Haven’t you heard? This week is America Saves Week. From February 24 through March 2, a coalition of non-profit, corporate, and government groups are pushing a media campaign to encourage savings in various forms, from increasing money deposited into bank accounts to finding bargains and saving money on purchases. It’s a noble goal.
Building wealth starts when you set a goal and make a plan to reach that goal. Whatever goal you choose — whether it’s buying a car, buying a house, or getting out from under your debts — learn about proven savings strategies and get simple tips on the best ways to save.
For the rest of us, the main America Saves website offers suggestions for increasing savings and decreasing expenses.
Get Out of Debt
The first step in getting out of debt is to stop borrowing. To do that, you have to stop spending more than you earn. So, make a budget and cut out any expenses you can. It may help to cut up your credit cards or lock them away in a safe place… If your debts are too large, you may want to consider bankruptcy. Bankruptcy can give you a fresh start, but it is a serious step that can make it harder to get credit for years after you declare bankruptcy.
Savings and Investments
* Cut spending painlessly by finding small savings that add up to big savings over time, like The ECRD Factor.
* Comparison shop for necessary purchases.
* Restrain spending for birthdays and holidays.
* Automate your savings.
* Put your loose change into a high-yield savings account.
* Take advantage of employer-matching retirement plans if available.
* Build an emergency fund.
My bonus was deposited into my bank account this morning. I plan on celebrating America Saves Week by putting a large portion of the newly-found cash towards paying down my student loan.
Updated December 21, 2011 and originally published February 29, 2008.