America Saves Blog
Tips, advice, and the latest news from the savings world.
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.
February 7, 2012
By Katie Bryan, America Saves communications manager
Most Americans today are not saving adequately for retirement, and most lower-income households do not have adequate emergency savings for unexpected expenditures. To help encourage people to save, America Saves, along with the America Savings Education Council, created America Saves Week. Started in 2007, around 2,000 organizations participate and millions of people are encouraged to better their finances.
This year, America Saves Week is encouraging everyone to ‘Set a Goal, Make a Plan, Save Automatically.’ America Saves provides helpful tips for successful saving, because not everything is always easy done alone. Take a look at our 5 strategies for saving and see how they can help you.
This year, America Saves Week is February 19-26 and when you join America Saves you will receive:
- Free subscriptions to our quarterly American Saver Newsletter
- Free monthly email newsletters with savings advice
- 100 bonus credits with SaveUp
- Free access to our members-only Savers Tracking Tool to help you reach your goals
By Robbin Narike Preciado, Senior Vice President and Regional Executive, Union Bank, N.A.
Most experts agree that it's best to start teaching children about money as early as possible. By instilling sound financial habits and practices at an early age, children can develop a solid foundation that will serve them well throughout their adult lives.
When your child starts to receive money on a regular basis, whether they are given an allowance or are starting to earn money, it is important to convey the importance of saving. When it is time to move beyond the piggy bank, parents should be able to guide their children toward reputable savings vehicles available to minor children such as:
Savings Account – Many banks offer special programs for young customers. “Junior banker” programs provide the full experience for your child, including walking up to the bank’s counter and depositing funds themselves, which can be a boost in both confidence and their understanding of finance. Often times, the financial institution will offer fun incentives to encourage savings, such as rewarding the customer with gift certificates and small prizes for deposits made to the account.
When helping your child establish a savings account be aware that many financial institutions will require that a minors have a co-signor for the account. Your child’s savings will probably begin small, so be sure to shop for accounts that do not charge fees and offer the highest interest rate possible.