Blackhawk Bank Blog

Welcome to Common Cent$, a blog designed to help you personally, professionally and financially.  Explore topics that will engage and inform you on topics that deal with current issues and personal development.

2023

Top 6 Reasons Why You Should Consider Buying a Home in 2023 (January 31, 2023) 

It's no secret that the housing market is constantly changing. Almost every day there is a new headline about listing prices or mortgage rates, ultimately leaving buyers confused and wondering "Should I buy a home this year? Or, is waiting to buy a home a good idea?"

4 Ways to Protect Your Business from Check Fraud and Check Washing (January 19, 2023) 

Check fraud remains one of the highest fraud concerns for businesses, and continues to be a worry this winter season. Check fraud and check washing (a type of check fraud) have been steadily increasing, putting business owners’ bank accounts and money at risk.

2022


Social Media for Local Business Owners (December 13, 2022) 

Jumping on the social media train can feel intimidating. But it does not need to be that complicated! Having a presence on social media platforms is enough to get your brand in front of the right audience to set your organization a part.

Will a Temporary Buydown Help Home Buyers? (December 7, 2022)

A solution that has been growing in popularity is a temporary buydown, which allows buyers to purchase their dream home without putting additional pressure on their bank account.

Watch Out for Common Holiday Scams (November 30, 2022) 

.On average, consumers will spend more on gifts, décor, and food during this season, which means there will be PLENTY of opportunities for scammers to steal hard-earned money or personally identifying information. Here are some of the most common scams to look out for.

Don't Overspend This Holiday Season (November 21, 2022) 

The holiday season is here! As soon as November 1st hits, many people begin prepping for travel, dinner plans, extra guests, and, most importantly, gift giving. However, it is so easy to get caught up in the holiday season and forget about a budget specifically for gifts.

Managing Important Employees Who Aren't Key Employees (October 25, 2022) 

Successful businesses require many types of employees to succeed. But it’s vital to know which employees are key employees, which are important employees, and how to properly motivate the latter group.

Are You Afraid Mortgage Rates Are Too High to Consider a Home Loan Right Now? (October 24, 2022)

Before Ruling Out Your Chance to Own a Home, Check Out This Quick, 30-year Look Back at Mortgage Rates.

How to Make Your Phone More Secure (October 24, 2022)

Many of us heavily rely on our smartphones. Not only do we use them to stay in contact with our loved ones, but also for driving directions, shopping and accessing our bank accounts. 

How to Avoid a Scam (October 11, 2022)

We want to empower you to spot the latest scams and know fraud when you see it. By educating yourself on common scam tactics, you can help protect yourself and your money.

What to Do if Burnout is Impacting Your Employees (September 28, 2022)

Measures to support employee wellbeing have increasingly become a ‘must have’ for companies that want to hold on to their best people and job seekers alike. Read on for common job features that contribute to burnout and what to do if it hits your organization.
 

What is a 401(k) plan and how does it work? (September 24, 2022)

A 401(k) is a retirement savings and investing plan that many employers offer. Read on to learn more. 
 

Side Effects of Bad Credit (September 14, 2022)

A history of poor credit can have wider-ranging consequences than you may think. The good news is, bad credit doesn’t have to last forever. Let’s take a closer look at what bad credit is and how it can affect you in ways you may not have considered.
 

Payment & Invoicing Solutions for Your Micro-Sized Business or Non-Profit (September 8, 2022)

We know that as a micro-sized business owner or non-profit organization, your time is valuable. That's why we offer Autobooks, a payment and invoicing solution to help you not only manage your time, but to help you oversee your income and expenses conveniently located in one place.
 

Making Financially Smart Home Improvements (August 23, 2022)

Wondering which renovations will give you the best return on investment? When considering which projects to tackle in your home, take these into consideration!
 

Community Banks vs. Big Banks: Why You Should Consider Banking Locally (August 19, 2022)

There is a plethora of choices when it comes to who to bank with. Here’s why you should bank locally. 

