'Save Your Money' Campaign Gets A Boost

By Susan Jones | July 7, 2008 | 8:23 PM EDT

(CNSNews.com) - A congressional Democrat, sounding very much like a conservative Republican in this particular case, is urging Americans to save money and reduce debt to build wealth.

Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-Ohio) has introduced a resolution expressing support for the first annual America Saves Week, which runs through March 4.

America Saves is a national marketing campaign that encourages individuals, particularly low- and moderate-income people, to save their way to better times. As the group says on its website, "You don't have to be rich to build wealth."

"I am pleased to join with America Saves as they launch this first annual America Saves Week," said Rep. Tubbs Jones in a news release. "Helping Americans build wealth must be a top priority for us all as many of our communities are facing staggering rates of poverty."

Tubbs Jones said she's been working with the organization since its launch in 2001 in Cleveland, Ohio.

America Saves has grown since then and is now running local, state and national campaigns to promote the savings ethic. "We can help, with tips and tools to help you set goals, develop strategies to reach those goals, and start saving," the website says.

More than 65,000 people have enrolled as "American Savers" by making a commitment to save for a goal of their choice and develop a plan to achieve that goal, the organization said.

America Saves lists four savings goals, including homeownership, savings and investments, retirement savings and emergency funds.

Some 500 financial institutions provide no-fee or low-fee, low opening balance savings accounts that allow small savers to achieve success.

America Saves Week is a new and expanded effort aimed at raising awareness among more institutions and individuals.

Nationally, the campaign is being advised by representatives from some 50 governmental, nonprofit, and business organizations. Overall management for the campaign is being provided by the nonprofit Consumer Federation of America.

The impetus to save money comes at time when many Americans are spending more than they earn.

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, the personal savings rate for Americans was negative 1 percent for all of 2006, meaning that many people are not saving a penny -- and are borrowing to pay for purchases.

According to America Saves, research shows that there are "savers" and "spenders" in all income classes.

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