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America Saves Week

The Division of Agriculture Research & Extension at University of Arkansas System put out a promotional video last week to promote the America Saves movement.

It’s a little bit of funny with a whole lot of scary, since this is the exact scenario you could be looking at if you don’t prepare your kids for their own financial success.  I’m not talking giving them gobs of money with no expectations or funding 100% of college even if it puts your retirement at risk – I’m talking simple education and the power of starting to save while you’re young.

America Saves is a national movement that seeks to encourage good financial behavior and educate on simple savings and debt reduction strategies.  And this week, February 25th-March 2nd, happens to be America Saves Week.

Check out the video here:

See, especially if you have kids, it's a whole lot of scary, because it’s a whole lot of truth.

You can start with even these simple bullet points as goals to teach your kids before they turn 18 and *hopefully* launch into successful adulthood:

  • ALWAYS meet the company match through your employer: if they’re offering to match a 3% deferral, than AT A MINIMUM you should meet that 3% deferral; it’s free money and you’re leaving the chance to double your investment right off the bat on the table
  • NEVER max out a credit card: you need a credit card to successfully exist in today's society, but you don’t need to use as much credit as any company is willing to give; play the points/cash back game, but pay it back EVERY month
  • There’s a difference between CONSUMER debt and PRODUCTIVE debt: mortgages and student loans are a means to an end that can be managed, but credit card debt and vehicle loans can quickly turn into a losing game

And if your kid is already 30 and moves back in, then you can still start with those three bullet points.