4 Things to Do Now that Military Saves Week 2013 is Over

March 14, 2013
Andia Dinesen, AFC ®
Military Saves Coordinator

Military Saves Week ended on Saturday, 2 March, so what happens now?  Here are four things you can do to keep on track and stay savings-ready throughout the year.

1.    If you took the Military Saves pledge during the Week, make sure you took action along with your pledge. Did you pledge to save?  If so, did you set up an automatic transfer to a savings account or increase the amount you are saving in the Thrift Saving Plan?  Did you pledge to pay off debt?  If so, do you have a plan in place or are you getting help with this? (Hint: your installation and www.MilitaryOneSource.mil offer free financial counseling services – a great place to start.)  Whatever you pledged to do during Military Saves Week 2013, take time now to make sure you have followed through with that financial action.  For those of you who have taken your financial action already, congratulations!  If you haven’t taken the pledge yet, take the Military Saves Pledge today!

2.    Bring balance to your life. During Military Saves Week 2013, the Military Saves team heard from individuals that they knew they should save, but that they spent money frivolously anyway.  The solution to that problem is easy: establish a balance.  If you know you spend money this way (and you want to continue to do this), then set aside a certain amount of play-money that you can spend however you want.  The key is to pay yourself first.  Pay your necessary bills, save money, and also set aside money to play with.  You may find this is a little more restricting, but it is all about balance.  Make sure your money goes where you want it to go first.

3.    Think ahead to Military Saves Week 2014. Think about the Military Saves Week theme: Set a Goal. Make a Plan. Save Automatically.  Where will you be regarding goals and plans you made this year, when Military Saves Week 2014 rolls around?  When you pick a future date and think about what you can accomplish by that date, it can make your goals easier to achieve.  Your reduced spending, increased saving, and debt reduction plans will have a big impact if you stick to them over a year.  Visualize how good it will feel to see how far you have come by Military Saves Week 2014.

4.    Share the Military Saves Campaign with others. Each year, Military Saves Week gives the entire Department of Defense community an opportunity to take financial action and shine a spotlight on the importance of saving and reducing debt.  This opportunity does not end with the conclusion of Military Saves Week. The message and importance of Military Saves lasts all year-long.  As a member of the military community, you have the opportunity to continue the campaign throughout the year by encouraging others to take financial action. The Military Saves pledge is a great first step in this process.  When servicemembers and their spouses take the Military Saves Pledge throughout 2013, they can get their myFICO credit score free, courtesy of the FINRA Investor Education Foundation and www.SaveandInvest.org. You can help support this effort by sharing the campaign with others and through organizations you are a part of. 

The first quarter of 2013 will come to an end on 31 March and the promotion and buzz around Military Saves Week 2013 is slowing.  You can help keep the campaign alive throughout the year by staying involved and keeping in touch with the great resources Military Saves has to share throughout the year.  Visit us on our blog, Facebook and Twitter to learn more. 
Thank you for making Military Saves Week 2013 the best yet!