Okaloosa Saves is celebrating America Saves Week Feb. 26 through March 3.

Okaloosa Saves encourages individuals to set a savings goal and take the America Saves Pledge during the event.

Taking the pledge is a promise to yourself that you will reduce debt and build wealth.

The Federal Reserve' Report on the Economic Well-Being of US Households (2015), stated that that “Forty-six percent of adults say they either could not cover an emergency expense costing $400, or would cover it by selling something or borrowing.”

Ready to start your savings journey? Here are a few of easy ways to get going:

1) Take the Okaloosa Saves Pledge at www.okaloosasaves.org or text “OKSaves” to 95577 (standard data and message rates may apply).

Studies have shown that setting a specific goal and writing it down may help you achieve your goal. As a bonus America Saves will send you all kinds of tips and information about saving, but don’t worry we won’t spam you!

2) Use a calendar to keep track of your income and expenses. Don’t forget to include your savings. Each week or month total up your income to compare to your expenses.

If you are spending more than you are making a buck or analyze your spending to see where you can save an extra buck or two. Can you bring lunch to work instead of buying out?

3) Save automatically. Work with your employer or bank to have a portion of your paycheck deposited directly into your savings account. Start with just a small amount if you must. Even $5 a week will turn into $260 after one year.

4) Split your tax refund. If you receive a tax refund, deposit some — or all — of it into your savings.

If you use form 8888 while filing your taxes to split your refund, you can also enter the 2018 Save Your Refund drawing. $100 prizes are available to winners, as well as a $10,000 grand prize. at Go to https://saveyourrefund.com/home/ to find out all of the details. 

Contact me at 689-5850 or jbreslawski@ufl.edu for more information.

Jill Breslawski is an agent at the University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension office in Crestview.