America Saves Blog
Tips, advice, and the latest news from the savings world.
November 21, 2011
By George Barany, Director, Financial Education and Youth Saves
This past Wednesday, President Obama’s Council on Financial Capability held a listening session in Chicago that featured two distinct initiatives of the Young America Saves campaign in Illinois, Young Illinois Saves and three other initiatives led by City Treasurer Stephanie Neely, Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, and the college access program Ladder Up.
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.
November 16, 2011
Kiara Hardin, Illinois College Freshmen
The transition from high school to college has been hard, stressful, fun and exciting. Senior year teachers stress the fact that college is nothing like high school and to be honest it isn’t. The opportunity to be away from family puts a bunch of pressure on time management skills as well as money management skills.
Starting college, I did not have a budget plan so I found myself spending money on things I really did not need. I would go to Wal-mart and buy the expensive brand name food. Also, I would go out or order in instead of using my meal plan. Every college student that resides in a dorm has an id that has preloaded money on it for food so there is no need buy anything besides snacks. I also spent money on movies from the local movie store instead of saving money with a plan like a Netflix account.
I read an article yesterday that Americans will spend an average of $719 on holiday gifts this year. And it seems like there are even more temptations to spend this year – from stores opening early on Thanksgiving to commercial jingles about using layaway.
With all these temptations around, it’s important to remind ourselves that there is more to the holidays than gifts and that we SHOULD NOT spend money we don’t have. Roughly one in six Savers that has joined America Saves has selected paying off consumer debts as their wealth-building goal. We want to help savers achieve this goal and be able to buy the gifts they need to this holiday season. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Keep Gift Giving to a Minimum
- Figure out which gifts are absolutely essential – often times this will be gifts for a child or loved one.
November 8, 2011
By Katie Bryan, America Saves Communications Manager
Each quarter at America Saves, we put together a resource packet around a particular theme. Our fourth quarter theme for 2011 is retirement. We put these resources together so that others will share the information in order to help people save more successfully.
How Organizers Can Use the Packet
Organizers and organizations can use the materials in the resource packet to reach out to the public, employees, members, or customers on the importance of starting and investing in their retirement.
How Individuals Can Use the Packet
The resource packet contains all kinds of information on retirement. It includes links to articles, guides, and online calculators. Make sure you are on track to reach your retirement goal and read the latest retirement news and trends.
November 3, 2011
By Elaine Genevro, Senior Vice President and Regional Executive, Union Bank, N.A.
Today, many consumers are experiencing some sort of financial challenge that may be causing stress in their everyday lives. According to a report by the Federal Reserve, Americans carry more than $2 trillion in consumer debt, and a Harris Poll reports that 30 percent of consumers report living from paycheck to paycheck.
These and other reports reveal that financial literacy is a vital skill that everyone should work at throughout their lifetime. In school and at home, it is important for children to learn skills that will help them become financially responsible adults. Adults who continue to educate themselves throughout their lifetime help build a sound financial future for themselves and their families, and financially secure individuals and families help build a thriving economy.
As we head into a new year, it is a good time to focus on enhancing your financial education and that of your loved ones. From encouraging children to save their allowances to learning how to plan for a secure retirement, here are some tips you can use to help at each stage of your life: