A quick bit of clarification on the Savings Pledge

Last week I invited you to take the Savings Pledge with me, and to be honest I am kind of stunned by how few of you responded. I mean, I assume you’re here because you like saving money, so it occurs to me that the problem may not be the pledge, but what you might think it obligates you to do.

To recap: I asked that those of you who are fans of Want Not on Facebook consider going there and signing the Savings Pledge as part of Savings.com’s effort to save America a billion dollars. The idea is that you proclaim an amount of money you want to save each week, for whatever purpose you like. In return, I offered that those of you who sign up and leave a comment saying you did on this post would be counted up, and for every reader who commits until the end of July, I’ll be setting aside a penny for my local food bank every time I spend money online for the rest of the year.

If 100 of you sign up, that’s a buck every time I shop online. 1,000 of you, and it’s $10 every time I shop online.

So here’s a little more information about the Savings Pledge, for those of you who are hesitant:
1) It doesn’t do that Facebook Connect thing where you have to authorize it to access your account.
2) In fact, it’s completely anonymous. Signing up gets you a couple of general demographic questions to answer, but no real identifying info is requested or recorded. I can’t even see who’s signed up.
3) There is no contract or obligation here; it’s just a declaration for you to make to help you in your own savings pursuits.

If you are not a Facebook user, I will accept a comment to the effect that you are personally pledging to commit to saving money, even though you can’t “sign up” via Facebook.

C’mon, folks. It’ll be fun; we’ll all be saving together. And the more you (sign up and) save, the more money I’ll be giving to charity. I hope you’ll consider it.

24 Responses to “A quick bit of clarification on the Savings Pledge”

  1. 1
    Jessica July 18, 2011 at 4:31 pm #

    I don’t have Facebook, so I was hesitant to leave a comment on the last one. I’m currently back in school and my husband is a teacher, so our summer has been pretty lean this year. However, I can right now pledge to set aside $5 per week for savings during the summer, and up that to $50 in the fall (depending on how finances are at that point, since that also means I’ll be back in classes and will have books, etc. to pay for). I have cut WAY back on a lot of things since our pay was cut in half (and our expenses increased with the second degree costs), so that seems like a lot to me, but I also know how stressed I have been lately that our savings isn’t increasing any longer, and I really want to battle the feeling that we’re sinking when we aren’t yet. If I have to skip when we need the money, fine, but I really need to feel like I’m doing something as well.

    Thanks for the kick in the pants, Mir! (I’ll leave this on the other post as well, but I wanted to let you know that I hear you.)

  2. 2
    chichimama July 18, 2011 at 4:32 pm #

    It was the facebook thing for me, so I pledge to save!

  3. 3
    Jessica July 18, 2011 at 4:39 pm #

    After posting that, I realized that we are giving more money to causes we believe in than we are putting in our savings. While some may not see that as a bad thing, I can see that if we keep dong things the way we are, I probably won’t end up finishing this degree due to lack of savings to buoy us in the end. We haven’t adjusted our charitable givings in relationship to our new income, if that makes sense. We adjusted our savings plan down to nothing and never thought to adjust our giving as well. They both need to be healthy amounts.

    Thanks again for making me take a good look at our finances and budget again, Mir. I simply cut out savings and cut back on spending without looking at the entire picture. We do need to help ourselves AND help others at the same time. It wouldn’t be much help if I gave tons of money to our local food shelf and then ended up needing their services in a year or two through my own lack of foresight.

    (Sorry for the two posts, but this really made me start thinking more about our savings, even though I’ve been stressing over it for six months or more now.)

  4. 4
    Kim Smith July 18, 2011 at 4:41 pm #

    Facebook for me too. We just had a baby in March and now have two in daycare, but I’ll pledge to try and save at least $50/week.

  5. 5
    Mir July 18, 2011 at 4:42 pm #

    Jessica, I love the thought process and thank you for sharing it with us. Absolutely, there has to be balance there. My offer to do this extra charitable donation is because we’re in a place to be able to do so, and I hope that you (and everyone!) understand that the Savings Pledge is about figuring out what your family needs most. If it’s a matter of tucking money back into the rainy day fund, awesome. If it’s about figuring out how to save up for vacation, great. More charity? That’s good, too. This is about figuring out what works for you!

  6. 6
    Kelly July 18, 2011 at 5:11 pm #

    I just forgot to do it! I want too – can’t from phone as far as I can tell. We are all about trying to save more, especially in light of changing careers, trying to move, etc.

  7. 7
    Chakolate July 18, 2011 at 5:22 pm #

    I’m saving to get my teeth repaired, and have been for a year now. (I pay a little each week, when I get enough for an implant, yay!) I don’t know if that counts as saving for the future, though.

