Shop For More Than Back-to-School Deals

Thursday, July 19 at 09:00 AM
Category: Personal Finance

Late summer and early fall are great times to save on the essential supplies for schools and offices, with deals on everything from paper to personal computers. It’s also a great time to make end-of-summer, stock-up and big-ticket purchases that don’t involve the school books. Here are some items you may want to consider purchasing within the next few months.

Big-ticket items. As companies prepare to unveil new models for the coming year, they’re also more than ready to offload the current year’s inventory. This can mean savings on big purchases such as:

  • Vehicles
  • Appliances
  • Mattresses
  • Cell phones
  • Lawnmowers
  • Tools
  • Bicycles

Do your homework on which dealerships, brands and stores are offering the deepest discounts and don’t be afraid to ask about add-ins or additional features that normally cost extra. Dealerships and even big-box stores are typically happy to discuss price options in order to quickly switch over inventory.

Stock up for next summer. Take the time to anticipate what you may need next summer, while being cautious about buying certain items or sizes that might not work out - such as for rapidly growing children. Here are a few ideas:

  • Warm-weather clothing
  • Summer accessories like hats and sunglasses
  • Swimsuits
  • Footwear
  • Summer home gear: air conditioners, dehumidifiers and fans

These summer favorites will see significant discounts to make room for fall attire and items for the holiday season.

Traveling soon? Speaking of the upcoming holiday season, it’s time to begin booking airfare for out-of-state and international trips. A good rule of thumb is to purchase your tickets two months in advance and compare prices on multiple well-known travel sites. Be sure to read the fine print for blackout dates, cancellation options and other special policies.

School and miscellaneous supplies. It’s called back-to-school shopping for a reason. Watch for deals on supplies for the kids, your home office and similar items. Dorm room sales are great for basic home purchases on small kitchen appliances, linens, storage containers and more. Consider using coupon and other cash back apps to help boost your savings even more. Similar to airfare, read the fine print to ensure you aren’t spending more to only save a little.

Be prepared. Write out ahead of time what you’re hoping to purchase and your ideal budget. It’s easy to get caught up in the deals and promotions and you may end up overspending and buying items you have no real use for.

Finally, don’t forget to take advantage, when possible, of your state’s tax-free weekend.

Tax free weekends by state:

Arkansas will begin on Saturday, August 4 and end on Sunday, August 5

Missouri will begin on Friday, August 3 and end on Sunday, August 5

Oklahoma will begin on Friday, August 3 and end on Sunday, August 5

 

 

 

Tags: Financial Education
 

Asked to pay by gift card? It’s a Scam!

Tuesday, July 17 at 09:00 AM
Category: Personal Finance

Arvest Bank is warning consumers about scams related to gift cards.

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), many people are being targeted by scammers asking for payment in the form of gift cards. These scammers may call people claiming to be with the IRS, or tech support, or a so-called family member in need. If you’ve gotten a call like this, you know that the caller will then demand the gift card numbers and PIN.

And, poof, your money is gone.

Scammers are good at convincing people there really is an emergency, so lots of people have made the trip to local merchants to buy gift cards to send these callers. And scammers love gift cards – it’s one of their favorite ways to get your money. These cards are like giving cash – and nearly untraceable, unless you act almost immediately.

Here’s the most important thing for you to know: anyone who demands payment by gift card is always a scammer.

Gift cards are for gifts, not payments. If you’ve bought a gift card and lost money to someone who might be a scammer, tell the company who issued the card. (The contact info might be on the card, but might require some research). Tell them their card was used in a scam. If you act quickly enough, they might be able to get your money back. But – either way – it’s important that they know what happened to you. And then please tell the FTC about your loss by visiting www.ftc.gov/complaint*. Your report helps the FTC try to shut the scammers down.

How to Report Fraud Related to Your Arvest Accounts

  • To report Identity Theft, financial fraud or an unauthorized transaction in your account, please contact Customer Service immediately at (866) 952-9523.

  • To report a lost or stolen credit, debit or ATM card, please contact Customer Service immediately at (866) 952-9523 or by using our Contact Us page.

  • To report a suspicious email, phone call or text message, please forward the suspicious email to, or send a message to: reportfraud@arvest.com.

Source: FTC

Links marked with * go to a third-party site not operated or endorsed by Arvest Bank, an FDIC-insured institution.

 

 

 

Tags: Financial Education, Fraud Alert, Gift Cards, Privacy and Security
 

10 Home Office Must Haves

Monday, April 16 at 02:00 PM
Category: Personal Finance

More and more U.S. workers are replacing their commutes for remote and flexible work environments these days.

In fact, telecommuting has grown 115 percent in the past decade, according to data from Global Workplace Analytics.* That increase has been due, at least in part, to the millennial generation. They have opted for telecommuting positions in order to achieve a healthy work-life balance, Forbes reports.*

There are many benefits of working from home, including reduced commuter costs and increased productivity.

If you're considering working from home, here are a few office staples you will need to ensure maximum success—and productivity:

  1. A dedicated work area. If possible, designate a separate room in your home, such as a spare bedroom or bonus room over your garage as your home office. This will ensure you have the quiet and privacy you need to work. It's also a good way to separate your workspace from your living space.

