If you have ever read one of my posts you know how I feel about following a budget. I believe in the concept, I can create a solid plan, but as soon as I see the limitations on my open wallet lifestyle I shut down.
This year however I have decided is a year to pay off the small amount of debt I have and boost my savings account to a number that makes me feel secure in case an unexpected event were to happen such as a health emergency, job loss or major home repair.
With this goal in mind for 2014, I decided to do some research and I came across America Saves Week. This week (February 24th thru March 1st) serves as an annual opportunity for organizations to promote good savings behavior and a chance for individuals to assess their own saving status.
To support America Saves Week, the 2013 Annual National Survey Assessing Household Savings Report was released, which revealed that only about half of Americans reported good savings habits. This of course made me feel a little less guilty about my savings habits.
Some of the other statistics noted were:
- 54% said they “have a savings plan with specific goals.”
- 43% said they “have a spending plan that allows you to save enough money to achieve the goals of your saving plan.”
- 50% of those not retired said they “save for retirement at work through a 401(k) or other contributory plan.”
- 49% know their net worth.
Seeing these statistics made me feel better since I am actually doing two things very well. I know my net worth and no matter what my day-to-day expenses are, I always contribute the maximum amount to my 401(k). I also have a specific savings plan for this year which is forcing me to look at my spending in a new way. A way that makes me see my open wallet lifestyle is causing me issues in the levels of my emergency funds. Let’s just hope an emergency doesn’t present itself prior to my savings being at a comfortable level.
If you are just starting out, or, are like me and need some guidance in the savings/ spending plan process, here are some links to tools to help you start your journey:
My Retirement Plan – provides a realistic savings goal tailored to you — and a realistic plan for pursuing that goal.
How to create a budget in 5 easy steps – whether you’re building a budget for the first time or simply need a refresher course, here’s a step-by-step guide to get you started