The Who, What, When, Where, and Wear of how to save when planning your wedding

With the holidays behind us, we’re at the tail end of engagement season (commonly considered the time from Thanksgiving to Valentine’s Day). With nearly 40% of proposals occurring during this time of the year, there’s a good chance that you or someone you know has just gotten engaged or will be getting engaged soon—so congratulations are in order for the newly engaged and soon-to-be-engaged couples!

 But once the excitement of the engagement subsides, many couples find that planning a wedding can be a challenge, particularly because of the financial implications. So let’s take a look at the Who, What, When, Where, and Wear (not necessarily in that order!) of how you can save when planning a wedding.

PCB Wedding Tips

When

Choosing a date is usually one of the first decisions a newly engaged couple will make when they begin planning a wedding. While the venue (the Where) and its availability may determine when you’ll get married, the time of the year you choose can also affect your wedding budget. Generally, the winter months of January, February, and March are the least popular months for weddings (considered off-season), with spring to early summer and late summer to fall being the most popular times of the year to get married. Additionally, Saturdays are the most popular day of the week to host a wedding. The time of day you choose to hold your wedding can also affect your costs as some venues offer reduced pricing for morning/brunch or afternoon receptions, with evening receptions generally being more popular and therefore more expensive. So if you’re flexible with your season, day of the week, or time of day, you can usually save money by choosing less popular options.

Where

The When and the Where of wedding planning often go hand-in-hand. Sometimes couples will have a dream venue or location in mind, and its availability will determine when they get married. As discussed in the When section, avoiding peak seasons can be a way to help lower wedding costs. You could accomplish this, for example, by selecting a venue near the beach for a wintertime wedding. Additionally, your negotiation skills can be useful when it comes to selecting a venue and keeping costs down, but it also helps to be realistic about what is and isn’t reasonable to negotiate. For example, if a venue offers certain options as standard, but you don’t need or want them—consider forgoing such options for a reduced price.

Wear

Another big ticket item when it comes to wedding planning can be what everyone will Wear—especially the bride. Wedding dresses can get pricier the more customized and individualized they are, but buying a pre-owned wedding gown can help you save money. Another option that can save you money is purchasing a sample wedding gown—many bridal salons offer sample gowns at discounted prices, and some even hold special sale events to sell off their sample inventory. Also consider borrowing a loved one’s dress as a way to save money—it can be your “something borrowed,” and if it needs no alterations, you may not have to spend any money at all on a gown!

You can also save on attire for your bridal party. While grooms and groomsmen have the option to rent tuxes and suits, there are now options to rent women’s formalwear too. There are a number of websites that offer women’s attire for rent—so renting bridesmaids dresses, mother-of-the-bride/groom gowns, and even a wedding dress can save you money when it comes to planning.

Who

Once a date and venue are selected, many couples will often turn their attention to selecting vendors such as photographers, videographers, florists, DJs, officiants, and caterers. As mentioned in the Where section, your negotiation skills can be helpful when it comes to saving money booking vendors, but it helps to be realistic about what you can and can’t negotiate. It may help with costs if you research your options, shop around, and ask for recommendations from recently wed couples. Hiring family or friends who work in the catering, floral, photography, entertainment, etc., industries can also be an option to help save money.

Another Who to think about is who to invite. Carefully planning your guest list can help keep your head count, and overall costs, lower.

What

Beyond the date, venue, attire, and vendors, there are many other ways to cut costs associated with planning a wedding, such as:

  • Save the stamp. Creating a personalized website that includes detailed information about the happy couple and their wedding has become very popular, and many companies offer free wedding websites. You can even choose to have your guests RSVP on your wedding website and save on the costs of printing and postage associated with reply cards
  • Put your DIY skills to work. With a little effort, many of the items associated with a wedding can be handmade, including invitations, décor, and favors
  • Bring on the buffet. Opting to serve food buffet style instead of individually plated meals can help keep costs down
  • Fake the cake. The bigger and more elaborately decorated, the more expensive a wedding cake will be. Ordering a smaller display cake for ceremonial cutting but serving guests undecorated sheet cake cut in your venue’s kitchen can help keep your costs down. Or consider alternative types of desserts, like cupcakes or cake pops, which can even be homemade

As you can see, there are many ways you can save when it comes to planning a wedding. Regardless of if or how you choose to lower your costs, try not to stress and take the time to enjoy planning your special day with your future spouse. Congratulations—and happy wedding planning!

