San Diego Saves Says You Can Build Wealth
Building wealth and not debt is aim of program
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San Diego Saves Says You Can Build Wealth
Building wealth and not debt is aim of program

San Diego, CA -  A new program dubbed ''San Diego Saves'' kicks off on October 25th with a goal of encouraging San Diegans of modest means to put more money aside in savings. Savings goals are many and varied, however, the most popular are having an emergency fund, reducing debt, saving for a home and saving for retirement.

The University of California Cooperative Extension, consumer advocates, credit unions, banks and other businesses are pitching the slogan "Build Wealth, Not Debt" as a common-sense formula that might encourage low- to moderate-income consumers to save more money and create family emergency funds and establish other savings goals.

The program is more than lip service and a catchy slogan. ''We're planning savers' clubs and workshops at area businesses to teach people the basics of saving and good financial planning,'' said Dr. Patti Wooten Swanson, a consumer education advisor who works in San Diego for the University of California Cooperative Extension. She is the San Diego Saves program coordinator.

The university's research and extension service has partnered with several nonprofits, area banks and credit unions and others to promote ''San Diego Saves.''

A kickoff news conference will be held October 25, 2005 from 10-11 a.m. at the San Diego County Administration Center, 1600 Pacific Highway on the Harbor side Steps. Dan McAllister, treasurer of San Diego County and Nancy Register, national director of America Saves will be the keynote speakers.

''The basic message is to encourage people to build wealth through financial education, with an emphasis on teaching them how to save and pay down debt,'' Wooten Swanson said.  ''San Diego Saves'' volunteers will hold workshops for any area business that wants to make smart money lessons available to groups of employees. School programs also are planned.  Dr. Wooten Swanson said ''San Diego Saves'' has gotten cooperation from several area credit unions and banks. (See listing on separate page). Several of the institutions plan to offer savings accounts with as little as $5 to get started, she said.

Another goal is to provide money management tips to area businesses' human Resources departments so they can set up educational workshops for employees on their own with ''San Diego Saves'' printed material. ''San Diego Saves'' suggests a better way to save money, including these basic steps: Don't spend more than you make on a monthly basis; set up a family budget and stick to it; pay down credit card debt; and pay yourself first by setting aside a set amount of cash every month until you build up a three- to six-month emergency fund. Also, if your employer offers a 401(k) savings plan and provides a company match, take advantage of that. ''It's free money,'' Dr. Wooten Swanson said.
For more information please contact:
San Diego Saves Program Coordinator
Patti Wooten Swanson, PhD
Nutrition, Family, and Consumer Science Advisor
University of California Cooperative Extension
5555 Overland Avenue, Bldg. 4, Suite 4101
San Diego, CA 92123
Telephone: (858) 694-2850

San Diego Saves Participating Organizations:
Alpha of San Diego
Bronze Triangle
California Coast Credit Union
City of Oceanside, Housing
Community Action Partnership HHSA
Department of Labor - Employee Benefits Security System
El Cajon Community Development Corporation
Faith Based Federal Credit Union
Financial Planning Association of San Diego
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)
Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco
Great American Credit Union
Hanmi Bank
Home Start, Inc
Institute of Consumer Financial Education (ICFE)
Internal Revenue Service
Marine Corps Recruit Depot
Marine Corps Air Station Miramar
Mission Federal Credit Union
Neighborhood National Bank
North County Lifeline
Pacific Marine Credit Union
San Diego Metropolitan Credit Union
San Diego National Bank
University of California Cooperative Extension, San Diego County
United Way of San Diego
US Bank
USA Federal Credit Union
USE Federal Credit Union 

About the ICFE:

The Institute of Consumer Financial Education (ICFE) was founded in 1982 by the late Loren Dunton (creator of the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation).  The ICFE is dedicated to helping consumers of all ages to improve their spending, increase savings and use credit more wisely. 
The ICFE is an award winning, nonprofit, consumer education organization that has helped millions of people through its education programs and Resources. It publishes the Do-It-Yourself Credit File correction Guide, which is updated annually. The ICFE has distributed over one million Credit/Debit Card Warning Labels and Credit/Debit Card Sleeves world wide.

The ICFE became an official partner with the Department of Defense/Financial Readiness Campaign in June of 2004.The ICFE was an active partner in the California Student Debt Resource Awareness Project (CASDRAP) which resulted in a new web site: (  CASDRAP disbanded in 2010, shortly after the web site project was completed.  In 2011 the ICFE assumed the single sponsorship of the ( web site and is now responsible for its content and operation.

The ICFE is also an on-line help for consumers who spend too much.  ICFE's spending help was featured in PARADE Magazine in the Intelligence Report section. The money helps and tips are from the ICFE's Money Instruction Book, our course in personal finance.

Visit the ICFE's other web sites at: and  Both sites helps consumers and students with mending spending, learning about the proper use of credit, budget and expense guidelines, how to set up and implement a spending-plan and also how to access financial education courses and how to teach children about money. Other ICFE services include: Ask Mr. G,  a free eNews, and an online resource center for students, parents and educators, plus financial education learning tools and a book store.

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