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Concord University Joins America Saves Week Initiative

By Rebekah Skeens
On March 28, 2018

America Saves Week seeks to inform participants about the value of financial responsibility.
Photo Courtesy of America Saves Week

 

 
During the week of Feb. 26 to March 3, 2018, Concord participated in America Saves Week. Throughout the week, several activities and seminars were planned to teach students and the community about savings.
 
According to americasaves.org, the official website for America Saves Week, this week was created to motivate, encourage, and support low to moderate-income households. The purpose is to teach communities how to save money, reduce debt, and build wealth. “The week is an annual opportunity for organizations to promote good savings behavior and a chance for individuals to assess their own saving status.”
 
The participants and speakers at each event were hoping to teach the Concord community more about budgeting, how to set savings goals, and generally inform everyone about how important it is to have money at different periods of one’s life.
 
This is the first year Concord has participated, but the plan is to continue with these activities in upcoming years. “We’re proud to be the first West Virginia college or university in 2018 to join this important effort,” stated Dr. Marjie Flanigan, vice president of student affairs and dean of students.
Throughout the week, a specific activity was implemented every day. Starting off the savings was a Piggy Bank Savings Giveaway on Monday, Feb 26. Those who participated either chose the CU Gap Fund or CU Annual Campaign to receive the money saved. On April 17, piggy banks will be turned in, where prizes can be earned.
 
Tuesday Feb. 27, the VITA program provided free income tax help in the Rahall GRIP Center. Also, later that night in the GRIP center, a local First Community Bank Representative gave financial information to those in attendance. The representative shared information about how manage finances and answered any other questions the community had.
 
Professor of Finance, Dr. Muhammad Islam and Assistant Professor of Management, Ms. Angela Addair presented a brown bag lunch workshop on Wednesday the 28. During this workshop, held in the Student Center, they shared information about Budgeting, Saving, and Investing.
Thursday, March 1, gave tips to students about the importance of saving. The Savings Blast presentation shared the easiest ways to actively save and continue to do so throughout the course of college. For the weekend activities, the themes are: Save the Extra and Save as a family.
 
During the course of the week, the campus’ intention was to give savings tips to beginners, so that they can create wealth and save money at any time. These were easy tips used to get someone who is just learning about the importance of saving money, to begin doing so. America Saves shared five of the most important tips to get students started on their path to saving money.
 
Tip one: Establish your budget. For beginners, or even those who have been saving for years, this is an easy beginning. At the start of each month, they say to categorize all your receipts. For each person, different categories will be used, but this way, one can easily see where they spend the most money. As those receipts are placed together, you can look back and see if there was one area you spent more money in than others, and possibly cut back if it is a hobby-based category.
 
The second tip given is to set up a place for automatic savings. By doing so, each month a selected amount of money will instantly be placed in a savings account. This is great for people who might forget to do so, and it also moves it out of sight so you don’t miss it as much. Suggestions are to take money from paychecks or take money received by family members and put it into a retirement fund. It isn’t ever to early to do so.
 
Thirdly, setting goals can help you with saving tremendously. To begin with, set a small amount of money as your goal to save for that month. Some suggestions are to aim for anywhere between $20 and $100 a month. At the end of the year, one could have saved $1200. The more saving you do, the higher the target can be. This depends on ones financial status and area of life which they’re experiencing.
 
Tip four gives insight into not only saving money, but saving in general. There is a difference between spending less money and placing that money in an account that can be used for your future. Some plans can be to pay off college debt, save for future expenses, or create a retirement fund, so that in ones older age, money won’t be an issue.
 
Finally, tip five is the most convenient to do. Save your loose change! No one enjoys carrying around another pound of change in their pocket. By creating a jar, or using the piggy bank given on the first day of the week, that change can be given a new home. Before you know it, those few pennies and dimes have turned into dollar bills. Be sure to look out for banks who will place that change in a separate fund for you as well.
Learn more about saving at americasavesweek.org

 

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