America Saves Blog
Tips, advice, and the latest news from the savings world.
February 20, 2012
By Katie Bryan, America Saves communications manager
The theme for America Saves Week 2012 is more than just a theme; it’s a simple set of instructions to help you save successfully. Set a Goal. Make a Plan. Save Automatically. Knowing what you want to save for, how to achieve it, and then making the savings process automatic will allow you to reach your savings goal.
Set a Goal
You can save more by having a goal in mind. Visualizing what you want to save for gives your savings a purpose. You may be tempted to withdraw from your savings if it has no purpose. But once you have a goal in place, you know that taking money out of your savings is taking away from that ultimate goal. So what are you saving for? An emergency fund, a home, retirement, a car? Go Viral with Your Savings Goal.
Make a Plan
Once you have your goal in place, make a plan of how you are going to save. To start, cut down on your spending and reduce high-cost debt. Next, keep track of what you spend and make a budget. Once you know where your money is going each month, you can cut down on unneeded spending and save the difference.
Don’t forget to keep your savings safe, secure, and growing. Banks, credit unions, and even the government offer a variety of financial products that can help you save.
It can be hard to put aside money for savings. But there is an easy way to save money without ever missing it. Once you know how much you can save, make saving automatic. Many employers allow you to divide your paycheck into different accounts through direct deposit. Take advantage by putting part of your pay into a savings account. If you get paid in cash, take a small amount to the bank to deposit into a savings account each week.
February 15, 2012
By Kristina Wedseltoft, America Saves Intern
Today starts our official America Saves Week picture campaign! People save more successfully when then have a goal in mind. That’s why we’ve created these posters so you can put your savings goal into perspective and share it. You can be saving for something large like retirement or something smaller like an emergency fund. No matter what you’re saving for, saving is always important! What follows is a set of easy instructions to participate!
Here are the instructions:
- Download the poster (Military Version)
- Write your savings goal
- Take a picture
- Post it to our Facebook wall (Facebook.com/AmericaSaves or Facebook.com/MilitarySaves) and tweet us at @Americasaves or at @Militarysaves with the hashtag #ASW2012
It’s as simple as that! The poster campaign will go through America Saves Week ending on February 26, 2012. We encourage everyone to participate and to encourage everyone you know to participate as well. America Saves Week is only 4 days away!
February 14, 2012
By Sean Naron, Consumer Federation of America advocacy associate
Last May, I graduated from college and forayed into the real world, entering a volatile and unpredictable jobs market. A few months of crashing at a friend’s apartment and hundreds of applications later, I found myself happily employed in Washington D.C. However, shortly after starting my first “big-boy” job, I quickly discovered that my paycheck had this uncanny tendency to spend itself before it really ever reached my checking account. Things like rent, groceries, my commute, as well as those pesky student loans, had seriously cut into the amount I had budgeted to spend on fun activities, not to mention what I had planned on saving.
As a first year saver, I have come to rely on a few tricks to stretch my paycheck here and there so I can build towards my goals without sacrificing all forms of fun. So here are some of the lessons I’ve learned and tricks that I use to get the most out of what I’ve got:
February 9, 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 – the initial purchase price of a $50 EE Savings Bond – and an application for a $50 EE Savings Bond.
February 8, 2012
By Brian Page, Ohio’s recipient of the 2011 Milken National Educator Award.
"Buy Now"; "Everything Must Go"; "Same as Cash"; "0% Interest for 60 months"; "6 Easy Installments"; “Diamonds are Forever”; "But Susie has a pair!" Sound familiar? If it is a holiday or tax rebate season, you are probably hearing this quite a bit.
A multitude of obstacles stand in the way of responsible spending choices. Consumers are faced with an innate desire to want more than they can afford because they want it now. Companies spend hundreds of billions of dollars researching and implementing sales techniques that get their products and services into consumers’ hands. If that isn’t enough, scientists have found that decision fatigue sets in as the day progresses and choices are presented.
Here are three suggestions to help guide your spending choices:
Don’t let anyone else tell you what you can afford and why you like it
Spend your money consistent with your own values and goals. In other words, do not try to ‘Keep up with the Jones’”. Advertisers, salespeople, and even society have a knack for making you feel like you have to have something, and it is okay to use credit to pay for it later. Sales and product improvements are the luxuries of a free market that will always be there. You do not have to take advantage of them every time they present themselves. Make choices that are line with your own spending priorities, goals, and budget.