Five Tips to Help You Save Feb 19, 2012, 8:00 am By Emily Haleck

Most Americans are not saving adequately for retirement, and most lower-income households do not have adequate emergency savings for unexpected expenditures like a car repair. America Saves Week, sponsored by the  America Savings Education Council and designated as February 19-26, 2012, encourages individuals and families to save money and build personal wealth.

Bank of American Fork is committed to helping Americans save for the future and offers the following tips on how to do so:

Participate in your employer’s 401(k): Many employers offer 401(k)s or other retirement programs that match a certain amount of employee contributions. This is free money! Have the maximum matched contribution deducted right from your paycheck to ensure savings.

Automate savings: In addition to using automatic transfers for your employer’s retirement program, set up free, automatic transfers into other accounts, such as a savings account, Individual Retirement Arrangement (IRA), Qualified Tuition Program (QTP), also called “529 plan,” or mutual fund. Work with your bank to have these contributions automatically deducted when you receive your paycheck so you’re not tempted to spend would-be savings. What you don’t see, you probably won’t miss.

Set aside your tax refund: If you get a tax refund this year, pretend you didn’t. Instead, have your refund deposited directly into a savings account.

Refinance your home: Mortgage rates are at all-time lows. Even if you are underwater on your home, you may be able to refinance into a lower rate, potentially saving you hundreds each month that can be redirected to savings. Talk to your mortgage lender for options.

Pay off high-cost debt: The best investment most borrowers can make is to pay off consumer debt with double-digit interest rates. Always make more than the minimum payment to pay off debt faster, which will free up more money for savings.

 

About America Saves Week

Started in 2007, America Saves Week is an annual opportunity for organizations to promote good savings behavior and a chance for individuals to assess their own savings status. America Saves Week is coordinated by America Saves, a national campaign involving more than 1,000 non-profit, government, and corporate groups, and the American Savings Education Council, a program of the Employee Benefit Research Institute Education and Research Fund.

 This article should not be considered legal or investment advice. Seek legal and investment advice from your own qualified professional.

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