During America Saves Week, the Consumer Federation of America encourages people to focus on their financial security by pledging to save money, reduce debt and build wealth over time.
It’s a great opportunity for you to put your action plan in place.
What action plan you say? If you don’t have one, today’s a great day to #SaveWithAPlan.
If you’re struggling to figure out #MySavingsPlan, here are a few ideas.
- Pick one thing to work on. Maybe you’ll decide this is the week you sign up for your 401(k) through work or increase your contributions. Or maybe you’ll commit to paying down that credit card debt or begin working on an emergency fund. Any of these are good.
- Put it on your calendar. Whatever action you decide to take, put it on your calendar. If you are working on your 401(k), put a visit to the web site or your human resources department on the calendar. Or put “open a high-yield savings account” for your emergency fund on there. Studies have shown that people are more likely to do something if they commit to it in writing.
- Decide on an amount. Decide on a realistic savings goal. You want your savings to grow, or your debt to shrink, but you also want your savings to stay saved. Your savings goal needs to be realistic. Don’t worry if it’s small to start with. Even small amounts help and you can increase your savings over time.
- Decide what behavior you will change. For some, just taking the money off the table through an automatic savings plan is all that is needed for your savings to grow. For others, you may need to figure out how to free up some money so you can save it. How will your behavior change to make the money available? Whatever you decide, make it something you can stick with.
Saving money is the only path to financial security, and far too many people don’t save enough. America Saves Week is as good a reason as any to get started, and the Consumer Federation of America offers a little incentive to do it.
If you formalize your pledge by entering it on the America Saves web site, you will be eligible for a raffle to win up to $750 toward your savings goal. Take the America Saves Pledge, tell America Saves what you’re saving for, and make a simple savings plan to reach your goal to win $500.
You can boost your prize by another $250 by downloading the #ImSavingFor Sweepstakes graphic. Then post what you are saving for on Facebook or Twitter using the hashtags #ImSavingFor and #ASW2020. (See the official rules here.)
When you sign up, you will also receive information, advice, tips, and reminders by email or text message to help you be successful in meeting your goal.
The web site has great tools and resources, including checklists, videos, calculators and more that are free for you to use even if you don’t enter the drawing.
So, go forth this week and save. The future you, will thank you.
Article Contributed by Julie Grandstaff, CFA.
If you’re looking for more trusted advice about saving and building wealth, check out Julie Grandstaff’s excellent book – Save Yourself: Your Guide to Saving for Retirement and Building Financial Security.
Julie spent over 25 years managing a mutual fund and the fixed-income portfolio of a midsize insurance company. She has a master’s degree in finance and holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation.
You can read the Women Who Money review of her book here.