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Tips, advice, and the latest news from the savings world.

Sticking to Resolutions

Written by Katie Bryan · 19 January 2012

 

New York Times writer John Tierney recently wrote about one man's resolve to lose weight and how he did it. It is an interesting look into how we need to use our willpower, which the article tells us is a real thing. Even though the article focuses on how to keep your resolution to lose weight, we can take the strategies presented and apply them saving money.

The article points out that you are already ahead of the game by just having a resolution. If you can continue working on your resolution past January you have an even better chance of success. Luckily, last week we presented our readers with a simple resolution. It’s a one-time change that you don’t have to work on month after month – increase your retirement savings by 1%.

But, you may have larger long-term goal like paying down debt, building an emergency fund, or saving for a home. The New York Times article offers the following basic strategies to help:

Tips for a Rainy Day

Written by Super User · 17 January 2012

January 17, 2012

By Kristina Wedseltoft, America Saves Intern

 

rainy

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.

Tax Time Savings Tips

Written by Super User · 13 January 2012

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?

  1. You don’t need a bank account.
  2. You only need $50 to get started. Choose to save as little as $50 of your tax refund with a bond.
  3. U.S. Series I Savings Bonds are a competitive saving product. The current interest rate is 1.76.
  4. Tax Time Bonds are marked for inflation, which means you never get back less than you put in.
  5. Tax time makes it simple. Just choose the amount you want to save and you’ll receive your bonds in the mail.
  6. You earn interest right away. Your money starts growing immediately.
  7. Bonds are safe. U.S. Series I Savings Bonds will never lose value and are backed by the U.S. Government.
  8. Bonds have no fees. There are no fees to buy or cash in your bond.
  9. 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).

Resolution: Increase Your Retirement Savings by 1%

Written by Super User · 11 January 2012

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.

FDIC and Opportunity Texas Host Webinar: Texas Saves and Texas Saves Week 2012

Written by Super User · 10 January 2012

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.

Registration
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
Please call or write Gina Vincent at 972-761-2504 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Tip of the Day

  • Written by Administrator2 | January 12, 2014

    Keep track of your spending. At least once a month, use credit card, checking, and other records to review what you've purchased. Then, ask yourself if it makes sense to reallocate some of this spending to an emergency savings account. http://ow.ly/sj972

Saver Stories View all »

Jump-Starting a Financial Makeover

Written by Katie Bryan | October 28, 2013

Nichelle Johnson, a single mom with two teenage children, knows what it’s like to stretch a dollar. When she moved back to Virginia Beach in 2008, she provided for her family with just a part-time library position.

Read more...

Inspired to Build Savings By Starting Small

Written by Great Lakes Michigan Saves | April 19, 2016

With little-to-no money in the bank and living on a limited income with her adult daughter, Sharon wasn’t sure if building up savings for her future was even possible. “At my age, to put debts behind me would be a relief,” she said, but she wasn’t quite sure how to even get started with a savings plan. That all changed when Sharon attended the Great Lakes Michigan Saves Pay Yourself First Saver’s Summit during America Saves Week.

Read more...

Saving Early: Key to Successful Future

Written by Katie Bryan | October 28, 2013

For Johnnie Lovett, a Young Illinois Saver, saving has been a habit since he was a teenager. “As a teenager, I was responsible for buying certain things with my allowance,”

Read more...

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