Friday, April 3, 2009

enroll now for a chance to win Suze Orman's 2009 Action Plan

It's not too late to enroll in Wyoming Saves and be eligible for the drawing for Suze Orman's 2009 Action Plan book. Wyoming Saves is part of a national effort called America Saves in which over 67,000 Americans have committed to achieving a savings goal. To help people save, Cole Ehmke, UW Extension specialist, collected several resources of interest. The information given herein is supplied with the understanding that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement by Cooperative Extension is implied.

In addition to managing the Wyoming Saves program I am also a participant. Today I transferred my first installment of my savings goal into my savings account.

If you have any questions or concerns about your participation in Wyoming Saves, please let me know. I am here to support you and be a resource for you to help you achieve your savings goal.

Following is the first article that was sent to Wyoming Saves Participants.

Two great ways to establish automatic savings
(1) Online Savings Accounts – provide high yields; all of the following currently pay 5%+, with no minimums to establish (or maintain) an account, no fees, and are FDIC insured.
a. Emigrant Direct
b. FNBO Direct
c. HSBC Direct

(2) Mutual Funds – while many mutual fund companies require a large initial investment to open a mutual fund account, some companies will waive the initial investment if you establish an automatic investment (typically $50/month). T.Rowe Price and TIAA-CREF are a couple of notable ‘no load’ fund companies; AIM Funds and American Funds are examples of load fund companies that allow for automatic investments to open accounts. The Mutual Fund Investor Center provides a search tool to find companies that accommodate people looking for automatic investment opportunities.
A recent Federal Reserve Board study identified successful saving strategies:
- Have a reason to save. Households with an identifiable goal for saving were more likely to have financial assets (and also have higher levels of assets). Setting a goal is an important part of any saving strategy.
- Think ahead, plan ahead. Looking into the future can be an important motivational tool to help people anticipate and be prepared for future expenses. The most prominent goal of the Savers in the program is to develop an emergency fund. Many experts recommend having a fund that could cover three or more months of living expenses.
- Develop a savings habit. It is no secret that getting started is the biggest challenge people face financially. Once the habit is developed, people comment on how “second nature” saving becomes.
- Make savings automatic. Automatic savings via payroll deductions or automatic transfers from a checking or savings account is one strategy found to be very effective in “creating” Savers.

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