Four Easy Ways to Keep Your 2018 Budget and Savings Goals on Track

If you started 2018 with a goal of sticking to your budget so that you can save more, evaluating how you are doing a few weeks into the year is key to make sure you remain on track. Take a few moments now to consider if you are meeting the savings goals you set back in January. If you find that you are having trouble maintaining your financial discipline, the following tips can help you shore up your budget and increase the dollars flowing into your savings account:

1. Review your savings goals. Although it may have been a few weeks ago, think back to the reasons that fueled your savings resolutions. Maybe you need to save for a new car, a new home, your child’s college education, or you want to enjoy a debt-free vacation. Reconnecting with the “why” of your savings goals can help re-energize your focus on achieving them.

2. Automate your savings routine. One of the easiest ways to make sure you add to your savings each month is to set up an automatic transfer from your checking account to your savings account. OSB’s online banking tools—especially the mobile banking app—make this easy to do. Simply set up a recurring transfer each month so there are no excuses for not executing your savings plan.

3. Choose a bank account that helps you save. While having a handle on what you are spending is certainly helpful, so is having a bank account that also supports your savings. For example, OSB’s Advantage+ Checking Account pays you interest—money that can help your savings grow over the long term.

4. Take advantage of loyalty rewards and other savings programs. Spending less than you earn is the cornerstone of any successful savings strategy. One way to lower your monthly spending and keep your budget in check is to take advantage of money-saving reward and discount programs that can help lower the cost of necessary expenses. OSB’s Advantage and Advantage+ Checking Account holders can save with the following benefits:

  • $hopping RewardsAs a member of OSB’s Advantage and Advantage+ Checking accounts, you have access to our $hopping Rewards program, where you have access to exclusive offers and discounts at thousands of leading online retailers including these* and many more:

Home Depot



Best Buy

Banana Republic


Nine West

Once you complete the online registration for the $hopping Rewards program, you can simply shop at your favorite retailers online using the customized shopping portal and you will receive cash back. Your cash back rewards will be held in your $hopping Rewards account to use toward future purchases or they can be conveniently sent to you as a check. (Registration/Activation Required.  Available Online Only).  *Retailers are subject to change.

  • Cellular Phone Protection2 Covers the first three phones (four phones with Advantage Plus Checking accounts) listed on your cell phone bill that is paid through your Advantage or Advantage+ Checking Account you’ll receive up to $300 of replacement or repair costs ($400 with Advantage Plus Checking) if your cell phone is stolen or damaged, in the United States and abroad. There is a maximum of two claims per year.
  • Accidental Death & Dismemberment Insurance2. As an account holder, there is no need to spend your hard-earned dollars on AD&D coverage. You will receive (at no additional cost) up to $10,000 24-hour Accidental Death & Dismemberment Insurance. (Coverage divides equally on joint accounts and reduces by 50% at age 70). Advantage+ Checking Account holders receive up to $20,000 24-hour Accidental Death & Dismemberment Insurance.
  • Health Discount Savings (This is NOT Insurance). Medical bills can add up! With savings on vision, prescriptions and dental services you can lower your health-related expenses. (Registration/activation is required.)  This is NOT insurance.
  • Don’t let your 2018 savings resolutions fall to the wayside! Recommit to your budget and your savings goals. A great way to keep more money in your bank account is by using the money-saving benefits offered with OSB’s Advantage or Advantage+ Checking Accounts. See full details on all the benefits of OSB’s Advantage or Advantage+ Checking Accounts on our website. Contact your local branch today to open an account and let us help you achieve your savings goals!

    2Special Insurance Program Notes:  The description herein is are summaries only and do not include all terms, conditions and exclusions of the Benefits described.  Please refer to the actual Guide to Benefit and/or insurance documents for complete details of coverage and exclusions. Coverage is provided through the company named in the Guide to Benefit or the certificate of insurance.
    Insurance Products are not insured by FDIC or any Federal Government Agency; Not a deposit of or guaranteed by the bank or any bank affiliate.

Behind Every Successful Business Loan is a Great Customer Relationship

In celebration of National Small Business Week,our commercial lending team is sharing how OSB helps local small business owners find flexible financing so they can take advantage of new growth opportunities. John Spiedel, Senior Vice President of Commercial Lending at OSB shares his thoughts below.

“While many banks focus on solely the dollars and cents of a commercial loan transaction, at OSB we look beyond the numbers to learn about the amazing people who have a real passion for building our community.

