Branch of the Week

  • 11 Mar 2016
  • Posted by Admin

Congratulations to our Aberdeen Branch for winning this weeks Fun Fact Challenge!

Congratulations to our March Week 1 Winning Customers!

Fun Fact Challenge Customer of the Week:             Christine M- Rising Sun

Super Star Customer of the Week:                              Michael D- Aberdeen

Aberdeen_Customer

 

Thank You to all of our customers that sent in their Branch Shout-Outs!

Check out the Previous Weeks Fun Facts and visit our Facebook Page to join in the fun!

 

 

2016 March Standings:                                                  

Aberdeen                                                                              
Hampden                                                                            
Centennial                                                                            

2016 Branch of the Year Standings:  

Aberdeen
Hampden
Maple Lawn

 

 

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February Branch of the Month- Aberdeen

  • 04 Mar 2016
  • Posted by Admin

Congratulations to our Aberdeen Branch for winning this month's Fun Fact Challenge!

Congratulations to our February Winning Customers!

Herbert T-Aberdeen

Charles H-Aberdeen

Tom M- Hampden

Ej B-Glen Arm

 

Ray-Aberdeen

Thank You to all of our customers that sent in their Branch Shout-Outs!

Check out the Previous Weeks Fun Facts and visit our Facebook Page to join in the fun!

 

 

 

2016 Branch of the Year Stats:
1st Place Aberdeen
2nd Hampden
3rd Maple Lawn

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9 Green Business Opportunities for Eco-Entrepreneurs

  • 03 Mar 2016
  • Posted by Admin

There have been many speculations in recent years about the future of our planet, our environment and all living things that surround us.

Eco-greenThere are still ongoing problems and issues about climate changes, gas emissions, energy consumption and other alarming subjects. In response to these urgent problems today, there has emerged a solution in a shape of sustainable development.
As we live in a world where economy and politics rule over, we find ourselves in an uncomfortable situation choosing between working to survive and working for accomplishing higher goals.

Fortunately, there have been certain developments in this sphere and soon enough

many people who have the desire to prosper will be able to start their own green businesses that will not only bring them success but will also positively affect the environment.

These are some of the business opportunities of the future:

1) Composting Business
compostMany people worldwide already use composting as one of their daily activities.
This is a common practice in most rural areas, smaller towns and villages where people farm their own crops, grow their own foods or just have a small piece of land they maintain. Of course, this will become a more common practice in the future as the demand for organic materials is rapidly growing.
It is a business that requires minimum startup costs, where you have a clear and visible target clientele and the best thing is that it is completely home-based.
2) Organic Clothing Lines
The fashion industry represents one of the most sustainable industries in the world. Of course, all around the globe, people have becoming more interested in organic clothing lines and eco-friendly garments.
This could be a great business opportunity for creative people who can create their own fashion lines by using only natural and organic materials.
The demand for organic clothing is rapidly growing as the materials used are much more durable and of higher quality and mostly they do not support free or child labor.

3) Eco Blogger
Whether we would like to admit it or not, we are all very much involved in the virtual world.
The internet and technological era is taking over and it is certain to say that the future is exactly here. Blogging has become one of the most popular means of earning easy money, sort to say. But as easy as it sounds, being a devoted blogger is not so simple.
Of course, this is a great opportunity for all those virtual eco-minded people who see the real problems, seek solutions and are not afraid to share them with the rest of the world.

4) Green Architecture
Can you imagine a self-sustainable home that works on the principle of solar panels, energy and water saving devices made from all natural materials?
No it is not a fantasy.
Green architecture or sometimes even called green construction is an actual line of business that is becoming more popular every minute. A professional team of people is set to create homes, buildings and other facilities using only eco-friendly products and energy saving materials.
A functional, practical and most importantly – a healthy way of living.

