6/06/2013

It's Hurricane Season....Can you weather a financial storm?


Virginia Savers:

Check out this article from NEFE (National Endowment for Financial Education).
It includes information on natural disasters and how to prepare for them financially, including reviewing your insurance policies.

Click here for more info on: Weathering Financial Storms

4/15/2013

Virginia Saves Piggy Bank Pageant & Photo Contest Winners Announced


Congratulations to all of the sponsoring organizations, volunteers, parents, and most of all, youth savers that participated in Virginia Saves 3rd Piggy Bank Pageant and Photo contest.

As we celebrate and promote financial literacy initiatives in April each year, Virginia Saves appreciates the work by our educators, community volunteers and family to help teach youth on the benefits of saving.  These life lessons are important for all of us as we seek to help families and communities become financially fit.

This year, 70 entries were received from 10 communities in Virginia, including: Charlottesville, Dublin, Newport, Pearisburg, Pembroke, Portsmouth, Radford, Roanoke and Virginia Beach.

In addition to individual entries submitted directly to Virginia Saves, we would like to acknowledge the participation from these groups:

·        Beans and Rice, Radford

·        Beta Chi Omega Chapter Alpha Kapa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Roanoke

·        Community Housing Partners, Yorktown and Portsmouth

·        Eastern Elementary/Middle School

·        Girl Scout Daisy Troop #17

·        Greenstone on 5th Neighborhood Network Community Center, Charlottesville

Winners by Class:  See Winners on Facebook

Virginia Saves and Virginia Saves appreciate the support and sponsorship of BB&T, Virginia Housing Development Authority and America Saves.  We will be coordinating with sponsoring organization for the presentation of awards.
Teresa Walker
Virginia Saves, Chair
Piggy Bank Pageant

4/01/2013

Text Messaging Can Help You Save More


America Saves Announces New Text Message Service and Chance to Win $500

America Saves is committed to finding innovative ways to help you succeed financially. That's why we are excited to launch a new free text message service, as part of Financial Literacy Month, to keep you motivated to save. Text messages will come in the form of tips to help you find money to save, as well as advice and reminders to help you save for your specific goal.

And if that isn't enough, we are giving away $500 to help one person reach their savings goal.

How to enter to win the $500:
Sign up to receive text message from America Saves between April 1 and April 30, 2013 by texting the goal that you want to receive tips, advice, and reminders on. While anyone can sign up to receive text messages, you must by 18 to win. Choose from:

• Saving for an Emergency Fund -- Text EMERGENCY to 88769
• Saving for Education -- Text EDUCATION to 88769
• Debt Repayment -- Text DEBT to 88769
• Saving for a Home -- Text HOUSE to 88769
• Saving for Retirement -- T ext RETIRE to 88769
• General Savings -- Text SAVES to 88769

It's a win-win situation. One lucky person will win $500 to help them reach their savings goal - and everyone will win by staying motivated to save.  

D on't forget to share this with friends and family. It may be the thing that helps them set their goal to start and emergency fund, pay down debt, or save for items like education or retirement. 

Good Luck and Happy Saving!
Virginia Saves


2/21/2013

Virginia Governor Recognizes America Saves Week


Virginia Saves Week

February 25 – March 2, 2013
 
Set A Goal.  Make A Plan.  Save Automatically. 

These are the key components of America Saves Week, a national effort to encourage personal savings. The Virginia Saves campaign aligns with the messages and the timing launching on Monday, February 25 and running until March 2. 

Virginia Saves offers numerous opportunities for individuals to assess their savings status and build their own plans for greater financial security. Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell also supports the campaign and has issued a proclamation to recognize Virginia Saves Week for citizens in the Commonwealth.

Key savings strategies include:

·       Save a portion of your refund: Tax time is a great opportunity to boost your savings using a portion of your tax refund.

·       Pay off high-interest debt: Too much debt can create a barrier to savings.  Eliminate high cost credit card payments and redirect money to your savings account.

·       Save for emergencies:  Everyone faces unexpected expenses or repairs. Emergency funds help you to weather the financial storms of life.

·       Make Savings Automatic: Save regularly through payroll deduction or automatic transfer to a separate savings account. 

Individuals are encouraged to join the campaign and pledge to save.  If you have previously joined the campaign, we encourage you to re-commit to save and take the pledge, see http://www.virginiasaves.org/index.php/enroll.
Virginia Savers receive e-newsletters periodically and access to online tools to help you reduce debt and watch your money grow. New savers in Virginia will also be entered in a quarterly drawing for a $50 Visa gift card. 
The highly popular Piggy Bank Pageant for youth is also underway across the Commonwealth. A panel of judges will select winners from two categories. Cash prizes are supplied courtesy of Virginia Housing Development Authority.  The deadline for entries is March 31, 2013.

You will also find Virginia Saves tips on: Facebook, Twitter and Blogspot.
For more information, visit www.virginiasaves.org.



Click Here for Full Size PDF of Governor's Proclamation


1/15/2013

2013 Virginia Saves Piggy Bank Pageant & Photo Contest


         

 
     Virginia Saves
     2013
    Piggy Bank Pageant
                      
Help us Celebrate Virginia Saves Week 2013!

Create a bank and send us your photo!

               
Youth (ages 4-12) may enter the contest and compete for prizes.   

One grand prize awarded to an organization promoting the Virginia Saves 2013 Piggy Bank Pageant.
 

It’s easy to participate!

