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Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources

Simple strategies for successfully saving your cents

STILLWATER, Okla. (Feb. 19, 2018) – The truth is, spending money is often a lot easier than trying to save even a few dollars. But, it also is true that it is never too late to start socking something away for the future.

“Saving is important because it provides a cushion from unexpected life events such as job loss, expensive car repairs or serious illness,” said Cindy Clampet, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension assistant family resource management specialist. “Without the safety net that savings can provide, people may be forced into taking on debt.”

The good news is families can and should start saving at any time with any amount of money.

With national America Saves Week set for Feb. 26-March 3 and many Americans seeing an increase in their take-home pay thanks to recently passed federal tax legislation, it is a perfect time to establish or expand on that savings habit.

Most successful savers begin with a goal and a plan. In fact, according to, people with a plan are twice as likely to have savings success. The goal can be anything. Examples include saving for a vacation, a down payment on a new car, creating an emergency fund or establishing a retirement fund.

Once a goal and a plan are in place, families can begin putting aside a set amount of money each month.

“Don’t forget to set up an account at a bank to collect the funds you save,” Clampet said. “Creating an automatic transfer to your savings account whenever you get paid is an easy way to help you stay on track. You probably won’t miss the money you don’t see.”

Eliminating debt is another way families can boost their savings. Quickly getting rid of high-interest debt is usually cheaper in the long term. For example, paying the minimum amount on a $3,000 credit card balance at 19.8 percent interest will take 39 years to clear and cost more than $10,000 in interest paid.

Finally, it is important for savers to track their progress using a method that works best for their needs such as a ledger, bar graph or an app on the phone, computer or other device.

“Monitoring your savings will tell you if your plan is working or if you need to make an adjustment,” Clampet said. “It also can be very motivating to see that you’re making progress toward your goal.”

For more information about savings tips, contact the nearest county Extension office.


Leilana McKindra
Communications Specialist
Agricultural Communications Services
158 Agriculture North
Oklahoma State University
Stillwater, OK 74078
Phone: 405-744-6792
Fax: 405-744-5739


Oklahoma State University - Stillwater, OK 74078