America Saves Week is a time to take stock of your current savings, set goals, and launch your plan to increase your savings. The past few years have proved just how important it is to have savings on hand to cope with emergencies.
We know it can be hard to save when it seems every dollar you earn is taken up by bills, payments, and inflation. But we’re going to share with you some easy ways to help you build your savings each day of America Saves Week.
And if you’re a SAFE member, you’re eligible to enter SAFE’s America Saves Week Sweepstakes for your chance to win a $50 cash prize. Learn more and see Official Rules at the end of the blog!
Monday, February 27
Theme: Saving Automatically
Today, explore ways to make saving money automatic. When money automatically goes into your savings account and not your main spending account, you may be less likely to use it on unnecessary items. You may not even miss it!
Here are some ways SAFE can help you automatically save money.
Set automatic transfers from your checking account into your savings account. You can easily set up automatic transfers from your SAFE checking account to your SAFE savings account in Online Banking or in the SAFE Mobile App. Start with a small amount to transfer once or twice a month, say $25 or $50 a time. Increase it whenever you get a raise or additional income.
Divide your direct deposited checks into two accounts. Send the bulk of your direct deposit into your spending account, and the rest into a savings account.
Take advantage of SAFE’s Perfect Cents Checking®. Save with every purchase! Perfect Cents Checking® rounds up the amount of every purchase you make with your SAFE debit card to the next whole dollar. The “change” is deposited at the end of the day into your SAFE savings account.
Tuesday, February 28
Theme: Saving for the Unexpected
These past few years have been anything but expected. If we learned anything, it was the need to prepare for the unexpected. Having an emergency fund is important to cover those unexpected expenses, such as car or home repairs, reduced income, or job loss. While financial experts advise on having enough money set aside to cover three to six months of your expenses, that might be difficult to put together right away.
Here are a few tips from SAFE financial educators to help you get started on an emergency fund.
Set a small goal. Smaller goals will be easier to reach. That success will provide incentive to keep going. Start with a goal of saving $300 in six months. After that, determine whether you could save more each month and increase your savings goal for the next six months.
Develop a plan. You need to have a plan to ensure you are focused on meeting your goal. Part of your plan may be to set up automatic savings, cut expenses, or find ways to increase your income.
Keep going. Once you reach your initial goal, don’t stop! Continue building on your success and you may reach that three to six months of expenses saved up financial experts recommend.
Wednesday, March 1
Theme: Saving for Major Milestones
It’s never too early – or too late – to start saving for your retirement. Get the most out of compound interest and dividends by starting to save early in your career. If you start later, take advantage of increased limits on how much you can put into retirement accounts after age 50.
Use your employer’s 401(k) plan. Try to save at least 10% of your pay. Consider increasing your contribution with each raise you receive. And make sure to take advantage of any employer match.
Consider a Roth IRA. You can contribute up to $6,000 (or up to $7,000 in you’re 50 or older) in 2022 and you won’t be taxed when you withdraw the funds in retirement. You can set up a direct deposit to your Roth IRA. If you put in $500 a month, you can max out your contributions for the year. Click here for more information on individual retirement accounts at SAFE.
Thursday, March 2
Theme: Paying Down Debt is Saving
By paying down debt, you’re actually saving! Interest on debt can reduce how much money you have available to save. Here are some tips on reducing your debt load.
Stop creating new debt. Take a break from using your credit cards for a certain period — such as a month.
Increase your monthly payments. That way you reduce the time it will take to pay off your debt—and you pay less interest in the process.
Reduce your fixed costs. Interest rates fluctuate, so when interest rates drop, consider refinancing your mortgage or car loan so you’ll have lower monthly payments. Find SAFE’s latest loan rates here.
Reduce expenses. Make your own meals rather than ordering out. Find ways to reduce other expenses, including trimming entertainment subscription services, contacting your insurance companies to see about lowering rates, and shopping your closet rather than buying new clothes. Apply savings to paying off your debt.
Friday, March 3
Theme: Saving at Any Age
Here are some ways to save money at any stage in life.
Save on food costs. Write a list of what you need before buying groceries. One way you can remain on budget is to order your groceries online for curbside pickup or delivery. You can monitor what you’re buying and see the total as you add items to your digital basket. Buy in bulk when it makes sense for you and your family. Wasted food is wasted money! Plan a week’s worth of menus in advance so you can group food items to maximize your purchases.
Eliminate a service. Review all your services your family has: streaming apps, gym memberships, magazines, and phone plans. What can you get rid of or consolidate to save money?
Think thrifty—as in thrift stores. Buying at second-hand stores or consignment shops can save families quite a bit, especially for those with younger children who tend to outgrow their clothes quickly. Buying used is also a way to save money on family expenses if your kids are involved in sports or extracurricular activities.
Get kids involved. It’s never too early to talk about the basics of spending and saving with your children. For younger kids, it might be as simple as having them save up for something they want. For teens, it might involve a discussion on credit cards or saving for college.
