It’s America Saves Week! This week each year, we encourage our members to do a financial check-in. Join us this week to get a clear view of your finances, set your financial goals, and make a plan to achieve them.
Participating in the week will set you on the path toward building financial confidence. Financial confidence pertains to your unique circumstances, and even if you are in a scenario that makes it difficult or impossible to save at this moment — you can still commit to doing the work, taking control of your finances, and becoming more financially stable.
Below are the themes for each day this week, as well as resources for each topic.
Day 1 – SAVING AUTOMATICALLY
How do you save automatically? The two best ways to save automatically are to split your direct deposit or have your financial institution automatically transfer a predetermined amount from your checking to savings.
Check out this blog post from the America Saves Team, who breaks it all down.
Building the habit of saving is a crucial part of building financial confidence – it’s not about how much you save but setting a goal, reaching it, and realizing what’s possible with small steps. Remember- saving is a HABIT, not a destination.
Day 2 – SAVING FOR THE UNEXPECTED
Day Two of America Saves Week focuses on saving for the unexpected. Whether it’s needing to have an appliance or car repaired, or the opportunity to join your friends on a last-minute weekend getaway, having short-term savings on hand allows you to take care of those unexpected expenses without dipping into funds you need for the present (like bills) and the future (like retirement).
Today we want you to consider reframing saving for the “dreaded emergency,” and recognize that you’re also saving for fun and positive opportunities! Doesn’t it feel better to contribute to an OPPORTUNITY FUND vs. an EMERGENCY FUND? Check out this blog post from America Saves, and then watch this workshop, which breaks down 6 ways to establish a spending and savings plan (that you can actually stick to).
DAY 3 – SAVING FOR MAJOR MILESTONES
A common question when it comes to saving… How do you save for so many things at once? One of the most overwhelming parts of saving for everyday Americans is balancing saving for so many competing priorities.
Not only do you need to save for short-term emergencies and opportunities, but also for future and long-term goals. Those long-term goals include major milestones like education, homeownership, and retirement. Read this blog post from America Saves which dives further into how to save for competing life milestones.
DAY 4 – PAYING DOWN DEBT IS SAVING
Day 4 of America Saves Weeks focuses on reducing debt. Do you consider paying down your debt as saving? You should! There are many natural benefits of reducing your debt, including increasing your credit score, saving money on interest and fees, and gaining more disposable or discretionary income to allocate as you see fit.
With so many Americans being affected financially by the economy and rising interest rates, actively paying down your debt may not be a priority— and that’s okay! One thing you can do is to talk to your creditors (rather than avoid them) and take advantage of any repayment options or arrangements offered. This allows you to keep your credit score intact and avoid additional interest and late payment fees.
If paying down your debt is a priority and you’re wondering where to start, check out today’s blog from America Saves, Paying Down Debt is Saving. You’ll receive strategies for the best way to reduce debt that align with your personal situation and that boost your financial confidence to keep you working toward your goals.
DAY 5 – SAVING AT ANY AGE
Saving is a lifelong skill and habit. You’re never too young to start learning and implementing positive savings behaviors. You’re also never too old to make positive changes, break cycles, and chart a different path when it comes to your finances.
Because there are a lot of emotions tied to finances, creating a positive mindset and relationship with money builds our financial confidence. Whether you are a parent trying to instill this habit in your children or you want to change your own saving behaviors, there are strategies that savers of all ages can develop. Check out this blog post from America Saves to learn more.
If you haven’t, we encourage you to take the America Saves Pledge. After making your new savings plan, you’ll receive support, reminders, and tips from America Saves that will help keep you on track toward achieving your goal.