  2. A desk. Have a desk or a flat surface where you can place your computer and any paperwork. Today, office supply and furniture stores offer a range of desk types, including stand-up desks, which provide a healthier alternative to sitting all day.

  3. A good computer. If your company doesn't provide you with a computer, invest in a reliable one. You may want to consider purchasing a laptop, which will allow you to easily transport your work as needed.

  4. A printer. Consider investing in an all-in-one printer that will allow you to scan, fax, copy and print and help you save space.

  5. Internet access. For maximum productivity, be sure to get high speed Internet access.

  6. Filing/storage space. Consider purchasing a file cabinet to store important files or purchase baskets to store files under your desk.

  7. Good lighting. Make sure your work area gets proper light. If not, use a desk lamp.
     
  8. Surge protectors. Protect your work and computer from power outages.

  9. Document shredder. To ensure the confidentiality of your work, be sure to purchase a shredder and regularly shred important documents.

  10. A work-from-home wardrobe. Your wardrobe has an affect on the way you work and interact with your remote colleagues. Consider clothes that make you feel confident and ready for the day.

A well set-up office can go a long way in ensuring you remain productive, and effectively leverage the advantages of working from home.

Links marked with * go to a third-party site not operated or endorsed by Arvest Bank, an FDIC-insured institution.

 

Tags: Financial Education
 

Online Love Can Have Financial Risks

Thursday, April 12 at 02:00 PM
Category: Personal Finance

Arvest Bank is warning consumers about scams related to online dating

Millions of Americans use dating sites, social networking sites, and chat rooms to meet people. Many form successful relationships, but romance scammers also use these sites to meet potential victims. They create fake profiles to build online relationships, and eventually convince people to send money in the name of love.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, thousands of reports are made each year about scammers who create fake online relationships only to steal their victims’ money.

Unfortunately, an online love interest who asks for money is almost certainly a scam artist. Caution should be used when a newly formed relationship partner begins to ask for money.

The FTC has created a new infographic, developed with the American Bankers Association Foundation, which lists common signs of online dating scams and what to do if someone you meet online asks you for money. Victims may be embarrassed to talk about their experiences, but consumers can help one another by sharing this information. A simple phone call, email or text, saying “Look what I just found” and sharing this information may make a difference in someone else’s life.

How to Report Fraud Related to Your Arvest Accounts

  • To report Identity Theft, financial fraud or an unauthorized transaction in your account, please contact Customer Service immediately at (866) 952-9523.
  • To report a lost or stolen credit, debit or ATM card, please contact Customer Service immediately at (866) 952-9523 or by using our Contact Us page.
  • To report a suspicious email, phone call or text message, please forward the suspicious email to, or send a message to: reportfraud@arvest.com.

Below are specific tips from the FTC to identify a scammer in an online dating environment:

 

 

Tags: Financial Education, Fraud Alert
 

Small Business Breakthrough: Sessions Scheduled for May

Thursday, April 12 at 02:00 PM
Category: Arvest News

Small Business Breakthrough: Start in Bentonville

May 1, 8:30-11:00am

Exchange Bentonville
409 SW A Street
Bentonville, Arkansas 72712 

Start in Bentonville is a two hour session aimed at helping potential entrepreneurs turn their side hustle into their main hustle. Come at 8:30am for networking, coffee and light breakfast items provided by The Buttered Biscuit. At 9:00am, we'll kick things off with Start-up Junkie's Ellen Brune who will talk about product market fit and market research. Then we'll roll into how to build your lean canvass with Jeff Amerine, also from Startup Junkie. Have an idea for a product or service that solves a problem? Come to this session and learn how to get your idea off the ground!


Register here:  https://bit.ly/2GAkooS

 

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Small Business Breakthrough: Reaching Beyond in Bentonville

May 2, 1:30-4pm

 

World Trade Center Arkansas
3300 S. Market St. 4th Floor
Rogers, Arkansas 72758

You’ve mastered your local market and you’re a small business rockstar here in Bentonville- but what's next?  Join us for this informative session and hear from experts on how to go beyond and capture international markets, get your product in with a large organization or even selling to the government. 

Register here: https://bit.ly/2ulKvuN

 

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Small Business Breakthrough: Grow in Bentonville

May 3, 9:30-noon

Walmart Auditorium
Bentonville Public Library
405 S. Main St. 
Bentonville, Arkansas 72712

Grow in Bentonville, presented by Arvest, is a two hour session that will help small business owners understand tax planning, financial management systems, and cash flow management. Come at 9:30am for networking, coffee and light breakfast items provided by Snack Lab. At 10:00am, we'll begin with Judy Coker, an Enrolled Agent in Northwest Arkansas. Judy is an income tax professional, licensed by the US Department of Treasury, to represent taxpayers before all levels of the Internal Revenue Service. Judy is an educator, a planner, and an advocate. She believes that even though she can't change a small business client's tax history, she can change their tax future. At 11:00am, Carolyn Kennedy, Director of Treasury Management for Arvest will discuss cash flow management and the affects it can have on your business. 

Register here: https://bit.ly/2DWnpu5

 

    

Tags: Arvest Benton County, Bentonville, Financial Education

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