America Saves Blog
Tips, advice, and the latest news from the savings world.
September 6, 2011
By Brian Page, Financial Educator & Co-Creator of the Awesome Island Game
Mom, since Jack's Mom bought him a new Droid, can I have one?
Can you get me this piece of candy while we wait in line?
If you are a parent, these questions probably sound familiar. Looking past the obvious annoyance of dealing with a child's constant badgering for more and more, parents and educators are responsible for shaping their financial futures.
It’s September 1st and what better way to start the month than by making a budget. The easiest way to save is to know where you are spending your money and to find ways you can cut back.
Find Out What You Spend
Take a look at your spending for August. Now break out everything you spent into different categories (including saving). You can either do this yourself through a program like word or excel or you can use one of many free or paid services – it’s up to you! Here’s a great example.
You may be surprised at how much you spent in certain categories. I know my biggest expense is eating out – I’m always amazed at how quickly my food category fills up throughout the month. Don’t be too discouraged if you went over your budget. That’s why you are taking the time today to sit down and sort out your finances. Today is a new month and you can change your spending habits.
Yesterday, an OP-ED in the New York Times called attention to the fact that the U.S. Treasury will end over-the-counter sales of paper savings bonds on December 31, 2011. You will still be able to get savings bonds online through TreasuryDirect.gov. Unfortunately, the TresuryDirect website is hard to navigate. Also, making savings bond available online only makes it hard for the 65 percent of low-income Americans who don’t have internet to use this as a savings method.
Over the weekend, I went to a wonderful birthday party for my friend’s daughter Lana. Not only did Lana turn three last week, but she also started her first week of school. Needless to say, it was a big week for both Lana and her parents.
The party was just wonderful, and Lana’s parents did a few cleaver things to save money that I wanted to share with all of you.
By Rasheed Hassan, Illinois High School Student
I save my money. That’s the type of person I am. I’m not the type of person who takes the money that I’ve saved and spends it on pointless things that won’t matter to me in the long run. Chips (you just eat them), shoes (you grow out of them), clothes (you grow out of them, too) - these are all things that I don’t spend my money on. But, if I really want something, then I’m going to save for it using some skills I learned when I began saving for a video game.