries.
* Have fun with food. A cookout is a great way to enjoy a summer evening. Eating a meal outside on a porch or in your yard can feel like a great adventure for a child. You can also take a picnic to a park, organize yard games or relays, make homemade ice cream for dessert or even eat watermelon and have a seed-spitting contest.
* Explore the outdoors. From firefly-catching to star-gazing, your own backyard can be a great place for children to explore and have fun. If you?re feeling especially adventurous, pitch a tent in your backyard and camp together. Other enjoyable and inexpensive activities include fishing, exploring hiking trails, visiting a state park or going on a family bike ride.
* Visit local farms and orchards. Picking your own fruits and veggies is a great way to have local family fun, and it?s probably the freshest, most affordable produce you?ll get all year. If you have a nearby farmer?s market, take advantage of all it has to offer for the whole family.
* Do a home project. Summer is a great time for home fix-up projects, and your kids can help out. Adapt an old tool belt to fit your child and, depending on his or her age, provide plastic or mini tools. Then ask your assistant to help by handing you tools, doing light sanding, polishing surfaces with a rag and picking up spilled screws or tools.
* Get wet. A true crowd pleaser for most families on hot summer days is to go for a swim. Visit a community pool, water park or nearby lake. Other ideas you can use at home include having a water balloon toss, splashing in the sprinkler or washing the car together?expecting to get soaked.
* Spend time together. As you ponder the various ways to have fun this summer, don?t overlook the impact of just being together as a family. Designate a time each week for family activities such as a board game night or a movie night. Build a fort together, learn a new craft or hobby or have a family-only slumber party in your living room.
These tips are provided by the Iowa Bankers Association (IBA), representing banks and thrifts in the state. The IBA serves it members by providing legislative advocacy, training, regulatory compliance and other services designed to enhance the ability of banks to serve their communities. Learn more at www.iowabankers.com.
Protecting Yourself from Electronic Payment Fraud
As your financial partner, we believe it is essential to pass on this important information.
The most common types of electronic payment fraud include:
1. Theft of a customer's credit or debit card
2. Card "skimming" (retail employees stealing your information or a device that copies the information when you use a machine) and use of card readers to obtain your card information
3. Unauthorized ACH (automatic debits to your account) transactions
4. Customers not securing pass codes and/or personal identification numbers (PINs)
5. Altered and counterfeit cards
6. "Phishing" (you receive an e-mail that directs you to a site where they steal your information) and pretext calling schemes, where a stranger attempts to gain your personal or financial information online or on the phone.
1. Sign and activate credit and debit cards as soon as you receive them.
2. Cut up old cards before throwing them away
3. Carry only cards you plan to use, store all others in a safe place
4. NEVER write your PIN on your debit card or keep it in your purse or wallet.
5. NEVER tell anyone your PIN! Cover the terminal when you enter your number in a machine to prevent people from watching over your shoulder.
6. Only give out your card numbers online or over the phone to companies you know and trust.
7. Review your statements and compare them to your receipts
8. Shred statements and receipts when you are done with them
9. Never respond to unsolicited e-mails or callers requesting account information verification. Your bank knows this information, and would not ask you to verify it!
LIMIT Your Losses:
1. Use your credit card for purchases when possible. Your liability is much less if your credit card has unauthorized use. Your debit card, if not reported to your bank within a specific timeline, may cause you unlimited liability!
2. Immediately report a lost or stolen credit or debit card!
3. Immediately report statement and billing errors!