Too many Texans are liquid asset poor. In fact, over half of people residing in Texas fall into this category. To make matters worse, 42% of Texas households cannot meet a conservative monthly budget. RAISE Texas is helping more Texas families save. Our goal is for ALL Texans to have sufficient savings that increase financial stability, and are working to assist them in reaching at least $500 in savings.
We believe this should be a focus area for our state to expand savings opportunities and push for policies that support savings.
The following are savings programs and opportunities that are part of our work:
- Children’s Savings Accounts (CSAs) for College: We are working to expand children’s savings accounts for college in Texas in partnership with public schools by connecting CSA programs to Texas’ mandated financial education curriculum.
- Prize-Linked Savings: With the legislative victory now allowing prize-linked savings programs to be offered in Texas, we are working to expand the number of financial institutions offering prize-linked savings accounts, and to promote these fun savings opportunities statewide.
- Emergency Savings: We are still exploring ways to help more Texans save at least $500 for an unforeseen event or emergency. Some savings platforms exist that could help increase short-term savings.
- Incentivized Savings: There are a growing number of programs offering incentives for saving. By promoting these programs, we can encourage more Texans to save and increase their savings with incentives and matches.
- Tax Time Savings: From 2011-2015 we developed and funded the Tax-Time Savings Project, which helped Texas VITA filers increase household savings and reduce asset poverty by encouraging them to save a portion of their tax refund in either a savings bond or a matched savings account. This project enabled us to learn what works and doesn’t work in getting VITA sites to promote savings at tax time and has led local VITA sites to integrate tax-time savings into their VITA work. We encourage more VITA sites and organizations to use tax-time as an opportunity to help their clients increase their savings.