America Saves Week (February 27 – March 4, 2017) is an annual opportunity for individuals to assess their savings and take financial action. The Virginia Bankers Association joins America Saves to encourage savers – or potential savers – to set a goal, make a plan and save automatically.
“Familiarizing yourself with savings fundamentals, no matter your age, puts you on a path to becoming a smart money-manager,” said Bruce Whitehurst, president and CEO of the Virginia Bankers Association. “Financial knowledge is so important and your financial profile has a large effect on all aspects of your life.”
Saving automatically is at the heart America Saves Week’s mission. It’s proven to be that the easiest and most effective way to save is automatically. This is how millions of employees save through 401(k) and other retirement programs at work. It is also how millions of Americans save at their bank.
How to Save Automatically
· Every month, have your bank transfer a fixed amount (like $25) from your checking account to a savings or investment account. Talk to your banker to set this up.
· Every pay period, have your employer deduct a certain amount from your paycheck and transfer it to a savings account. Ask your HR representative for more details.
· Set up automatic payments towards your debt by providing your checking account information to your loan provider to ensure that the payments are on time and in full. Enrolling in automatic payments may even qualify you for a small interest rate deduction with some types of loans and providers, such as some student loans.
· If your employer offers a retirement account, sign up and put in at least the minimum contribution to receive any matches they may offer. Ask your HR representative for more details.
· If your employer doesn’t offer a retirement account, start saving with myRA, a new retirement savings account from the United States Department of the Treasury. The account features no cost or fees, no complicated investment options, and no risk of losing money. Learn more.
Not sure how much to save each month? Take the America Save Pledge at www.americasaves.org. The pledge will help you create a monthly savings plan and will help you stay committed to your plan all year long!
Virginia bankers participate in savings education by partnering with local schools to celebrate Teach Children to Save (TCTS). This event occurs every year when bankers make presentations to students in grades K-12. Established in 1997, Teach Children to Save is a national campaign of banker volunteers working to educate young people about the importance of developing a lifelong savings habit.
Virginia bankers will carry out TCTS presentations by incorporating games and activities into “real life” lessons focusing on the concept of saving, how interest makes money grow, how to create a budget and how to differentiate between needs and wants. The national Teach Children to Save Day will be held April 28 this year, but bankers are making presentations now and participate in savings education year-round. Contact your local banker for even more tips on how to become a successful saver.
-Submitted by Chandler Owdom