America Saves Blog
Tips, advice, and the latest news from the savings world.
January 17, 2012
By Kristina Wedseltoft, America Saves Intern
It’s a rainy day here at America Saves and I’m sure everyone has heard the expression “Save it for a rainy day”. Well have you been saving for a rainy day? Not many people put saving as a priority, but saving and contributing to an emergency fund are very important. To help you kick start your savings here are 5 money saving tips that can help you save for the next rainy day.
1. Cut down on phone extras
- Get back to basics and cancel services such as call waiting and caller ID.
- Drop your long distance services. Try Google voice or Skype with free domestic calls within the US and low rates for other countries.
- Reevaluate your calling plan and make changes to suit your needs.
2. Stretch your clothing budget
- Make sure you buy clothes that are versatile and easy to mix and match.
- Minimize dry cleaning by investing in machine wash materials and saving dry-cleaning for special occasions.
- Sell your unworn clothes at consignment stores or buy back retailers. For a few ideas of a store close to you click here.
January 13, 2011
Saving is hard, we know. But we also know that there’s a way to make it easier. Tax time is an exciting opportunity for all tax filers to save a portion of their refunds in a competitive, safe, and trusted product: a Series I U.S. Savings Bond.
How do Tax Time Bonds make saving easier?
- You don’t need a bank account.
- You only need $50 to get started. Choose to save as little as $50 of your tax refund with a bond.
- U.S. Series I Savings Bonds are a competitive saving product. The current interest rate is 1.76.
- Tax Time Bonds are marked for inflation, which means you never get back less than you put in.
- Tax time makes it simple. Just choose the amount you want to save and you’ll receive your bonds in the mail.
- You earn interest right away. Your money starts growing immediately.
- Bonds are safe. U.S. Series I Savings Bonds will never lose value and are backed by the U.S. Government.
- Bonds have no fees. There are no fees to buy or cash in your bond.
- Gift savings to your loved ones. Bonds can be purchased in someone else’s name – so you can help jumpstart the savings and dreams of the people you care about.
Learn more about Tax Time Savings Bonds, Form 8888, and how they can help prepare you for the future at www.bondsmakeiteasy.org or by texting DREAMS to 41411 (text FACIL to 41411 for Spanish).
January 11, 2011
By Katie Bryan, America Saves Communications Manager
Here’s an easy resolution to help you save more in 2012.
Increase the amount you save towards retirement by 1%.
Saving 5%? Bump it up to 6%. Saving nothing? Start small by putting 1% away. If you are already saving for retirement through your work, upping your retirement contribution is easy. Just visit your HR department and let them know you want to increase your retirement contribution. Want more information about saving at work? Check out this PowerPoint. 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).
Why 1% is a Great Number
- You probably won't notice a 1% smaller paycheck.
- You'd be surprised the difference a 1% increase can make in the long run. For example, a 30-year-old who saves 6 percent of a $50,000 salary, or $3,000 a year, will have nearly $840,000 banked by the time she has to start taking funds from her 401(k) at age 70½. (This assumes an 8 percent annual growth rate.) If she boosted her yearly contribution by just $500 she'd have nearly $980,000. That's a difference of nearly $140,000.
Want to run your own numbers to see how much a 1% difference would make for you? Visit the Ballpark Estimator.
Have we inspired you to increase your retirement savings by 1%? Let us know on our Facebook page.
January 10, 2012
FDIC and Opportunity Texas Host Webinar about Texas Saves and Texas Saves Week 2012
Date: January 18, 2012
Time: 1:30-2:30pm CST
The goals of this webinar hosted by Opportunity Texas and the FDIC are to:
- Provide an overview of Texas Saves;
- Walk through how your organization can help individuals sign-up for Texas Saves;
- Outline ways your organization can get involved in Texas/America Saves Week from February 19-26, 2012; and
- Highlight a few resources your organization can use to promote tax-time savings.
Additionally, the Houston Saves coordinator will talk about Houston Saves and their event for Houston Saves Week and the Texas AgriLife Extension Service will talk about their Texas Saves activities.
Texas Saves, part of the broader America Saves platform, is a campaign to promote and increase savings for Texas families and children.
To register for this event, please use this on-line registration form: https://fdicsurvey.inquisiteasp.com/fdic/surveys/QV5PC5/
Registration is open though Thursday January 12, 2012.
Webinar information will be distributed on January 13, 2012.
For More Information
January 4, 2012
Financial New Year’s Resolutions are hard to keep. That’s why America Saves, a national initiative that encourages individuals and families to save money and build personal wealth, has partnered with SaveUp, the nation’s first free rewards program for saving money and reducing debt, to offer $1,000 towards a savings account to help jump‐start one saver’s 2012 savings goals. The winner will be chosen on January 31, 2012.
How to Enter
To be eligible for a chance to win the $1,000 savings prize, or any of SaveUp’s other exciting rewards, new and existing America Saves users must register at www.americasaves.org/saveup. SaveUp is available for free to Americans who bank at more than 18,000 US financial institutions.
Learn More About SaveUp
Have questions about what SaveUp is or how it works? Visit this SaveUp FAQ page.