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Savings advice from Barack Obama

Save a little, spend wisely -- true for individual consumers and families, and for the economy as a whole.

By MSN Money Partner Jun 9, 2011 3:39PM

This post comes from MSN Money's John Flinn.


"Don’t spend all your money."


That was President Barack Obama's simple, sound advice to the average U.S. consumer at the White House's "Personal Finance Online Summit" on Wednesday. The conference gave the administration's top economic advisors the chance to expound on policies that affect job growth, energy costs, health care and education and other pocketbook issues. 


President Barack Obama drops by the Personal Finance Online Summit in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, June 8, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)When Obama dropped by in the afternoon, one attendee asked what personal finance advice he'd offer to the average consumer. He talked about lessons learned from his grandmother, a hard-working Kansan who he said rose from a secretary to executive level at a regional bank.


"Her view was, 'Save a little bit of what you’re earning,'" Obama said. "Having spending discipline is important."


He acknowledged the need for spending discipline extends to government, not just its citizens.


"We went through a bubble that happened at every level -- government, corporate, financial and consumer," Obama said. "This deleveraging has been very painful. It has sobered everybody up. And our economy as a whole has to get back to producing more and not just spending more."


Most Americans aren’t yet feeling momentum from any economic recovery; last month, consumer confidence fell unexpectedly to a six-month low and unemployment remains stubbornly high.


Before Obama's appearance at the summit, U.S. Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra highlighted sectors of focus for job growth in the new economy: health care; education, especially companies assisting the shift from traditional learning to digital and online education; energy, in particular companies investing in "clean" and alternative energy; and mobile/broadband companies developing new products using parts of the radio spectrum now being released. Post continues after video.

Chopra also pointed to programs like the Startup America partnership, introduced in January, which encourage entrepreneurs through private funding and mentor relationships; one effort in North Carolina is expected to add 17,000 jobs to the area in the coming years.


So what would the president open his wallet for?  Investing in yourself, not in your appetites.


"It remains smart to spend on things that are going to increase your productivity, and wealth, over the long term," Obama said, citing the investment he and his wife made in college and law school (and collecting more than $120,000 in student loan debt that took more than a decade to pay back, he added).


And despite the turmoil in the housing market, Obama said home ownership can still pay off. "Buying a house we could afford was a good investment," he said.


More on MSN Money:

Jun 9, 2011 5:20PM
I'm at a lose for words when ever this man says something so profound like "save a little, spend wisely" what a jerk, did you fools really make this guy PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA?????????
Jun 9, 2011 5:50PM
amazing....from the one who borrows on a daily basis to pay our bills??/
Jun 10, 2011 11:42AM
Gee Mr. President, that's great advice.  Now will you please stop spending our country into an impending catastrophe? 
Jun 10, 2011 9:11AM
Gads, it would be nice if our president had a clue what the average American was going through...".Buying a home can still pay off", spend our money on "Things that are going to increase our productivity" What money???? Does this guy live in a bubble?
Jun 10, 2011 9:41AM
Checks the calendar, no it's not April the first!!!!


Jun 10, 2011 1:10PM
For now, all you can do is shake your head in amazement.   It's almost funny - like tell me something new and innovative.
Jun 10, 2011 2:58PM
I believe this guy is either mentally incompetent or just plain stupid.  First, he has added more debt to this country than all past president's combined.  Second, how does someone save money when you have gas prices like they are, food prices like they are, and clothing prices skyrocketing.  This guy must live on another planet.  By the way, I understand that while he may have had debt from college, he also received many grants and scholarships.  But that wouldn't surprise me if he had a lot of debt out of college.  He can't manage spending in the WhiteHouse, why should we think he could have managed money during college???!!!!
Jun 10, 2011 3:13PM
Did he actually attend a college? No one can find any proof of that!
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