More than half of Americans don’t have an emergency fund. Only 37 percent have tried to figure out their retirement savings needs. More than 40 percent believe they have too much debt. While these findings from the 2012 National Financial Capability Study aren’t surprising, they are trends we would all like to see reversed. That’s why Ohio State University Extension is coordinating the Ohio Saves effort, a statewide campaign to encourage people to save money, pay down debt and build wealth.
Research shows that if you make your savings goal specific, if you give yourself a deadline, and if you write it down, then you’re much more likely to achieve it. So, just the fact that you’re signing up to be an Ohio Saver will help you achieve your goal. Every Ohioan can start saving, no matter how low their income nor how high their debt. Start wherever you are financially. Even putting your change in a jar is a start. It can add up fast. If you save just a handful of change each day, you’ll have a good start toward an emergency fund by the end of the year. Or try putting money that you would have used for a habit like a soda or coffee each day in a jar and deposit it once a month. Your body and your bank account will thank you.
It helps to make a savings deposit first, before paying bills. Put aside what you think you can save first. If you wait until the end of your pay period, it will definitely be spent. Even if you have to tap into your savings in between paychecks, if you deposit it first, you’re more likely to save more money no matter how much it is. Participants in the Ohio Saves program have access to free resources that will encourage them to save money and reduce debt. Savers receive a monthly email newsletter with savings strategies from national experts. They also have access to online tracker tools and all sorts of encouragement and motivation. An individual saver needs to make a savings goal of their own, and be encouraged and motivated to reach that goal.
Start now, and see how much money you can save by March 1, which is the end of the 2014 Ohio Saves and America Saves Week
The Ohio Saves program is free. Anyone can sign up by going to http://ohiosaves.org and clicking on “enroll in Ohio Saves today.” Ohio Saves is also on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/ohiosaves and on Twitter at @MoneyMattersOH.
Filipic, Martha (August 2013). Ohioans Urged to Join Saves Program, OSU Extension, College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences press release.
Submitted by: Polly Loy, Extension Educator, Family & Consumer Sciences, Belmont County, Buckeye Hills EERA.
Reviewed by: Lisa Barlage, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ross County, Ohio Valley EERA.