It’s not too late to sign up for the Cooperative Extension system’s 2013 America Saves Challenge.
This online challenge is a free five-week program, open to anyone who enrolls online. The challenges ends March 30.
Prizes will be awarded for participants who report the highest point totals at the end of each week and at the end of the challenge.
The theme for America Saves Week 2013 is more than just a theme; it’s the essence of a sound approach to savings, designed to help individuals take financial action. Set a Goal. Make a Plan. Save Automatically. Knowing what you want to save for, how to achieve it, and then making the savings process automatic will allow you to reach your savings goal.
Set a Goal
You can save more by having a goal in mind. Visualizing what you want to save for gives your savings a purpose. You may be tempted to withdraw from your savings if it has no purpose. But once you have a goal in place, you know that taking money out of your savings is taking away from that ultimate goal. So what are you saving for? An emergency fund, a home, retirement, a car?
Make a Plan
Once you have your goal in place, make a plan for how you are going to save. To start, cut down on your spending and reduce high-cost debt. Next, keep track of what you spend and make a budget. Once you know where your money is going each month, you can cut down on unneeded spending and save the difference.
Don’t forget to keep your savings safe, secure, and growing. Banks, credit unions, and even the government offer a variety of financial products that can help you save.
It can be hard to put aside money for savings. But there is an easy way to save money without ever missing it. Once you know how much you can save, make saving automatic. Many employers allow you to divide your paycheck into different accounts through direct deposit. Take advantage by putting part of your pay into a savings account. If you get paid in cash, take a small amount to the bank to deposit into a savings account each week.
Take the America Saves Pledge (or re-pledge) today to set your savings goal and make a plan to save. You can also follow America Saves on Facebook and Twitter.
America Saves Week, February 25 – March 2, 2013, is chance for individuals to assess their own saving status and take financial action. Studies reveal that having a savings plan with specific goals can have beneficial financial effects, even for lower-income families.
Here are 5 easy ways to get involved in America Saves Week:
1. Take the America Saves Pledge
Those with a savings plan are twice as likely to save for emergencies and retirement than those without a plan. Join over 310,000 people who have already committed to save. Pledge or re-pledge today!
2. Share Your Savings Goal
People save more successfully when they have a goal in mind. That’s why we’ve created posters so you can put your savings goal into perspective and, share it.
3. Assess Your Savings
Find out if you are saving in all the right places with this 12 step savings assessment.
4. Test Your Savings Knowledge
Take this savings quiz to reveal how much you understand about the realities of savings in America.
5. Share Savings Tips and Advice with Family and Friends
On Twitter and Facebook? Share these social media posts (Word) with your friends and followers to encourage them to save.
America Saves Week is coordinated by America Saves and the American Savings Education Council. Started in 2007, the Week is an annual opportunity for organizations to promote good savings behavior and a chance for individuals to assess their own saving status.