Across Kansas, people just like you are proving you can start small, and think big. Kansas Savers are setting financial goals, tracking their spending and taking control of their financial future. Our staff and trained volunteers can show you how to develop a savings strategy and take one step at a time. So don’t wait any longer…
As part of America Saves Week 2020, scheduled for February 24 – February 29, 2020 Kansas Saves and K-State Research and Extension are spreading the message of saving successfully and encouraging Kansans to make savings automatic.
The easiest and most effective way to save is to #SaveAutomatically. Having a “set it and forget it” approach to saving increases your success rate.
The two best ways to save automatically are:
- Split Deposit: Have your employer direct a certain amount from your paycheck each pay period and transfer it to a retirement or savings account (or both). Traditionally, you can set this up using your employer’s direct deposit, ask your HR representative for more details, and set this up today.
- Automatic Bank Transfer: Every payday, your bank or credit union transfers a fixed amount from your checking account to a savings or investment account. Talk to your local bank or credit union to set this up.
Over time, these automatic deposits add up. For example, $50 a month accumulates to $600 a year and $3,000 after five years, plus interest! Whether saving for an emergency fund, education expenses, retirement, or all things in between, by making saving automatic, our community is in the best possible position to reach any savings goal.
Since 2007 America Saves Week, coordinated by America Saves and its partners, has been an annual celebration as well as a call to action for everyday Americans to commit to saving successfully. Through the support of thousands of participating organizations, together we encourage our local communities to do a ‘gut-check’ on their finances and saving behaviors. The America Saves pledge is the framework that allows savers to set a goal, and make a plan to achieve better financial stability.
Saving as a Family
Sometimes when children hear their parents or other adults in their lives talking about cutting spending or saving money, they assume that the family is going through a rough patch. As appropriate based on children’s ages, family conversations about money goals, including saving and spending plans, reassure children. It is also a great way to introduce (or remind) children about the reasons we save.
Talking about family saving goals helps children understand that putting money aside for the future – whether to be prepared for unexpected expenses, for short-term goals such as summer vacation, or for longer term goals such as paying for college – is important to you. They will also likely be interested in knowing how they can help. They may even want to set their own savings goals and be motivated to work toward achieving them!
Saving as a Family
Get your family involved with your saving plan by brainstorming ways to cut expenses in order to free up money to put toward your saving goals. Explore low- and no-cost activities you can do together as a family. Consider selling rarely used books, toys, clothes and other items in a garage sale or other marketplace. Involve children by:
- Encouraging them to be aware of their energy and water use by turning off lights and electronics when not needed and by turning off the water when brushing teeth and taking showers
- Thinking about things that the family regularly spends money on and talking about if the family stills wants or needs the items or if they can select cheaper alternatives or perhaps do without them
- Teaching them to comparison shop and choose generics or use coupons when it makes sense
- Challenging them to suggest ways to enjoy time together as a family for less. Not sure where to start? Check out these suggestions
- Including children in trips to your financial institution (or an ATM) to deposit or transfer money into a saving account make the process real. Consider posting a running total of the dollar amount of deposits and the progress made toward a family saving goal on the refrigerator or a bulletin board.
Encouraging Children to Save
Saving money is a habit that is developed over time. In addition to letting children know that you save, help them begin to develop their own saving habit. Money as You Grow, a framework that links money-related activities to children’s developmental stages, is a great resource for conversation starters and activities for children of all ages at consumerfinance.gov.
Let America Saves help you save money so you can feel confident about your finances. It all starts when you make a commitment to yourself to save. Take the first step today and take the America Saves pledge to save money, reduce debt, and build wealth over time. And it doesn't stop there. America Saves will keep you motivated with information, advice, tips, and reminders to help you reach your goal. Think of us as your own personal support system.
By Elizabeth Kiss, Ph.D., Kansas Saves
- Written by Kansas Saves
- Category: Uncategorised
- Published: 30 May 2019
Watch this short video to find out how you can save $500 for an Emergency Fund in just 10 months!
Start Saving for Your "Someday"
Plan For Your ‘Someday’ With These 3 Easy Ways To Save
Working hard, paying bills, and putting money aside for your needs and wants in the “now” are so often automatic in our day-to-day lives – so why aren’t we thinking about or planning for the future? According to the 2015 Retirement Confidence Survey from the Employee Benefit Research Institute, nearly one-third of workers have almost no retirement savings or investments (< $1,000), and a staggering 57% are underprepared with less than $25,000 for retirement.
