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Grandpa Willie’s Savings Wisdom

February 25, 2010

Michael Roush

This post was contributed by Michael Roush, National Project Director for the National Disability Institute and “Chief Financial Officer” of his family.

William (Willie) Higgins was a humble man; a farmer, a union worker, a World War II Veteran and a father to six children (my mother among them). Perhaps most poignantly, Grandpa Willie was a saver. And he took pride in passing this quality onto his grandchildren by opening savings accounts for each of us. On our birthdays, he would pull out the savings register and show us how much money was in the account, how it had grown — and how someday, it would help us to achieve our dreams.

At Christmas time, my grandfather would give us tin cans with a few quarters inside sealed tight so that the only way to get the money out was to break them open. To us, they were like maracas. To him, an easy, fun savings education trick that has stuck with me since.

These little lessons helped pave the way so that as I grew up, savings became an interwoven part of my life, something I knew I just had to do. Like Grandpa Willie, I am a saver. And thanks to my grandfather, getting started was easy.

In celebration of America Saves Week, now’s a great time for you too to get started. Remember, it’s okay to begin by saving simply (with your own tin can). The important thing is to take action, to make your personal pledge to start building your own economy.

Consider signing up for our Money Mondays Savings Tips via text. Each week, we’ll send you valuable information that can help with great savings ideas and simultaneously act as a reminder to keep at it — sometimes, the hardest part! Just text RETMM to the number 69302 from your cell phone.

You’ll find lots of other helpful tips when you enroll as an America Saver — from information, advice and encouragement to tools that can help you pay down debt, build an emergency fund or save for a home, education or retirement. You can do it!

Your fellow saver,



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