We are half way through America Saves Week
By Dian Vujovich
I’m a little late in getting this blog about America Saves Week posted. But, when you consider the subject—saving money—a little late is better than never.
Officially America Saves Week began on Feb. 24 and will end March 1. The program started in 2007 and its goal is to promote good savings behavior. Nice idea no matter what your income bracket is. And, particularly in a country where spending wields far more clout than saving.
“Only about one-third of Americans are living within their means and think they are prepared for the long term financial future. One-third are living within their means but are often not prepared for this long term future. And one-third are struggling to live within their means,” Stephen Brobeck, said executive director of the Consumer Federation of America and a founder of America Saves, in a recent press release.
Recent survey results from that organization show only about one-third of Americans feel prepared for their long-term financial futures, two-thirds say they are spending less than their income and roughly that same amount report they ” have sufficient emergency savings to pay for unexpected expenses like car repairs or a doctor visit.”
I have a hard time believing that last point.
Looking back on my life, it seemed as though the biggest challenge to saving were those unexpected expenses that came along without any notice at all. Every time I had a few hundred dollars in a savings account the a.c. need repair or I needed a root canal. Almost always the cost for the repairs equaled the exact amount of money I had saved. Like that old joke about a thermos that keeps cold drinks cold and hot ones hot, I’d find myself mumbling, “How do it know?”
While I’ve never figured either out, I have learned that there’s more to saving money than putting a few bucks away each month. What makes a savings account grow is focused goal setting with no ifs, ands or buts excuses about adding to that coffer or taking money out of it.
As much as many of us might like to believe, there is no magic to having a boatload of money saved ten, twenty, thirty, forty or more years after you’ve begun. All it takes, as I wrote in the graph above, is setting a savings goal and following through with it.
And the best news of all is that you don’t have to be a Rockefeller or a Gates, have a high IQ or be a college grad or movie star to get it done. All you’ve got to do is begin. Today. Half way through national Savings Week.
Anyone stuck for how to save ideas might want to visit americasavesweek.org .
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