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CU System
Georgia CU survey Members living on less
DULUTH, Ga. (8/3/11)--More than 58% of Georgians are living paycheck to paycheck, and more than 90% say they are reducing their spending, according to a survey conducted by the Georgia Credit Union Affiliates (GCUA). With every penny needed to make ends meet, more people are making an effort to live frugally, reported GCUA's Mid-Year 2011 Saving and Purchasing Survey. The survey was featured in GCUA's monthly news tips and topics column, Consider This…, for August. More than a third of those surveyed are eliminating vacations, the survey found. "Because frugal living has become a widespread necessity, many Americans are searching for ways to live simply and cut expenses without sacrificing quality of life," said GCUA. "For example, more than 63% of those who responded to the GCUA survey say they have started using coupons." Suwanee resident Mark Myers indicated how he saved by comparison shopping. "We saved $500 a year just by switching insurance companies, and we received more coverage," he told GCUA. "We were also able to save by switching satellite providers. These were changes that didn't have any effect on our quality of life. I can't believe how much we were paying before." Cheryl Spires, CEO of Combined Employees CU, a $9 million asset credit union in Warner Robins, said many of her members are making an effort to live prudently. "Specialty savings like Christmas Club accounts have increased, and loan requests have decreased in both number and amount," she told GCUA. Frugal living doesn't have to mean doing without, she said. "Opportunities are everywhere." Her No. 1 rule for frugal living: skip the impulse purchases. Spires advised consumers to compare fees at financial institutions to find the best value. "The real expense comes from not actively managing accounts," she said. "Avoid out-of-network ATM fees by withdrawing cash only at surcharge-free ATMs or during purchases at many stores. If your account has minimums and maximums to avoid fees for different types of usage, such as debit card transactions or withdrawals per period, abide by them." The league's column also has links to various articles related to saving money. Use the link.
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