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Wisconsin Saves will encourage us to build wealth

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Dawn Marie Sass
February 27, 2008

We all know that Wisconsin citizens have multiple financial challenges to meet. More children leave college because of credit card debt rather than bad grades. Thirty million American workers—one in four—are suffering serious financial distress. And 25 percent of Americans have maxed out a credit card this year with no savings plan to pay it back.


I am proud to partner with the Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Coalition and serve as a spokeswoman for Wisconsin Saves. Wisconsin Saves is the statewide social-marketing initiative of America Saves designed to help individuals and families build wealth. It was created by a statewide coalition of nonprofit, corporate and government groups.


You might ask what it means to become a Wisconsin Saver. It is a person working toward a savings goal. Maybe it is for a home or higher education, an emergency fund for retirement. Maybe you need to reduce your debt and create both a savings and spending plan. Whatever it is, you can get started now.


A person can start a savings plan by putting aside $10, $20, or $50 on a regular basis until reaching the goal. Remember, building wealth starts when a goal is set and a plan is followed to reach that goal.


When you enroll in Wisconsin Saves, you will have access to financial institutions with low or no fee bank accounts, a quarterly America Saves newsletter and free financial seminars on debt management, wealth building and college savings. In addition, you will be provided with information on credit counseling, opportunities for free income tax preparation, and savings tips to assist you and your family.


I have a great way for you to start saving. This week is Roll Your Change Week in Wisconsin. Wisconsin Saves asks people to save and deposit all loose change they come across. It is estimated that there is more than $10 billion in loose change sitting unproductively in homes across America. By participating in the event, my hope is that this will start a shift in family spending and savings habits.


To sign up to be a Wisconsin Saver, call WWBIC at (414) 263-5450 or go to www.americasaves.org and click on Local Campaigns.


Helping people realize their financial dreams is important, and financial action is key in realizing success. I truly hope you will take advantage of the benefits of Wisconsin Saves and sign up to be a Wisconsin Saver.


Dawn Marie Sass is Wisconsin State Treasurer. Readers can reach her at P.O. Box 7871, Madison, WI 53707-7871; phone (608) 266-1714; or by e-mail at treasury@ost.state.wi.us.

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