 Take a container (your choice) and make a bank to hold money.  

Use recycled materials to decorate your bank. Sizes up to: 14” x 14” and banks must be able to hold coins.

·   Submit a photo to: virginiasaves@gmail.com along with your registration form and

What you are saving for (Limit 50 words). Registration forms available at www.virginiasaves.org

·   Compete for Prizes (valued at): 1st place - $100; 2nd place - $50; 3rd place - $25

·   A panel of judges will select the three winners from each category.

·   Judging based on visual presentation, creativity of materials used and savings goals.

·   Eligibility:  Class A – Youth ages 4-8 • Class B – Youth ages 9-12

·   Virginia Schools, youth organizations, church groups and individual savers welcome to participate!

·  Winners notified by April 15, 2013
 

For Registration Form, Click Here!

 

For additional information:                                                                     
Contact Teresa Walker or Maron El-Khouri, Virginia Saves c/o VCC
Email: Virginiasaves@gmail.com, twalker@vccva or mel-Khouri@vccva.org, or
Phone:  804-344-5485 x 120 or 540-260-3126 x 102
See also: virginiasaves.org or Virginia-Saves on Facebook            

 

 

1/09/2013

SaveUp No Spending Challenge


Savings Challenge:

Commit to 30 Days of No Spending With SaveUp

 America Saves and Virginia Saves are committed to finding innovative ways to help you save successfully. That's why we have teamed up with SaveUp, a free program that rewards Americans for saving money and paying down their debts, to provide you a fun and engaging experience while you save for the future.

BONUS: Join Virginia Saves and we will send you an email with the special link to earn 100 bonus credits with SaveUp.

One of the top New Year’s resolutions is to save more and stick to a budget. Research shows if you can change your behavior for 30 days you are likely to stick to your goals. Join the SaveUp 30 Day No Spend Challenge – and kick start the New Year right. Be a champion for your personal economic recovery.

 HOW IT WORKS

·         Choose any credit card in your wallet and commit to 30 days of no spending on that card by registering it for the SaveUp No Spend challenge.

·         The more days you check-in and stick to your challenge the more chances you have to win the grand prize of $5,000 to pay down your debt.

·         BONUS: Be a champion for change – share to bring others to the SaveUp No Spending Challenge and win an additional $5,000 in rewards.

BENEFITS: SaveUp’s Financial Detox helps you in the following ways:

·         Saving real dollars. Based on compound interest, an average household would save close to $15,000 in interest over 10 years if it paid down $1,000 now in credit card debt.

·         It challenges you to NOT spend on anything but what is needed.

·         It’s a game – how many days can I go without using money?

·         It forces you to look at other more creative options than spending.

·         It makes you become more conscious of your spending habits.

·         It discourages thoughtless, throwaway purchases and allows you to discover how little you truly need to be happy.

·         It encourages planning-ahead-spending and the use of cash or debit cards. 

SaveUp is a great online tool to motivate and reward people while saving and paying down their debt. As our members save more/pay down their debt, they earn opportunities to win great prizes like a $5,000 No Spend Fund, or a $5,000 Save and Share prize. SaveUp users can also organize all their savings and debt in one place, track their progress, and learn more about making the right financial choices. 

For more savings tips, see www.VirginiaSaves.org.

 

New Year's Savings Strategies


Happy New Year Virginia Savers!
 
As 2013 begins, make sure to give your finances a checkup and discover if you need to make saving your New Year's resolution. You may discover that you have debt you need to pay down or that you are ready to take the next step in savings. Helping yourself and your family save successfully for the future should be near the top of your resolution list - and it's one resolution you can't afford to break! Remember, you don't have to make a lot of money to save successfully. Start Small. Think Big.

5 Resolutions to Get You Saving in the New Year

1. Get Out of Debt
The best investment most borrowers can make is to pay off consumer debt with double-digit interest rates. How to do it: Find places to cut your spending so that you can pay down your debts faster.

2. Save for Emergencies
Having an emergency savings fund may be the most important difference between those who manage to stay afloat and those who are sinking financially. In a recent survey, only 49% of families said they had extra funds (not including lines of credit) available to pay for an unexpected expense of $1,000. Don't find yourself unprepared in 2013. How to do it: Save a Portion of Your Tax Refund. Use the 30 - 40 - 30 plan. Designate 30% of your refund to pay off debt and catch up on outstanding bills. Earmark 40% for current use. Use 30% to jump start an emergency fund or long term savings. You can use form 8888 to split your refund into separate accounts and buy a U.S. Savings Bond. Bonds are a safe and easy way to save for the future.

3. Save for Retirement
Many employees turn down free money from their employer by not signing up for a work-related retirement program such as a 401(k) plan. If they did participate, with a dollar-for-dollar match they would likely receive an annual yield of greater than 100% on their investment. How to do it: Participate in a work-related retirement program or open up a Roth IRA. Already saving? Increase the amount you save toward retirement by 1% in 2013.

4. Make Savings Automatic
It can be hard to put aside money for savings. But there is an easy way to save money without ever missing it - Make your savings automatic in 2013.

5. Buy a Home and Pay Off the Mortgage Before You Retire
The largest asset of most middle-income families is their home equity. Once these families have made their last mortgage payment, they have far lower housing expenses. How to do it: Almost anyone can afford to own a home with proper preparation . Develop a savings plan to build up money for a down payment at purchase, for moving expenses, and for post-purchase emergency expenditures such as needed home repairs.