Dollar Wi$e Week focuses on saving for kids and families

Approximately 43 percent of American households spend more than they earn each year, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and the United States has the lowest personal savings rate of any major industrialized nation. This week, mayors throughout the country will be celebrating Dollar Wi$e Week as part of the Mayor's National Dollar Wi$e Campaign: Financial Education for America. This year's theme is Saving for Kids and Families.

"Savings are an important building block of the foundation for the American dream," Saipan Mayor Juan B. Tudela told The Saipan Tribune. "Savings are essential to making many people's hopes and dreams possible – owning a home, educating our children, and having stable families."

Tudela and the people of the Municipality of Saipan's community coalition will work with local banks and financial institutions to encourage families to help their children open savings accounts. They are hoping children will learn the importance of saving money. Saipan is the capital of the U.S. Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, a chain of 15 tropical islands in the western Pacific Ocean.

Recognizing that financial illiteracy is a growing national problem, the United States Conference of Mayor's Council for the New American City established the National Dollar Wi$e Campaign. In Illinois this week, mayors from the Quad Cities kicked off a host of programs to educate people on financial literacy and taking control of debt, bringing together educators, community service agencies, financial services, and social action groups, according to qconline.com. Seminars will cover credit repair, homebuying, and dumping debt. "Maxed Out," James Scurlock's award winning documentary about the credit and debt crisis and its affect on ordinary Americans, will be screened.

The Saipan Tribune reported that in 2005, savings rates for Americans sank into the negative for the first time since the Great Depression and that for every $100 Americans bring home, they spend slightly more - $100.20.

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