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America Saves Week

Sunday, February 20th, marked the beginning of America Saves Week 2011, a nationwide campaign of America Saves. Throughout the week, a broad coalition of nonprofit, corporate and government groups will encourage and assist individuals to assess their savings and take action to advance their progress. Did you know that a family with a savings plan saves about twice as much as a family with the same income and no savings plan?

Here are some ways that you can jumpstart your savings today.

  • Embrace budgeting. If you've heard it once you've heard it a million times, but creating and sticking to a budget is one of the most important things you can do to increase your savings. Click here for guidelines on establishing and maintaining your budget.
  • Bill yourself. If you're one of the many who regularly have the "I'll add to my savings from my next paycheck" attitude, consider adding “savings” to your list of monthly bills. You can't put off your monthly utility bills, so why put off your savings? Just ten dollars a month can make a world of difference.  
  • Direct your savings. If saving is often put on the back burner when it comes time to allocating your paycheck, set up a direct deposit to your savings account.
  • Coins count. According to the U.S. Treasury, Americans hold approximately fifteen billion dollars in loose change. That's a lot of "spare" change that could be put towards savings. Set up a change jar in a central location in your house and get the whole family involved in saving.
  • Go brown. We all have days where packing your lunch just isn't in the cards, but bringing a bagged lunch even a few times a week can lead to big savings. Try out this Lunch Savings calculator and see how much you could be saving.  
  • Break your habits. We all have weaknesses when it comes to money, whether it's your morning latte or music must-haves, but that doesn't mean you can't overcome them. Check out this list of common spending habits and learn ways to kick them.

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Saving is a lifelong endeavor, and the sooner you start the better. How do you save? Let us know! As part of America Saves Week, the AICPA’s Feed the Pig campaign will be running a special Weekly Tip this Friday, February 25th, featuring selected tips submitted via Benjamin Bankes Twitter—tweet #FTPSaves or @feedthepig—and Facebook. Happy Saving!

Visit www.feedthepig.org for more money-saving tips.