Americans are not saving like they used to. According to the Federal Reserve, personal savings rates fluctuatedbetween 14 and 9 percent in the ’60s and ’70s. Over the past decade, the rate has seldom been over 6 percent. At the beginning of this month the rate was  4.3 percent. Anyone who has endured pricey unexpected events like dead furnaces, fender-benders, or a young one breaking a bone knows the importance of emergency savings. Any one of these events could put financially strapped families into a spiral of debt.

Putting money aside is often not an option, and therefore, not a habit. The Doorways to Dreams Fund, an organization that develops financial products to meet the needs of low-to-moderate income people, is in its second year in leading the Save Your Refund campaign to encourage people nationwide to start the habit of saving at tax time.  [read more]