The United Way of Anchorage is working to promote a culture of savings this tax season, through its Alaska Saves program.

The organization partnered with AARP volunteers Saturday to offer free tax preparation at the University Center Mall in midtown. United Way is hosting a photo contest to spread the word about why saving some money for the future is important, and asking Alaskans what they're saving for.

"If you tell us what you're saving for, and you're okay to have your photo posted on social media, you can enter to win $50, which you can then deposit to your savings account," said Maureen Haggblom, director of United Way's income impact division. 

Alaskans can pledge to save, for free, at Alaskasaves.org. Members can also sign up for text messages to remind them of their savings goals or offer tips to reach them, free of charge. 

"I think it's very difficult for us all because we have so many priorities going on, and so many different bills to pay from basic needs to things that we want," Haggblom said. "But it's really really important to also save for things that we like to do -- vacations and things of that nature -- or other important goals in life." 

The Alaska Saves campaign runs through tax season. 

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