Did you know that this week is America Saves Week? America Saves Week is still relatively new with this being just the third year, but it drives home an important issue. As a whole, Americans typically don’t save enough money. Whether it’s saving for retirement, saving for college, or just putting money into an emergency fund, it’s usually not enough.
Unfortunately, we find ourselves in a bit of a catch-22 for this year’s America Saves Week. We’re in the midst of a recession and our economy relies on people spending money. While saving is good, it’s also not doing much to help get us out of these difficult times. Nevertheless, saving money is important.
America Saves states their purpose:
The personal savings rate is near zero, most Americans are not saving adequately for retirement, and most lower-income households do not have adequate emergency savings for unexpected expenditures like a car repair. But with more societal encouragement and support, more Americans will be persuaded to build wealth, not debt.
During America Saves Week, individuals will be encouraged and assisted to assess their savings progress and take action to advance this progress. This encouragement and assistance will be provided by organizations and professionals with an interest in improving the financial security of individuals and families.
What You Can Do
You can make a difference this week. If you’re already a saver, let this week serve as a reminder and check up on your savings. Make sure you’re taking advantage of any match money or tax benefits by saving in a retirement plan. If you’re working on building up an emergency fund, make sure you’re getting a good interest rate. Check out FNBO Direct if you want to help your money earn more than average. And if you’re already doing everything you can, take the time to help others. Educate friends and family about the importance of saving and how they can get started.
If you’re looking to get started saving and don’t know where to turn, the America Saves Week has some resources to help you along. I’d first take a look at the savings quiz to see some interesting statistics about saving. Make sure you also take a look at the collection of savings tips. From saving money on food to entertainment, they have plenty of suggestions to help you find ways to save money.
At the very least, you should create an automatic savings plan. If saving for retirement, make automatic contributions with each paycheck in either a 401(k) or IRA. If creating an emergency fund, do the same thing and make automatic contributions into a savings account. When you make saving automatic, you’ll soon realize you don’t even miss the money.
For more, be sure to check out the America Saves site.
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About the Author: Jeremy Vohwinkle is a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor® and spent a few years working as a financial planner. Today, he helps people make the most of their money by writing about personal finance here and elsewhere on the web. Jeremy is also Coach at Adaptu and a regular contributor for other publications such as Intuit, and American Express. Be sure to follow Jeremy on Twitter or Google+.