5) Organic Products
For years now there have been debates about conventional products that we use in our everyday life.
From cleaning products we use in our kitchens, bathrooms and living space up to cosmetics like makeup, soaps, shampoos and similar. There have been a lot of debates about these products containing toxic chemicals harmful for organisms and our surroundings.
This is exactly why there is a high demand for organic products that contain only the most natural ingredients and no health risks. It is a great business opportunity for new and fresh cosmetic industries.

6) Permaculture Farms
Great news for all those people who enjoy the country life and would like to create a successful business out of farming.
Permaculture farms are growing in popularity in the last couple of years as they represent a true sustainable method of living.
So why not take advantage of this knowledge?
You could open a green consulting business for advising people on how to implement a sustainable lifestyle on their own. Also, there is big demand for fresh, healthy and organic foods that are not genetically modified. Here also lies a great business chance.

7) Recycling Centers
Why not take advantage of the whole technological development and the rapid appearance of electronics?
There is not a person in the developed world that does not own a Smartphone, a computer, camera, printer etc.
Recycling and reusing electronic waste is a huge chance to prosper in the business world. There are many companies that already have a developed business of waste disposal similar to rubbish removal in Sydney. Reusing these electronic devices in order to sell them again represents a profitable profession.

8) Bike Shop
Many countries have started implementing green methods of transport where they condemn cars, motorcycles and other fuel-using methods of transportation and support other means like electric cars and bicycles.
Opening a shop for selling and repairing bicycles is perhaps one of the smartest options nowadays, as there is an increasing demand for these vehicles. Also, do not limit yourself there; implement other ideas to your business like additional bike gear, reusing old parts etc.

9) Solar Generators
Renewable energy sources represent the future of our planet. One of the most lucrative businesses is surely producing and selling solar generators. This is an outstanding way of implementing an environmentally friendly and sustainable lifestyle in people’s homes.
The best thing about solar generators is that other than the fact that they save energy, they also save you money in the process.
This is great as it allows you to expand your target audience to more people. This means that even if someone does not wish to implement an eco-friendly approach in their home, they will surely wish to implement money saving methods.

We have only one planet and it is our duty to preserve it. The sustainable movement is only a step in the right direction. These green businesses do not represent only a mean of making money but a way of making a better world. We have an obligation towards our environment to become more aware and more giving.

Are you looking for green business opportunities?

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How to Simplify the Home Buying Process

  • 16 Jan 2016
  • Posted by Admin

As a first time home-buyer, the home buying process can be intimidating and stressful. This is brand new territory for you. And since you don’t know what to expect, you might not realize how slow and complicated the process can be.
simplifyBut even if you’re new to the “home buying game” and slowly learning the ropes, there are simple ways to streamline a purchase and minimize stress.

1. Organize your documents ahead of time
When you apply for a mortgage loan, the first thing a lender will do is request financial documents. This includes your tax returns from the past two years, recent paycheck stubs and copies of bank account statements.
If you’re not organized, finding these documents can be tedious and time-consuming. So make sure you have a system where all your financial information is located in one place and easily accessible.
The sooner you locate and forward these documents to the mortgage lender, the sooner the bank can process your application and get you approved for a loan.

2. Get pre-approved before shopping
Some first-time home-buyers don’t understand the importance of a mortgage pre-approval. Pre-approvals aren’t

required to make an offer on a house, but they can streamline the process since you’ll already have financing in place.
A pre-¬approval involves completing an official mortgage loan application and going through the underwriting process, with the lender checking your credit and verifying your employment and income.
Once you’re pre-approved, you know exactly how much you can spend on a property, plus you know your estimated mortgage rate before shopping for a home.

3. Check your credit beforehand
You might think you have excellent credit, but your credit report can paint a different picture. To avoid any surprises when applying for a home loan, check your credit report beforehand.
You can order a free report each year. Check the report for errors and unfamiliar account activity which can be a sign of identity theft. Mistakes on your credit report can lower your credit score and jeopardize qualifying for a mortgage.

