Forte Bank and ICBA: Build Wealth, Not Debt
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Consumer Education

Forte Bank and ICBA: Build Wealth, Not Debt

by Jen Novotny | Feb 19, 2021
A woman is looking at her phone against a blue wall with the words  

America Saves Week is Feb. 22-26


Forte Bank and The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) are reminding consumers during America Saves Week that building a financial nest egg can help alleviate stress and provide additional financial security during times of financial stress and uncertainty.

While 70 percent of adults would be able to pay an unexpected $400 expense, according to the most recent Federal Reserve Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households report, many Americans continue to face financial hardships in the wake of the global coronavirus pandemic.

“Savings is a key component to overcoming short term setbacks to achieve financial freedom,” Lynette Voss, Vice President and Retail Banking Manager at Forte Bank said. “As relationship-based lenders, we’re a local community bank that is here to help and we encourage all Americans to invest in their future by paying down debt and saving to achieve their goals and build financial wealth.”

Forte Bank and ICBA offer the following tips to help consumers boost their savings:

  • Pay yourself first. Many employers offer automatic payroll deduction, which is one of the best ways to start and keep saving. Use those funds to build a retirement fund.
  • Create a spending plan. Unlike a strict budget, a spending plan is a guide to help you take control of your finances by tracking where your money goes so you can prioritize your spending.
  • Start small. Setting aside just $2.99 a day (the average cost of a daily cup of coffee) for one year can boost your emergency fund by nearly $1,100 annually.
  • Build a cushion. Strive for an emergency savings of six to nine months of living expenses.
  • Put your tax refund to work. With the average tax refund totaling roughly $2,700 last year, more than three quarters (84 percent) of Americans planned to use their returns for savings or paying off debt.

Other important factors to consider when choosing where to place your savings:

  • Access. How quickly can you retrieve funds? Community banks use the latest technology to allow consumers the freedom to access their money when and where they need it.
  • Safety. Is your money protected? The FDIC insures deposits up to $250,000 per depositor and $250,000 for certain retirement accounts. No one has ever lost a penny of FDIC-insured funds.
  • Earnings. How much will you earn? Community banks offer competitively priced products and services.
“Community banks are trusted advisors and stewards of their customers’ financial health, helping to finance major purchases and build generational wealth,” ICBA President and CEO Rebeca Romero Rainey said. “We encourage consumers to experience the benefits of relationship banking and put their hard-earned dollars to work at their local community bank where relationship banking flourishes.”

Take the America Saves Pledge and Enter their Sweepstakes 

Make a commitment to yourself to save more effectively and successfully by having a savings plan. Take the AmericaSaves Pledge to get started and receive tips, reminders, and nudges along your savings journey.

You also don't want to miss out on the America Saves #ImSavingFor Sweepstakes. Share your savings goal with America Saves for a chance to win $500 towards your savings. See official sweepstakes and rules.

About ICBA

The Independent Community Bankers of America creates and promotes an environment where community banks flourish. ICBA is dedicated exclusively to representing the interests of the community banking industry and its membership through effective advocacy, best-in-class education, and high-quality products and services.  With nearly 50,000 locations nationwide, community banks constitute 99 percent of all banks, employ more than 700,000 Americans and are the only physical banking presence in one in three U.S. counties. Holding more than $5 trillion in assets, over $4.4 trillion in deposits, and more than $3.4 trillion in loans to consumers, small businesses and the agricultural community, community banks channel local deposits into the Main Streets and neighborhoods they serve, spurring job creation, fostering innovation and fueling their customers’ dreams in communities throughout America. For more information, visit ICBA’s website at

About America Saves
America Saves is a non-profit organization that uses principles of behavioral economics and social marketing to motivate, encourage and support everyday Americans to save money, reduce debt, build wealth and create better financial habits. America Saves encourages individuals and families to take the America Saves pledge, a tool  that empowers them to commit to save successfully with a plan. Thousands of non-profit, government, and corporate organizations partner with America Saves through local, regional, statewide, and national campaigns both year-round and during America Saves Week. America Saves is an initiative of the Consumer Federation of America (CFA), a non-profit, pro-consumer organization  of over 270 consumer education, advocacy, and cooperative members dedicated to advancing consumer interest.