February is a good time to jumpstart a savings plan for the year as Feb. 25 kicks off America Saves week, a national campaign sponsored by more than 1,000 non-profit, government and corporate organizations.
Their goal is to encourage people from all income levels to take savings to heart and build personal wealth.
Like a healthy relationship, saving money takes commitment. Here are just a few reasons to fall in love with saving.
Security: accidents and emergencies can happen. Cars break down. Pipes burst. We may face unexpected medical bills. Having an emergency fund saved for situations like these can help make getting through them a little easier. Most financial experts recommend having six to nine months’ income saved for emergencies, but even $500 (or roughly $10 saved each week for a year) could help you during an unexpected financial emergency.
Freedom: when you are not burdened by debt, you have financial freedom – freedom to choose a home, to travel and even where or how many hours to work. To achieve financial freedom, you must save more than you spend. As you pay down your debt you have more available cash to put toward savings and other goals.
Opportunities: having money in the bank can be advantageous when opportunity knocks. There may be times when a sound investment or similar opportunity comes your way, or perhaps the home of your dreams is listed on the market. Often these opportunities arise quickly, and those who have money saved are in a financial situation to seriously consider these options.
Put Your Savings to Work: by putting your savings into an interest-bearing account, you tap into the power of compound interest — interest earned not only on your original investment, but also on its accrued earnings.
Peace of Mind: Eliminating financial burdens often helps to reduce stress and can offer peace of mind for many. Money problems can be a major source of tension in relationships, and financial advisors agree that having a sound budget and savings plan can help ease fights over money.
For more information about America Saves and to check out their free financial tools, savings services, tips, and other resources, visit www.americasavesweek.org.
Curtis Flannigan is an Assistant Vice President and Branch Manager of Union Bank.