4. Know what you’re expected to pay a lender
Speak with your mortgage lender to find out how much you’ll need for a down payment. Down payment minimums vary depending on the type of mortgage.
For example, a conventional mortgage loan requires a down payment between three percent and 20 percent, whereas an FHA home loan requires a 3.5 percent down payment.
You will also need cash for closing costs, which can be as much as two percent to five percent of the sale price (unless the seller agrees to pay all or a percentage of your closing costs).

5. Make sure your realtor understands your needs
Be as specific as possible when speaking with your realtor. If your realtor understands exactly what you’re looking for in a property, you won’t waste time looking at homes that don’t meet your needs.
For example, how many bedrooms and bathrooms do you need? Are you seeking new construction or a resell? What type of square footage do you have in mind? What’s your price range? Do you prefer a specific neighborhood or school district?

Bottom Line
There’s nothing more thrilling than buying a home — especially if you’re a first-time buyer. But the stress of getting a mortgage and negotiating a purchase can overshadow the excitement. The above tips, however, can reduce the risk of setbacks and speed the process so you can quickly move into your new place.

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How to Research the History of Your House

  • 12 Jan 2016
  • Posted by Amarasco

Charm, detailed workmanship, history—those are just a couple of the reasons so many people love old houses.

Of course, when your house is older than you are, there’s a lot you may not know about it. Who built it, and when? Who has lived in it since? Which parts are original? What kind of work have past owners done on it?

Whether you need to know exactly how old the roof is or you’re just curious, researching your home’s past is the best way to get answers.

houseStep one: Ask around
One nice thing about old houses is that they tend to be located in established neighborhoods, and that means other older houses. If you’re starting out with next to no knowledge, ask around. You may find that your neighbors have already been through a similar process with their homes and can share some resources with you.

Step two: Give your house a once-over
The style of your house can tell you a lot about when it was built, and even an approximate date is better than no date. Do some research on architectural styles with your home’s floor plan, silhouette, and details in mind. With a bit of background knowledge, you may even be able to

spot where renovations were made in later decades, or if floor plan was altered.
If you’re still unsure, you can always hire an expert more familiar with historic building practices. Everything from the foundation to the nails used could provide clues.

Step three: Go public
Once you’ve gathered as much info from your house as possible, it’s time to consult public records. By the beginning of the 20th century, for instance, many towns had started requiring permits for renovations, and if you know where to look, you may just be able to get your hands on them.
If your town has a historical society, get in touch with them. They should be able to give you an idea of what records will apply to you, and where you can find them. Your local municipal planning agency, newspaper archives, and courthouse may all house relevant documents, too.

Step four: Don’t give up
Odds are pretty decent that you’re going to run into some roadblocks along the way. Street names and lot numbers tend to change over the years, so picking your home out from all the others may be harder than you think. This is where cross-referencing comes in handy—once you find the last name of an old owner, for example, you’ll hopefully be able to trace the property through these kind of changes.

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Celebrate New Year's Eve With Some Fun Games "Money Lessons" For The Young And Old

  • 30 Dec 2015
  • Posted by Amarasco

new-years-ballNew Year’s Trivia:

  • Did you know that the first New Year's Eve Ball was dropped in 1908?
  • Did you know the the first New Year’s Eve Ball, made of iron and wood and adorned with one hundred 25-watt light bulbs, was 5 feet in diameter and weighed 700 pounds?
  • Did you know for Times Square 2000, the millennium celebration at the Crossroads of the World, the New Year’s Eve Ball was completely redesigned by Waterford Crystal and Philips Lighting?
  • Did you know that a raisin dropped in a glass of fresh champagne will bounce up and down continuously from the bottom of the glass to the top? (You gotta try this)

To many Americans, the ball dropping at Times Square in New York City signals the start of the New Year in this country. New Year’s Eve is also the perfect time to play some fun games together. Play games that can help teach your kids about counting, earning and saving money. Swap out items in the games for coin/cash amounts and let your grade-schooler unleash their inner mogul, then take a trip to the bank and let them open a Junior Savings account to deposit into one they already have!