Get Paid Faster (August 12, 2022)

If we told you that you could get paid faster from your customers, what would you say? If you say you'd like to learn more, you've come to the right place. 

Recent Scams: What to Look Out for and How Blackhawk Bank Can Help (July 15, 2022) 

Your hard-earned money should stay just that – YOURS! We have seen an uptick in a few scams, and we want you to be on the lookout for fraudsters who are looking to steal your money.

What is an Escrow Account and How Does it Work? (July 12, 2022) 

One of the biggest educational moments for buyers is escrow accounts and how it fits into the buying process. We know just how confusing buying a home can be, so here is what new buyers need to know about escrow accounts.

Keeping the Family Business Running and the Business Family Happy (July 8, 2022) 

Running a successful business is complex per se. Adding the element of “family” to a business often creates more complexities, especially as the business grows.

What is Lifestyle Creep and How Can You Combat it? (July 6, 2022) 

Access to more expendable cash will not fix all your financial issues. More cash can mean more problems, and one of those problems is lifestyle creep or lifestyle inflation.

Building Credit When You Have None (June 15, 2022) 

When you have no credit, banks don’t have access to a credit history to predict whether you’ll have the ability to pay back your loan on time. Here are some strategies you can use to start building your credit.

You want it but do you need it? What is the difference? (June 15, 2022) 

When creating a monthly budget, one of the most important steps to ¬¬take is categorizing your spending by whether it is a "need" or a "want."

The Virtuous Circle of Improving Cash Flow (June 1, 2022)

Cash flow can have a multiplier effect in terms of achieving your planning goals for a successful future. Often, increasing cash flow requires strong performances from key employees.

What is Homeowners Insurance and Why Do I Need It? (May 19, 2022)

When it comes to buying a home, many people only consider the upfront cost. However, there are ongoing costs associated with homeownership that are not always considered.

How to Get the Most Out of a Golf Sponsorship (May 13, 2022)

t’s that time of the year: golf sponsorship season! It’s common for the spring and summer months to be filled with golf outings hosted by local organizations, allowing members of the community to participate in and sponsor the event to raise funds for their cause.

Are Strong Passwords Important? (May 3, 2022)

May 5th is National Password Day, which is dedicated to promoting the importance of password safety and better password habits. Even though passwords are a part of our everyday lives, many people fail to follow password standards that will keep their information secure.

Is It Time for Your Business to Switch Merchant Processors? (May 3, 2022) 

A good number of business owners may not realize that switching merchant processers could be exactly what their business needs to take it to the next level of success. Here are some questions to consider.

4 Improvements That Can Position Owners for Greater Success (May 2, 2022)

Success is rarely linear. As a business owner, it’s important to both acknowledge that fact and create plans that can provide short-term results while having long-term impacts.

How Rising Interest Rates Are Impacting Homebuyers (April 22, 2022)

The housing market is experiencing another shift – rising interest rates. As home buyers prepare to enter the market, some are nervous about interest rates rising too quickly, preventing them from purchasing their dream home.

It’s Halloween (planning) Season for your Campground/RV Park (April 22, 2022) 

We’ve pulled together some planning Tricks and Treats from experienced campground owner so that you can start planning your own Halloween weekend. The sooner you begin your planning, the easier it will be to execute, and the faster you can open up dates to accept additional reservations!

What Are Contactless Cards and How do They Work? (April 18, 2022)

While contactless payment has been around for a few years, many people still do not understand what a contactless debit card is or how they work. Here are some commonly asked questions about contactless cards and payments, so you can feel more confident next time you’re using your card.

Teaching Your Teens About Money Management (April 14, 2022) 

Your teens probably think that they know everything, and likely tell you so on a daily basis. However, it’s probably safe to say that your kids don’t know everything about one vitally important topic: money management.

The Common Element Among Unique and Successful Businesses (April 7, 2022)

Successful business owners may face a conundrum as they pursue success. “Though my competitors do something similar, they don’t do it the way I do it. So, how do I know the right way to achieve success, especially if I don’t do things their way?”

