Millennials, Don’t Take a Vacation from Your Money Goals This Summer!

By: Alecia D. Blair, Military Saves Communications Project Manager, AFC® Candidate, FINRA Foundation Fellow

While you may be basking in the summer sun, enjoying some much-deserved leave and time away from your usual duty day responsibilities, now is not the time to take a hands-off approach to your money.

Rather, revisiting your savings goals, paying yourself first (automatically) and taking other decisive financial action is just as important as ever now that 2016 is halfway over.

Check Your Savings Goals
What are your savings goals for 2016? Have you taken the Military Saves Pledge to help you move those ideas into action? Remember, studies show that people who have a plan save more than those who do not. Taking the pledge should be a first step in executing your plan.

If you haven’t taken the pledge, take a moment to do so today. Follow the prompts to also subscribe to the new text message service, which sends financial tips, quizzes, surveys and reminder texts to subscribers once or twice a month, based on the savings goal you choose on the Military Saves Pledge. It’s like having your own personal savings coach on your cell phone in your purse or pocket, and signing up is easy!

Pay Yourself First, Automatically
It’s a concept worth mentioning over and over again—make personal savings part of your monthly budget. Using whatever budgeting system you prefer (Excel spreadsheet, etc.), write in the amount you want to save each month towards emergency savings, rainy day savings and retirement and save automatically through an automatic transfer or allotment. Be prepared, you may have to cut expenses or increase your family income to find the money to save.

Other Important Financial Checks

  • Emergency savings: If your car transmission failed or you had to fly home unexpectedly, would you have enough money to cover the cost without pulling out your credit card and racking up interest? No? Here’s why you should have an emergency fund and how.
  • Retirement savings: Are you saving for retirement through your Thrift Savings Plan (TSP)? If yes, that’s great. Don’t forget to set aside time to carefully review your TSP  account and consider increasing your contribution. If you’re not, here’s why you should and why the TSP is so great.
  • Credit card debt: Keep credit card debt (and debt in generally) in check, so you don’t get trapped paying high interest! Instead, use your emergency savings and borrow from yourself. Here’s how to take care of your credit.
  • Deployment/PCS: Are you deploying or PCSing during the second part of this year? Assess how these major life events may impact your financial situation.
  • Insurance: If you’re deploying, PCSing or have experienced any other major life event during the first part of this year, it’s time to evaluate (and possibly adjust) your insurance coverage (life, car, homeowners/renters, etc.).

Enjoy a break from the stress of military life this summer, but don’t take a vacation from your financial goals. Checking in with your goals will help you achieve them in time for 2017! Set a goal, make a plan, save automatically.

Tip of the Day

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    Don't fall prey to the #payday #loan trap! Read these tips for alternate options

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