7 Ways to Slice Wedding Expenses

Monday, April 27 at 09:35 AM
Category: Personal Finance

Often a bride’s dream wedding is bigger than her wallet. Tackle this conundrum by prioritizing what’s most important to the bride and groom and spend dollars on those details. Scale back on the things that aren’t as important. Here are seven areas to consider trimming the bill.  

Here comes the bride. The venue is usually the most costly expense for a wedding. If it’s really important to have that special location, consider changing the day of the week (Saturdays are the most expensive) or time of the year (June is the most costly) to reduce the venue price tag. A more economical alternative is renting out a restaurant or going outdoors which both require little if any decorations adding further savings to the total wedding bill. For a more intimate feel, consider the home of family or friends. 
Say cheese! If pictures aren’t as important, then skip the engagement photo shoot and bridals and opt to just have a photographer at the actual wedding ceremony. Need some additional savings? Purchase just a CD of the images and print the pictures yourself through a local photo print shop. 
All dressed in white. Local bridal shops have beautiful dresses much cheaper than the designer alternatives. If the store doesn’t have the perfect gown, buy a dress and have a seamstress add ornamentation or make other alterations for a custom look. Not only will this be cost effective, but it will personalize the dress so it’s unique to the bride who wears it! Looking for even further savings? Visit a resale dress shop (in person or online) or contact a store about where they sell the dresses used in fashion shows and trunk shows. Don’t snub renting either. Bridal rental shops often include accessories like the veil, slip and corset in the cost of the wedding dress rental for savings beyond just the dress.  
Take the cake! Many grocery store bakeries make simple round white cakes. Buy one and decorate it with fresh flowers. Or, decorate a styrofoam cake to put on display. When it’s time to serve the cake take it to the kitchen then cut up and serve sheet cake which is cheaper than traditional wedding cake. 
Go bite size. Consider mid-morning nuptials and serve brunch which can be cheaper than a full-course dinner. Still want to go with a traditional evening wedding? Serve hors d’oeuvre or dessert only, or look for a local culinary school to cater at a more cost effective price than professionals. 
Pleased to announce. Have a talented friend or family member who can do calligraphy or paper crafts? Enlist their help to make the invites. No talent? No worries. Office supply stores sell kits to print invites from home. Still too much effort? Consider ordering postcard invites to save on paper and postage. Or, go digital with an online invitation sent via popular social networking sites or to the email addresses of the guest list.
Double up. Recruit friends and family to help make the décor then give the décor away as party favors. Centerpieces can be given as gifts to the bridal party or to those who helped. For décor that needs to be purchased, use it afterward to decorate the new couple’s home.
With some creativity and planning a beautiful wedding is within reach and within budget!

Tags: Financial Education

Arvest Sponsors Room at Senior Center in Missouri

Friday, April 24 at 06:50 AM
Category: Arvest Community News

Arvest is proud to support the community by sponsoring an event room in a new wing at a senior center in Shell Knob, Mo.

SHELL KNOB, Mo. — Arvest Bank is pleased to announce that it has sponsored an event room at Central Crossing Senior Center. 

The Arvest Room, part of a new wing added to Central Crossing Senior Center, will be available for events hosted by the Center. The wing includes a dining area, four additional rooms, an exercise facility and additional storage. The Arvest Room is just off the main dining room. 

The center offered a “Room Donation Program” to help fund the wing’s construction. Sponsors are allowed to name the room and provide a display within the room. 

Mark Davis, Arvest Community President in Shell Knob, said sponsoring a room at the senior center fits in with Arvest Bank’s community approach to banking. 

“Shell Knob is truly a volunteer community; anything done here is done with volunteers. Central Crossing Senior Center is one of the centers for volunteerism within the community. We appreciate and honor that volunteer spirit and will continue our dedication to Central Crossing Senior Center with our volunteer hours and monetary support,” Davis said. 

Central Crossing Senior Center offers more than 20 activities for seniors and serves more than 15,000 meals annually to congregate and homebound seniors in Barry and Stone counties. Activities include cards, mah-jongg, dominos, bingo, line dancing, Wii bowling, quilting, foot care, health care, Medicare counseling, income tax filing assistance, wood carving, computer and educational programs. The Center also offers medical equipment for loan to any who have a need. 

Another example of Arvest Bank’s support for the community should be ready for use by the end of the year, Davis said. Arvest Bank is building a new branch bank to replace the current location and construction should be completed by the end of the year. The new branch will be larger and will add a third drive-through teller lane for a total of three lanes.

“We are very excited about the new building,” Davis said. “It will be larger, newer and nicer than what we have now.”

