Get On Board With America Saves Week

Credit unions can still join in this week’s consumer-friendly effort to help members find better financial footing.

 
 

With four more days left in America Saves Week, credit unions have plenty of time to join in the spirit of the social media-promoted effort to encourage Americans to save more money.

America Saves Week, a campaign that started in 2009 and this year runs through Feb. 26, urges consumers to “Set a Goal, Make a Plan, Save Automatically.” Credit unions can take this week to encourage members to set up an automatic savings account, or to review their plans if they already have one.

America Saves Week aims to “reduce debt and build wealth,” with the push of the social support of a group effort. It's held by the American Savings Education Council and the Consumer Federation of America.Hundreds of organizations, from financial institutions to nonprofits, are signed on to promote savings habits. Credit unions that are mortgage lenders are called to challenge members to find a successful way to save for a down payment.

“The personal savings rate is near zero, most Americans are not saving adequately for retirement, and most lower-income households do not have adequate emergency savings for unexpected expenditures like a car repair,” reads the America Saves Week purpose statement.

Truliant Federal Credit Union’s blog ($1.5B, Winston-Salem, NC) featured a post earlier this month on the meaning of saving. Through a story of a 4-year-old wanting to save his Christmas money, the author offered members two lessons: it’s never too early to start saving and when you have what you need, stop spending. Perhaps your credit union could offer similar lessons to members through your online channels this week.

An annual America Saves Week survey on savings habits revealed that while nearly 66% of respondents have enough money saved to pay for unexpected expenses like doctor’s visits, only 42 percent had a savings plan with specific goals. About 52% of respondents say they believed they were saving enough for retirement, compared with 60% of respondents who felt they were on track in 2010.

 
 

Feb. 23, 2012


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