Money Matters: Living Within Your Means

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Hey! Let’s talk about something fundamental, like living within your means.

Living within your means may be the most important financial habit. If you live within your means, your monthly expenses will not be more than your net monthly income.

There are three steps you can take to see if you’re living within your means.

Step 1. Record everything you spend your money on over the course of a month to get a picture of your spending habits.

Step 2. Add up all your ...

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Money Matters: Secure Mobile Banking

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Hey! Interested in the convenience of mobile banking, but worried about security? Here are 5 tips to keep your money safe.

  1. Use a unique password, and keep it a secret.
  2. Check your connection. Website addresses that start with “https“ indicate you are on a secure site.
  3. If someone contacts you and claims to work for your bank, contact your bank directly to verify the person is actually a representative.
  4. Regularly monitor your accounts and transactions so that you can spot and report fraud to ...
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Money Matters: Credit Card Debt

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Hey! How can a snowball help you become debt free?

If you’re using credit cards to finance your way of life and not paying off the balance each month, you’re probably paying a lot in interest and penalties.

For instance, paying the $25 minimum on a $1,000 balance will take over four years to pay off and could cost you over $300 in interest alone. So it’s in your best interest to pay that balance off as quickly as possible.

That’s where the ...

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Money Matters: Budget Bubbles

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Hey! Did you know that budgeting doesn’t have to be painful?

Fact is, it could actually be fun!

Southern Bank offers the Budget Bubble tool in online banking. It shows where your money is going and allows you to set up your own categories. Next you assign a goal for each category. Then the tool automatically shows you when you are on target (green), close to your target (yellow), or over your target budget (red).

The Budget Bubble tool is handy since you ...

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Money Matters: Mobile Wallets

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Hey! Do you know about the benefits of a mobile wallet?

Most smartphones today have access to a mobile wallet, which virtually stores payment card information, including credit cards, prepaid cards and checking accounts.

They can be used for both in-person and online purchases. To use the wallet to pay at a store, all you have to do is hold it near the payment machine and either type in your PIN number or approve it on your phone.

The wallet can store payment ...

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Money Matters: Choosing a Small Business Credit Card

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Hey! If you need help deciding which small business credit card to get, here are three tips to make sure you’re getting the one that fits your business:
  1. Review your business’s spending habits. If you pay back in full every month, it may be more beneficial to find a card with big rewards. If you carry balances from month to month, it might be better to get a card with a 0% APR period or low ongoing interest charges.
  2. Pick your rewards. ...
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Money Matters: Tax Brackets

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Hey! Do you know what your tax bracket is?

A tax bracket refers to a range of incomes subject to a certain income tax rate. There are seven federal income tax brackets, ranging from 10% to 37%.

Your bracket depends on your taxable income and your filing status. The more money you make, the more taxation will increase.

There are four options for filing status: single, married and filing together, married and filing separately, and head of household, which means that you are ...

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Money Matters: Family Finances

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Hey! Do you know how to have the hard conversations about money with your family? Here are four topics to get your conversations started.

Number 1. Where to find key documents, including bank account information, documentation of any assets or liabilities, deeds, titles, and life insurance.

Number 2. Plans in case of illness. Who will be the power of attorney when a loved one falls ill?

Number 3. It’s a good idea to document increased and ongoing healthcare needs, and discuss those needs ...

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Money Matters: How Tax Brackets Work @757

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TRANSCRIPT

(Kristen) Welcome to Money Matters at 757 with Justin Chastain. And, Justin, we hear a lot of the term about “tax brackets,” but how do they actually work?

(Justin) That’s exactly right, and, you know, I don’t know if anybody really knows. I’m kidding with that! It can be complicated, but, like I always say, have a trusted advisor. You can find these tax brackets, marginal tax brackets, out on the irs.gov. The more you earn, the higher your marginal tax ...

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Money Matters: Budgeting for Rent @757

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TRANSCRIPT

(Kristen) Welcome to Money Matters at 7:57 with Justin Chastain. And Justin, this is something: How much should we be budgeting for rent?

(Justin) You know, everybody seems like that. Mortgages are the hot topic, but renting is another hot topic, because some people are selling their mortgage or their house to rent, because the price of housing is so high. We recommend taking your net income — so after taxes — looking at that bottom number, and saying, “OK, 30% ...

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