ATLANTA - We are wrapping up this week with the reminder that it's "America Saves Week." And here's the problem: We aren't saving enough.
I'm guilty, too. I don't save as much as I should. Here's my dirty little secret. I do let the government save my money for me so that I get a tax refund. I know myself. If I have extra money in my pocket I won't save it. I'll spend it on my daughter. So, I get a refund and use it for a house project each year.
Take a look at the number from a Go Banking Rates survey.
35 percent of us only have a few hundred dollars in savings
34 percent of Americans have zero savings
OK, that out of the way, let's look a head. Our friends at Brightworth have given us a top five list of easy places you can save some money. These are easy ways to actually created savings. Money expert Lisa Brown says start with your 401k. Folks, even if it's $100 a month you won't notice it's gone if you direct deposit it. I promise you.
Same thing with the state's 529 plan called Path2College. It's a way to save for your kid's college education. And now you can set aside cash for private school. You won't miss it. Seriously.
Number 3 - Saver's Credit. This is a tax break for low- to-moderate income families. You can claim this for contributions made to you in a variety of retirement savings plans. You fill out Tax Form 8880 to claim your credit. Four - HSAs, or Health Savings Accounts. If you have the option, it's a tax-advantage health savings account. If you don't need the money now, you will when you get older. And finally, credit car points. Yes, credit card points. Redeem the cash and put it into savings.
5 Easy Ways to Save
2. Path2College - Ga. 529 Plan
3. Saver's Credit
5. Credit Card Points
These are passive ways to save. All of these are ways of saving money where you really won't miss the money