The information mentioned in this article is for informational purposes only, is intended to provide general guidance and does not constitute legal or tax advice. Each person’s situation is unique and may materially differ from the information provided herein. You should seek the advice of a financial professional, tax consultant and/or legal counsel to address your specific needs before any financial or other commitments regarding the issues related to your situation are made. Banco Popular North America does not make any representations or warranties as to the content contained herein and disclaims any and all liability resulting from any use of or reliance on such content.

Copyright © 2017 Banco Popular North America. Member FDIC

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How to use a mobile wallet

Setting up and using a mobile wallet comes PCB_Mobile-Wallet_02down to three basic steps. That’s all well and good but if you don’t know what they are, it’s not so simple.  We’re going to break it down for you, so you can start taking advantage of all the convenience and security benefits of mobile wallets.

 Getting started

  1. Do you have a smartphone? Great. You’re already on your way.
  2. Stop by your app store. Which app store you have depends on which type of smartphone you have. For some lucky ones, your mobile wallet may already be built into your phone! Some of the most common wallets are: Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Android Pay. There are more, but let’s keep it simple.
  3. Download the mobile wallet of your choice. Again, to keep it simple, if you have an Apple phone, you can take advantage of Apple Pay; Samsung users can use Samsung Pay, and so on. These apps are all free. And as you know, every dollar counts these days, so free is great.
  4. The app will then walk you through the steps to get it set up, which include entering your credit, debit, and loyalty card details.
  5. Once your app is set up, you’re ready to go shopping. When you check out at participating merchants, open your mobile wallet, choose the card you want to pay with, and hold your phone up to the payment terminal.

But is it secure?

Have you ever lost your wallet? Whoever finds it has immediate access to all of your credit cards, debit cards, and any cash you may have had in your wallet. Here’s why a mobile wallet is a more secure option:

  • Unlike magnetic strips, which are fairly easy to read for those who want to read them, mobile payments encrypt your credit card details so that the actual card number is never given, and isn’t stored on the point-of-sale device.
  • You can protect your smartphone with a passcode. Plus, you can even add an additional level of security and add a passcode to the mobile wallet itself. AND smartphones come with “find my phone” options—your physical wallet, not so much.
  • If you leave your phone behind somewhere, you’re much more likely to notice sooner than if you leave your physical wallet. Why? According to Text Request, Americans check their phones 150 times a day. Compare that to how often you reach for your wallet and, yes, that phone is going to cause a void much quicker.

What if I lose my phone?

While losing your phone is no less stressful or simple to resolve than losing your wallet, there are steps you can take that will secure your information and keep your funds safe much quicker than when you lose your wallet.

pcb_mobile-wallet_01First, contact your carrier as soon as possible and let them know your phone has been lost or stolen. They can block use of your mobile wallet. If your Find My Phone isn’t giving you any clues and you think your phone has been stolen, then yes, you’re still going to want to call your credit card companies and your bank to alert them. Even though your account information is encrypted on your phone, let’s not take chances with that hard earned money of yours. Get new card numbers and have the old ones canceled.

Overall, the benefits of using a mobile wallet can far exceed the risks. And hey, if you’re not sure, get your feet wet with adding one card to start.
We recommend your Popular Community Bank card!

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Mobile wallets: The millennials are using them, are you?

Ever lose your wallet or forget your purse somewhere, only to find out the contents have been rummaged through and you have to cancel all of your debit and credit cards? It’s pretty much a nightmare, right? Enter mobile wallets. But what exactly is a mobile wallet and how do you even use them?

 Getting started

Many mobile wallets (also known as digital wallets or e-wallets) work through an app on your smartphone. Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Android Pay are just a few examples of the most popular mobile wallets available right now. They’re meant to replace your actual wallet. So, when you’re ready, head on over to your app store and download your preferred mobile wallet app.

Once you download the app of pcb_mobile-wallet_04your choice, you enter all of your credit card and debit card information. And yes, it’s totally safe. The information is encrypted and isn’t stored on your phone. Checking out at retail locations that accept mobile wallets is then a breeze. Just tap your phone and you’re done. Don’t think your favorite retailers accept mobile payments? Think again. Samsung Pay can be used at more than 10 million stores across the country, Apple Pay at more than 3 million stores, and Android Pay at more than 1 million stores.1

 Online shopping

You may be familiar with PayPal if you’re an avid online shopper, and guess what? That’s also a form of a mobile wallet! The other mobile wallet apps can be used in the same manner. So once you have all your cards loaded up, online check out is a breeze, too.

