- Starting small is better than not starting at all.
- Having a written goal will keep you on track.
- Pay yourself first and make it automatic.
The Consumer Federation of America’s America Saves Week takes place from Feb. 25 through March 2. Regular savers and savings procrastinators alike can participate in the event to build funds for the future. A recent GOBankingRates survey found that more than half of Americans have less than $1,000 in their savings account, so there’s plenty of room for improvement
Here are some ways you can boost your savings or start saving during America Saves Week.
1. Create a Goal
Decide what you want to save for and how much you want to save, and write it down. You can save for short-term goals, like a vacation, or longer-term goals, like a college education for your children. Having a written goal will keep you on track.
2. Take the Pledge
The America Saves pledge form lets you log your goal and specify how much you plan to save each month. You can even sign up for text message reminders to help keep you on track.
3. Pay Yourself First
When you are figuring your budget, make savings the first item on the list. Then figure out how to budget the rest of your income.
4. Start Small
Even $5 a week will add up over time. No amount is too small — saving something is better than saving nothing. Once you’ve started, you might find ways to increase your savings amount.
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5. Build Your Savings Base
When you get a rais, or some extra cash, put some in savings before you start spending. Split your tax refund between savings and spending. When the calendar works in your favor, giving you an extra payday in a month, put some of that in savings, too.
Have part of your paycheck directly deposited into your savings account — you’ll never miss it.
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7. Make Your Money Hard to Access
Putting money into a savings account that’s linked to your checking account makes it too easy to transfer those hard-earned funds and sabotage your savings plan. Open a savings account at another bank and don’t sign up for online access. The harder it is for you to get at that money, the more likely you’ll be to leave it there, growing and earning interest.
8. Don’t Beat Yourself Up
You can’t start saving any sooner than today, so don’t give in to the excuse that it’s too late to make a difference.
Military Saves Week
As an adjunct to America Saves Week, Military Saves Week focuses on supporting savings goals for military families. These family face special savings challenges, including low enlisted pay and early retirement.
If someone in your family is active duty military, check with your credit union or bank, or visit MilitarySaves.org for tools and resources. For military families, there’s a special newsletter that addresses the savings challenges they face.
There’s nothing to be gained by waiting, so start your savings program today.
Keep reading about ways to save money fast — as much as $1,000 in a single month.
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