Build Wealth Not Debt: Become a Pennsylvania Saver

This brochure provides tips and contacts for money-saving programs.
Build Wealth Not Debt: Become a Pennsylvania Saver - Articles


Achieve your financial goals and peace of mind

Who is a Pennsylvania Saver?

You can be! Any Pennsylvania resident who sets a savings goal such as an emergency fund, debt repayment, school tuition, homeownership, or even retirement. Your savings goal can be as little as $10 per month.

How will I benefit from being a Pennsylvania Saver?

  • FREE workshops on:
    – Gaining financial independence
    – Paying off debts
    – Spending less
    – Qualifying for a home mortgage
    – Setting up a retirement account
    – Selecting a savings or investment product.
  • A FREE informational and motivational workshop to show how anyone can save.
  • A FREE American Saver newsletter mailed to you four times a year.
  • Publications from Penn State Extension.
  • Opportunities to buy or win U.S. Savings Bonds, Certificates of Deposit, and other financial products.
  • FREE membership in a Savers Club that will provide support, information and assistance.

What will membership cost me?

Time and energy towards your goals. Pennsylvania Saves will assist you in saving money and reaching your personal goals. It will be your responsibility to select an account, make a deposit in this account each month (or make a debt payment), report your savings, and celebrate your success!

Who controls my savings account?

You do. You set your payment plan. You open an account in your name. Pennsylvania Saves provides advice, encouragement, and support.

How do I become a Pennsylvania Saver?

Request information by mail:

Pennsylvania Saves
Attn. Cathy Bowen
Penn State University/Penn State Extension
008B Ferguson Bldg.
University Park, PA 16802-2602

Or you can contact:
Cathy Bowen, 814-863-7870

Who is sponsoring or who can sponsor this program?

  • Churches and Religious Communities
  • Nonprofit Organizations
  • Educational Institutions
  • Social Service Organizations
  • Civic Organizations
  • Community Groups
  • Local Employers
  • Local Financial Institutions
  • Government (all levels)
  • Individuals

Pennsylvania Saves is part of America Saves, which is managed by the national non-profit Consumer Federation of America.

Visit the America Saves website

Easy Ways to Save and Build Wealth

5 Key Savings Strategies

  • Pay off high-cost debt. The best investment most borrowers can make is to pay off consumer debt with double-digit interest rates. For example, if you have a $3,000 credit card balance at 19.8% interest, and you pay the required minimum balance of 2% of the balance or $15, whichever is greater, it will take 39 years to pay off the loan. And you will pay more than $10,000 in interest charges. So… learn about your options.
  • Spend less than you earn. Write a budget; leave your credit cards at home; pay with the cash in your pocket. Making simple lifestyle changes such as clipping coupons or comparison shopping will lower the amount you spend per month.
  • Establish a savings goal. Even a small goal adds up. Set that monthly savings goal – keep it in front of you and celebrate those successes. Eventually these savings can provide funds for emergencies,home purchase, school tuition, or even retirement. What you don’t see, you won’t miss.
  • Investigate new tax laws. Tax laws provide credits and deductions that can give you extra money. Tax refunds are like money you have been saving all year. Put part of your refund in a savings account. Having a savings account can also help get your refund faster through a direct deposit into the account.
  • Buy a home and build home equity. Prioritizing home-ownership can turn into significant cash savings.
  • Participate in a work-related retirement program. Many employees turn down free money from their employer by not signing up for a work-related retirement program such as a 401(k) plan. If they did participate, with a dollar-for-dollar match they would likely receive an annual yield of greater than 100% on their investment. They might also be able to take advantage of the new Saver’s Tax Credit.

Watch your savings grow

the “Miracle” of Interest Compounding

Few people get rich from their wages alone. But by taking advantage of the “miracle” of compound interest — earning interest on interest — savings can be realized.

By saving $50 a month, you can build considerable savings.

The chart demonstrates a $50 per month savings plan with a 5% yield.

Finding Money to Save

TipMonthly Savings ($)
Save $.50 a day in loose change15
Cut soda consumption by 1 liter a week 6
Bring lunch to work (saving an estimated $3/day)60
Eat out 2 fewer times a month30
Purchase 2 fewer lottery tickets a week ($2)16
Cut cigarette consumption by 2 packs a week32
Eliminate premium cable channels20
Borrow, rather than buying, 1 book a month15
Maintain checking account minimum to avoid fees 7
Bounce one less check a month20
Pay credit card bill on time to avoid late fee25
Pay off $1000 of credit card debt, reducing interest15