Gifting Savings

A national survey by the Federal Reserve found that only 53% of respondents could cover a $400 emergency expense without selling something or borrowing money. This drops to 25% for households with incomes under $25,000. In addition, less than half of those making under $40,000 a year report having any money saved in a retirement account.

The link between household savings and family stability is increasingly accepted, backed both by decades of academic work and simple common sense. Families that have something in reserve are better able to handle financial crises and better positioned to pursue long-term financial goals.

Could making it easier to give the gift of saving be one way to address this problem?


  • On his way home from work, Ben stops by a local pharmacy to pick up a “Savings Gift Card” for his niece.
  • Maria easily uses her tax refund to make a deposit in her grandchild’s Children’s Savings Account.
  • While ordering her nephew a new toy on Amazon, Ebony checks a box to include a $25 U.S Savings Bond along with the gift receipt.

At Commonwealth, we are exploring how to make this imagined future a reality.

What if U.S Savings Bonds, a trusted, giftable savings product for over 80 years, were transformed into a 21st century savings tool? What if, with the development of secure Application Programming Interfaces (API’s), we could increase the number, and ease of use, of the distribution channels for bonds? Could the creation of mobile optimized purchasing and redemption platforms allow private sector innovators to develop new ways to gift savings bonds?  Read our report, Increasing Access to U.S. Savings Bonds: Recommendations for Bond Innovations, to find out more. 

Work with us on our quest to make giving the gift of saving possible. Together we can make financial security and opportunity, and a better tomorrow, achievable for everyone.

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