5 Ways Digital Marketing is Just Like Camping (April 7, 2022)

There is an uncanny resemblance between the ways in which planning for a camping trip is similar to the strategy park owners should take with their digital marketing. So here are 5 ways digital marketing is just like planning for a camping trip.


4 Signs Your Identity Has Been Stolen (March 28, 2022)

Discovering that your identity has been stolen can be a scary experience. Here are some warning signs that your identity may have been compromised, and what steps you can take to mitigate the damage.

Will Opening an IRA Help You Save Money on Taxes? (March 28, 2022) 

It’s always smart to consider investing in a tax-advantaged account, such as an individual retirement account (IRA) or a 401(k), when you're saving for retirement. These accounts allow you to reduce the taxes you'll pay on your income, and to increase the amount you'll get to keep in retirement.

Utilizing Your Home's Equity (March 25, 2022)

.Did you know that your home is more than just a place to host Taco Tuesday? Your home is also an investment!
 

Ex Uno, Multi: The Case for Replacing One Owner With Many (March 9, 2022)

You likely expect that your co-owners, advisors, and employees all work toward a common goal of business success. However, when it comes time for the business to run without you—by your choice, death, or otherwise—there’s a much more appropriate concept.

Are You Protecting Your Business Against a Ransomware Attack? (February 24, 2021) 

Believe it or not, there has been a recent uptick of ransomware attacks hitting businesses large and small.

What to Consider Before You Build Your Home (February 23, 2022)

With home inventory still waning, many people are opting to build their new home, and go through the process of planning and designing the home of their dreams. However, before you take the leap and commit to the new build process, there are some things you should consider.

How Time Can Affect Planning Success (February 22, 2022)

Time is the one consistent element that affects all business planning. It’s also
something that business owners can harness with proper planning.
 

Protecting Your Business Against Check Fraud (February 18, 2022)

.Believe it or not, thousands of businesses are victims of check fraud every year, and it can catch owners by surprise. We wanted to offer some insight into this type of fraud, as well as what steps you can take to protect your business.
 

What You Need to Know About Romance Scams (January 24, 2022)

Valentines Day is right around the corner, which is a time to break out the chocolates and flowers to celebrate romantic love. But did you know fraudsters will pose as a romantic interest to trick you into giving them money?

2021


How to Spot a Money Mule Scam (December 10, 2021) 

Scammers are continuously trying to obtain your money and information, and they may even go as far as tricking you into illegally sending them funds. Over the past few weeks,
 

Unfreezing Your Credit to Purchase a Home (November 19, 2021) 

One way to protect your information is through a credit freeze. However, trying to purchase a home with frozen credit can be complicated to navigate.

Ten Ways to Help Create a Smooth Mortgage Closing (October 7, 2021)

At Blackhawk Bank, our Mortgage Planners want the home buying experience to be stress free, especially on the much-anticipated day that your loan closes.

Top Budgeting Myths (September 27, 2021)

Creating a budget is one of the best financial decisions you can make for yourself and your family. Not only does a budget help you determine and reach your long-term goals, it will also help you manage your day-to-day spending and gain control over your finances.

What First-Time Home Buyers Need to Know About Down Payments (August 27, 2021)

A down payment for a home is a vital piece to the home buying process. Not only could it be one of the biggest checks you will write, but it can also significantly affect your personal savings. 

What Homeowners Need to Know About Solar Panels (June 10, 2021)

Even though solar panels are a great environmental stride, there are some things that home owners should consider when they go to refinance or sell their home if they have invested in solar panels.

What is Treasury Management and How Can it Help My Business? (May 10, 2021)

Business ownership comes with many responsibilities, one of them is managing financial assets. Managing the cash takes careful consideration, and can have a direct impact on other areas of your business.
 

What’s the Difference Between Home Improvement Loans, Home Equity Loans, and Home Equity Lines of Credit (May 5, 2021)

Keeping up with home improvement projects can feel overwhelming for many homeowners. Every year, the list of updates tends to get longer, and funding these projects can put some strain on your bank account.
 

