Utah Saves Teaches Money Management
Utah Saves Teaches Money Management
February 24, 2007
By Jenifer K. Nii
Deseret Morning News
Need a little help with that New Year's resolution? No, not that one. The other one. The one that says you'll finally get control over your finances.
If you do, this is the week for you.
Participants in Utah Saves Week, Feb. 25 through March 4, will have access to free financial workshops, free personal budget reviews and free movie passes for a matinee screening March 3 at Century 16 theaters. All are incentives to encourage money management, saving and debt reduction.
"We know that our savings rate is so low nationally, and here in Utah we are seeing lots of indicators of people having difficulties just being able to make ends meet," said Jerilyn Stowe, community impact manager for Utah Saves. "There's a lot of people living paycheck to paycheck, and a lot of people struggling just to pay for the basics, to get by. And it's not just people who are in the lower income bracket. It's everybody. It's kind of across the board that you'll see people using credit cards to cover basic expenses or who have a lot of debt."
Utah Saves is a local offshoot of the America Saves campaign, a coalition of nonprofit, corporate and government groups encouraging people to save money and build wealth. The Utah Saves event will be mirrored nationwide by America Saves chapters in every state. As of Friday, 3,660 people have enrolled in Utah Saves.
"Our spending and saving priorities change over time, from saving for college, purchasing a first home, starting a family, or savings for retirement," said Preston Cochrane, executive director of AAA Fair Credit Foundation, a Utah Saves partner. "Poor financial habits can also lead to poor health, stress, domestic violence, troubled youth, and the breakdown of families and neighborhoods.
"Utah Saves attacks this growing epidemic by giving people the tools to achieve personal savings goals and eventually become financially independent. The fact is most people spend 10 percent more per month than they make. That comes out to $431 per month based on the average American income. Our society has become a 'cashless' society. Using debit cards, credit cards, automatic deposits and wire transfers we rarely physically see our money. It's easier than ever to spend, spend, spend!"
Utah Saves Week workshop topics include basic banking and money management principles, money and marriage, sensible shopping and paying for college. Presenters will include Wayne Klein, director of the Utah State Division of Securities; Utah State University assistant professor Ann House; and Larry Gelwix ("The Getaway Guru").
Participants who sign up for a no-fee savings account at Zions Bank during the week will receive a special 4 percent interest rate, Stowe said. Other participating financial institutions are U.S. Bank, Bank of American Fork, KeyBank, America First Credit Union, Mountain America Credit Union and the University of Utah Credit Union.
In addition, Utah Saves Week participants can receive a free personal budget review session from AAA Fair Credit Foundation.
"Whether it's paying off debt, or saving for a home, or setting aside an emergency fund in case there's an illness in the family or a car breaks down, this is a great opportunity for people to set some goals and commit to saving," Stowe said.
For more information or to get a schedule of Utah Saves Week events, go online to http://www.utahsaves.org/.
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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