Holiday Budget Tips

Monday, November 24 at 11:05 AM
Category: Personal Finance

You may have been a last-minute holiday shopper last year, but planning now can help you have a happier, stress-free holiday season this year.

  • Make a list, and check it twice. Experts agree it helps to write down a list of all the people for whom you plan to shop, before you hit the stores or turn on the computer. Next to each name write down what you want to buy for that person, and how much you want to spend. You get a clear idea of the numbers involved and know in advance how many gifts you need to purchase.
  • Shop for bargains once you have an idea of what you're looking for and for whom you are buying. In addition, if you are purchasing a number of items from the same online retailer, buying all the items together can cut down on shipping costs.
  • Curb impulse shopping and spending – buy only what is on your list. If you've forgotten someone, add them to your holiday budget and, if necessary, adjust the amounts you spend on others so you keep the same total.
  • Make a plan for those other expenses. Give some thought to how much you'll be spending during the holiday season on things other than gifts. Be sure to include in your budget the following: postage for cards and presents that need to be shipped; wrapping paper, bows, greeting cards and other supplies; decorations; food and drinks for holiday meals (and don't forget to add more, if you will be feeding guests); and travel expenses.
  • Review your receipts and bills from last year. This will give you an idea of the amount you actually spent and how long it took to pay for it all.
  • Save your holiday receipts from this year and either total them daily or add them up two weeks before the actual holiday. Expenses add up fast during this busy season. Seeing your totals will provide you with a reality check as to how much more you can afford to spend.
  • Using credit during the holidays? If so, take only the credit cards you will need and limit those to as few as possible. And be sure to check your credit card statements carefully for any unauthorized charges. Report such charges immediately to your financial institution or credit card company. 

If you follow some of these simple tips, you should have a successful and financial stress-free holiday season!

Article courtesy of the American Bankers Association.

Tags: Budgeting, Credit Cards, Financial Education
 

Arvest.com Sponsors Arkansas-Oklahoma Cross Country All-Stars Meet

Monday, November 24 at 10:10 AM
Category: Arvest Community News

Arvest.com sponsored the 21st Annual Arkansas-Oklahoma Cross Country All-Stars Meet which took place Nov. 15 at the Rogers (Ark.) High School cross country course. Arvest proudly supports the communities it serves, including local schools and athletic programs.

The All-Star Meet brought together a team of high school all-stars from each state for an annual border clash. This year it was hosted by Rogers (Ark.) High School and conducted by the Arkansas Track Coaches Association. While the temperature was in the mid-20s, and wind and rain visited the course, the runners attacked the 5K grass course with abandon and posted some nationally competitive times.

Adrena Mazzei (Berryhill High School) led the way for Oklahoma in the girls’ race with a winning time of 18:42, just steps ahead of teammate Isabella Rose (Norman North High School) at 18:45. Kyandra Chandler (Nettleton High School) of the Arkansas squad was 5th in at 19:21. Ben Barrett (Norman North High School) won the boys’ race for Oklahoma in a near course record time of 15:35 followed by Sooner State teammate Isai Rodriquez (Ringwood High School) at 15:46. Josh Kruse (Bentonville High School) led the Natural State team in 5th at 16:10. Oklahoma swept the team results with a 61-121 win in the boys’ race and by 60-125 in the girls’ race. Each finisher in the top 25 received a medallion commemorating the meet. Complete meet results can be found at Y Timing.*

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

Tags: Arkansas, Community Support, Oklahoma
 

Fashion Debit Cards Released

Monday, November 24 at 09:00 AM
Category: Arvest News

We’re giving you one more way to strut your style! Whether you’re a dress and heels kind of girl, a sneakers and jeans kind of girl or somewhere in between, we’ve got a fashion debit card to suit your style!

Our newly released fashion debit card series stars:

Stiletto Meadow

Chevron Spice

Old School

On the Catwalk

Simple Elegance


To grace your wallet with one of these cards, call Customer Service at (866) 952-9523 or visit your nearest Arvest branch. To check out our runway of specialty and affinity debit cards, visit arvest.com/style

*$50 minimum deposit required to open account. Existing customers will be charged a $5 replacement fee.

