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Show your budget who’s boss. Take these four steps TODAY!

You’re hanging out with friends, decide to go out for a spontaneous dinner/movie/night of dancing and discover…oh oh! You don’t have enough in your checking account to cover the tab.

This month’s bills look like they’re under control (whew!), when your daughter announces the deposit for that big end-of-year class trip is due NOW.

Your car insurance has to be paid in two days. But payday is almost two weeks away.

Hey, who hasn’t been in a pinch with their paycheck? But if that pinch is becoming a monthly occurrence, and you find yourself reaching for the “I only do this in an emergency, really” credit card more often than you should, it’s time to take charge.

These four steps are a great place to start.

  1. Use Summit’s mobile app to check your account balances.

     Don’t risk overdrawn accounts and expensive fees. Install our app! You’ll be amazed by just how handy it is to know exactly what you have in your accounts any minute of the day. This is especially important if your finances are really tight and if you’re not the only person with access to your accounts: Your spouse, partner or kids can do a lot of damage if they’re making purchases you don’t know about. And, if you need to get your family on board when it comes to spending and budgeting, we’ve got some ideas that can help.

  2. Set alerts on your online banking. 

    This is another way to avoid nasty surprises. Choose your dollar limit pain point and you’ll get a text or email whenever your account is in the danger zone or if a scheduled purchase or bill pay will put you into the red.

  3. Use the Summit bill pay feature for recurring bills. 

    Many of your bills, cell, mortgage, car loan, are the same every month. Save time and avoid the risk of a missed payment and the fees that go along with it by setting up automatic payments. Plus, by paying online you save the cost of checks and stamps and can help reduce the risk of identity theft (bonus!).

  4. Plan ahead for regular expenses.

     Most of us have regular, larger expenses that we don’t have to make every month - like routine car maintenance, school tuition and car insurance. Instead of scrambling to pay these bills when they come due, divide the total dollar amount by the number of pay periods in the time between bills and tuck away that amount every month. For instance, if you have a $600 car insurance bill due every six months and get paid twice a month, set aside $50 out of each paycheck. Have this amount deposited automatically into a savings account and you’ll be all set when the bill comes due.

You ARE the boss of your budget! Way to go!

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