We are so excited to celebrate with YOU!
SAFE is here for YOU. Our financial experts are ready to talk with you about how you can improve your financial wellbeing. You can schedule an appointment to talk with one of our experts at safecu.org/schedule.
Learn financial insights in lively, engaging webinars with our financial educators. Register for our live events or watch our on-demand webinars here.
SAFE members can earn and learn with Zogo! Complete bite-sized financial lessons and earn gift cards for your favorite places or to donate to charity. Learn more here.
America Saves Week Sweepstakes Official Rules
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO WIN
All entries not accompanied by orders (establishing accounts or services) are treated the same as entries accompanied by orders. A purchase will not increase your chances of winning.
PRIZES & ODDS OF WINNING: On March 10, 2023, at 12:00 p.m. (PT), SAFE Credit Union (SAFE) will randomly select five (5) winners to receive either a $50.00 cash deposit directly into their SAFE savings account or a $50 SAFE Visa® Gift Card to be picked up at a local SAFE branch. The winners will be notified via Facebook direct messaging by March 31, 2023. Prizes will be made available or deposited by March 31, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. (PT). All taxes on prizes are the sole responsibility of the winner(s). Odds of winning are determined by the number of entries.
ELIGIBILITY: Must be a SAFE member in good standing and 18 years of age or older at time of entry. A member in good standing means that you maintain at least $5 in a share account or have an outstanding loan balance, you are not in default on any loan obligation to SAFE; and do not have a negative account balance. This drawing is conducted by SAFE and is not open to the employees or family members of employees, officers, directors, representatives, or agents of SAFE, its respective advertising and promotion agencies, or any of the respective affiliates, related entities, successors or assigns of any of the above. Void where prohibited.
HOW TO ENTER: The sweepstakes begins on February 27, 2023. You will be entered into the sweepstakes by responding to an America Saves Week question of the day posted on SAFE Credit Union’s Facebook account between February 27, 2023, at 12:01 a.m. (PT) and March 3, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. (PT). Limited to one (1) entry per individual during the sweepstakes period. Alternate entries must be mailed on a plain 3.5” x 5” postcard. The entry must include (legibly hand printed or typed) name, age, complete address, city, state, ZIP code, home and business phone numbers (including area code), and email address. Mail your 3.5” x 5” postcard to: "America Saves Week Sweepstakes”, SAFE Credit Union, Community Banking, 2295 Iron Point Road, Suite 100, Folsom, CA 95630-8765.
ENTRY DEADLINES: All entries must be received or postmarked by March 3, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. (PT).
PRIZE CONDITIONS: In the event a SAFE representative determines, at his/her sole discretion based on his/her interpretation of these Official Rules, that an entrant is found to be ineligible, or if the entrant does not comply with these Official Rules, the potential winner will be disqualified and an alternate winner will be selected through a random drawing from the remaining entries. If the prize or prize notification is returned as undeliverable, this will result in disqualification, and an alternate winner will be selected. Except where prohibited by law, the winner’s entry and acceptance of the prize constitutes permission for SAFE to use said winner’s name in all forms of media, in perpetuity, without further compensation. Further, all winners must sign and return to SAFE a declaration of eligibility and liability publicity release. Failure to sign and return the release to SAFE at the address provided above, within twenty (20) days of notification of winning, will result in the entrant’s disqualification.
NO LIABILITY: By entering and meeting eligibility for prizes, winners agree to comply with all Official Rules, as stated, and agree to release, discharge, indemnify, and hold harmless SAFE and each of its respective officers, directors, employees, representatives, and agents from and against any claims made by winners, entrants, or any other third parties, related in any way to the operation of this Sweepstakes as well as any other claims, damages, liability, injuries, or losses to any person (including death) or property of any kind resulting in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, from acceptance, possession, misuse or use of any prize or participation in any Sweepstakes-related activity or participation in the Sweepstakes.
SWEEPSTAKES CONDITIONS: The Sweepstakes is subject to all applicable federal, state, and local laws. By participating, entrants and their participating entities agree to be bound by these Official Rules and the decisions of SAFE and waive any right to claim ambiguity in the Sweepstakes or these Official Rules. SAFE will retain and use personal information collected from you when you enter this sweepstakes solely for the purpose of processing your entry consistent with these Official Rules and pursuant to all applicable federal and state privacy laws. SAFE is not responsible for lost, late, misdirected, undeliverable, or incomplete entries, whether due to system errors or failures, faulty transmissions or other telecommunications malfunctions, entries not received resulting from any hardware or software failures of any kind, lost or unavailable network connections, failed, incomplete or garbled computer or telephone transmissions, typographical or system errors and failures, technical malfunctions, or otherwise. By entering or participating in this sweepstakes promotion, you agree to a complete release of Facebook or Meta. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated with Facebook or Meta.