Jump$tart Coalition® Observes America Saves Week 2009, Feb. 22-March 1
Bismarck, ND: We all know that America is in a financial crisis. The savings rate rose from 2.8 percent in November 2008 to 3.6 percent in December[i], which is a good sign that Americans are thinking about saving. However, the personal savings rate is extremely low, most Americans are not saving adequately for retirement, and most lower-income households do not have adequate emergency savings for unexpected expenditures like a car repair.[ii] These are all examples of why this year’s America Saves Week is so important.
The North Dakota Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy is promoting America Saves Week, which is coordinated by two savings coalitions: America Saves and the American Savings Education Council (ASEC).
During America Saves Week, individuals are encouraged and assisted to assess their savings progress and take action to advance this progress. This encouragement and assistance is provided by organizations and professionals with an interest in improving the financial security of individuals and families.
For example, here are some tips from America Saves:
- Save your loose change. Putting aside fifty cents a day over the course of a year will allow you to save nearly 40% of a $500 emergency fund.
- Keep track of your spending. At least once a month, use credit card, checking, and other records to review what you’ve purchased. Then, ask yourself if it makes sense to reallocate some of this spending to an emergency savings account.
- Never purchase expensive items on impulse. Think over each expensive purchase for at least 24 hours. Acting on this principle will mean you have far fewer regrets about impulse purchases, and far more money for emergency savings.
- Use debit and credit cards prudently. To minimize interest charges, try to limit credit card purchases to those you can pay off in full at the end of the month. If you use a debit card, don’t rely on an overdraft feature to spend money you don’t have. With either approach, you’ll have more money available for emergency savings.
For more information about America Saves Week as well as more helpful hints, log onto www.americasavesweek.org.
For more information about the nonprofit North Dakota Jump$tart Coalition which is working to improve the financial literacy of all North Dakotans, visit www.ndjumpstart.org.