Do you have goals you’re currently saving for? If so, do you feel like you’re making significant progress? If you don’t have savings goals, what’s holding you back?
February 21-25 is America Saves Week, which is a chance for us to reflect on our current saving habits and make changes to improve our financial health. We’ll break down this year’s savings celebration so you can take part and work towards better financial stability.
What is America Saves Week?
America Saves Week is an annual nationwide campaign led by the Consumer Federation of America. During this 5-day period, individuals and families are encouraged to check in on their finances and take actions to boost their overall financial wellness.
In addition to the daily weekday themes, America Saves Week’s 2022 focus is building financial resilience. By checking in on one aspect of your finances each day, you can make small steps to save more successfully and achieve your goals.
2022 Daily Themes
Monday: Save Automatically
Automatic payments make regular expenses, like utilities and rent, easier to manage. Why not take the same approach to your savings goals? You can make regular payments to yourself by setting up automatic transfers towards your savings, investment and retirement accounts.
There’s no such thing as starting too small. For example, setting up a $20 automatic transfer to a savings account every week will result in $1,040 after a full year. That kind of money can be put towards any savings goal you might have, like a vacation, a home renovation or an emergency fund.
Tuesday: Save for the Unexpected
Speaking of emergencies, the worst part about them is that they’re hard to plan for. Things like car accidents, hospital stays and crucial home repairs can easily upend a tight budget and put you in debt.
While we can’t predict the future to discover emergencies before they happen, we can do the next best thing: prepare ahead of time. Start by creating an emergency fund that’s separate from your regular savings account. Experts recommend having enough money to cover 3-6 months of living expenses, but anything helps — try starting with a goal of $1,000.
Learn more about unexpected expenses and emergency funds:
Wednesday: Save to Retire
If your retirement is still decades away, getting in the retirement-saving mindset can be tricky. However, saving earlier can really pay off — the longer your money has time to grow, the less likely you’ll need to play catch-up with contributions later in life.
It’s never too late to rethink your retirement. Consider what you want your retirement to look like, crunch the numbers, and make adjustments to your contributions so that you can enjoy your retirement to the fullest.
Thursday: Save by Reducing Debt
Balancing debt repayment with growing your savings is hard, but one thing is certain: reducing your debt now allows you to free up your funds and save more in the future.
If debt is getting in the way of your savings goals, it may help to use a debt repayment method — like the snowball method or avalanche method — to pay things off. If you’re having trouble repaying your debt on your own, it may be time to explore your debt relief options, like debt consolidation, bankruptcy and debt settlement.
Friday: Save as a Family
America Saves Week isn’t just for adults — kids can learn too! Set your whole family up for future financial success by including them in lessons about smart spending, saving and budgeting.
Start by talking with your children about setting financial goals. Next, try creating a savings goal as a family, like a weekend trip or a big-ticket item that everyone would enjoy. Discuss how much the goal costs and how long it might take to reach the goal as a team. Explore ways you can make adjustments to the family budget so that you can reach your goal faster, or try brainstorming ideas to raise money for the goal. Keep track of your progress in a visual way, like on a poster or in a jar, as you all work together to save.
Improving Your Savings Game Throughout the Year
Don’t let the calendar limit you — you can start making changes to your finances at any time! Get inspired with these articles from Top Dollar: