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New Mexico Residents Rank 44th in Personal Savings

Fewer than half of all Americans are putting as much money into savings as they should, according to the Consumer Federation of America. (mconnors/morguefile)
Fewer than half of all Americans are putting as much money into savings as they should, according to the Consumer Federation of America. (mconnors/morguefile)
February 25, 2016

SANTA FE, N.M. - Saving money in today's economy is hard to do, but the Consumer Federation of America says it will pay off down the road, literally.

This is America Saves Week, and the group is challenging families without savings accounts – which means most of them – to start building a nest egg.

Katie Bryan, communications director for AmericaSaves.org, says just putting together a modest emergency fund is a good start.

"Many places say you should have six months of your salary and that is a great goal, but it's very hard for most Americans to get there," says Bryan. "So, we say having at least $500 is a first, really great goal to have."

Bryan says everyone should develop a household budget. She says doing little things, like cutting out expensive coffee or learning to live without cell phones or cable TV, can help quickly build a nest egg.

She adds one of the best ways to save money, not to mention improving your health, is to stop smoking.

But statistics show New Mexicans are not doing a good job of saving their money. The Nest Egg Index rates New Mexico 44th among the 50 states based on savings, investments and retirement funds.

Bryan says even though interest rates aren't very high right now, that doesn't mean it's a good idea to just stuff cash under the mattress.

"We still say a savings account, or a share account with a credit union, is the best place to put your emergency savings," Bryan says. "And while it's not making much interest, it's there when you need it. So, it's definitely the safest place."

A Consumer Federation poll shows only 40 percent of Americans are currently making significant progress toward their savings goals.

The AmericaSaves.org website has more information on saving money, and an "America Saves" pledge.

Mark Richardson, Public News Service - NM