HRA to encourage savings

cafca | February 24, 2015 |

 NEW BRITAIN — Lower-income households may lack emergency savings, but help is on the way.

The Human Resource Agency of New Britain, as part of the Connecticut Saves Campaign, will extend its message of encouragement to even more families in central Connecticut.

The campaign, coordinated by UConn Extension, is encouraging families and individuals to save money. According to a 2014 National Survey Assessing Household Savings, most Americans may be meeting immediate financial needs, but are worse off than in years past.

• Only one-third of Americans feel prepared for their long- term financial future.

• 68 percent are spending less than their income and saving the difference, down from 73 percent in 2010.

• Nearly two-thirds of respondents (64 percent) say that they have sufficient emergency savings to pay for unexpected expenses, down from 71 percent in 2010.

• 76 percent say they are reducing their consumer debt, or are consumer debt-free, down from 79 percent in 2010.

The campaign has planned special activities for Connecticut Saves Week, Feb. 24-28.

Gov. Dannel Malloy has signed a proclamation calling on Connecticut residents to assess and improve their personal finances by making positive wealth-building. A Bank of America Foundation mini-grant is supporting the campaign.

Campaign partners include the Connecticut Department of Banking; the Connecticut Department of Labor; the Office of the Connecticut State Treasurer; People’s United Bank; Naugatuck Head Start; Connecticut State Library; Hartford Job Corps Academy; New Haven Job Corps; New Haven County Extension Resource Council, Inc.; New Haven Free Public Library and Human Resources Agency of New Britain, Inc. New partners include Community Renewal Team; Liberty Bank; American Eagle Credit Union and the Connecticut Association for Human Services.

People will be asked to take the Connecticut Saves Pledge online and commit to saving regularly for a personal or family goal.

“When someone takes the pledge to save, they identify a savings goal [emergency fund, education, retirement], an amount to save per month, and the number of months they will save that amount,” explained Caren Dickman, HRA-New Britain communications and grant development specialist. “Those with a plan are more likely to save than those without.”

The agency offers matched savings accounts for adults and youths designed to help low-to-moderate income people manage and save money for specific goals.

“HRA helped me get my finances under control,” said New Britain resident Damaris Colo. “David [David McGhee, HRA Asset Management Coordinator] taught me how to work my educational goals and others, like a new car, into my budget.”