America Saves Blog
Tips, advice, and the latest news from the savings world.
By Katie Bryan, America Saves Communications Manager
When it comes to saving money, you have two options – cut expenses or increase your dispensable income. For most Americans, our largest expenses such as housing and transportation are fixed and cannot easily be reduced. So what do you do when you’ve cut all the expenses you can?
Get rid of things you no longer need:
- Take a look in your closets, attic, or storage space. Chances are you’ve accumulated some items you no longer need. Sell unwanted items like DVDs, video games, or comic books to specialty stores which generally give you a better deal.
- For collector’s items or items of higher value, list online through auction websites.
- Hold a garage or yard sale to get rid of your remaining items or things of lower value. If you don’t have much to sell, consider hosting a joint or neighborhood sale to increase traffic.
By Sean Naron, Consumer Federation of America Advocacy Associate
Recently, America Saves reached out via Facebook and Twitter to find out some common questions people had about saving more successfully. With schools finally back in session and the official start of fall right around the corner, many concerned parents have asked about college savings plans, specifically, the benefits of what is commonly known as a 529 savings plan.
What is a 529 plan?
Originally designed to be the collegiate equivalent of a 401(k), a 529 qualified tuition program (QTP) is a state administered tax-advantaged investment plan designed to allow families to prepare for the cost of college over a period of time.
You’ve already set your budget and savings goals for September and have been keeping track of how much you have spent – now what? Now it’s time take another good hard look at your monthly spending. If you didn’t start the 30 day challenge with us at the beginning of September, it’s not too late to join. This week is a crucial week to check in on your finances. You might find yourself in a position where you are right on track with your spending. You may even be able to put more into savings or towards your goals than you thought.
But if you’re anything like me, this is the week you need to figure out how much money you have left to spend – and it may be less than you thought you would have.
September 21, 2011
By Katie Bryan, America Saves Communications ManagerTweet
America Saves is conducted a free webinar with the Department of Labor and the Women’s Institute for Secure Retirement to encourage and motivate young workers and those soon to be entering the workforce to save at work.
Time is On Your Side – Savings Tips for College Seniors and New Employees
Webcast – September 22, 2011
1:00 pm to 2:15 EDT
Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration
Watch the webinar now - http://event.on24.com/r.htm?e=356763&s=1&k=5B803C33F30D189F60D4EB4A945E06C0
Whether you are looking ahead to graduation or just starting your career, you probably have a number of financial decisions to make. The U.S. Department of Labor is sponsoring this webcast to provide information to help you manage your money so you can do the things you want to do in the future – both short-term and long-term. You may feel like you are not earning very much and there are a lot of demands on your income. But if you start saving even a little, that money will have time to grow.
September 20, 2011
By Meg Favreau
Meg is the Senior Editor of Wise Bread, a website with thousands of ways to help you get your finances in control and live large on a small budget.
I would like to begin by telling you that I unabashedly love food. I love trying new food, I love making favorite old meals, I love eating healthy, and I love an indulgent pile of nachos, a slice of fudgy cake, and other not-so-good-for-me treats. In short, there’s little food that I don’t love.
But I also love saving money, and I know that food – especially healthy food – can sometimes seem prohibitively expensive (or, if it’s cheap, seem mind-numbingly bland). The good news is that there are a lot of ways to eat delicious, good-for-you food while saving money.
1. Learn to Cook
This is the biggest key to saving money on groceries. If you can’t cook recipes you enjoy, you’re going to spend more money to eat out or buy expensive, not-so-healthy already prepared foods. Cooking can be intimidating if you’ve never done it before. The trick is to arm yourself with patience, some good recipes, and, if you’re lucky, a friend, relative, or even cooking-show host who can teach you some techniques.
Start simply – look up recipes for some of your favorite simple foods on sites like Allrecipes.com or Food.com, where users can rate and comment on recipes. Remember that everything might not turn out great at first, but you’ll only get better with practice.