What is a Bridge Loan and How Does it Work? (March 24, 2021)

An alternative solution for buyers is a bridge loan. While a little more involved, a bridge loan could be exactly what you need to ensure that you can purchase the home of your dreams.


What Buyers Need to Know About Home Appraisals (February 22, 2021)

Many people feel overwhelmed navigating and understanding the home appraisal process, as it can have a significant impact on the sale of a home. We wanted to provide some helpful information about home appraisals and options that are available to buyers, so that you can be prepared.

Watch Out for Card Skimmers (February 3, 2021)

Over the past few years, card security has become a top concern. As scammers have gotten more creative in procuring critical information from debit and credit cards, consumers need to be on the defense every time they make a purchase.

New Years Resolutions for Home Buyers (January 21, 2021) 

With a new year comes new milestones to reach, and creating new year’s resolutions are a great way to motivate you to hit important goals. Whether in your personal or professional life, setting goals for the year will help you stay focused and make sure you prioritize what’s important.

 

Health Savings Account Calculator (January 12, 2021)

Learn more about HSA accounts and how they can benefit you!

Snapchat Scams: Here is What Parents Need to Lookout For (January 5, 2021)

Whether you actively use Snapchat or your kids are on the app, here are some things to look out for so that you can have peace of mind while staying in touch with friends.

 

2020

Importance of Cybersecurity Training for Employees (December 23, 2020)

Being a victim of a cyberattack is costly, which is why it is so important to do everything you can to protect your business.


What to Expect During a Home Inspection (December 17, 2020)

While home inspections are common, sometimes there is some confusion about what exactly takes place during a home inspection and what buyers and sellers can expect. We wanted to give you a better idea of the home inspection process and what you can do to prepare.


How to Spot and Prevent Wire Fraud (December 10, 2020)

We want you to be on the lookout for scammers trying to access your personal information. Here are ways you can spot and prevent wire fraud so that you don’t put your finances at risk.

Opting Out of Prescreen Offers (December 4, 2020)

Learn how to opt out of prescreen offers! 

Watch Out for the Aldi Facebook Scam (November 30, 2020)

Has a Facebook post promoting a giveaway from Aldi come across your newsfeed? Click here to learn more! 

How to Spot Unemployment Insurance Identity Theft (November 3, 2020)

Recently, there have been reports of people unexpectedly receiving a letter regarding unemployment benefits, despite never filing for unemployment insurance. However, what many folks don’t realize is that they are a victim of Unemployment Insurance Identity Theft.

Should I Accept Cookies on Every Website? (October 30, 2020)

We know how confusing it can be to know exactly what cookies are and how they affect you, and whether or not you should accept the cookies policy on every website. Here’s some tips for you and your family so you can safely navigate the internet.
 

Who Pays Closing Costs? (October 23, 2020)

The home buying and selling process can be confusing for many people. A lot goes into making sure both buyer and seller are happy.
 

Be Aware of These Social Security Scams (October 7, 2020)

Social Security numbers (SSNs) are critical in today’s world, as many important life events are tied to them. Applying for a job, buying a house, opening a bank account; all of these big decisions require identifying information, such as an SSN.

Benefits of Applying for a Mortgage Through Blackhawk Bank (September 28, 2020)

When you apply for a mortgage through Blackhawk Bank, we strive to make the entire home buying process easy, simple and stress free.

Why Using a Local Mortgage Lender Matters (September 9, 2020) 

When it comes time to buy a home, there are many decisions that need to be made: what neighborhood to live in, determining a budget, which realtor you should use. The list seems endless. One of the most important decisions you will make, though, will be which mortgage lender you choose.
 

Should Spouses Have Joint Checking Accounts? (September 3, 2020)

One of the least talked about yet most impactful decisions a married or soon-to-be-married couple can make is whether to open a joint checking account. Depending on your family’s traditions, it may be common for a married couple to open a joint bank account as soon as the marriage license is signed, if not sooner. 