 Stay loyal to your loyalty cards

If you have a favorite store, chances are you have their loyalty card. You don’t have to give those up with a mobile wallet. Just enter the account info as the app prompts and you’ll be good to go to keep collecting those points.

 But that’s not all

You may be thinking that you can’t give up your wallet because you have bus passes, subway tickets, and gift cards that comfortably live there. Well, those can be stored in your mobile wallet, too! You can even keep your concert tickets tucked digitally away.

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So download that app, enter your cards, charge up that phone, and get ready to go shopping!
Don’t forget to add your Popular Direct debit and credit cards, too!

1 http://www.consumerreports.org/banks-credit-unions/5-reasons-to-use-mobile-wallet/

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116th St. Branch Open House

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116th St. Branch

On Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016, the 116th St. branch hosted their Grand Opening Celebration.  Maria Alvarado, Area Manager and her team, welcomed their clients and members of their local community for an evening of networking and celebration.  Guests met with Manuel Chinea, Chief Operating Officer, Paul Mak, Region Executive, Gregory Demas, Director NYM Retail Banking and John Funaro, Retail Banking Manager.

Our guests received a first-hand look at the new state of the art technology within the branch. They were given demos and insight into how the new devices function.

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The staff at 116th St.:(L to R) Yeny Abreu Jiminian, Joyce Garcia, Magalis Cardenas, Diana Mejia, Sixto Desjardins, Maria Alvarado, Oneida Martinez, Ana Matos, Iris Gonzalez, Yahaira Gonzalez.

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Greg Demas greeting guests (in Spanish) to our opening.

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Paul Mak welcomes guests.

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Manuel Chinea, COO, speaks with attendees.

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L to R: John Funaro, Pamela Kulnis, Manuel Chinea, Gregory Demas, Paul Mak.

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Adriana Forero, Greg Demas and Renu Dalessandro.

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David Nocenti, Director of Union Settlement, Inc., Paul Mak and Manuel Chinea.

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Israel Morales, NJ Area Manager, Maria Kokinias, Cash Management, Diana Alvarez, Cash Management and Paul Mak.

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Manuel Chinea and Renu Dalessandro.

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Julio Reyes and Roderick Rodriguez.

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Done Deal!

Popular Community Bank is proud to announce that we are financing the following:

 $6,400,000.00
Commercial Real Estate
Non For Profit
Bronx, New York.

$3,700,000.00
Mortgage Term Loan/ Leasehold Improvement
Supermarket
New Jersey.

$3,400,000.00
Owner Occupied Commercial Real Estate
Landscaping
Brooklyn, New York.

At Popular Community Bank, we take great pride in the communities we serve by providing local businesses the tools they need to help grow and move their business to the next level. “It’s our duty to serve our clients and help them achieve success so they flourish within their communities. If they win, we win” said Indira Thomas-Maharaj, SVP, Middle Market. “With our in-house team of experts, we are here to provide our business clients the step by step guidance needed to get started”– she added.

 
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All loans are subject to review and credit approval.
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Special Branch Hours: December 2016

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Black Friday the Right Way

You’ve worked hard all year to keep the bills at bay and save what you could. Now the holidays are approaching and you don’t want to blow all your saved money on holiday gifts. And that’s where Black Friday and Cyber Monday come in.

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The holidays don’t have to be a time to burn through your budget for the year. With a little research and a lot of comparison shopping, there are great deals available waiting to be found.

It’s time for Thanksgiving, and that means food, football, giving thanks, and getting your wallets and running shoes out because it’s time to hit the mall for Black Friday. While shopping on Black Friday is no picnic, doing the bulk of your holiday shopping when retailers are offering deep discounts can really help you stretch your dollar. Plus, the first Monday after Black Friday is Cyber Monday—the Internet’s version of the biggest shopping day of the year. So, if you’re not inclined to wake up at the crack of dawn and fight your way through crowds, Cyber Monday may be for you.