Tags: Community Support, Missouri, Press Release

Look at More Than Interest Rate When Financing Equipment

Friday, April 24 at 05:40 AM
Category: Business Banking
Sometimes small business owners ask how banks compete with the financing provided by large manufacturers and distributors of equipment. What many business owners don’t realize is there’s a cost associated with low percentage financing options. 
Here’s a true example from the Oklahoma City area about the cost of low interest rates. A commercial contractor went to a large manufacturer of farm and construction machinery and received a quote for 1.9 percent financing on equipment needed which he thought seemed like a rate no bank could meet or beat.
This same business owner met with his long-time Arvest banker, Keith Kersten. Keith asked this business owner to go back to the manufacturer to get the pricing on the units at a cash price. The pricing was significantly different on almost all backhoes this business owner needed. In fact in some cases it was 5 percent cheaper to pay cash!  
Arvest was over 1 percent higher than the rate of the manufacturer. However, because of the manufacturer’s cash discount, the business owner saved approximately $12,000 (over 3 percent overall savings) over the life of the Arvest Equipment Finance contract! Sometimes you just have to ask the right questions! 
Tags: Arvest Biz, Business Banking, Equipment Finance

Renters See Prices Rise as Vacancy Rate Falls to Historic Lows

Thursday, April 23 at 09:00 AM
Category: Arvest News

Millennials are the leading segment considering home ownership as rent prices increase due to low vacancy.

LOWELL, Ark. – Across the nation, rent prices continue to rise as the vacancy rate of rental units has reached a 21-year low, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. With landlords raising rents, this is moving an increasing number of people toward home ownership. Across all but four of the nation’s 70 metro areas, rent increased by an average of 15 percent between 2009 to 2014 (Realtor.org*). In Arkansas rent prices have increased by 25 percent since 2011, in Missouri rent prices have increased by 12.8 percent since 2011 and in Oklahoma rent prices have increased by 10.6 percent since 2011 (Zillow Rent Index).

About 5.2 million renters say they expect to purchase a house in 2015, up from 4.2 million in the previous year, potentially a reflection of the improving economy, according to the Zillow Housing Confidence Index released in March. 

An increasing number of these first-time homebuyers are expected to be in the millennial generation. In 2014, millennials made up 32 percent of the U.S. housing market, up from 28 percent in 2012, and have pulled ahead of the older Generation X as the largest segment of buyers, according to the National Association of Realtors. 

However, the majority of potential homebuyers between the ages of 18 and 34 are unaware of closing costs – a key financial component in purchasing a home (USA Today, “Closing costs are a mystery to Millennials”*).  

While it can make fiscal sense to own a home and begin building equity instead of renting, it’s important to have a grasp on the fees and other expenses associated with home ownership. A first-time homebuyer needs to understand and be ready for not only the down payment, but also the closing costs, which encompass fees such as title and escrow, lender fees, and the price of an appraisal, which can vary widely. Over the past few months, we have seen more and more young consumers taking the step from renting to owning and we expect this trend to continue.

Home ownership is a financial and lifestyle goal that many people aspire to. If you’re ready to leave renting behind and pursue home ownership, there are numerous things to consider.

Some of those things are:

- How much money do you have saved?

- Down payments are typically five to 20 percent of the price of the home.

- Consider how much debt you currently have to make sure you’ll be able to make all of your payments, including the mortgage.

- Look into your credit score. A low credit score could keep you from a better interest rate on a mortgage loan.

- Consider how long you’ll likely be in the home. Generally, the longer you plan to live in one place, the more it makes sense to buy. 

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

Tags: Arkansas, Home Loans, Kansas, Missouri, Mortgage, Oklahoma, Press Release

Friday Financial Forum April 24 in Bartlesville, Okla.

Thursday, April 23 at 05:15 AM
Category: Arvest Community News

Join us Friday, April 24, at 10 a.m. for our Friday Financial Forum. We’ll meet in the Friday Forum Room at Arvest's Eastside Branch located at 4225 S.E. Adams Rd., Bartlesville, Okla. Every Friday we invite customers like you to attend our one-hour Financial Forum. 

What you can expect at the event:

  • Information: Community leaders share topical, local and state information (Sen. John Ford, Rep. Earl Sears, Rep. Travis Dunlap)   
  • News: "The Scoop" about business and community happenings in Bartlesville (Billie Roane, Arvest Bank)
  • Stock Report and Economic Update: Josh Randolph, Arvest Bank
  • Humorous Anecdotes: Jim Bohnsack, Arvest Bank

If you have any questions about the event or would like us to add someone to the invitation email list, please contact Billie Roane at (918) 337-4358. We look forward to seeing you there!

Tags: Bartlesville, Community Support, Oklahoma

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