True community bankers are intensely focused on their community, but they also recognize that a community is defined by people—not just by lines on a map. A perfect example of this philosophy in action is the relationship that OSB has formed with a mid-1980’s University of Michigan alumna who lives in California and has an extremely successful consulting business there. Even though she lives far away, she has always stayed connected to her hometown, Ann Arbor, including making investments in student rental properties in the city.

Recently, this customer decided to purchase additional student rental properties in Ann Arbor, but none of the other “local” banks wanted to lend to someone living outside of Michigan. She was referred to OSB by another local business owner (who has since become our customer as well). Instead of dismissing her request on a geographic basis, we looked deeper, taking the time to learn about her goals and to understand her keen business sense and conservative, disciplined nature. We also noted that she flew in each month to visit each of her Michigan investments in person. She was hardly an absentee owner, which made her an even better potential customer.

By working to understand not only the financial situation but the person behind the numbers as well, we saw that this scenario held not only manageable risk, but a great potential customer relationship. Her investments in property renovations have been carried out by local workers using materials bought locally. This customer’s satisfaction with OSB’s small business loans and our way of doing business is evident in her willingness to recommend us to her many other Ann Arbor business contacts. This is proof that behind every successful business loan is a great customer relationship.”

Achieve Your Goals with Smart CD Savings Strategies

An OSB certificate of deposit (CD) account is a great savings tool, providing the opportunity to earn interest and shelter your money. When used wisely, a certificate of deposit can save you in a financial pinch, or even fund your future. Here are two strategies for putting the financial power of a CD to work for you:
Consider using CDs for a “rainy day” fund

In a regular savings account, a “rainy day fund” can be too easily tapped for other things. To help you remain disciplined about saving, a certificate of deposit may be a better choice because your money is secured for a predetermined term and is off-limits.

Use your CD for financial goal setting

If you have a long-term financial goal, a CD is the perfect vehicle to be assigned to helping you realize it.  If you want to buy a house, for instance, you can put money into a CD and when it matures, you can roll it into another CD until your savings goals are met. Seeing that interest accumulate can help you stay motivated reach your goal!

OSB CDs also keep your money working in our local community, consider taking advantage of one today!

Why Community Banks are Different…in a Good Way!

All banks are the same, right? They’ve all got tellers and lenders, they cash checks and write loans, they have ATMs. They all do the same things, because they’re all the same—or are they?

It’s a fact: Community banks are different. Different…in a good way. For example, community banks do more than just cash checks:

They’re helping businesses grow.

U.S. Small Business Administration statistics show that small firms employ just over half of the private-sector workforce and created nearly two-thirds of nation’s net new jobs over the past decade and a half. Community banks are natural partners to small businesses because they understand them so well and are committed to their success. As such, the funding, expertise and opportunities small businesses receive from community banks helps them grow and keeps dollars in our community – making it an even greater place to live

They’re creating jobs.

Community banks employ more than 700,000 Americans across more than 52,000 locations nationwide, according to Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA). In addition to their own employees, community banks help create employment locally by improving the economic infrastructure of the communities they serve and enabling businesses to get the financing they need to grow and add more employment opportunities.

They’re supporting the local economy.

ICBA statistics also show that community banks fund nearly 60% of small business loans under $1 million – reinvesting their deposit dollars back into their community. As a small business themselves, community banks are passionate about ensuring that the communities they share are thriving.

They’re helping local farmers.

Consistently the largest provider of agricultural credit, community banks provide $57 billion in agricultural loans (ICBA data). This comprises more than 70% of commercial agricultural loans in America.

They’re doing more than writing checks.

Communities banks, like OSB Community Bank (OSB) give back to the communities they serve, providing financial and in-kind support to organizations in their communities. Reinvesting back into the community is a central part of the community banking philosophy. OSB employees volunteer many hours to local community organizations – serving on boards for Hospice of Lenawee, Kiwanis, Cascades Humane Society, Jackson Enterprise and many more. Plus, our team is always ready to get involved in community events that foster stronger relationships.

They’re here for the long haul.

A community bank isn’t just another bank. Community banks are different and making a difference to the businesses, individuals and communities they serve. They strive to develop long-term relationships and are committed to supporting the local community through employment, reinvestment and volunteerism. Despite the uncertainty facing other financial institutions community banks are here for the long haul, so you can feel confident that working with (or for) a community bank is a decision you can feel good about over the long-term.