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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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


How to Raise Financially Fit Children Brochure

“I want that!”As a parent, you have probably heard your children make that statement more than a few times while shopping or watching television commercials.

Children understand the power of spending money long before they grasp the concepts of earning, saving, and investing. So, in order to build a solid financial foundation, it’s important for them to understand the difference between needs and wants.

Needs are things you must have in order to survive. Food, water, clothing, and shelter are all needs. A want is something you would like to have, but it is not necessary for your survival. Books, CDs, and toys are all wants. Wants make life more enjoyable, but they are not necessary for survival. Children also need to understand the concept of scarcity, which means they have unlimited wants and limited resources to meet those wants. Scarcity requires people to make choices. Learning “we can’t have ...


As Americans kick off the spring season by cleaning, sorting and tidying up around the house, First Reliance Bank is encouraging consumers to add financial organizaSpring Clean your Financestion to their spring cleaning to-do list. To help, First Reliance Bank has highlighted six tips for organizing your financial house.

“People are motivated to get things done when the weather warms up and the flowers bloom, which makes it an ideal time to look closely at your savings and spending habits,” said Pamela Rhoads, VP Customer Experience. “Putting in the work now will help you live your best life in the months ahead.” First Reliance Bank recommends these six tips to help consumers organize their finances:

  • Review your budget. A lot can change in a year. If you’ve been promoted, had ...