Start saving during Kentucky Saves Week

One of the hardest things I have problems with is saving money. Every month I have a budget, and every month it is out the door half way through the month. I have been going through this cycle for years now.

Sometimes I hide my extra money in hopes that it will one day see my savings account. Most of the time it never makes it there. I can’t tell you how many times my mom has called me a hoarder with the extra money that I get. I don’t like to cash checks until they are needed in hopes that the money will last longer.

This week a new program kicks off in Kentucky called Kentucky Saves Week.

Kentucky Saves Week is a new idea that was taken from America Saves Week. America Saves Week is a great program that helps to teach Americans ways to save money and encourage them to save.

Even when you don’t think you have anything to save, you can always find loose change from the day to put away.

The website is www.americasavesweek.org. This is a great site to check out if you want ideas to save more money. This site also provides you with monthly newsletters that are up to date and current with saving issues.

I thought that this week I would provide a few tips about saving. Look at the tips listed below and see how many you do on a monthly basis. Even if you are doing just one of them that is a great way to start out. Add more when you can. Happy Savings Week!

· Save your loose change. According to America Saves, saving 50 cents a day over the course of a year will allow you to save nearly 40 percent of a $500 emergency fund. Remember, small changes equal big savings.

· Need help establishing a budget? America Saves offers this great tip: Beginning on the first day of a new month, track everything you purchase. Then, review your list at the end of the month. It will be much easier to make a budget once you see where your money is going.

· Premium coffee drinks are popular but are they really worth the money? Try substituting “regular” coffee for high-cost drinks. According to America Saves, saving $2 a day by buying coffee rather than a cappuccino or latte would, over a year, allow you to completely fund a $500 emergency fund.

· Did you know that by keeping your car engine tuned and its tires inflated to their proper pressure, you could save up to $100 a year in gas?

· Are you an impulse shopper? The America Saves program urges consumers to never purchase expensive items on impulse. Instead, think over each expensive purchase for at least 24 hours. Acting on this principle will help you have far fewer regrets about impulse purchases, and far more money for emergency savings.

· Indulgences can put a dent in your finances. According to America Saves, one way to establish a savings discipline is to “save” an amount equal to whatever is spent on nonessential indulgences. Put a matching amount in a cookie jar each time you splurge on beer, wine, cigarettes, designer coffee, etc. If you can’t afford to save the matching amount, you can’t afford the $4 super mocha low-fat latte.

· According to the U.S. Department of Energy, a typical U.S. family spends about $1,900 a year on home utility bills. Unfortunately, much of that energy is wasted. Find out how to conserve energy and save money with a free energy guide: http://www.energysavers.gov/pdfs/energy_savers.pdf

Source: Jennifer Hunter, Assistant Extension Professor, Family Financial Management

Source: www.americasavesweek.org

Sara Talbott is the family and consumer sciences extension agent for Anderson County.