America Saves Blog
Tips, advice, and the latest news from the savings world.
March 6, 2012
Sandra Parker is a staff writer at PT Money: Personal Finance.
Do you use an online-only bank? After working for years at a large, national brick and mortar bank, I have begun seeing more and more banks emerge that are strictly online. I started asking myself what my criteria were when it came to determining where to put my money. Are there benefits to being a member of an online-only bank? Are there drawbacks? Is my money safer in a brick and mortar establishment? I did a little research and found out that there was quite a bit I didn’t understand about online-only banks. Pros of Online Banking
Low fees: It's not fun having to pay my bank a monthly fee for the privilege of owning an account, a fee to use the ATM, a fee to get a cashier’s check, and another fee for the privilege of using my debit card. Online-only banks don’t have as much overhead since they don’t have to pay rent on hundreds of branches and the payroll of thousands of employees. They can charge me less (much less) for the services they provide.
Higher interest rates: Online-only banks typically pay a higher interest rate on your savings and interest bearing checking accounts thanks to point number two: lower overhead costs. This, in addition to lower account maintenance costs, makes my dollars go farther.
Same protections: Regardless of where you bank, look for the FDIC symbol. Most (if not all) online banking institutions that I’ve seen have FDIC insurance, just like brick and mortar banks. Cons of Online Banking Of course, not all that glitters is gold. There are a few drawbacks to using an online only bank.
March 5, 2012
By Katie Bryan, America Saves communications manager
America Saves Week 2012 Reporting Survey
Thank you for being part of America Saves Week 2012! Whether your organization's participation was large or small, please let us know what you did. From hosting a Week-long savings fair to simply posting the dates, it doesn't matter when it comes to filling out the survey!
The survey is streamlined from last year and gives you an organized way to share about the work you've done during the Week. Your organization's information will be combined with others to tell the America Saves Week story.
Three lucky winners will receive a $25 gift card (to Starbucks or Staples), chosen at random from those who complete this survey!
Take the Survey Now
The survey usually takes less than 10 minutes to complete. Before you begin, if you have questions about how to estimate the size of the audiences you reached, consult the Audience Estimating Tip Sheet.
The America Saves Team
February 29, 2012
By: Sean Naron, Consumer Federation of America advocacy associate
As a first year saver I quickly learned to rely on a few tricks to stretch my paycheck here and there so I was able to build towards my goals without sacrificing all forms of fun. Last week, I discussed the difficulties of dealing with the disappearing paycheck and how to make sure start saving. That’s the easy part. It is much harder to consistently build your savings without dipping into it. So here are some more lessons I’ve learned and tricks that I use to get the most out of what I’ve got:
Lesson 3: Goals are important and necessary. Start small, and visualize.
- It’s so hard to take a good portion of your money and put it away for something abstract. Without a clear goal in mind, or one really far off, you will be much more likely to dip into your savings and rationalize that you’ll pay that amount back before you really need it. First of all, that makes it very hard to reach that goal. Secondly, let’s be honest, you probably won’t pay it back, at least any time soon.
February 27, 2012
By Kristina Wedseltoft, America Saves Intern
America Saves Week 2012 was a huge success! We had over 800 organizations participate reaching millions of Americans across the country. But just because the week is over doesn’t mean it’s time to stop saving. You should be saving year round to reach your savings goal, and remember, aim for a specific savings goal because those who do typically save more successfully. It’s important to keep your savings goal in mind throughout the year, so try writing it down and placing it somewhere you won’t be able to miss it. In case you missed any part of the week, here are a few articles highlighting America Saves Week and the importance of saving. Even though the Week is over, you can still join America Saves and receive the amazing benefits such as a free subscription to our quarterly newsletter, access to our members-only savers tracking tool and so much more! Start small. Think big. And join America Saves today.
Top 5 Articles
Why You're Supposed to Be Extra Focused on Saving Money This Week
Savings made simple with seven easy tips
On Your Mark, Get Set, Save!
Take 'America Saves Week' to Heart
by Jason Alderman (Huffington Post)
Buy a house, and other forced savings
Top Blogs Posts from the Week
- Five Easiest Ways to Save Money | Get Rich Slowly
- Saving Tips For America Saves Week | Savvy Sugar
- Participate in America Saves Week | Ready for Zero
- America Saves Week: America Saves on Groceries | PerkStreet Blog
- America Saves Week 2012 - February 19-26 | YoBucko
- America Saves Week & Our Spending Freeze! | Saving Dollars and Sense
By Maliz Beams, CEO INGU.S. Retirement
If you’re like most people today, you and your family face a number of significant financial obligations — food and household expenses, credit card payments, healthcare costs and college tuition bills, just to name a few. With so many competing priorities in our lives, it can be easy to lose sight of another major financial commitment down the road — your retirement.
To make matters more challenging, the responsibility of funding retirement is ours more than ever before. No matter what stage in your career, developing a holistic approach to planning and saving — both in and out of the workplace — and seeking advice, education and guidance are critical to reaching one’s retirement goals.
An ING Retirement Research Institute study found that many Americans are taking steps to reach a more positive financial future — well over half (57%) acknowledged that saving for retirement is their most important long-term financial goal and nearly three-quarters (72%) confirmed they were receiving the full employer match in their workplace retirement plan. This is good news!
But we need to be doing much more. Our research also showed that a top concern for more than three-quarters (77%) of retirement plan investors is their financial security once they leave the workforce. By taking steps early on that help you save easily and automatically, you can be in a better position to retire with the financial security you expect and deserve. Here are a few things to consider: