By Jim Donovan: Get out the party hats! It’s Philadelphia Saves Week! An annual effort to spread awareness about the benefits of saving and living within a budget.   Do the words saving and budget have a place in your life?

This year, Clarifi, the region’s largest non-profit consumer credit counseling agency is encouraging consumers to take the “Philadelphia Saves Pledge” online to start saving money.

As part of the Pledge, participants choose to set aside a certain amount of money over time to meet a savings goal.  Philadelphia Saves then provides participants with an online savings tracker and the option to receive text messages with savings tips.

The Pledge is available online at  and all benefits are free.

“Committing to save money is one of the best things you can do for your finances,” says Patty Hasson, President and Executive Director of Clarifi. “It allows you to rely less on credit for the things you need and have an emergency fund when unexpected expenses arise.”

As part of Philadelphia Saves Week, Clarifi offers the following savings tips:

Set a goal:  You’ll be more successful with saving if you have an end goal in mind, whether it’s a new TV, tuition for school or retirement. First, figure out how much you need to save; then, work out a plan to save a certain amount each month or year to meet your goal.

Look for places to trim:  Making a few small changes to your spending habits can add up big. Start by looking over your expenses and to see if your money is going to the right places. Could you be saving on insurance? Do you need unlimited texting?

Automate your savings:  Consider setting up automatic transfers between your checking and savings accounts to make sure you’re saving money before you can spend it. And if you’re paid via direct deposit, you could also choose to have a certain amount of money go directly into savings.

Spending money is fun, but saving can be too—especially when you see how much it can add up to. So take the “Philadelphia Saves Pledge” with Clarifi today and start saving for tomorrow!

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