SWACHA Provides its 2¢ on Saving to Help Americans Save More During America Saves Week February 21 – 27

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Small Changes Can Add Over $2,100 to Annual Savings

SWACHA would like to give consumers its two cents on saving during America Saves Week, February 21 - 27. America Saves Week is a nationwide initiative lead by the American Savings Council to raise consumer awareness of regular savings habits to help meet long term financial goals. Dallas-based SWACHA, a partner in this effort, is one of the largest not-for-profit electronic payments associations in the country.

“Building savings is absolutely essential to creating financial success, and to having enough money put away for life’s little emergencies,” said Dennis Simmons, APP, SWACHA president and CEO. “America Saves Week is all about persuading the public to engage in behaviors that will lead to increasing savings and decreasing financial stress. It’s as basic as having your employer deposit your paycheck directly to your checking and savings accounts, to making lifestyle changes that cut down on spending rather than going without the things you enjoy.”

Here’s SWACHA’s two cents on saving:

1. Pay yourself first with direct deposit into a savings account.

Waiting to see if there is anything left at the end of the month before putting money in savings can prove to be a difficult way to save, especially when unexpected expenses arise. Consider automatically depositing a percentage of your paycheck into a savings account at the beginning of the month through direct deposit, so you save first and spend last.

According to a survey conducted by SWACHA, those who use their employer’s direct deposit option for their paychecks save at a higher rate than most Americans when compared to the personal savings data compiled by the Commerce Department, which currently hovers around 6 percent of disposable income. SWACHA’s survey revealed that 30 percent of those surveyed reported putting some money into an account other than a checking account. Of those, 34 percent reported putting more than 10 percent of each paycheck into an account other than a checking account.

Automatic savings through direct deposit is proven to work!

2. Keep the change!

People who pay with cash often find themselves buried under a pile of change. SAVE IT! – don’t spend it. Coins may seem insignificant when they are at the bottom of your purse or under the cushions on your couch, but you may be surprised at how much money you have at the end of the year.

3. Small changes can lead to big results.

A common myth about improving your saving habits is that it requires major sacrifice. Sometimes all it takes to increase savings and build wiggle room into your budget are some small adjustments.

For example, if you like to stop and buy a $2 cup of coffee in the morning on the way to work, brew your own at home instead and save $531 a year*. If you enjoy eating out for lunch for about $6 a day, bring a bag lunch instead and you could save $1,591 a year*. None of these lifestyle changes are unreasonable, yet the long term savings can really make a difference.

“Saving money is all about discipline,” added Simmons. “It is a task that is simple to plan but sometimes difficult to execute. Taking small steps can make it easier to build savings and completely change the way you look at your finances. And that is our two cents on saving!”

*Based on a 2% compounded interest rate using a 5-day work week.

SWACHA-The Electronic Payments Resource®, is one of the largest not-for-profit regional payments associations in the country with approximately 1,100 members across the Southwest. SWACHA is the resource of choice for financial institutions and corporations in the areas of education, training, payments system risks and knowledge about electronic payments. For more information, visit http://www.swacha.org.

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Chris Martin
Granado Communications Group
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