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Are You Spring Cleaning Your Finances?

FULTON, NY – Spring is here in Oswego County and while some people use the fresh air as a reminder to clean out their closets and drawers, many forget that it is equally important to take a look at finances.

“Many people tend to overlook this beneficial step,” Community Bank N.A. Fulton Branch Manager Tina Stephens said. “Life changes quickly, it’s important to do an annual financial clean-up to keep you on track. I always recommend doing a deep financial clean in the springtime since many people are already thinking about tidying up their lives.”

So before taking advantage of the warm weather and sun, Stephens recommends gathering your documents and setting aside a day to buckle down and complete this financial spring cleaning checklist:

1)   Organize, organize, organize: Financial wellness is all about feeling in control. As tax season comes to a close, you might find your documents in disarray from scrambling to finish by the deadline. Take time to go through your files, bank statements and receipts to organize and shred what you don’t need.

2)   Check your credit score: Credit scores can be scary, but knowing where you stand is essential to develop a strong financial infrastructure. Take the time to see where you are, and if you don’t like what you find create a plan to reach your ideal score.

3)   Conquer lingering debt: The holidays were nearly three months ago, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t still debt lingering on credit cards. Take a look at both credit card and loan debt to access what you owe, and if your budget allows, make a larger payment toward outstanding balances. A few large payments might be all it takes to wipe out remaining debt.

4)   Scrutinize household spending: While you might feel that there have been no big changes in your life, your budget still might need adjusting. Review household bills, especially those that are automatically deducted—are there things like unused gym memberships that can be canceled?

5)   Create a financial calendar: Continue your momentum beyond spring and say goodbye to ignoring financial tasks until the last minute. Set reminders throughout the year to conquer tasks like reviewing insurance policies, rebalancing investments and making payments. Use the calendar in your phone or buy a paper version—either way this will keep you on track for the remainder of 2017.

About Community Bank System Inc.

Community Bank System Inc. operates more than 190 customer facilities across Upstate New York and Northeastern Pennsylvania through its banking subsidiary, Community Bank N.A.

With assets of approximately $8.7 billion, the DeWitt, NY-headquartered company is among the country’s 150 largest financial institutions.

In addition to a full range of retail and business banking services, the company offers comprehensive financial planning, insurance and wealth management services.

Other subsidiaries within the CBSI family are Nottingham Advisors Inc., an investment management firm; Benefit Plans Administrative Services LLC, a national provider for employee benefits and consulting services; The Carta Group, an estate planning and wealth protection firm; OneGroup, a risk management and insurance provider; Community Bank Trust Services, a personal trust and custodial services provider; and Community Investment Services Inc., a broker/dealer delivering financial products and other insurance products.

Community Bank System Inc. is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and the company’s stock trades under the symbol CBU.

For more information about Community Bank, visit www.communitybankna.com or http://ir.communitybanksystem.com.