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The following information will help you manage your account wisely.

Know Your Balance

  • If you have a joint account, designate one person as the account manager
  • Consider direct deposit of your payroll checks and other benefit payments
  • Record all checks, ATM transactions, debit transactions, account fees, and deposits in your checkbook and keep a running balance
  • Never write a check or make a charge on your debit card for more than you have in your account
  • Make sure deposits to your account clear before withdrawing cash or making charges against those deposits
  • Balance your checkbook against your bank statement every month

Keep Your Account Safe

  • Report stolen checks or debit cards immediately
  • Update your personal information when moving or changing names
  • Don’t use other people’s checks or debit cards, or let them use yours
  • Keep your checks and debit cards in a safe place
 

Check Writing Basics

  • Always use ...

Balancing your checkbook is one of the most basic habits for good money management. This is a simple method of verifying that your records (your checkbook register) match the bank’s records, as shown on your monthly statement. Balancing your checkbook can be done in six easy steps, as outlined in the worksheet below.

Checkbook GraphicsStep 1: Compare your account register to your account statement for unrecorded transactions (such as ATM, Check Card, Interest earned, fees, etc.). Your new account register total should match the adjusted balance in step 6 below.
 
Step 2: Write in the closing balance shown on the front of your account statement.
 
Step 3: Write in any deposits you have made since the date of your account statement.
 
Step 4: Add together amounts listed above in steps 2 and 3.
 
Step 5: List and total all checks and withdrawals that you have made that ...

Plan

Assess your needs for the future, major purchases, and periodic expenses.

Set Financial Goals


Determine your short, mid- and long-range money management goals.

Know Your Financial Situation


Determine your monthly living expenses, periodic expenses and monthly debt payments.

Make A Budget


Follow it closely and evaluate it regularly, comparing actual expenses with planned expenses. See our financial tools.

Don’t Exceed Your Income


Pay down on credit cards, pay more than the minimum amount and don’t charge more on the card than you are paying to your creditors.

Save


For periodic future expenses, try:


  • Saving 10% of your net income.

  • Accumulate 3 to 6 months salary in an emergency fund.

  • Put money in an Individual Retirement Account (IRA)

Pay Bills on Time


If you’re going to be late making a payment, contact the company and work out a payment schedule.

Distinguish Between Needs and Wants


Take care of needs ...

CINDY_COWARDCoward brings more than 20 years of experience in human resources.

First Reliance Bank announces the addition of Cindy Coward as Vice President of Human Resources. Coward joins First Reliance with more than 20 years of experience in human resources. Her background includes leadership roles with major corporations where she was recognized for a number of successful employee engagement initiatives and for developing and implementing highly effective human resources programs. “From the start, community-minded professionals have been the backbone of the bank,” said David Barksdale, North Carolina president, First Reliance Bank. “We view the HR function as something more than people and policies. It’s a multi-faceted area that is critical to shaping the future growth of the bank. Cindy’s background, skills and record of success in that space, fits our culture and I know that she will make a difference for our associates and our customers.”          ...

dreamstime_xl_32370731 More than 70 percent of college graduates began their career owing more than $37,000 in student loans in 2017. Considering the additional living expenses they’ll soon face, new college graduates would be wise to focus on their financial future right now. We have highlighted six smart financial decisions college graduates should consider to position themselves for financial success as they embark on their next phase of life. The habits new graduates develop right now will have a big effect on their financial future. Living expenses add up quickly once you’re out on your own, and many young adults who didn’t plan ahead are delaying major milestones like getting married or buying a home because of their financial situation. The good news is that you can have a bright financial future if you think strategically about money right out of the gate. Follow these 6 tips for a better financial future:

  • Live ...

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The summer months mean many kids in America are working for some extra cash in their pocket. Whether he or she is doing odd jobs around the house or working at the local pool, it’s the perfect time to teach your child financial lessons that will last a lifetime.

It’s never too early to begin teaching children the basics of finance. We encourage parents to expose their children to experiences like visiting the bank, budgeting and paying bills.

Here’s some examples of teachable moments to help you get started:


  • At the bank. When you go to the bank, bring your children with you and show them how transactions work. Get the manager to explain how the bank operates, how money generates interest and how an ATM works.



  • On payday. Discuss how your pay is budgeted to pay for housing, food and clothing, and how a portion is saved for ...

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So you are looking for your dream home. Did you know your credit score will affect your ability to qualify for the best home loan rates and home loan products? Specifically, a lower credit score might lead to:


  1. A higher interest rate

  2. Higher closing costs

  3. Higher private mortgage insurance (PMI)


That's why it's important for you to understand what a credit score is and how your financial activities directly influence your credit score.

The History of Credit Scoring

The credit scoring system used today was designed in the 1950s to help lenders determine how well consumers can repay a loan in a timely manner. Over the decades, laws have been enacted to establish and maintain transparent credit scoring and reporting practices.

For example, the Fair Credit Reporting Act in 1971 established guidelines for fair practices regarding the use of credit scoring. In addition, the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act ...

Tracey HillFirst Reliance Bank announces the addition of Tracey Hill as director of treasury services. In this role, Hill will be responsible for developing and managing the bank’s commercial deposit relationships across the bank’s footprint. A certified treasury professional (CTP), Hill’s background includes close to 30 years of experience in treasury management, operations and sales with banks located in Charlotte, N.C. In addition, his experience includes the formation of a treasury services platform for a community bank, which provided him the unique perspective from the ground up on how to design and implement cash management solutions for small businesses. “Experienced treasury service bankers like Tracey are a trusted resource for our business customers,” said David Barksdale, North Carolina president, First Reliance Bank. “He is extremely knowledgeable about the available banking products and skilled at identifying the most effective options for managing cash. Tracey’s ‘do what it takes’ mindset to customer service ...

First Reliance First Time Homebuyer

Before you can make the transition from renting your home to owning your home, you will need to have a substantial down payment, typically 5 to 20 percent of the home’s value. First Reliance Bank suggests the following tips to help save for it:



​Develop a budget & timeline.


Start by determining how much you’ll need for a down payment. Create a budget and calculate how much you can realistically save each month – that will help you gauge when you’ll be ready to transition from renter to homeowner.

Establish a separate savings account.


Set up a separate savings account exclusively for your down payment and make your monthly contributions automatic. By keeping this money separate, you’ll be less likely to tap into it when you’re tight on cash.



Shop around to reduce major monthly expenses.


It’s a good idea to check rates for your car insurance, renter’s insurance, health ...

First Reliance Bank Savings PlansThe key to a good budget is including as much information as you can, so that you can adequately prepare and plan. It's important to keep accurate records of your spending so you'll spot places where you can save money and know how much you can reasonably spend.

What is your current income? The first step in creating a budget is to total all of your income, or money coming. We recommend you do this on a monthly basis. Include only your take home pay (this is your salary minus taxes and deductions). Your income may also include tips, child support, investment income, etc.

What are your monthly expenses?  Next, you'll need to track your expenses, or money going out. Some of your bills will vary from month-to-month, so use a monthly average. For example, if your cell phone is $45 one month and $55 the next, estimate $50 per ...

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