America Saves Week kicks off February 25. This annual event offers people a chance to assess the status of their own saving and take financial action. America Saves Week is coordinated by America Saves and the American Savings Education Council, and also includes hundreds of partners who promote the event across the country. The theme this year encapsulates three essential steps: “Set a Goal. Make a Plan. Save Automatically.” It is hoped that with practice individuals can turn these three actions into healthy financial habits.
Last summer, a survey by Bankrate.com reported that 22% of Americans have insufficient savings and 24% have no savings at all. The situation in Oklahoma, as discussed in a previous post, is not any better with nearly 44% of residents living without sufficient savings to cover a job loss or other crisis. However, storing up assets for a rainy day is only one reason to save. Putting money aside for vacations, education, retirement and large purchases are also examples of wise financial planning. By saving money for large purchases, families can avoid paying high finance rates. Saving money to invest in education can lessen the burden of future student debt. And saving for vacations and retirement will lead to a higher quality of life.
While the positive aspects of savings are easy to understand, as the statistics point out, a significant number of the Americans still fail to take steps to build savings into their budget. Part of the goal of America Saves Week is to show that anyone can pay down their debt and build wealth by reducing their spending and saving the extra money, regardless of their income level. Their website features Saver Stories focused on real people who have improved their financial situation through saving, some of whom started saving $10 a week out of their minimum wage earnings. Here are some specific ways the America Saves Week campaign suggests people can learn more and get involved:
Those with a savings plan are twice as likely to save for emergencies and retirement than those without a plan.
Find out if you are saving in all the right places by following the above link to a 12 step savings assessment.
Click the link above to take a savings quiz to reveal how much you understand about the realities of savings in America.
- Share Savings Goals, Tips and Advice with Family and Friends
People who share their savings goals are more successful savers. Anyone on Twitter and Facebook can share their own goals or share savings tips through these social media posts to encourage friends and followers to save as well.
In addition to these ideas and resources, America Saves also has a blog you can follow, full of tips, encouragement and resources to encourage Americans to save all year round. Also, videos from previous America Saves Weeks are available online, including a 2011 endorsement from then-Chairman of the FDIC, Shelia Bair.