For those of you willing to brave the crowds, we’re giving you some tips to help you make it through the day in one piece:

  • Rest up. Start by getting enough sleep the night before. You’re going to be tired anyway from the turkey, so rest up. Whether you’re getting up super early to stand on lines or are waiting until later in the day, you’re going to need all the energy you can get.
  • Safety first. Be careful in those parking lots, remember where you left your car and be sure to lock your car. You can count on the parking lot to be just as overcrowded as the stores themselves. Drive slowly and be alert. Did you know that a quarter of parking lot accidents occur while backing out of spots? Be extra cautious when you’re leaving.
  • Plan ahead. Have a list and a plan to shop. Make sure you know all the stores that are having the sales you want to hit and the items you want to get. Saving big is fantastic, but Black Friday is not the time to be window shopping and looking around
  • Let’s all get along. Lastly, and perhaps the best advice we can give, is to be patient and nice to your fellow shoppers. Wouldn’t dealing with massive crowds be just a little bit better if we were all just a little sweeter to each other? It is the holiday season, after all.

Now, go get those deals, and take that extra money you saved and treat yourself to a savings account.

The information mentioned in this article is for informational purposes only, is intended to provide general guidance and does not constitute legal or tax advice. Each person’s situation is unique and may materially differ from the information provided herein. You should seek the advice of a financial professional, tax consultant and/or legal counsel to address your specific needs before any financial or other commitments regarding the issues related to your situation are made. Banco Popular North America does not make any representations or warranties as to the content contained herein and disclaims any and all liability resulting from any use of or reliance on such content.

Copyright © 2016 Banco Popular North America. Member FDIC

 

 

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You’re hosting Thanksgiving, and it’s going to be awesome

Our annual time to give thanks can certainly cause a lot of stress—especially if you’re hosting. There’s preparing the house for family and friends to arrive and figuring out who will eat what. Is Aunt Sara still a vegetarian? Is mom still gluten-free? Is your sister still on a diet? And who was it that had the peanut allergy? And of course there’s figuring out just how you’re going to get it all done with just that one oven, and can you really afford to feed all those people right before your holiday shopping begins. Believe it or not, you (can and will) get it all done, and it will be awesome.

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Here are a few tips to help you keep everyone happy, your sanity intact, and still have some fun.

Make a list and yes, check it twice. Plan out a schedule a few days before the holiday so you have a good sense of how early you’ll need to start preparing, how much time each task will require, and whether or not you’ll need help. Have all of your recipes ready to double (or triple) check to make sure you have all of the ingredients for anything you don’t plan on cooking in advance. You certainly don’t want a last-minute trip to the grocery store the day of.

 Cook in advance as much as possible. Even if you decide to throw a potluck, there will still be plenty of food to prepare. Desserts, side dishes, anything that can be created, frozen and heated up later, you’ll want to make ahead of time. Less to do on the day of means less stress and more fun family time. You can also choose some recipes that don’t require your oven, so you and your oven are free to focus your attention on the turkey.

Let them eat cake. No, really, if they want to eat cake, so be it. These days, everyone may have a particular diet they’re trying to stick to based on need and preference. Or, maybe they’re just picky eaters. Don’t let that stress you out, make it a potluck! This way, everyone is happy (and you can save a buck or two).

Get fancy. There are plenty of low-cost ways you can add some fun décor to your dinner. A couple of ideas include: (1) Place cards. They’re a classy little touch that can also help avoid dinner time drama if there are a few family members who just don’t mix together. (2) Table decorations. Head down to the dollar store and grab some mason jars. You can fill these with flowers (real or otherwise), fake fall leaves, or even tea lights. Pinterest is your friend here if you need other table decoration ideas.

Keep them entertained. One way to get everyone involved with a project while you ready the kitchen is with a “grateful message board.” Have a corkboard or pin board set up on a central location with pens or markers. The kids can keep busy for a while cutting out leaves from construction paper. When they’re done, the adults can keep busy writing down what they are thankful for on a leaf and pinning it to the board.

Yes, there’s a lot to do when you’re hosting Thanksgiving, but if you take care of a little at a time, you’ll be in great shape the day of and ready for family, football, and lots and lots of food.

The information mentioned in this article is for informational purposes only, is intended to provide general guidance and does not constitute legal or tax advice. Each person’s situation is unique and may materially differ from the information provided herein. You should seek the advice of a financial professional, tax consultant and/or legal counsel to address your specific needs before any financial or other commitments regarding the issues related to your situation are made. Banco Popular North America does not make any representations or warranties as to the content contained herein and disclaims any and all liability resulting from any use of or reliance on such content.

