Build wealth a little at a time

This is America Saves Week, coordinated by the American Savings Education Council and America Saves, a national campaign by non-profit, government, and corporate groups that encourages people to save money and build wealth.

The campaign offers a “saver checklist” to help evaluate one’s savings preparedness. Use it to see how you’re doing.

Have a financial plan with savings and debt management goals.

Don’t rely on financial windfalls from gambling or winning the lottery.

Avoid payday loan, car title loan and other high-cost debt.

Avoid credit card debt that is increasing.

Avoid credit card debt or unpaid monthly balances.

Strive for affordable (or no) car and student loan debt payments.

Save a portion of your income – aim to save at least 5 percent of your income.

Have an emergency fund to cover $500 of unexpected expenses.

Next, save enough in an emergency fund to cover three months of regular expenditures.

At work, contribute regularly to a retirement account.

Outside work, contribute regularly to an account for retirement.

Outside work, make these or other savings deposits automatically.

Obtain a home with affordable (or no) mortgage payments.

Expect to pay off the mortgage before retirement.

In short, work on building wealth every week, all year long.