America Saves Week begins on February 19th. Join the thousands of Americans who will enroll in a savings program and again resolve to become savers. You do not have to be your own worst enemy. Don’t let your spending habits keep you from reaching important goals. Saving money is a way to keep your wants from getting in the way of your needs.
UGA Cooperative Extension family and consumer science professionals want you to make a swap from spending to saving, and change one habit during America Saves Week. Begin by joining the Georgia CA$H (consumers acquiring saving habits) program during “Saves Week”.
Consider these options:
Saving for emergencies and unexpected expenses. Financial planning experts recommend keeping three to six months of living expenses in some type of savings account. The extra cushion makes it easier to avoid pulling out the credit card when the hot water tank bursts, and provides additional security should you lose your job.
Setting financial goals and saving money to achieve them. Paying for retirement, a child’s education, a new car or even a family vacation requires planning. The more time you have to reach your goal, the more you will benefit from saving.
Paying down and eliminating debt. Debt reduces your financial flexibility. The money going to credit card payments and small loans could instead be going toward your emergency savings fund or a future financial goal.
Comparison shopping. It is not practical to compare prices for different brands and from different stores for every purchase. The more expensive the item, the greater the potential payoff from shopping around. The Internet makes it easier than ever before to find the best price.
Spending less for routine expenses. Most households can increase the money availability for family expenses by simply paying more attention to where the money goes. Tracking your spending for a few weeks often reveals spending problems you otherwise might not notice.
Investing for long-term goals. Investing is a special kind of saving for things you need or want more than ten years from now. Interest on savins accounts barely keeps pace with inflation. Investment options offer the opportunity for greater returns, but typically involve more risk.
Teaching your children saving habits. What messages are you giving your children about money? Spending takes no talent, gifts or special abilities — anyone can do it. Developing saving habits takes practice. Helping your children to develop saving habits is the gift that keeps on giving.
Join GA CA$H by calling 706.653.4200, and you will receive a quarterly newsletter with financial management tips, notices about money management workshops and other financial information.
Questions??? Call me in Columbus at 706.653.4200.