    I don’t do facebook, at all, so you can decide whether what I do meets your criteria.

  8. 8
    Heidi July 18, 2011 at 5:45 pm #

    No Facebook for me either–I have not yet succumbed to the time-suck I have been led to believe it represents. I’ve actually made a commitment to myself recently to spend less. I am primarily a SAHM but teach an online course, and up until now I’ve mostly treated that income as “free” money to spend on extras for the kids, myself, our home, etc. As a result, it disappears in dribs and drabs, with very little to show for it that I’m actually proud of and that represents the effort I put into my teaching. As the fall semester begins in mid-August, I’m committing to saving more money (at least $200 per month) so I can get an IPad or small laptop computer that will make effectively make us a two-computer household, allowing me to work more efficiently.

  9. 9
    laura July 18, 2011 at 5:49 pm #

    I did it!

    It was the FB thing for me, too. I hate getting part way through something like that and then having to back out because I refuse to give it access to my privacy! 🙂

  10. 10
    sherry July 18, 2011 at 6:04 pm #

    Ok. Since you’re so pretty…and twisted my arm…and made me feel guilty…I took the pledge. 😉

  11. 11
    KL July 18, 2011 at 7:26 pm #

    There are several nonprofit organizations near and dear to my heart–many of which personally offered me scholarships when I needed them–to which I only donate token amounts each December because it’s hard to part with that much money. But I’m working full-time this summer, so I pledge to save $1 for each day that I work, to put toward my annual charitable donations.

  12. 12
    Tonya July 18, 2011 at 8:28 pm #

    It’s the face book thing for me (combined with a week at the beach!). I’m going to pledge to save and extra $5 a week.

  13. 13
    Selena July 18, 2011 at 11:21 pm #

    A construction project came in over budget for us this summer, so I’ve been really careful about where I spend money. Staying home (and not shopping online!) saves me money, and I’m trying for $50/week. Thanks for doing this, Mir!

  14. 14
    Elizabeth July 19, 2011 at 1:52 am #

    facebook thing for me too
    but I fully support all the pretty things you do
    and I am now inspired to save MORE.
    love the insights about donations, this is an area I really need to work on – putting in savings before handing out,,, balance.
    At any rate, I pledge!

  15. 15
    Stacey July 19, 2011 at 8:33 am #

    I tried the Facebook part, but I don’t think I did it right– but I’m gonna pledge $10 a week!

  16. 16
    Suzanne H July 19, 2011 at 9:01 am #

    I can’t get on Facebook so I am commiting to saving money here!

  17. 17
    curls July 19, 2011 at 9:04 am #

    Last month we refinanced to lower our rate. Got a 15-yr at 3-5/8%. That saves us $385 a month. Your post reminded me to set up an automatic transfer to our savings acct so that money says “out of sight”. With one in college and another a high school senior, we’re pinching every penny.

  18. 18
    amber July 19, 2011 at 9:26 am #

    I don’t do facebook either… but I pledge to ramp up the savings. I have some problems with instant gratification (Oh Amazon, with your two day free shipping… We totally need to break up.) so I am going to cut back on my online shopping and start a college fund for my son who’s 1 1/2.

  19. 19
    Cheryl S. July 19, 2011 at 10:54 am #

    I SO need to do this! I’m going to send myself an e-mail so I remember to do this when I get home. I can’t access FB at work.

  20. 20
    Tara Laxson July 19, 2011 at 12:30 pm #

    Facebook for me too. I pledge $100/wk. Thanks Mir!

  21. 21
    Kate July 19, 2011 at 3:19 pm #

    I don’t do Facebook, which is why I didn’t comment on the last post. I pledge to save the change from all of my cash transactions, which will go into a boring rainy day fund (for something to do on a boring rainy day, not that the fund itself is boring!)

  22. 22
    Diann July 19, 2011 at 5:19 pm #

    It was the FB thing holding me up. Thanks for explaining it and for having a great outlook!

  23. 23
    Brigitte July 20, 2011 at 6:40 am #

    Don’t use Facebook . . but also not sure I can commit to saving a certain amount per week, as my personal “for fun” spending money is $50 per week and it’s usually all gone by day 3 or so. But as far as household, we already dump a bunch into Roths each month, does that count?

  24. 24
    NTE July 20, 2011 at 10:08 am #

    It was the FB thing for me too, not to mention that I haven’t got much of an income to save, but you’re right: it was definitely time to reevaluate some of my financial priorities. After a year of saving up for my sister’s wedding, I think I’m ready to pledge to save up for a more personal goal – With that in mind, I’m going to up my ING deposits immediately, see if I can’t save a few more pennies every month. Thanks for the nudge!