Savers who make a plan are twice as likely to save successfully.

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Tip of the Day

  • Written by Tammy G. Bruzon | October 21, 2014

    Drum up #holiday cheer w/a #frugal #family project! Share the gift of giving. http://ow.ly/CVOla  

RSS Recent Blog Entries View all »

  • 5 Ways To Teach Kids How To Save At Home

    Written by Kia Young | July 17, 2020

    We start kids young with almost everything— sports, school, so why not saving? We are always looking for new ways to #ThinkLikeASaver in the America Saves community. The earlier that you have a positive mindset around saving, the easier it is to save successfully as an adult.

    Read more...
  • Creating a budget for your family

    Written by Kia Young | June 25, 2020

    It’s always the right time to create a saving and spending plan (aka a budget). It’s also a good idea to revisit that plan annually or when a major shift occurs in your income or expenses. 

    We’ve created an easy to use, but thorough, Spending and Saving Plan tool to use. Before you get started, here are some tips to help you #ThinkLikeASaver, ensuring that your money is working smarter and harder for you.

    Read more...
  • 4 Steps to Spending Your Stimulus Check Wisely When You Don't Have An Emergency Fund

    Written by Carolyn Pemberton | April 9, 2020

    Most Americans don't have an emergency fund. While we're all experiencing this pandemic very differently — some having only minor inconveniences and others finding themselves without a job or having to close their business — those without a savings cushion are vulnerable to feeling the ramifications of COVID-19 for a very long time.

    With stimulus checks on the way, there will be tough financial decisions to make once received. Here are active steps you can take, along with things to consider to help you develop a solid spending plan.

    1. Make a list of all expenses

    Write out every single expense that you have, including essentials like food and utilities. Be sure to go through your checking and savings account history to make sure you don't have any “vampire” expenses, like monthly subscriptions that you may have forgotten about and no longer need.

    2. Talk to all creditors and lenders

    The CARES Act puts into effect two mortgage relief provisions: protection from foreclosure, and a right to forbearance (pausing or making partial payments) for those experiencing loss of income due to COVID-19. However, the provisions are not automatic and are only for federal loans, so you MUST talk to your lender.

    If a creditor/lender offers you a payment plan or other relief, make sure you get it in writing and take note of the names and dates of the customer service representatives with whom you speak.

    Thankfully, some utility companies have announced they won't cut off services if they aren't being paid. Be sure you know all of your utility and service providers' stance on this, so there are no surprises. You don't want to make any assumptions.

    RELATED: Your lender might let you miss a few mortgage payments. Three questions you should ask first

    3. Prioritize expenses

    Expenses relating to food, shelter, and medicine should come first. This would include mortgage, rent, utilities, groceries, diapers, and medications. It also includes medical insurance premiums and homeowners/renter's insurance.

    If you need childcare to work, that is another essential expense. Next in line are auto-related expenses, including transportation, gas, insurance premiums, and car payments.

    Loans that are secured by collateral (for example, mortgages and auto loans) are generally considered more important than those without collateral, like consumer credit card debt. For example, if you don't pay your mortgage, a bank can foreclose on your property; if you don't pay your car loan, the bank can seize your car. While not paying your credit card bills will negatively affect your credit score, credit card companies will not come into your house and take your personal possessions.

    Federal student loans are currently not accruing interest until September 30, 2020, and can be put into forbearance so that no payments are due. If you have a private or institutional loan, you will have to contact the lender for other options.

    Remember, if you can afford the minimum payments on your credit cards, then make those payments. It will help to maintain your credit score.

    Expenses for "elective" items, like gym memberships, streaming services, and other subscriptions, come last. Before simply canceling a contract, make sure to contact the vendor – canceling may come with a hefty penalty, but you may be able to temporarily "pause" the service.

    4. Pay your debts in the order of priority

    Now that you know all your expenses, have prioritized them, and know your payment options with creditors and lenders, it's time to make the payments in order of priority.

    It's important to note that we are approaching tax season, so many expect to receive their tax refunds in the coming months. If you plan to receive a refund, you can apply the same process to that extra income.

    If you are still unsure or are overwhelmed with where to start, use our decision tree for guidance on what to do with your stimulus check and tax refund.

    Then make a commitment to be more proactive with saving by taking the America Saves pledge. We'll be your savings accountability partner as you take a small step toward saving.

    Stimulus Decision Tree

    Download Decision Tree: PNG | PDF

    Then make a commitment to be more proactive with saving by taking the America Saves pledge. We'll be your savings accountability partner as you take a small step toward saving.

    Take the America Saves Pledge

  • Pantry Shopping and Meal Planning Preparation Tips

    Written by Carolyn Pemberton | April 2, 2020

    With experts telling Americans to practice social distancing and to be ready for a possible 14-day self-quarantine one of our first concerns is food. How do we shop and prepare for 14 days worth of meals? Equally important are concerns about shopping without overbuying and staying on a budget.

    Read more...

Saver Tips and Stories View all »

Saver Story: Set a goal, make a plan!

Written by Benjamin Moss | October 5, 2020

America Saves believes that saving money starts when you set a goal and make a plan to reach it. Putting your goals at the forefront of your savings journey makes it easier to visualize and focus on what you're saving for. That's why we chose Shannon as our Saver of the Month! Her approach to saving for her family’s dream home is a great example of how #ThinkingLikeASaver can look different for everyone but has great payoffs and rewards.

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Learning to Save

Written by Katie Bryan | October 28, 2013

Kisha Barns’s financial situation was undisciplined, unrestricted, and impulsive before she came into contact with her local America Saves campaign, Charlotte Saves.

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A Think Like A Saver Attitude

Written by Benjamin Moss | November 26, 2019

Melissa has always been thrifty with a #ThinkLikeASaver attitude. This served her family well when her husband lost his job in 2014. Using their savings, Melissa’s family stayed afloat while her husband found a new job. During his job search they used a majority of their savings, but that is OKAY. Savings are fluid! They’re supposed to be used in the case of emergency, and this qualified as such.

Read more...

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