America Saves Blog
Tips, advice, and the latest news from the savings world.
February 22, 2012
By Phyllis C. Borzi, Assistant Secretary of Labor for the Employee Benefits Security Administration.
In life, there are some simple bits of wisdom that become so familiar many of us risk overlooking them. When it comes to savings, “Set a goal, and then make a plan and stick to it,” is certainly one of them.” I imagine you heard something very similar in early childhood – from a prudent grandparent, perhaps – the moment you earned your first dollar for a day’s chores. In an economy that’s beginning to show encouraging signs of revival, Americans have an opportunity to save more aggressively and so it’s vital that we recall those bits of wisdom about savings again.
As the head of the Employee Benefits Security Administration at the U.S. Department of Labor, I’m responsible for assisting the millions of Americans who are provided retirement benefits (such as 401(k) plans) through their private sector employer. As part of America Saves Week, we are hosting a public forum this weekend in Boston with the Center for Retirement Research at BostonCollege. The forum, “Women and Retirement: What Every Woman Should Know Before It’s Too Late,” is a chance for us to help women understand what they can do now to adequately save for retirement.
While all people are welcome at the forum, we’re focusing on women since statistics show that women heading into retirement are at a distinct savings disadvantage when compared with men. For instance, women are more likely to work in part-time jobs that don't qualify for a retirement plan, and they’re also more likely to interrupt their careers to take care of family members therefore working fewer years and contributing less toward retirement. Also, they tend to live longer than men creating a greater need for their retirement assets to last longer. This forum is an opportunity for women to hear from some of the experts in the field of retirement planning about some of the most important savings decisions they face.
February 21, 2012
By Katie Bryan, America Saves communications manager
Join @AmericaSaves, Philip Taylor of @PTMoney and @SallieMae for a Twitter party tonight full of tips for saving money in honor of America Saves Week 2012. This is a great opportunity to share your financial goals and receive advice from experts and other American Savers.
We are so proud of the community of people that have joined together to make saving a priority and look forward to tweeting with everyone tonight.
Need another reason to join the party tonight? Prizes will be given out including a $500 Apple gift card. (YAY!)
Date: Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Time: 8-9pm EST
February 20, 2012
By Katie Bryan, America Saves communications manager
The theme for America Saves Week 2012 is more than just a theme; it’s a simple set of instructions to help you save successfully. Set a Goal. Make a Plan. Save Automatically. Knowing what you want to save for, how to achieve it, and then making the savings process automatic will allow you to reach your savings goal.
Set a Goal
You can save more by having a goal in mind. Visualizing what you want to save for gives your savings a purpose. You may be tempted to withdraw from your savings if it has no purpose. But once you have a goal in place, you know that taking money out of your savings is taking away from that ultimate goal. So what are you saving for? An emergency fund, a home, retirement, a car? Go Viral with Your Savings Goal.
Make a Plan
Once you have your goal in place, make a plan of how you are going to save. To start, cut down on your spending and reduce high-cost debt. Next, keep track of what you spend and make a budget. Once you know where your money is going each month, you can cut down on unneeded spending and save the difference.
Don’t forget to keep your savings safe, secure, and growing. Banks, credit unions, and even the government offer a variety of financial products that can help you save.
It can be hard to put aside money for savings. But there is an easy way to save money without ever missing it. Once you know how much you can save, make saving automatic. Many employers allow you to divide your paycheck into different accounts through direct deposit. Take advantage by putting part of your pay into a savings account. If you get paid in cash, take a small amount to the bank to deposit into a savings account each week.
February 15, 2012
By Kristina Wedseltoft, America Saves Intern
Today starts our official America Saves Week picture campaign! People save more successfully when then have a goal in mind. That’s why we’ve created these posters so you can put your savings goal into perspective and share it. You can be saving for something large like retirement or something smaller like an emergency fund. No matter what you’re saving for, saving is always important! What follows is a set of easy instructions to participate!
Here are the instructions:
- Download the poster (Military Version)
- Write your savings goal
- Take a picture
- Post it to our Facebook wall (Facebook.com/AmericaSaves or Facebook.com/MilitarySaves) and tweet us at @Americasaves or at @Militarysaves with the hashtag #ASW2012
It’s as simple as that! The poster campaign will go through America Saves Week ending on February 26, 2012. We encourage everyone to participate and to encourage everyone you know to participate as well. America Saves Week is only 4 days away!
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: