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Best things: Save your money
Marty Durrence - photo by Photo provided.
As the recession lingers and the economy continues to struggle, it’s time to get smart about saving. Marty Durrence, city executive for The Coastal Bank in Hinesville, recently shared his top five tips for improving financial situations and saving for the future:
1. Pay down high-interest credit cards. “There’s no bigger waste of money than paying high finance charges and expensive fees every time you receive a credit card bill,” Durrence said. “Your ultimate goal should be to pay your balance in full each month.”
2. Open a savings account and use it. Durrence suggests setting aside 10 percent of your income each month and have your bank automatically transfer a pre-set amount into your savings account on monthly basis. “For example,” he said, “you can have your banker transfer $250 on the fifth of each month from your checking to your savings account, making saving consistent and effortless.”
3. Create a budget. “A budget can help you track your expenses and make wiser financial choices throughout the year,” the banking executive said. “At The Coastal Bank, we offer FinanceWorks free of charge to all of our banking customers, allowing them  to track expenses from more than 16,000 sources nationwide quickly and easily.
4. Separate “wants” from “needs.” Don’t buy everything you want, Durrence warns, or you will likely end up in debt. “Ask yourself, before you make a purchase, whether the item is a ‘want’ or a ‘need.’ Once you learn the difference, you can decrease your spending significantly,” he said.
5. Use cash, checks or debit cards to make purchases whenever possible. “These methods of payment require you to have money in the bank to back up your purchases. Try to avoid depending heavily on credit cards, which can result in hefty monthly bills that can leave you short on cash,” Durrence said.
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