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Tips, advice, and the latest news from the savings world.

How Barriers Can Actually Help You Save More

Written by Super User · 29 March 2012

March 29, 2012

by Philip Taylor

 

PT Money: Personal Finance, http://ptmoney.com, Twitter @ptmoney

 

You would expect advice on barriers to saving to center around things that are preventing us from saving money and how to remove those barriers from our lives. But I want to flip this concept on its head, and suggest that there may be barriers that you can use that will actually encourage you to save more money in the long run.

After I landed my first job out of college I decided I wanted to save up money for an emergency fund.  I also tried to start saving for a down payment on a new car.  My strategy was to spend 90% of my paycheck and leave 10% in my checking account until the end of the month.  At which time I would transfer the money to a savings account attached directly to my checking account.

 

 

This was certainly a good idea in theory.  But I always found it hard to reach my savings goals and maintain an emergency fund.  Why? Well, truthfully, I screwed it up.  Inevitably, the next month I would always find a reason to spend that "savings" in the attached savings account.  This was mostly impulse spending.  Getting the money back was as easy as doing an instant transfer back to my checking account.  In a matter of minutes, I would have my money back in my checking account, which was quickly accessed using my debit card. 

 

Then I discovered a few self-imposed barriers that would make it more difficult for me to take money from my savings.  Let's look at how they each work:

CFA Partners with U.S. Department of the Treasury on New Ready.Save.Grow. Initiative

Written by Super User · 28 March 2012

March 28, 2012

Consumer Federation of America, the parent company of America Saves, partnered with the U.S. Department of Treasury yesterday on the new Ready. Save. Grow. initiative. With millions of people indicating they need a safe and convenient way to save money for their long-term financial goals, the U.S. Department of the Treasury announced, Ready.Save.Grow., which will provide people with information and access to affordable, safe and convenient Treasury savings options that can help people take control of their future.

What is a Roth IRA Anyways?

Written by Super User · 27 March 2012

March 27, 2012

By Katie Bryan, America Saves communications manager

 

Today America Saves joins over 130 bloggers in the #RothIRAMovement. Our friend Jeff Ross at Good Financial Cents organized this little event after he gave some tips on saving at his alma mater and found that not one person had heard of the Roth IRA.

Saving for retirement was #4 on the 2011 list of Top America Saves Saver Goals. Many Americans can save for retirement through an employer-sponsored retirement plan, such as a 401(k) plan. Unfortunately, many do not have access to these types of accounts.

The good news is even if your employer doesn’t offer a retirement plan, you can still save for retirement, and get some tax benefits in the process, by putting money in an Individual Retirement Account (IRA).

Who qualifies to make IRA contributions?

Anyone who earns income (or receives alimony) can put money in an IRA. Couples can also put money in an IRA for a non-working spouse.

Each person can put up to $5,000 in an IRA if you are age 49 or below and up to $6,000 if you are age 50 or above for the 2011 tax year, so long as your contributions do not exceed your earned income. Each year, you have until the April 15 tax filing deadline to make your IRA payment for the previous tax year. (This means you still have time to contribute!)

There are two main types of IRA – traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs. In addition, those who are self-employed can put money in a SEP-IRA. Each has its own set of rules and offers different tax benefits.

ROTH IRAs Offer Tax-Free Withdrawals

Spring Cleaning

Written by Super User · 26 March 2012

March 26, 2012

By Katie Bryan, America Saves communications manager

It’s Cherry Blossom season here in DC, which lets me know that Spring has arrived. The weather is getting warmer and my winter coats are getting used less and less. It’s almost time to pack away all my scarves, hats, and coats in order to make room for baseball and soccer gear. It’s also a good time to do some spring cleaning of our finances.

Back in January we wrote a couple of articles about resolutions: Including one on sticking to resolutions and one on increasing your retirement savings by 1%.  Well, it’s been three months since we made our resolutions and it’s time to take a look at how we are doing. You may find yourself in one of these situations:

Young Illinois Saves Leader Listening Session Video

Written by Super User · 22 March 2012

March 22, 2012

In November, 2011 Young Illinois Saves was featured at the President’s Financial Capability Advisory Council Listening Session in Chicago.

The event at Michelle Clark High School was attended by more than 100 civic and educational leaders including Council Chairmen John Rogers, CEO of Ariel Investments and council member and Beth Kobliner, national financial journalist. These civic and educational leaders had the opportunity to see the peer based program that generates positive savings behavior led by Young Illinois Saves.

Below is video of teen leaders teaching others about saving at the event.

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Tip of the Day

  • Written by Tammy G. Bruzon | February 2, 2018

    Save and invest wisely this America Saves Week by asking these important questions from the @SEC about the fees you pay: http://bit.ly/2nPXwtr #ASW18

Saver Stories View all »

The Gift of Homeownership

Written by Tammy G. Bruzon | August 5, 2015

Quaneka Willis, a single mother of three children, was receiving rental assistance through the Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee when she decided to take control of her finances. So, in September of 2013 she attended the Make Your Money Talk program and pledged as a Wisconsin Saver. In less than 12 months, she had maximized her savings and was beginning the process of purchasing her first home.

Read more...

Getting Out of Debt

Written by Katie Bryan | October 28, 2013

In 2004, Tonya Shelton was facing financial ruin. Barely making more than minimum wage and having lost her home to an unexpected family crisis, Shelton and her family were forced to live in a rundown hotel.

Read more...

Starting Over

Written by Katie Bryan | October 28, 2013

Until last summer, Michael Lindman spent money freely. “I was a union truck driver for 35 years and had a good income,” said Lindman. “I owned my own home, saved a little, and tried to live within my own budget. You always think there’s going to be that much coming in, but things can change in a split second.”

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Take the Pledge

Written by Super User | September 16, 2013

To celebrate America Saves Week (Feb. 26-March 3, 2018), America Saves is launching the #ImSavingForSweepstakes. It’s easy to enter. Start by taking the America Saves Pledge below for your chance to win $500 toward your goal, then boost your potential prize by an additional $250 by sharing your savings goal, story, or tip on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. After pledging, you will receive an email to confirm your entry and instructions on how to enhance your entry by sharing on social media. See the Offical Rules. Questions or problems entering? Contact us

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