Plumping up your Piggy Bank

US Wealth McCarthy |

Please note that after today's edition, our weekly newsletter will be on “Spring Break” until April 15.  While we are pausing this regular communication with our clients, we encourage you to call our office any time you have questions or concerns.

America Saves Week

For those of us of a certain age, do you remember in elementary school when we brought a quarter to school every Friday?  Each of us was able to purchase a “stamp” with that quarter, which we pasted into a book.  At the end of the year, those 25-cent stamps added up to $17.50.  We then took our book to the local bank and traded it in for a $25 savings bond.

It was an effective way to encourage kids to save and gain a basic understanding of the value of compounded interest.  Those lessons still apply today, but saving money is a challenge for most of us.  A recent survey found that 58 percent of Americans have less than $1,000 in their saving accounts.

Like losing weight and exercising more, saving more money is typically ranked in the top five of New Year’s Resolutions lists.  We all know we need to do it.  You need discipline and perseverance to get the job done!

Well, there’s a “week” for that, as well as plenty of “apps” available to help you achieve your savings goals.  America Saves Week began on Monday, and it’s a good time to review your personal savings goals and your progress towards meeting them.

Here are a few tips designed to help you think about how to start saving money or ways to save even more.

  • Save with a Plan.  Savers who create a plan to save for retirement or education are twice as likely to save successfully.

  • Save the Easy Way.  Set up automatic transfers from your checking account to your savings account or automatic payroll deductions to fund your savings without thinking about it.

  • Save for the Unexpected.  The tree that crashed across your yard in the last snowstorm.  The washing machine that died.  We all have unexpected events that create financial stress but putting aside a few dollars can build financial readiness and alleviate anxiety.

  • Save to Retire.  This is something we discuss with all our planning clients, and it’s an ongoing conversation

  • Save the Extra.  Statistics show that most people are more likely to save a windfall than a small amount consistently over time.  Use that strategy to your advantage by saving at least part of your bonuses, raises and tax refunds.

  • Save as a Family.  Model good financial habits for your children by establishing a monthly budget and talking about your financial decisions with them as their age allows (delaying purchases until you can afford them, avoiding buying on a whim, saving money from your paycheck, etc.)

We all need a little nudge to add some “pudge” to our piggy banks, even if it’s just an extra quarter each Friday!