Small Change: Every Amount Helps
Small Change: Every Amount Helps
Anna Mae Brown
The Morning Sun
Kansas Saves and America Saves is a national campaign by many educational service organizations to encourage more people to make a commitment to save, reduce debt, invest, and build wealth.
The United States Treasury reports that Americans hold about $15 billion in loose change. What portion of that change is lying around in your home?
Thinking of pocket change as an investment may seem a bit of a stretch, but it is estimated that the average household accumulates $50 of change every month. Invested over 20 years (@5% interest) would yield over $20,000. Small things can grow into bigger opportunities.
Saving change at the end of each day or week can add to personal savings or be used to fund extras. Use your change for an evening out each month or to pay extra on a bill. Saving that change can also help you reach longer term goals like a family vacation or to upgrade the family's computer, television or other equipment.
The economy is stimulated by people spending, but before you spend, it is important to look at your individual or family situation and your needs. Have some saving goals in mind.
Be sure an emergency fund is included in your savings goals. The typical amount of emergency savings that an individual needs is $2,000. The two most often types of emergency expenditures are related to health care or vehicle expense.
Another good saving goal is to aim for three to six months of living expenses or more saved in case your job ends.
Idaho Extension offers some excellent ways to help you make saving money and planning for the future a part of your personal and family goals.
• Know the difference between wants and needs. Write down fifteen things you feel you cannot live without. Then cut that list down to six or seven. You will have a better picture of what you truly need.
• Stop going shopping. If you stay out of stores, you don't spend money. That also includes Internet shopping. The fewer times you are exposed to items to buy, the more money you will keep in your account. Shop with a plan or a list of things you truly need.
• Take care of what you have. Simple attention to the items we own can often help them last longer and eliminate repair bills.
• Wear it out. We discard many things that are still usable. How much could you save if you decided to use an item 20% longer?
• Do it yourself. Learn to do as much as you can on your own. And trade your skills with friends or neighbors who may have skills that you may need.
• Anticipate your needs and plan ahead. If possible, delay buying items until they come on sale. Thinking ahead stops the big threat of impulse buying.
• Look for bargains and get it for less. Learn to comparison shop. If buying a large item expense, get at least three prices from different stores before buying. Always give yourself a day or two to think about major purchases.
• Cut back on credit spending. Make a resolution that if you can't pay cash, you won't buy it.
• When extra cash comes your way such as a tax refund or a monetary gift, put it into your savings account.
• Stop trying to impress other people with the things you buy. Buy what you need, not what you want others to think you have.
So gather up that loose change you may have lying around your home. It is one way to start saving. Then apply these additional tips to set your own personal and family goals toward becoming a Kansas Saver.
For additional information, you can go to www.kansassaves.org. If you choose to enroll in the Kansas Saver program, you will receive the quarterly "America Saves" newsletter with saving tips and information how others have saved for their goals. No one will monitor your saving progress, but you will have access to a wide variety of savings and financial educational information.
Primary Press Contact
The Consumer Federation of America
Attn: America Saves Campaign
1620 Eye St NW, Suite 200
Washington, DC 20006
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