Here are some fun ideas of activities to play with your friends and

family! Enjoy!

1. Guessing the resolutions
Make each of your guests write down resolutions, each on its own slip of paper. Pull one slip of paper out of a basket at a time and read it out loud. Everyone has to write down who they think made each resolution. At the end of the readings, the person who guessed the most correctly wins a prize. Read some of the wrong guesses out loud for fun!
2. 2 resolutions and one fib
Have everyone tell the group 2 of their real resolutions and 1 fake resolution. Everyone has to guess which the fake resolution is.
3. New Year’s Eve Scramble
Write a bunch of different words on a piece of paper that have to do with New Year’s Eve and scramble the letters. The person who guesses the most words correctly wins a prize.
4. Word guessing
Write down 100 words on index cards such as stare, grin, blink, giggle, laugh, plate, shoelace, thread or any word you like.
Stack the cards and put them in the center of the room. Divide the players into 2 teams and seat them opposite each other. Set the timer or stopwatch for one minute. Have the first player from Team One draw a card from the pile and give clues to the word to his/her teammates before the timer ends the play.
So, if the word is “laugh”, the team member might say, “What you do if someone tells you a joke?” Players from
Team One try to guess the word; if they are successful before the time is up, they get a point. If the timer runs out and the word is not guessed, the other team gets a bonus point. Take turns until all the cards are exhausted, and then add up points to see who wins.
5. Fun photos
Take the picture of each of your guests with the digital camera. Have them make a funny face and be sure to tell them there is a prize for the best face. After all the pictures have been taken, download them to your computer or laptop and ask everyone to gather around the monitor. The winner will be judged on the greatest laughter.
6. Celebrity hunt
Everyone writes the name of a celebrity, famous person or character on a piece of paper and then they stick to the forehead of the player on their left (use tape or office Post-It notes). Make sure they don’t see the name. Now the game starts. Everyone else can see your forehead. The objective is to work out who you are. Going around the table, each payer takes a turn to ask the party questions about who they are – answers can be YES or NO only. If you get a YES you may continue asking, if you get a NO play moves on to the left. Last person to guess their name is the loser.
7. Naming of Candy
For this you need: About 6 different candies that have given names like M&M’s, Crunch, Wrigley’s, etc. 1 Die (or 2 dice if the crowd is very large) Everyone is seated on the floor in a circle. Packaged candy bars or candy are placed in the middle of the circle. The game starts by everyone saying their own name. If you already know each other, makeup an animal name or famous person name or something to make it harder. The leader then makes sure that everyone knows what candy is in the middle. Someone begins by rolling the dice. If they roll a 6, they can take one of the candies in the middle. The die continues to go quickly around the circle while people keep picking up candy. When all of the candies are taken, people then can get other people’s candy. In order to get their candy, they must state the person’s first name and the name of the candy they hold. The person who rolls a 6 and matches the name of the candy and the person takes the other’s candy. If they forget either name, they miss their turn and the dice goes to the next person and they continue to roll. (One person can get more than one candy and people can hide the candy behind their back). This is a great way of getting to know people’s name and how to get your favorite candies!
8. Have a huge indoor treasure hunt with clues
The kids will have a blast following the clues to get their treasure. If it is warm where you live, send them outside for parts of it.
9. Create your own time capsule
Put anything you want to remember along with your resolutions in a container and then hide it till next year.
10. Necklaces made of yarn
The players try to win as many yarn necklaces as they can. He/she who has the most at the end wins a prize. Give each player a necklace. The idea is to get the other players to say “No”. Try to make your friends say, “No”. If your friend says it, then you get their necklace. This game is played during the entire party.
11. Word game
Whoever creates the most words out of the letters in Happy New Year, wins!
12. Guess how many in objects in a jar
Fill a clear glass or plastic jar (with a secure lid) with a known quantity (yes, you have to count them!) of candy, marbles, pennies, tiny toy cars or some other item that ties in with the theme of your party. Decorate the jar and lid with stickers and a bow and place on the arrival activity table. Provide slips of paper for guests to write their names and their “guess” and a small basket or box to collect the entries. At the end of the party award the jar of goodies or money to the child with the closest guess.
13. Scavenger hunt
Some ideas: a party hat, streamers, noise makers, plastic champagne glass, a clock, Happy New Year card, Happy New Year balloon, drink stirrers, coasters, chocolate coins, a calendar, or silver bells to ring in the New Year.
14. Match the country with how they say, “Happy New Year”.