Tags: Debit Cards
 

Talking Turkey Safety

Friday, November 21 at 09:35 AM
Category: Personal Finance

That time of year is once again upon us. When Americans gather around the table with friends and family members to feast and give gratitude for the annual tradition that is Thanksgiving. But before you come to the table with your turkey platter and gravy, take a moment to read these turkey preparation and safety tips from the United States Department of Agriculture.

Turkey Thawing

When a turkey is frozen, it is safe from bacteria. However, once it begins to thaw, bacteria can start to grow. The good news is there are three relatively easy ways to thaw frozen turkeys — in your refrigerator, in cold water or in the microwave. Whichever method you choose, it's important to note until you are ready to thaw your frozen turkey, it should be immediately placed in your freezer. A frozen turkey should also never be left outside or in your car, where the temperatures vary.

In the refrigerator:

  • A thawed turkey can remain in your refrigerator for up to 48 hours before cooking.
  • When thawing the turkey in the refrigerator, allow 24 hours for every 4 to 5 pounds of turkey.
  • Place the turkey in a pan or other dish to ensure the juices from the thawed turkey don't drip in your refrigerator.

In cold water:

  • If you wish to thaw a turkey in cold water, soak 30 minutes per pound.
  • Ensure the turkey is in a waterproof bag to prevent leakage.
  • Submerge the entire turkey in cold water and change the water every 30 minutes.
  • Once the turkey is completely thawed, cook it immediately.

In the microwave:

  • Since microwaves vary in size and power, it's important to refer to the microwave manufacturer's instructions before attempting to thaw your turkey.
  • Plan to cook the turkey immediately after it is thawed to prevent bacteria from growing.

Cooking a Turkey
Once you've completely thawed your turkey you're ready to cook it. Note these important tips about cooking:

  • Set your oven temperature to 325° F.
  • Do not preheat the oven; it's not necessary.
  • Insert a food thermometer in the turkey. An internal temperature of 165°F will prevent bacteria from growing.
  • Recognize that stuffed turkeys take longer to cook and dark roasting pans cook faster than shiny metals.
  • Speed cook by using the lid on the roasting pan or an oven cooking pan.
  • Use the following guide for cooking times:

Unstuffed turkeys (time in hours)

  • 4 to 6 lbs. breast – 1 1/2 to 2 1/4
  • 6 to 8 lbs. breast – 2 1/4 to 3 1/4
  • 8 to 12 lbs. – 2 3/4 to 3
  • 12 to 14 lbs. – 3 to 3 3/4
  • 14 to 18 lbs. – 3 3/4 to 4 1/4
  • 18 to 20 lbs. – 4 1/4 to 4 1/2
  • 20 to 24 lbs. – 4 1/2 to 5

Stuffed turkeys (time in hours)

  • 8 to 12 lbs. – 3 to 3 1/2
  • 12 to 14 lbs. – 3 1/2 to 4
  • 14 to 18 lbs. – 4 to 4 1/4
  • 18 to 20 lbs. – 4 1/4 to 4 3/4
  • 20 to 24 lbs. – 4 3/4 to 5 1/4

Once cooked, let the turkey sit for at least 20 minutes before carving.

These are just a few of many safety tips to ensure your turkey feast is safe and delicious. For a comprehensive list, visit the USDA.gov.* You'll be thankful you took the time to read them.

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

 

Closed on Thanksgiving

Friday, November 21 at 09:10 AM
Category: Arvest News

In observance of Thanksgiving, all Arvest Bank branches will be closed Thursday, Nov. 27. We will be open normal hours on Wednesday, Nov. 26. We’ll resume normal hours on Friday, Nov. 28, when you’ve woken from your tryptophan-induced sleep! May your holiday be filled with an abundance of things and people you are most grateful for!

For your convenience, you can bank 24/7 with:

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tags: Arkansas, Holiday Hours, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma

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