Washington, D.C. (Feb. 22, 2022) — During America Saves Week, the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) offers consumers savings tips as they work towards building a secure financial future.
“As relationship bankers who have a vested interest in the success of their customers and communities, community banks can be a valuable financial ally for all Americans,” ICBA President and CEO Rebeca Romero Rainey said. “We encourage consumers to experience the benefits of relationship banking and consult their trusted community banker to get a clear view of their finances and set attainable goals as they embark on their lifelong savings journey.”
More than a third (36%) of consumers do not have sufficient savings to cover a $400 unexpected expense, according to the most recent Federal Reserve Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households report. And American’s personal savings rate in the fourth quarter of 2021 (7.4%) was less than half the size of the first-quarter rate (20.0%), according to the Commerce Department.
ICBA offers the following tips to help consumers boost their savings:
- Pay yourself first. Many employers offer automatic payroll deduction, which is one of the best ways to start and keep saving. Use those funds to build a retirement fund.
- Create a spending plan. Unlike a strict budget, a spending plan is a guide to help you take control of your finances by tracking where your money goes so you can prioritize your spending.
- Start small. Setting aside just $2.99 a day (the average cost of a daily cup of coffee) for one year can boost your emergency fund by nearly $1,100 annually.
- Build a financial cushion. Strive for an emergency savings of six to nine months of living expenses.
- Put your tax refund to work. Last year, more than three quarters (86%) of Americans planned to use their returns for savings or paying off debt.
Other important factors to consider when choosing where to place your savings:
- Access. How quickly can you retrieve funds? Community banks use the latest technology to allow consumers the freedom to access their money when and where they need it.
- Safety. Is your money protected? The FDIC insures deposits up to $250,000 per depositor and $250,000 for certain retirement accounts. No one has ever lost a penny of FDIC-insured funds.
- Earnings. How much will you earn? Community banks offer competitively priced products and services.
To find a community bank near you, visit www.banklocally.org. For additional savings tips, follow the hashtag #ASW2022.
The Independent Community Bankers of America creates and promotes an environment where community banks flourish. ICBA is dedicated exclusively to representing the interests of the community banking industry and its membership through effective advocacy, best-in-class education, and high-quality products and services.
With nearly 50,000 locations nationwide, community banks constitute 99 percent of all banks, employ more than 700,000 Americans and are the only physical banking presence in one in three U.S. counties. Holding more than $5 trillion in assets, over $4.4 trillion in deposits, and more than $3.4 trillion in loans to consumers, small businesses and the agricultural community, community banks channel local deposits into the Main Streets and neighborhoods they serve, spurring job creation, fostering innovation and fueling their customers’ dreams in communities throughout America. For more information, visit ICBA’s website at www.icba.org.