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Here’s the thing about emergencies: you can’t plan for them. Not really. But just because you can’t plan for an emergency, doesn’t mean you can’t prepare.
One thing most people don't do during the holidays is put money into savings. But you can and you should and here's how you do it.
One in four Americans has more credit card debt than emergency savings, according to a new poll by Bankrate.com.
Studies showthat 21 percent of Americans — 38 percent of those with incomes less than $25,000 — think that winning the lottery represents the most practical way for them to accumulate several hundred thousand dollars.
According to the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC), 64 percent of Americans would have to go into debt or sell off possessions to cover a $1,000 emergency, due to lack of savings.
It’s startling numbers like these that inspired America Saves Week, a national campaign aimed to encourage individuals and families to build wealth by saving money. Because most Americans today are not saving adequately for retirement, and most lower-income households do not have adequate emergency savings for unexpected expenditures, the message accompanying this national movement is needed now more than ever.
It’s no secret that tough economic times can make saving difficult, which is why America Saves Week 2012, running Feb. 19 to Feb. 26, is focused on a simple set of instructions that – if followed – can make anyone a successful saver. The instructions may sound basic, but they are the foundation for financial success: Set a goal. Make a plan. Save automatically.
Knowing what you want to save for, how to achieve it and then making the savings process automatic will allow you to reach your savings goal. Visit AmericaSaves.org to find more information about America Saves Week. There, you can find savings strategies and you can take the pledge to become an American Saver.
It is estimated that close to 500,000 people may find temporary employment this holiday season, putting some much-needed money into the wallets of consumers who haven’t had a paycheck in months.
There will be many legitimate uses for this money, but it will only stretch so far. Therefore, MMI and the NFCC suggest prioritizing the use of this money in the following order:
Even though saving is important, in this situation it is critical to bring past due accounts current before addressing saving. That will prevent eviction, foreclosure, repossession, and protect your existing credit, while making a significant step toward financial stability. Even though it will be tempting to spend this money on holiday gifts, it is more important to think long-term. Without a steady income in sight, bringing past-due obligations current will allow you to start the New Year on more solid financial ground.
This guest post was provided by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC). Money Management International is a member of the NFCC. The NFCC is the nation’s largest and longest serving national nonprofit credit counseling organization. NFCC Members annually help over three million consumers through close to 800 community-based offices nationwide.
People often debate which is more important, to be debt free or to have a robust savings account, and the answer is both.
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