Military Saves Blog


Tips, advice, and the latest news from the savings world.

5 Fast & Easy Ways to Reduce Your Monthly Bills

Savings Tips
Written by Super User · 07 November 2012

November 7, 2012
by David Bakke
David Bakke is a writer for Money Crashers Personal Finance.  He writes about various money hacks to save money and make smart shopping decisions.

Today's economic climate makes old-fashioned penny pinching all the more necessary. And no one need be shy about it, as everyone's looking to save some green. If you're new to

the concept but ready to jump aboard, know that it's easier than you think.

Here are a few tips to impact the most common of your monthly bills:


Read more ...

Roth TSP: More Questions and Answers

Roth TSP
Written by Super User · 06 November 2012

Roth TSP: More Questions and Answers

November 6, 2012
Originally published in our May Newsletter
by Miriam Darden Settles, CFP®
Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board

The TSP began accepting Roth contributions on May 7, 2012. Last month’s TSP article provided you with the basic information about the Roth option. This month’s article delves further into Roth and addresses issues that may affect you as military service members in particular.

A Roth recap

Roth offers you flexibility in the tax treatment of your TSP savings. If you decide to make a Roth TSP contribution, the amount that you contribute comes out of your pay after-tax rather than before-tax as it does now. That means that when you take withdrawals from your Roth balance, your Roth contributions come out tax-free because you’ve already paid the tax on them. Not only that, but the earnings on those contributions are also tax-free provided you meet two basic Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requirements.[1]

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Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Signs Memorandum Proclaiming Military Saves Week

Military Saves Week
Written by Super User · 05 November 2012

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Signs Memorandum Proclaiming Military Saves Week

November 5, 2012
By Lila Quintiliani, AFC®
Military Saves Assistant Coordinator

We are very excited to announce that on October 26th, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey and Senior Enlisted Advisor Sergeant Major Bryan Battaglia signed a Memorandum designating February 25 – March 2 2013 as Military Saves Week.

The Memorandum asks each Service to commit to “focusing on a goal of financial growth amongst our military families” and describes Military Saves as a total force, command-level program.

This year the Memorandum has a special focus on military spouses, recognizing the importance of the role that spouses often play in the financial health and stability of the military family.   The letter further highlights how important it is for youth to learn good habits that will strengthen their future financial fitness.

The Chairman calls for the Chiefs of the Military Services and Senior Enlisted Advisors to sponsor financial awareness activities and events where practical, and encourages personnel to take the Military Saves Pledge and support the 2013 campaign theme, which is “Set a Goal, Make a Plan, Save Automatically.”

For the full text of the Memorandum, click here.

How to Expect the Unexpected - Have an Emergency Savings Account

Emergency Savings
Written by Super User · 01 November 2012

Kara Schulte
AFC® Candidate
FINRA Military Spouse Fellow

If there is one thing that is guaranteed, it is that emergencies will happen! Mr. Murphy enjoys knocking on my door frequently and at the worst times, too. First the car needed new tires, then the transmission went out on the truck, and then before I could blink the dog ate my scarf causing a weekend trip to the vet. I did not see any of that coming! The thing is, we know unexpected things will happen. If you have a car, you know it will need maintenance. If you have a child, you know accidents will happen. If you own a home, you know repairs will need to be made. Yet we never seem ready for emergencies when they occur. Being unprepared only adds to the stress and urgency of what is taking place. However, if you are prepared for an emergency, you do not have to worry about where the money is going to come from to pay the bills. You can focus instead on taking care of the situation.

So how do you start an emergency fund?

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How to Save for a Large Purchase: Remember the SMART Rule

Savings Tips
Written by Super User · 31 October 2012

How to Save for a Large Purchase: Remember the SMART Rule

October 31, 2012
By Kelley Long, CPA
Follow her on Twitter

There are many resources available that discuss how to save for big goals like retirement, a new car, a home, etc. But what about saving for something more immediate like a computer or piece of furniture? The same principles apply, only the end game is much closer.

Having something specific in mind is the first step to achieving any goal. Remember the SMART rule, which says that to increase the chance you'll achieve a goal it must be:
For example, let's say you've finally found the perfect dining room set to replace the hand-me-down one you've tolerated through your children's growing-up years. You've imagined how lovely the holidays will be with this new furniture in place, but you don't have the cash to buy it today. Rather than using a credit card, try this process to get those table and chairs in time for Thanksgiving dinner:

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Tip of the Day

  • Written by Tammy G. Bruzon | January 26, 2017

    Your #taxrefund will continue to grow if you put it into savings or retirement: @MilitarySaves

Saver Stories View all »

On the Right Track to Build Wealth

Written by Super User | April 16, 2013

My name is Robina Wahl, and I am a military wife and a veteran. Although I am fairly new to the Military Saves Campaign, the message to “Build Wealth, Not Debt” reassured me that my husband and I were on the right track and doing the right things.

I have always been pretty responsible when it comes to saving and living within my means, but I was not prepared for the unpredictable employment lifestyle of being a Reservist and military spouse.


Regular Savings is the Key to Success

Written by Super User | November 26, 2010

My name is Chris Strong. I joined the Air Force on 25 March, 1985. On that day, my financial life changed forever. I was introduced to saving bonds in Basic Training. Savings bonds were the big thing back then just like the Thrift Savings Plan is today. A Colonel gave us a briefing. I cannot remember his name but I can remember the 100 savings bonds he had posted to a piece of card board. He gave us a speech on the importance of saving money and how it can change your life. He inspired me to save.


60 Teens participate in Massachusetts Youth Saves Program

Written by Super User | November 26, 2010

During the months of June & July, 60 teenagers aged 13-19 from Marine, Coast Guard, Army, and Air Force families attended Youth Saves programs across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to help increase their knowledge of financial literacy.