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Parents and their daughter putting money in a piggy bank

America Saves is a national campaign, founded by the Consumer Federation of America and supported by the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. There are many campaigns across the nation with over 2,700 organizations contributing support and more than 800,000 people pledging to save money and reduce their debt.

There are steps individuals can take that will help them work toward financial success. Following the ten tips below will put you on the right path to financial wellbeing.

10 Keys

1. Prepare for unexpected events. Having an emergency fund is an idea to take care of any unexpected events or emergencies such as a job loss, illness, or loss of a spouse.

2. Always know your interest rates. Never exceed 13% interest on loans and know what you pay in interest and fees. Know how your interest is being calculated.

3. Keep a healthy credit report. It is important to pay your bills on time to protect and build your credit score. Receive a free annual credit report at annualcreditreport.com.

4. Avoid waste. Eat at home, clip coupons, and return purchases you don’t use.

5. Benefit from tax breaks. Take advantage of claiming Earned Income Credit on your taxes. Utilize the Volunteer Income Tax Assistant program (VITA) to save money rather than going to a for profit tax business to file taxes.

6. Fill in financial gaps. If you notice that you are giving out of money before your next paycheck, try increasing your income by having a garage sale, working part-time, bartering, recycling, selling bake goods, or arts and crafts.

7. Give back to your community. It is up to you. Donate to any organization of your choice such as Salvation Army, Food Banks, United Way, etc.

8. Plan to be financially successful.

  • Using a spending plan will help you identify where your money is going.
  • Save for specific needs.
  • Write down immediate, short term, intermediate and long-term goals.
  • Create a spending plan that works for you and always track what you spend.

9. Start Saving Now to be Prepared later.

  • Save lump sum payments from windfalls like tax refunds, gifts, or inheritance.
  • Be prepared for sudden illness, divorce, death, theft, natural disasters, or the loss of your job.
  • Have adequate health, car, home, and life insurance.

10. Improve Your Credit Score. Your credit score is a number that indicates if you have good credit history. You can improve your credit score by paying your bills on time. Don’t apply for credit cards frequently. Pay off your balances each month.


For more information, contact Theresa Jones, Human Sciences regional Extension agent, at rosscth@auburn.edu or (256) 509-5908 or visit http://www.AmericaSaves.org.