Have a Safe and Prosperous 2016 New Year! Enjoy!

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Travel and Holiday Financial Security Tips

  • 23 Dec 2015
  • Posted by Amarasco

The Holiday Time is a popular time for holidaying and traveling. We want to help you keep your banking safe and secure, easy and hassle-free. Here are some helpful tips you can use to look after your finances while you’re traveling.holiday-travel

Security

You should make sure your cards are kept safe while you’re on holidays, just as you would when you’re at home.

• Keep your card, PIN and online banking secure code safe and secure at all times, remember your pin and

do not write it down
• Register for eStatements so future statements don’t come in envelopes which means your account details can’t being intercepted at the mailbox. With eStatements, you can retrieve your current and previous statements online via Online Banking, at a time that suits you.
• Never hand over your card where it is taken out of your sight.
• Carefully check ATMs for suspicious devices and select another ATM if you’re unsure.
• Pay attention when making purchases - normally your card should only be swiped once, and if a transaction is cancelled or unsuccessful, ask for a copy of the cancellation.
• Use Online Banking to keep track of the transactions you’ve made, so you can quickly spot and notify anything out of the ordinary. also, it’s a good idea to have your mail redirected or collected while you’re away.

Let your bank know if you’re traveling overseas

If you’re lucky enough to be traveling overseas, just let your bank know so they can look out for unusual transactions.

• Have travel insurance organized prior to going and take the details of how to contact the insurer in case you need to report an incident/make a claim.
• Make sure your cards won’t expire while away and contact your bank beforehand if they will
• Look at taking a ‘mixed wallet’ overseas – a combination of a number of ways to get foreign cash/pay for purchases. For example, it may be worthwhile taking a small amount of currency and currency of the country you’re going to, plus a debit and credit card.

Don’t make it easy for pickpockets

With a bit of planning you can ensure that pickpockets and travel scams which are common overseas don’t happen to you.

• Most people usually keep their wallets in their back pockets, they’re easy to pick, so use an inside pocket or hard to reach place instead
• Even consider limiting the amount of cash you require to carry on you at any one time
• Only take or carry the items you really need rather than all your cards and ID
• Keep handbags and backpacks in front of you, locked if possible and never let them out of your sight.
• Keep your cards and cash in different places so you have a back-up if your pocket is picked or bags are lost or stolen
With a bit of planning, you will have your finances all safely organized. Now you can get on with riding the waves, skiing the slopes, tasting the exotic foods and taking all those wonderful photos.

Enjoy your traveling holidays.

 

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What Does Football And Finances Have In Common?

  • 21 Dec 2015
  • Posted by Amarasco

Your personal finances Football-moneyhave a lot more in common with a football team than you might think.

Most people like football and it is especially exciting to watch. Although we don’t always understand all the strategies just yet, we enjoy watching the carefully planned plays. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t, but nevertheless, very fun stuff to watch.

Football and finances have a lot in common. The plays are carefully planned, the teams spend countless hours

practicing and strategizing, there is an experienced coach that guides the team to victory and they never give up.

Their goal is specific, understood by all and there is serious motivation to win.

Your money matters, your financial road map, require the same mindset as those big, bad, burly football players. If you don’t have a specific plan in place, if you don’t practice and don’t have someone guiding you, you will probably not end up where you want to. When it’s time to send your kids to college, go on that vacation or retire, where are those funds coming from? What if you lost your job unexpectedly? Do you have reserves to fall back on?

Read the playbook.

