America Saves Blog
Tips, advice, and the latest news from the savings world.
After being with my boyfriend for five years we started to talk about marriage. Eventually, the conversation moved to the topic of rings. As we know, rings come in all shapes, sizes, and price ranges and I knew I wanted a nice ring. I don’t have many family heirlooms and I was excited about buying something to pass along to future generations. I know that traditionally the man saves for the ring, but I wanted to help save for this large purchase. I didn’t want my future husband to go into debt over the ring, as “his” debt would be “our” debt soon enough. So we sat down and agreed on a budget and a length of time to save for.
I really enjoyed saving towards what we ended up calling “the secret savings fund.” Saving for the purchase together taught me a lot about our savings habits and proved that we could save successfully. We opened a separate savings account and deposited money into it each month. As we got closer to our goal I got more excited about the possibility of a proposal.
June 21, 2012
By Kelley Long, is a Chicago-based financial coach and member of the National CPA Financial Literacy Commission
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There are many resources available that discuss how to save for big goals like retirement, a new car, a home, etc. But what about saving for something more immediate like a computer or piece of furniture? The same principles apply, only the end game is much closer.
Having something specific in mind is the first step to achieving any goal. Remember the SMART rule, which says that to increase the chance you'll achieve a goal it must be:
For example, let's say you've finally found the perfect dining room set to replace the hand-me-down one you've tolerated through your children's growing-up years. You've imagined how lovely the holidays will be with this new furniture in place, but you don't have the cash to buy it today. Rather than using a credit card, try this process to get those table and chairs in time for Thanksgiving dinner:
June 20, 2012
By Katie Bryan, America Saves communications manager
Do you have a tip to help others save? What do you do to save money? America Saves is looking for your saver tips to feature in our next American Saver newsletter.
If we choose your tip for the newsletter, we will send you a check for $25 to purchase an EE Savings Bond, which you can buy online at www.TreasuryDirect.gov.
June 19, 2012
So you have developed a much closer relationship with your auto mechanic that you would prefer, because your vehicle is heading toward a slow, miserable death. Or, maybe your roommate has eaten the last of your Cocoa Puffs and you have finally had enough and gone berserk. Whatever your motivation may be – a newer vehicle, a home purchase, or a washer and dryer so you don’t have to run to the Laundromat anymore – saving for a large purchase can sometimes feel difficult and overwhelming.
Here are a few tips to help you tame the tiger:
1) Determine how much you need to save for the purchase. Research a vehicle and determine what amount of money you will need to have to put down toward the purchase to have a bi-weekly or monthly car payment and term you can afford. Without a realistic cost/goal, you cannot reasonably expect to hit the target.
2) Figure out your timeframe before you buy. If a home is what you really want, then is it practical for you to squirrel away your pennies aggressively for one year, 2 years or 5 years so you can buy your dream house? The timeframe and other extenuating circumstances like your roommate’s career plans or impending marriage should be factored in to your plan for success.
3) Decide on the amount you are going to contribute per paycheck, or a percentage per month – whatever makes sense for your situation. When in doubt, bump it up a little. If you think you can handle $30 per month, plan on $35 per month. Challenge yourself and stretch just a little farther than you think you can.
By Katie Bryan, America Saves communications manager
June 18, 2012
Many of us connect with others through social media on a daily basis. 50% of those living in the United States have used Facebook and 8% of Americas use Twitter every day. Now, a growing number of people are using Pinterest to share with their friends. Pinterest lets you organize and share pictures you find on the web. People use pinboards to create collections of pictures. Not only can you create your own pinboard but you can browse pinboards created by other people.
In this growing environment where we share so much information with our friends via social media, how can we use social media to help motivate us better save for our goals?
Set Your Goal
The first step is to set a goal and make a plan for what you would like to save for. Once you have that we often tell people to print out a picture of their goal and hang it in a place you can see it. Now with social media, you can make your goal the profile or timeline picture on your Facebook page or better yet, create a pinboard on Pinterest called “Saving Inspirations.” On this board you can post pictures of the items you are saving for to help keep you motivated.
Share Your Goals
Many times we save more effectively when we share our savings goals with our friends. Social media makes sharing these goals easier than ever. Post a picture of your savings goal on Facebook, send a tweet, or create pinboards to share your goals with others.
What Are You Waiting For? Share Your Goal Today!
We want to make it easier for you to share your savings goal with others to help motivate you to save. Use the Facebook share button at the top of this page to share your savings goal or use the pin buttons below the pictures below to start or add to an inspirational savings pinboard.