If your rainy day fund is starting to run dry, you are not alone. One-third of workers and retirees had to dip into savings to pay for basic expenses last year and seven in 10 workers say they are currently behind schedule in planning and saving for retirement. Such concerns aren’t limited to individuals who are nearing retirement either – both older and younger workers are equally likely to lack confidence in their ability to save for their golden years.
The Consumer Federation of America (CFA) wants to help individuals reverse the trend and start saving for the future. Since 2007, the organization has carved out a week to help Americans get their savings on track. Known as America Saves Week, this annual event takes place this year between Feb. 25-March 2 and gives both individuals and organizations the opportunity to promote good savings behavior and/or assess their savings status.
The national campaign involves more than 1,000 non-profit, government, and corporate groups that encourage individuals and families to save money and build personal wealth. The CFA, which comprises over 270 consumer education, advocacy, and cooperative organizations, oversees the campaign.
Americans’ savings habits are no laughing matter. In its most recent consumer survey, America Saves found that two-thirds of Americans (66%) spend less than their income and save the difference, and two-thirds (66%) "have sufficient emergency savings to pay for unexpected expenses like car repairs or a doctor's visit." Yet, fewer than half (42%) say they have "a savings plan with specific goals," and slightly more than half of the non-retired (52%) think they are "saving enough for a retirement in which [they] will have a desirable standard of living."
Individuals who register for America Saves Week get a free subscription to the organization’s newsletter, free monthly email newsletters that include savings advice from national experts, and free access to the site’s members-only savings tracking tool. Users can also assess their savings progress, test their savings knowledge, and read success stories from other “savers.”
If 2013 is the year that you get your own savings growing in the right direction, check out these other useful tools: CNN Money’s Retirement Calculators (which include a “How Fast Will My Money Grow?” calculator); Mint (an easy way to track your finances online or via your mobile phone); SpringCoin (an online debt relief “coach”); and SmartyPig (a free online piggy bank for specific money goals, such as a wedding or vacation).
This article has been prepared for informational purposes only. The accuracy and completeness of this information is not guaranteed and is subject to change. Since each individual’s financial situation is unique, you need to review your financial objectives to determine which approaches might work best for you.
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