Watch Out For COVID-19 Loan Relief Scams (September 2, 2020)

The COVID-19 Pandemic has led to many challenges for businesses over the last few months, including financial stress related to the pandemic. In an effort to help relieve some of the stress, the Small Business Administration (SBA) has offered relief programs to qualifying businesses to help weather financial setbacks.
One aspect of home ownership that often gets glossed over, but can be just as important, is property taxes. When purchasing a home, many people enter the housing market with a set budget in mind, but often forget to calculate how much they are willing to spend on property taxes.
  

Safety Tips When Selling Your Home (July, 14, 2020)

When it comes to selling your home, there are many things to consider: what buyers want to see, updates you want to make to your home and putting it on the market for the right price, just to name a few. However, one thing that homeowners don’t always think about is safety.
 

Cash App Scams Are On The Rise (July 1, 2020)

Cash App is a popular choice amongst consumers, as its interface is easy to use and navigate; it allows users to quickly send someone money, receive money, or invest in stocks. Cash App, though, has recently come under fire as reports of fraudulent behavior are making headlines.

 

What is AfterPay? (June 18, 2020)

As online shopping grows in popularity, companies are searching for ways to keep shoppers engaged and to entice them to spend more money. 
 

Business Owners: Beware of Google My Business Scammers (June 12, 2020)

Many business owners, at one point or another, come face to face with Google. Whether you are trying to optimize keywords on your website or grow engagement, it is near impossible to have smooth marketing tactics without Google.

An SBA 504 Loan May Be Exactly What You Need (May 20, 2020)

Are you looking to expand your business, purchase real estate, or refinance your existing business loan? If you are, the SBA 504 loan program may be a great option for you to consider – and there’s a reason why now may be the best time. 
 

Still Waiting on Your Stimulus Check? (April 29,2020)

Even though millions of Americans have received their payment, there are still many who have yet to see their stimulus check.

How to Use Digital Wallets (April 24, 2020)

Social distancing is top of mind and many people are looking for ways to limit contact with the outside world, while still securely purchasing essential items.
 

U.S. Treasury Check Scam (April 7, 2020)

The new relief law is set to combat the economic crash related to COVID-19, and Americans expect to see stimulus checks in their mail boxes or bank accounts in the coming weeks.
 

What is Cryptocurrency and How Does it Benefit Me? (April 6, 2020)

While initially many were many skeptical about digital assets competing with traditional, cryptocurrencies have become increasingly common. The trend started with a few big names in the cryptocurrency world, but new currencies are being introduced each and every year.   

IRAs and 401(K)s: What's the Difference? (April 1, 2020)

Thinking about your retirement plan? We are too! Whether retirement is a long way off or closer than you anticipated, it is never too early (or late) to have a solid plan in place; people of all ages can start now to prepare and save.                                                                                 

How Your Credit Score Affects Your Ability to Purchase a Home (March 23, 2020)

The home-buying process can be one of the most exciting times of your life. Even so, there is a lot you have to do in order to prepare.
 

How Does a Bank Work (January 30, 2020)

Generally, banks make investments or loans using the money collected or borrowed from customers. For the privilege of using those dollars, the bank then pays an annual percentage yield (rate of return), or interest, to the deposit account holders.

2019

Have you seen ads promising easy money if you shrink-wrap your car — with ads for brands like Monster Energy, Red Bull, or Pepsi?
 

Spend or Save Graduation Money? How New Grads Can Decide (May 1, 2019)

Cash graduation gifts can get you started off on the right foot financially.  When it comes to graduation gifts, cash is king.
 

The Benefits of a Business Credit Card (March 14, 2019)

Money may not be the solution to every problem in life, but it certainly helps businesses immensely. 
 

“Will that be credit or debit?” You’ve heard it asked a hundred times, but have you ever stopped to consider the difference between debit and credit cards? 

 

2018

Netflix Phishing Scam: Don't Take the Bait (December 27, 2018)

Phishing is when someone uses fake emails or texts to get you to share valuable personal information – like account numbers, Social Security numbers, or your login IDs and passwords.
 

How to Set Career and Financial Goals (December 21, 2018)

 
 

 
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