Imagine those football players running onto the field with no plan, no plays. It would almost be painful to watch. Complete chaos. Is that what we enjoy watching? Doubtful. So, is your financial picture complete chaos? If so, don’t panic. It’s never too late to get things in order.

Start by having a plan.

Write down specific goals, what action steps are necessary to achieve those goals and by when. If lifestyle changes must occur, define what those changes are and commit to that change. Sit down and pull all your bills out for the last month. Determine your fixed expenses and compare that to what you actually spend every month. Sometimes this alone can be a real eye opener. Where does all that extra money go? The local coffee house? Lunch out? Those shoes you had to have? Here’s an interesting statistic: If you saved $4 per day (one coffee) for 5 days per week for 52 weeks and invested that money at 10%, do you know how much you would have after 40 years? Some would say about $80,000, $90,000 even $100,000. Nope, you would have $553,396. Wow. Compound interest could be your new best friend.

Are you ready for some football?

With the start of the New Year, We encourage you to spend some time and make a plan. You deserve this. If you need some help, seek guidance. Taking action is the most important step you can take.

 

 

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Howard Bank Aberdeen Branch Recognized During Harford County Business Appreciation Week

  • 24 Sep 2015
  • Posted by Amarasco

From Cecil Whig, September 24, 2015

aberdeenHAVRE DE GRACE — Elected officials joined the staff of Harford County’s Office of Economic Development to visit with numerous businesses in the county during Business Appreciation Week on Sept. 25.

The week kicked off with a breakfast at the Ground floor in Havre de Grace where Good Neighbor Awards were presented to Cytec and Harford Systems and ended Friday with a meet and greet at La Tolteca in Aberdeen and Wargo’s in Forest Hill.

Businesses visited included:

Edgewood/Joppa — Future Skies, Joppa Automatic Transmissions, Harbor Freight Tools, Perez International Foods and Sandmar Properties, LLC.

Bel Air — Sunny Day Café, Towne Barbers, Law Office of Anthony J. DiPaula, Savona, and Buontempo Brothers.

Jarrettsville — Kurtz Funeral Home, Jarrettsville Creamery, Jack’s Small Engines, Jarrettsville Pharmacy, Jarrettsville Family Care, Keen Dodge, Jarrettsville Federal Savings and Loan.

Aberdeen — Hinder Ford, Medline Industries, Inc., Howard Bank, Flowers by Lucy, Dee’s Flowers & Gifts, Bourbon Street Market, Boeing.

Havre de Grace — Havre de Grace Decoy Museum, Desserts by Rita and Wilhelm Automotive.

Forest Hill — Comer Construction, Inc., Home Paramount, York Insurance, T.W. Ellis Design & Build, and Forest Hill Industrial Park.

“We have so many talented and committed businesses here in Harford County,” County Executive Barry Glassman said. “From multi-generational, family-owned small businesses to international corporate headquarters; our diverse economy is one reason Harford County is Maryland’s new center of opportunity.”

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Howard County Ten Oaks Cup Polo Match Returns to the Field

  • 22 Sep 2015
  • Posted by Amarasco

Join us to tread in the divots at the 10th Annual Ten Oaks Cup Polo Match this Saturday, September 26, at Marama Farm in Clarksville. This year marks Howard Bank’s fifth year as a proud sponsor of the Ten Oaks Cup.

The afternoon will include multiple Polo matches, concession stands, family-friendly activities, divot stomping and more. Gates open at noon, and matches begin at 2 p.m. Bring along blankets, lawn chairs and hey, even a grill for tailgating. 

The Ten Oaks Cup supports Catholic Charities and its Our Daily Bread Employment Center, which provides those in need with a hot meal, case management, job training and employment counseling. Catholic Charities serves 160,000 people, and nearly 350,000 meals each year.

Event tickets may be purchased online in advance. General Admission tickets, $50 per car, as well as Tailgate Spots, $150 per car, can be purchased at the gate, depending on availability. For more details and event information, please visit the event website.

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