Copyright © 2016 Banco Popular North America. Member FDIC

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Dyckman St. Branch Open House

On Wednesday, Sept. 28, the Dyckman St. branch hosted an open house event.  Elvin Adames, Branch Supervisor and his team, welcomed their clients and members of their local community for an evening of networking.  Guests met with Wanda Matos, Area Manager for the Upper Manhattan Area, Rafael Sanchez, Regional Manager, and Gregory Demas, Director for the NY Metro Regions.

Our guests received a first-hand look at the new state of the art technology within the branch. They were given demos and insight into how the new devices function.

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Pictured (L to R): Candida Vasquez, Andres Tomas, Wanda Matos and Minerva Martinez.

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Pictured (L to R): Roderick Rodriguez, Dr. Luis Guerrero, MD PC, Rafael Sanchez, Dr. Edwardo Pignanelly, MD, Wanda Matos, Gregory Demas.

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Pictured (L to R): Gregory Demas, Rafael Sanchez, Wanda Matos, Jamal E. Williams MS, Shearrod Duncan.

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The amazing Dyckman St. Branch (L to R): Elvin Adames, Dante Sanchez, Felicia Solano, Sarah Antonio, Lenin Hieroms and Wanda Matos.

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Copyright © 2016 Banco Popular North America. Member FDIC.

 

 

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October Is Cyber Security Awareness Month

 

Each year, the world becomes a little more connected through technology. The Internet touches more areas of our lives on a daily basis than we probably even realize. That’s why the Department of Homeland Security has named October Cyber Security Awareness Month and reminds us all to take some time to make sure our digital lives are as secure as they can and should be. Plus, with online holiday shopping around the corner, you’ll want your credit cards and bank accounts to be as protected as possible.

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If you’re not convinced you need to revisit how you interact with the web, here are some sobering statistics:

  • More than 169 million personal records were exposed in 2015, stemming from 781 publicized breaches across the financial, business, education, government and healthcare sectors (ITRC Data Breach Reports – 2015 Year-End Totals // ITRC)
  • In 2015, there were 38 percent more security incidents detected than in 2014 (The Global State of Information Security Survey 2016 // PWC)
  • The number of identity theft incidents has reached 9 million a year (FTC.gov)
  • Every minute about 19 people fall victim to identity theft (FTC.gov)
  • It takes the average victim an estimated $500 and 30 hours to resolve each identity theft crime. (FTC.gov) That’s not counting the dollars lost to fraudulent use!

Thirty hours of time fighting ID theft can potentially be prevented with a few minutes of protective measures on a regular basis. Here’s how to get started:

  • While it will certainly make your passwords harder to remember (but also harder to hack), using a password generator for your accounts may enhance the security of these. The strongest passwords have random letters, numbers, and special characters.
  • Use 2-step verification whenever possible. Two-step, or two-factor authentication, requires you to provide an additional piece of information after you give your password to get into your account. The most common second step is receiving a text message with a unique string of numbers that you enter to get access to your account. Generally, you only have to use the second step on a new device, if you’ve forgotten your password or if you’ve cleared your cookies. But the idea here is that someone would have to have access to your password AND your phone to get access to your accounts, which is much less likely. Speaking of your phone, password protecting it adds another great layer of security to your personal information.
  • Use different passwords. It’s a best practice to have different passwords for each of your online accounts, but it’s especially important to use a different password for sensitive and financial information than you would for accounts of everyday use, like email.
  • Remember to log out of accounts. This is so important when you’re using public computers (better yet, if you’re on a public computer, browse in incognito mode). But also think about how easy it would be for someone to access your personal information if you’re logged in on your phone—and then you lose your phone.

Visit our branch locator
to find a Popular Community Bank near you.

Our bankers are waiting to answer any questions you may have.

The information mentioned in this article is for informational purposes only, is intended to provide general guidance and does not constitute legal or tax advice. Each person’s situation is unique and may materially differ from the information provided herein. You should seek the advice of a financial professional, tax consultant and/or legal counsel to address your specific needs before any financial or other commitments regarding the issues related to your situation are made. Banco Popular North America does not make any representations or warranties as to the content contained herein and disclaims any and all liability resulting from any use of or reliance on such content.

Copyright © 2016 Banco Popular North America. Member FDIC

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