Source: CVDaily Feed

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Americans can be big spenders and avid consumers, but just the opposite is being asked of people in Utah and elsewhere this week. “America Saves Week” runs today through March 1. It’s a campaign designed to encourage saving money and planning for retirement.

According to Jennifer Rohn, communications director at AAA Fair Credit Foundation, transitioning from spending to saving can be difficult for some people, but is a big benefit in the long run.

“The message is not to not spend your money, but to save your money so you can spend it strategically in a way that benefits you the most financially in the long term.”

Rohn said the many Utahns living paycheck to paycheck can get free assistance from the AAA Fair Credit Foundation. She said her organization specializes in Individual Development Accounts that provide matching funds for low-income people. The combined savings can be used to help purchase a house, get an education or start a small business.

Rohn said the critical step in planning your financial future is having written and achievable goals.

“It helps people really identify wants versus needs. And also to really think about what their personal values are in terms of money. And how they want to manage their money in a way that promotes the things that are most important to them in their life,” she said.

Rohn said a good starting goal is to have three months of living expenses banked in case of an emergency.