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You're finally living on your own for the first time. As exciting as it may be, there are things you need to learn about handling your finances. The following information addresses two primary areas of importance: learning to manage your money and tackling existing debt. Although these subjects might seem basic, the consequences of failing to understand and take appropriate action can have a long-lasting negative impact on your financial readiness.

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Whether you are just out of high school or transitioning from college, this may be the first time you've held a job, received a paycheck, and had to pay for basic living expenses like groceries, clothing, or a phone bill.

  • So where do you keep your money to make sure it's safe
  • What if you want to use the cash you got for your birthday to pay a bill?
  • How do you keep track of what you're spending?

Community Bank offers products and services specially designed for the needs of overseas Service members like you, many of which are free of charge. You will also find that Community Bank associates are ready to answer questions, and help you open and customize accounts to best fit your individual needs.

Follow these steps to get started:

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Open a Community Bank Checking Account with Easy Access

Deposit cash or set up direct deposit to your Checking Account to pay bills and cover everyday purchases. Choose from our regular or interest bearing accounts to set-up automatic payments and pay local bills. Our Online, Mobile, and ATM banking options, and chip-enhanced Debit Card, make it easy to access and manage your money from wherever you are. Visit your local Community Bank and meet with a friendly associate to get started.

View the Schedule of Fees Document (opens in new tab)

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Bank at Home

Life gets busy and you may not have time to visit your local Community Bank. Using Online Banking can save valuable time and allows you to check what you've spent, how much you have left in your account, and even pay most bills, all in the comfort of your home. Set up customized Account Alerts through Online and Mobile banking to notify you when your account balance is low or a deposit has been made, making it easy to stay up-to-date on your finances.

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On-the-Go

You finally have a long weekend to take that trip you've been thinking about, but forget to check your account balance before heading out. Enroll in Mobile Banking and download our convenient iOS and Android app to easily access and manage your account balance while on the go!

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Save!

Student loan debt, credit card bills, and everyday expenses can add up. With a little planning and a lot of discipline, paying down debt and stashing the extra money away in a Savings Account can reduce your debt and the related stress. Once you've tackled your debt, you can begin to save even more money for future financial goals or unexpected life events. Even better, set your savings strategy on auto-pilot through Automatic Monthly Transfers, and watch your money grow!

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With the recent recession and high number of student loans, you may have accumulated a large amount of debt. With other bills and expenses to pay every month, it's easy to use credit cards as your safety net. Unfortunately, it's also easy to accrue a high balance on a credit card, and before you know it, you may be unable to make the payments. In addition to the stress of unmanageable payments, high credit card balances will negatively affect your credit score, which could affect you in the future with high interest rates on interest-bearing purchases. Becoming financially secure is difficult when you are only making minimum debt payments each month, which is why it is necessary to put a robust debt-reduction plan in place, and commit to it. Check out the for more helpful strategies.

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Going to college is expensive and more students are taking on student loans to make it through school. For some, paying for college is one of the biggest investments a person can make in their lifetime. But soon, payments can become overwhelming.

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Manage Your Money Financial Toolkit

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The following resources can give you a basic understanding of managing your money:

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Now that you know more about our checking and savings accounts and how to use them to manage your money, take the next steps to personalize your banking services:

  • Create a written plan for using your checking and savings accounts.
  • Create your personal budget using our Personal Budgeting Calculator tool.
  • Create a list of written goals for managing your spending. Be as specific as possible, and make sure your spending categories align with the categories in your budget.
  • Setup an Online Banking account, then download our convenient iOS and Android app to access Mobile Banking on your smartphone.
  • Consider using all Community Bank transaction methods if you haven't done so already.
  • Set up Account Alerts to warn you of low balances, direct deposits, and fraudulent activity on your accounts.
  • Take steps to customize your accounts to meet your financial needs, i.e. visit the banking center for a Debit Card and set up Automatic Bill Payments.
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Budgeting and managing your money should be getting easier. Once you've gotten into the swing of things, take a minute to assess where you are:

  • Review your budget for the past three months and identify categories that went over or under budget.
  • Review your written goals. Are you on track? If not, what can you do differently to keep spending in line with your budget?
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Tackle Debt Financial Toolkit

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Read the following articles, and review the app for specific information about credit card debt:

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If you have high credit card balances, begin tackling your debt with the following steps:

  • Stop using your credit card(s). If you can't buy it with cash, don't buy it, or save the amount until you can buy it without a credit card.
  • Use the Personal Budgeting Calculator to identify monthly expenses, and how much extra you can allocate to your credit card balance each month.
  • Try to eliminate extra expenses such as gym memberships you aren't using or cutting back on weekly takeout meals.
  • Use our Accelerated Debt Payoff Calculator to see how much time and money you can save by using the rollover payoff method.
  • Setup Online and Mobile Banking accounts to pay credit card bills on time from wherever you are.
  • Consider using a Community Bank Debt Consolidation Loan to lower your interest rate and have more money available to pay down your balance. Use our Debt Consolidation Savings Calculator to determine the additional savings you can use to retire your debt balance. Apply online from the comfort of your home. The application takes approximately fifteen minutes.
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  • Three months after you've taken action, review your credit card balances and pat yourself on the back for the differences you've made in the balance amounts.
  • If you are able, increase the amount you pay every month to get that balance even lower.
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Student Loans Financial Toolkit

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Read more about student loan repayment for Service members, as well as information on loan consolidations:

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Begin addressing your student loan debt with the following steps:

  • Write down goals for paying off student loan debt.
  • If you have several student loan payments to make each month, consider a Community Bank Debt Consolidation Loan to lower your overall interest rate and make one easy payment every month.
  • Use our Debt Consolidation Savings Calculator to reveal potential savings from consolidating your debt.
  • Set up Automatic Bill Payments through your Online Banking account to make automatic monthly payments. These scheduled monthly payments save time and eliminate the possibility of a late payment, which could result in extra fees and a lower credit score.
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Staying on target with payments takes work, but should be a little easier with automatic payments.

  • After 3 months, review your monthly budget to determine if your monthly payment can be increased.
  • After 6 months, look at your student loan balance. You should see that the steady, consolidated monthly payments have made a significant difference in your balance.
  • Congratulate yourself for the hard work it took to lower your expenses and tackle your debt head-on. Continue working hard until your balance is paid off.