Given the volatility of the stock market, despicably low returns on savings, money market accounts and Treasury securities —-coupled with the challenges that millions have making ends meet week-to-week—- it’s no wonder that America Saves Week gets over looked and under addressed.
Nonetheless, please don’t misunderstand me: Saving money is the best habit anyone can get into. And the sooner it becomes a natural part of one’s lifestyle the better. Even when the markets are in the crapper and/or savings rate yields are almost non-existent.
That said, February 22 through the 27th is America Saves Week. And if the very best you can do is to save $1 this week by not going to McDonald’s or the Dollar Store, or, a couple of bucks by giving up one cup of java at Starbucks, do it. Dollars count and mount up over time. Just as pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters and Susan B. Anthony dollar coins do when tossed into a jar and collected.
While you come up with ways to begin or increase your saving habit, here are some interesting tidbits:
- As a nation, our personal savings rate is currently 5.5 percent according to the Federal Reserve. That’s literally half of what it was in December 2012 when it stood at 11 percent
- Results from the ninth annual America Saves Week survey found:
- 49% say they are saving at least 5% of their income
- 43% report some kind of automatic saving outside of work
- 40 percent of U.S. households report good or excellent progress in “meeting their savings needs”
- 38% report they have no consumer debt
Not surprisingly, that same survey found men have a higher saving rate than women. But hey, they earn more. On the other hand, I personally know plenty of women who are terrific savers even though they are income challenged.
Bottom line: No matter your gender or income, save some portion of the income that comes into your household. Five percent is a good place to start; 10 percent or more, even better.
There’s no magic involved here, only action, as the more money you save the more money you will accumulate.