Winston-Salem, NC – Members Credit Union launches What are you saving for? as a way to re-frame the American personal savings dilemma. Equal parts social media campaign, prize-based savings account, and financial literacy education crusade, What are you saving for? makes success in saving both fun and achievable.
Getting caught up with the negatives of personal finance in America is easy. We are told over and over that our personal savings rate is negative. We are told the Social Security System is going bankrupt and no matter how large your retirement nest egg becomes, it simply will not be enough. We are told that rising post-secondary education costs and never-ending inflation will continue to make saving for college tuition an impossible task. Simply put, Americans are being fooled into believing that successes in personal savings are not attainable. Members Credit Union believes that the national discussion needs to change. What Americans need to succeed in the confusing world of spending, saving, and planning is victories – small and large.
“Americans need positive reinforcement,” comments President/CEO Jack V. Braswell, Jr. “If the national goal is to create a society of better savers, we need to stop telling each other ‘you can’t’ and start encouraging each other that ‘you can’.”
What are you saving for? is the central question of the campaign, asking members to set short or mid-term savings goals for themselves. Account holders who make a commitment to save at least $25 each month will receive double their Members Credit Union regular savings rate. The doubled rate amounts to nearly five times the national average for a regular savings account. For every $25 in average daily balance in their What are you saving for? account, members will receive a chance to win monthly cash prizes.
“The key is making savings an actual budget item, not a ‘well, if we have anything left over at the end of the month, we’ll put it into a savings account,” continues Braswell. “Our biggest challenge we will face with What are you saving for? is that this concept of paying yourself first is both foreign and intimidating for so many.”
To help combat any uneasiness associated with this mindset shift, the credit union has developed an online support group at www.whatareyousavingfor.com. Running on a WordPress blog engine, the site encourages members to share their savings goals, the steps they are taking to achieve those goals, and the pain and joy they experience along the way. As an added incentive to participate in the online conversation, the credit union will be holding semi-annual “Biggest Saver” contests that will allow users to select winners of $2,000 certificates of deposit.
“Think Biggest Loser or American Idol,” notes Eric Stiff, VP Marketing. “We know that to succeed with this campaign, we need to have some fun with it. This online component educates, celebrates, and congratulates savers, and empowers them to reward the people who have shown the most dedication to developing this new savings paradigm.”
What are you saving for? begins on April 1, 2008, and will continue indefinitely. Deposits are insured to at least $100,000 by the National Credit Union Administration.