What’s Happening in the World of Savings?

Oct 14, 2014
Paying for College, Savings
  • Millenial interest in savings declined over the past year (DepositAccounts):

What’s going on with the Millennials? Between September 2013 and 2014, the personal savings interest and effort of those 18-34 surveyed, declined considerably, according to the latest America Saves Personal Savings Index.  During this time period, interest in personal savings in this age group fell from 77% to 68%, while the reported savings effort dipped too, from 66% to 57%. In effectiveness they fell too, from 60% last year to 57% last month.

  • Recent Yale graduate includes this sage advice in a column for current students (Yale Daily News):

Start saving money now. When you have to choose between your Netflix subscription and dinner (Netflix, obviously), you’ll be kicking yourself for not entering the real world more financially stable. Unless you’re going into finance, in which case start building up your sleep surplus.

For 36% of couples, building an emergency fund  is the top priority. In a shell-shocked economy that has limped through the last decade, this is perhaps not surprising. Still, it’s never too late to contribute to a rainy-day fund with at least six months’ worth of living expenses. In fact, as job-hopping becomes increasingly common among millennials, having quick access to cash for unexpected costs can be a lifesaver during times of unemployment.

  • Is there a gender gap when it comes to retirement savings (CNN)?

According to a Vanguard analysis of more than 1 million 401(k) savers, women are 10% more likely to enroll in their workplace savings plan and save a bigger chunk of their paychecks.  Yet Vanguard’s analysis found that female savers have an average balance of $78,000 — far below the male average balance of $121,000.

But they just need some every month and they need to make sure they pay themselves first,” said Tracy Crider SMB Vice President. “Put the savings in an account first, don’t wait until the end of the month and see what’s left over and save that. But if it’s going to be $20 a paycheck as soon as you get paid put that $20 in your savings account. An auto debit feature so that you don’t have to do it physically, it is a great way to do it.

The good news is that Americans are saving more than ever for college. The bad news is that the average amount wouldn’t come close to getting a person a degree.  In a recent report, the College Savings Plans Network found that the average college savings or prepaid tuition account known as a 529 plan is now worth about $20,671 — almost double what these accounts were worth during the depths of the recession.

  • The social mobility case for prize-linked savings accounts (Brookings):

Building personal savings is a critical element in moving up the economic ladder. A cushion of capital can tide a household over a setback, such as unexpected health costs, and help mobility in a positive way, such as moving across town for a better job. Developing the habit of saving, even in a small scale, is connected to other positive behaviors, such as completing college.

About the Author

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.

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