America Saves Week encourages saving and asset building
University of Missouri Extension is partnering with other organizations to celebrate America Saves Week Feb. 25 through March 2, as well as using the entire month of February to encourage Missourians to set aside funds for the future.
Saving is a great tool that can help a person control their money, rather than letting money control them.
"Many Americans are not saving for retirement, and most low-income households do not have enough emergency funds to adequately deal with emergencies," said Janet LaFon, a family financial education specialist in Jasper County with University of Missouri Extension.
Missouri Saves is part of America Saves, a yearly national campaign involving more than 1,000 non-profit, government and corporate groups to help Americans save money, reduce debt and build wealth.
"In today's economy, personal savings has never been more important," says LaFon. "A small emergency fund can make a big difference when unexpected expenses come up."
There are some relatively easy ways for everyone to put aside some money on a regular basis.
"Even people who struggle to get by can usually find a way to save a small amount. Developing the habit of 'paying yourself first' can pay off for a lifetime," said LaFon.
According to annual surveys commissioned by America Saves, few U.S. households report they have adequate emergency savings, save enough for retirement, and spend less than their income and save the difference.
"Just thinking about saving can be daunting if bills seem to pile up faster than your bank balance, but saving money and reducing debt may be easier than you think," said Nellie Lamers, a family financial education specialist in Taney County with University of Missouri Extension.
America Saves breaks it into three simple steps: set a goal, make a plan and save automatically.
Missouri Saves invites individuals to sign up at www.missourifamilies.org/mosaves. The website also has a variety of information that can help individuals focus on saving.