America Saves Week is February 24 – March 1, 2014 and The Highland Center would like to remind you about the ways you can save money and how the Center can help. America Saves Week is a time to review your finances, decide what you want to save for, and set up a system that will allow you to save automatically. Even if you are already saving, it’s good to take a look at your goals and decide if you can save more or start a new savings goal. Join thousands of others who are pledging to pay down debt, save money, and take financial action during America Saves Week.
Do you need help figuring out what to save for? Here are the most popular saving goals of those who have pledged to save through America Saves:
- Save for Emergencies – Only 37 percent of low-to-moderate income households have a savings or money market account at a bank or credit union and nearly a quarter of savers who have pledged to save have chosen “emergency savings” as their first wealth-building goal.
- Save for Education – Saving for education is the second most popular goal savers select when they pledge to save with America Saves. There are many different things to factor in when saving and paying for college. Additionally The Highland Center has a program that can assist with saving for college, contact Sarah Collins for more information.
- Pay Down Debt – Getting out of debt is the #3 goal Savers select when they pledge to save.
- Save for a Home – For decades, home ownership has been the main path to wealth for most Americans. Today, home equity – the market value of a home minus the balance on any home loans – represents more than four-fifths of the typical family’s wealth.
- Save for Retirement – Retirement savings is a top priority for many Savers. Saving for retirement now will ensure that you have enough money to maintain a comfortable standard of living when you stop or reduce the amount of hours you work.
Not sure how to save for your goals? Here are some saving strategies to help:
- Save Automatically – The easiest and most effective way to save is automatically. You can set up automatic transfers from a checking to a savings account. This is how millions of Americans save at their bank or credit union.
- Save at Tax Time – Do you spend weeks eagerly anticipating your tax refund? When the money finally comes in, is it gone tomorrow? Many people view tax refunds as unplanned bonuses. They see the money as a gift from the government, to use for splurges or treats. But a tax refund provides the opportunity to improve your financial situation. Try to put half of what you get into savings.
- Meet with Staff at The Highland Center – Sarah Collins and Betty Mitchell have financial literacy training and manage the financial outreach and business counseling programs for the Center. Call Sarah to find out more about the Virginia Individual Development Account (VIDA) saving program and the micro-loan program; after qualifying for the VIDA program, for every dollar you save, up to $2,000, the program will match it with $2. Betty can help with the business counseling program.