Story by Rosemary Freitas Williams, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy
Set a goal. Make a plan. Save automatically. These calls to action were the themes to this year’s Military Saves Week. Installations all over the world joined in to educate and assist service members and their families with their financial goals. More than 540 installations, 215 financial institutions and 71 non‐profits organizations jumped in to get involved. This was the largest participation in Military Saves Week to date.
Military personnel and families around the globe took the Military Saves Pledge, stating, “I will help myself by saving money, reducing debt, and building wealth over time. I will help my family and my country by encouraging other Americans to Build Wealth, Not Debt. I pledge to save for ________”.
It’s not too late; you can still take the pledge. Once you’ve completed your pledge, you’ll have free and confidential access to your FICO score. If that term is new to you, it’s the number that represents your credit risk. Lenders look at that score to determine whether to give you a loan and what your interest rate will be. That’s why it’s so important to be saving money, reducing debt and building wealth over time.
Money management was something very different when I was a kid. Whether my peers and I “earned” money on our birthdays or holidays, received an allowance or made a few extra dollars babysitting or mowing lawns, that money was usually spent before we could say “piggy bank.”
Now, we’re adults with responsibilities. Our hard-earned money goes toward necessities like groceries, the rent or mortgage and utilities as well as the unexpected, like car repairs, family emergencies …. the list goes on. Financial stability may not be as exciting as rushing out to buy the newest gadget or fashion trend, but it is the best way to care for ourselves, our families and prepare for a secure future. I’m sure this reality is probably one most of you can empathize with.
Military Saves is just one tool available to secure your financial readiness. Support is available year-round to keep you on the right financial track. Personal financial counselors can help you understand the best ways to save and how to save automatically, so you can avoid the temptation to spend excessively. They can also help you establish an emergency fund for those unanticipated expenses that seem to pop up when you least expect them.
You can reach a personal financial counselor anytime through Military OneSource online, by calling 800-342-9647 or by visiting an installation Military and Family Support Center. Find contact information for the center nearest you at MilitaryINSTALLATIONS.
Start preparing for your future – both the planned and unplanned expenses. Let’s make the whole year a time to tackle that debt and feel comfortable knowing we have a safety net and a foundation for a bright future. It’s never too late – take the Military Saves Pledge today.
Disclaimer: The appearance of hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the Department of Defense of this website or the information, products or services contained therein. For other than authorized activities such as military exchanges and Morale, Welfare and Recreation sites, the Department of Defense does not exercise any editorial control over the information you may find at these locations. Such links are provided consistent with the stated purpose of this DoD website.