BBB Military Line Celebrates Military Saves Week With 3 Tips for Saving

As part of Military Saves Week 2014, February 24 – March 1, BBB Military Line is spreading the savings message, and urging communities to participate in Military Saves Week and take the Military Saves pledge.

Financial readiness equals mission readiness, and since 2004, BBB Military Line has provided free resources to our military communities in the areas of financial literacy and consumer protection. Looking to set a goal and get financially ready? BBB Military Line and Military Saves Week recommend starting here:

Set a Goal: There are many who say they can’t “afford” to save, but the truth is, they can’t afford not to save.  There are always ways to save, even on a tight budget.  Saving as little as a dollar each day for a year will yield a savings of $365 dollars, a decent start to any emergency fund.  A tax refund can also be used to initiate an emergency savings account. Establishing emergency savings is step one on a journey to financial success. The security of an emergency fund truly allows one to start small, while thinking big. Saving for a home, vehicle, retirement, or college takes time and discipline.

Make a Plan: In order to know how much you are able to save each month, you must have an idea of both how much income you have each month and what your expenses are.   Track your expenses for a few weeks, either by writing down your expenditures or saving your receipts.  Then you can take a few moments to complete a spending plan.  You should be setting aside an amount each pay period, whether it’s going toward your emergency fund, your credit card debt, or a cruise.  And the money should be going into an earmarked account, separate from your checking account.  You want the money to be liquid (so not in a CD or invested in antiques), but not too easily accessible.

Save Automatically: Saving is similar to any other behavior – in order for it to become ingrained; it must become part of your routine.  So how do you get the savings “habit”?  The easiest way to do it is to make saving automatic.  Each month or pay period, pay yourself first! Transferring money to a bank account that is separate from your other accounts will help prevent you from the temptation of dipping into your savings.   You automate the transfer by setting it up as an allotment in myPay or as bill pay transaction at your bank. Saving on autopilot removes all the guesswork out of it.  Out of sight is truly out of mind.

For a full list of resources, check out BBB Military Line and Military Saves.

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About Brenda Linnington

Brenda Linnington is the Director of the Better Business Bureaus’ (BBB) Military Line®, a national program providing consumer education and advocacy for service members and their families. An Army Veteran, former finance officer, current active duty military spouse of more than 31 years, and mother of an Army Aviator, Mrs. Linnington has significant experience working on numerous DoD military family programs.