America Saves Week is held yearly, the last week of February. This year, DCU joined more than 1,500 organizations by participating in the America Saves initiative – which encourages individuals to build their savings and pay down debt. Take the pledge today and find out how millions of people, just like you, are taking time this week to start or build their savings!
Here are five “Savings Tips” that could help you and your family achieve better financial stability:
Whether your goals include starting an emergency fund, paying for education expenses, planning for retirement, or all things in between -- saving automatically is an easy and effective way to build your savings!
Save With a Plan
Did you know that you’re twice as likely to save successfully if you have a plan? If you’ve set a savings goal, that’s great! Now, take it one step further by developing an action plan. Your plan should be as specific as possible -- this will help you stay accountable for reaching your goal.
Save for the Unexpected
Putting aside a few dollars a week into a savings account for unplanned costs can build financial security – and relieve potential anxiety. An unexpected emergency can arise at any time. Building your savings today is a great way to ease the burden of a sudden expense not in your budget.
Save to Retire
Retirement is meant to be enjoyable. That’s why it’s important to start saving early. If you’re already saving for retirement, try increasing the amount you save by 1% each year. Some great ways to save include: participating in a work-related retirement program, such as a 401(k); make sure you are taking full advantage of any retirement match that may be offered by your employer; and open an Individual Retirement Account (IRA).
Save by Reducing Debt
Did you know that paying down your debt is a great way to save? When you actively reduce your debt, you save on interest; and when you pay on time, you save on late fees and maintain your credit score. While it’s still important to actively deposit money into your savings account, it’s equally as important to save on interest and late fees by reducing your debt.
Save as a Family
Get your kids involved with savings decisions and help set them up to be financially responsible adults. Involving kids in financial decisions at an early age can help prepare them for a financially secure future. Need to save some money for an upcoming family vacation? Set a goal and ask your kids for their ideas on how to come up with the extra cash. Making saving fun as a family can help inspire them to continue saving effectively as adults.
Here are a few more tips that could help you save even more:
• Set a budget (and stick to it!) – try following the 50/20/30 Rule of Budgeting:
o 50% of income should go towards needs – rent or mortgage, utilities, car payments, groceries, insurance, gas, etc.
o 20% of income should go towards savings – savings or emergency accounts, investments, paying off credit card or other debt, etc.
o 30% of income should go towards wants – travel, clothes, entertainment, books, subscriptions, dining out, etc.
• Save on your taxes – file your Federal Taxes for free! Visit irs.gov to find out how.
• Shop smart – bring a list to the grocery store (and don’t buy anything that’s not on it!), look for bargains on gently worn clothing and housewares at thrift shops, and don’t buy any non-essentials at full price; always look for coupons or sales.