What Savers Say, September

We love to share the best tips and advice on personal finance, savings, budgeting, and managing debt that we can get our hands on. We also revel in the opportunity to share the experiences and successes of Savers as they discover the impact that the America Saves pledge has on their financial well-being and their future goal-setting and management. 

In July, we shared tips with you that were submitted through our online form (which we very much encourage you to use!). We also receive feedback from our savers anonymously through surveys. Today, we wanted to share with you some ways in which the lives of savers have been impacted by taking the pledge.

Many savers find that taking the pledge has made them aware of the impact that their financial decisions have on their present, allowing them to take responsibility for the way those decisions can shape the future. —  

I am no longer a compulsive shopper. I am paying for items with cash and noting my spending habits to see where the funds are going. I am hopeful that I can get out of debt and will one day have a debt free party. I am no longer living a stressful life as a result of poor financial choices. The America Saves pledge taught me that I can manage finances in a positive way. I do not have to live in debt. When a family member became ill, I had the funds to book a flight to see her, for that I am grateful. I paid cash in full for my bedroom set. I had never done this before. I am amazed at how good it feels to pay for an item debt free. Thank you for getting me on my way to debt free living, that vision is now mine. Debt free living is now my vision.

Others use the pledge in tandem with other money-saving strategies.  —  

I have started couponing which has helped lower my food bill and allowed me to have more money to put towards debt. Also, a friend recommended I look into the student loan forgiveness for my husband since he is a state employee. This helped my family save $300 a month, and as long as my husband stays a state employee for the next 10 years, we will have thousands of dollars in student loans forgiven for him, which will be a huge savings for our family. It has made it possible for my husband to do the job that he loves, helping people, while our family can make ends meet with his lower paying state job. I only wish we had known about it sooner so that we would be 7 years away from having his student loans forgiven instead of 10 years away.

We are always excited to see savers take advantage of "set it and forget it" strategies like automatic savings deposits. While transferring money into savings is a method of savings that many employ, setting up direct deposit into a savings account ensures that whatever fraction of your paycheck you've determined to save goes into savings before you see it, avoiding the temptation to spend it. —  

By committing to a savings goal and having it direct deposited from my salary, I have been able to accumulate a decent amount in just under a year I have never before been able to do that. I am 90% of the way to reaching my goal for an emergency fund. This is the first leg to being able to put aside money to pay off my debt and to ultimately save for retirement. I have never had such structure to my financial behavior. This program is a beacon for me.

Taking the pledge helps to empower many savers to step back and assess their entire financial picture, not just their savings.  —  

In the process of putting together a budget and analyzing my debt, I found out that I had two bills in collections. I have been able to raise my credit score and pay down those debts significantly. I know exactly when I will be debt free, and I've been able to save enough money for a trip to Paris in the spring.

Has America Saves inspired you to set a savings goal? Have our tips and emails helped you or a loved one save more? Do you have a tip you want to share with others? We would love to hear from you. Visit http://americasaves.org/for-savers/saver-stories/share-your-tip-or-story to submit your story and/or tip!