It’s clear that anyone not using the present to plan for retirement will likely be setting themselves up for a less than golden future. But it’s never too early or too late to save for retirement. Try one – or more! – of these three ways to take advantage of retirement savings opportunities right now to build yourself a more secure future:
- Open Up a my Social Security Account
Social Security benefits play an important part of planning for retirement. Don’t forget about your my Social Security account! This free account can help you determine what your benefits will be and when will be best for you to start receiving them.
- Save Early and Save Often, No Matter How Much You Earn
Starting retirement savings early is the best way to take advantage of compound interest and establish good savings habits. Take advantage of any workplace opportunities, like a 401(k) or 403(b), and never turn down “free money” that comes in the form of employer contributions or matches. Individual Retirement Accounts or IRAs are also a great way to save, with some tax benefits in the process. If you get paid by direct deposit from your employer, you may also be eligible to participate in the new myRA program. myRA is a simple, safe, and affordable retirement account created by the United States Department of the Treasury for the millions of Americans who face barriers to saving for retirement.
Need help finding ways to save? Turning off your phone or cable could save you $5 a month. Find a penny, pick it up; by saving $.50 in change a day, you will save $15 a month. For more ideas like these, visit America Saves online.
Starting early isn’t possible for everyone, but that doesn’t mean you can’t play catch-up. Calculate what you will need to save in order to live comfortably in retirement. Once you have turned 50, you can make “catch-up contributions” – an extra amount beyond the normal limits that you can contribute to tax-deferred retirement plans.
- Take the America Saves Pledge
Those who make a commitment to themselves and their family to save usually save more than those who don’t. Make your commitment to retirement savings today and receive regular advice and support via email and/or texts while you save money. America Saves will provide you with the motivation and advice you need to reach your savings goal.
Tammy Greynolds works for America Saves, managed by the nonprofit Consumer Federation of America (CFA), which seeks to motivate, encourage, and support low- to moderate-income households to save money, reduce debt, and build wealth. Learn more at AmericaSaves.org. America Saves is proud to be part of the “Campaign for a Secure Retirement: Helping Millions of Americans Plan and Save for Retirement” joint, national educational retirement campaign to encourage retirement planning and saving and to promote the online Social Security Statement, available through mySocial Security, as an important retirement planning tool.
Saving automatically is at the heart America Saves Week’s mission. It’s proven to be that the easiest and most effective way to save is automatically. This is how millions of employees save through 401(k) and other retirement programs at work. It is also how millions of Americans save at their bank or credit union.
How to Save Automatically
The best automatic saving is when you make a decision to do so, then it just happens:
- Every month, have your bank or credit union transfer a fixed amount (like $25) from your checking account to a savings or investment account. Talk to your local bank or credit union to set this up.
- Every pay period, have your employer deduct a certain amount from your paycheck and transfer it to a savings account. Ask your HR representative for more details.
- Set up automatic payments towards your debt by providing your checking account information to your loan provider to ensure that the payments are on time and in full. Enrolling in automatic payments may even qualify you for a small interest rate deduction with some types of loans and providers, such as some student loans.
- If your employer offers a retirement account, sign up and put in at least the minimum contribution to receive any matches they may offer. Ask your HR representative for more details.
Not sure how much to save each month? Take the Kansas Saves Pledge. The pledge will help you create a monthly savings plan and will help you stay committed to your plan all year long!
Financial Education Opportunities
If you are in the Kansas City area, check out Money Smart KC's website for information and tips on a broad range of financial topics for both individuals and providers.
Kansas Saves Partners
A personal finance expert from a Cooperative Extension land-grant university can provide you with information and resources. Visit their eXtension website today.
Contact your local K-State Research and Extension agent
To inquire about educational opportunities near you. K-State Research and Extension is an America Saves Campaign partner and supports Kansas Saves resources.
Welcome to our newest partners:
River Cities Community Credit Union
Kansas University Legal Services for Students
Other Kansas Saves Partners:
Elizabeth Kiss, Kansas Saves Coordinator