BBB Military Line's 3 Tips for Saving

By Brenda Linnington, Director, BBB Institute for Marketplace Trust and BBB Military Line® Council of Better Business Bureaus, Inc.

As part of Military Saves Week last week, BBB Military Line spread the savings message, and urged communities to 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 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.

 

Tip of the Day

  • Written by Guest Blogger | September 30, 2014

    Participate in the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) - a retirement savings and investment plan for Federal employees and members of the Uniformed Services. It offers the same types of savings and tax benefits that many private corporations offer their employees under 401(k) plans. More info at tsp.gov

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