'A new calendar year invigorates people to start with a clean slate, so it's a great time to begin building or refreshing your savings goals,' says Jerry Kelly, national director of the Treasury Department's Ready.Save.Grow. campaign. 'Since saving for the future can be challenging, we've developed a resolution check list to help people celebrate small savings victories one at a time.'
Resolve to accomplish these five savings goals in 2014:
*Grow your tax refund - Rather than spend your refund, put the lump sum to work this tax season. Use IRS Form 8888 to direct all or a portion of your tax refund into your TreasuryDirect account. If you don't have an account, you can open one at www.treasurydirect.gov. Tax season is also the only time taxpayers are able to buy paper Series I Savings Bonds, in amounts ranging from $50 to $5,000, using tax refund dollars.
* Plan for the future with digital savings bonds - Savings bonds are an affordable, safe and convenient way for people to accumulate money for the future. A savings bond can be bought for just $25 and can earn interest for up to 30 years. Savings bonds may be used to achieve long-term goals such as retirement, college or a new home. If you need your money sooner, a savings bond can be cashed any time after 12 months.
* Set up payroll direct deposit - You don't need a lot of money to start saving and there are simple ways to accumulate funds. By using direct deposit to contribute to a TreasuryDirect account every payday, you'll build your savings over time. The amount you set is automatically deposited into your account, so you won't be tempted to spend it.
* Diversify with marketable securities - The Treasury Department offers an array of marketable securities with terms ranging from 4 weeks to 30 years. These securities can be bought for as little as $100 and held in TreasuryDirect until their term ends. Along the way you earn interest. For shorter term (one year or less) marketable securities, interest is paid at the end of the term. For longer term (more than one year) securities, interest is paid every six months. If you need your money before a security reaches its term, you can transfer it to a broker to sell. Marketable securities offer long-term savers the opportunity to diversify their savings and take control of their future.
* Start your child on the path to savings - The earlier the better when it comes to saving. The Treasury Department has resources to help families start saving for their children's future. Parents can set up a special account for their children within their own TreasuryDirect account so that savings bonds can be bought as gifts for their children. Bonds are held in this account until the child turns 18.
In addition, the Treasury Department has a child-friendly website, TreasuryDirect KIDS (www.treasurydirect.gov/kids/kids.htm), with games, quizzes and videos that teach students from fifth to seventh grade in a fun and engaging way about the history and role of debt in America, and the basics of how Treasury securities work.
Ready.Save.Grow. helps people take control of their future by providing information and resources about the safe, affordable and convenient savings options offered by the Treasury Department. Visit the website (www.treasurydirect.gov/readysavegrow), to learn more. You can also find Ready.Save.Grow. on Facebook and Twitter@ReadySaveGrow.
The preceding information was provided by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Bureau of the Fiscal Service.
Ready.Save.Grow. is a service mark of the U.S. Department of the Treasury.