SAVE FOR YOUR DREAMS!

Join the over 500,000 people who have taken advantage of the America Saves pledge to help them achieve their savings goals! The first steps towards building your emergency fund, paying down debt or planning for retirement are:

  1. Choose your campus and role below by clicking the appropriate button
  2. Complete the form with your information
  3. Start saving and tell a friend!
     

 


Financial Planning for Young Adults

Coursera Mooc: Financial Planning for Young Adults

Sign up for Financial Planning for Young Adults, a new Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) offered by Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. and the University of Illinois on Coursera, to get a jump start on turning the goal you set into a reality. This free, online financial planning course is now open for registration. The course provides an introduction to basic financial planning concepts. It is open to the general public through Coursera, an education platform that partners with universities and organizations worldwide to offer courses free of charge.

For more information about the course and to register, visit: https://www.coursera.org/learn/financial-planning 


Cultivating Currency

Cultivating Currency is a financial website for undergraduate and graduate students within Illinois.

For more information visit: http://publish.illinois.edu/cultivatingcurrency/


Earn a Digital Badge

The University launched the Financial Literacy Badges Program, from which you can earn recognition for establishing positive financial behaviors.  Setting a savings goal is one step towards the Savings Badge. Learn more about how to earn this badge and others by visiting the website.


#UISAVES Organizers         

 

RSS Recent Blog Entries View all »

  • 5 Ways To Teach Kids How To Save At Home

    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

    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

    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

    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...

University of Illinois Saves


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Saver Tips and Stories View all »

Coping with a Lost Job

Aimee Shaffer worked as a Public Service News Director for radio for years until one day her employer downsized the company, resulting in hundreds of lost jobs, including Aimee’s.

Read more...

Saving With My Boys

When Kelly was a kid, she loved the picture book A Chair for My Mother by Vera B. Williams. In the story, a little girl lives in an apartment with her mother and grandmother. The little girl’s mother is a waitress and sole provider for their family. Together the family saves money by putting their change in a giant jar every day. They are saving for a big cushy chair for the little girl’s hard-working mother. Together with patience and diligence, they buy the mother a very comfy chair.

Read more...

Starting and Continuing a Personal Finance Journey

When Kiara Hardin, now a junior at Western Illinois University, became an intern with the Chicago Summer Business Institute during her sophomore year of high school, she began her personal finance journey. The program required participants to open a savings account.

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