Military Saves Blog
Tips, advice, and the latest news from the savings world.
Stretch Your BAH With These 6 Simple Steps
If there's one skill you should have in your money-saving arsenal, it would be knowing how to get the biggest bang for your buck when it comes to your BAH (Basic Allowance for Housing). When you’re stateside, you receive all of your BAH regardless of the amount of your rent, which means that if you spend less than your BAH, you pocket the rest. If that isn't motivation to live moderately, I don't know what is! Here are a few things you can do to make sure that you make the most of your BAH:
1. Make sure your rent does not exceed your BAH limit. Even better? Keep it under!
If at all possible, keep your rent under your BAH limit. Why? So you can cover some of your utility bills, too. If you can cover part of your water, electrical, or gas bill, that’s less money coming out of your base pay.
2. Cutting it close to your BAH limit? Negotiate with your landlord.
If the house or apartment you’re eyeing is just slightly outside of your BAH, don't be afraid to negotiate with the landlord! The same qualities that make military members are mark for predatory lenders (i.e. regular, salaried pay) make you a desirable tenant. Many landlords desire military members as tenants because we're typically low risk for non-payment. It’s also a good idea to have the local JAG (Judge Advocate General) office take a glance over your lease before you sign to make sure everything looks correct.
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.
Side Accounts: What Are They, How to Use Them, and a Psychological Trick
By Jason Hull
Hull Financial Planning
“We all need money, but there are degrees of desperation.”
How many times have the holidays rolled around and seemingly snuck up on you, catching you unaware, and unprepared for the gift-giving season? Rather than disappoint the kids, you tap into the emergency fund, justifying this by saying that it’s only one time, and if the kids don’t get presents, then it will TRULY be an emergency. Or, worse yet, you tell yourself, correctly, that it’s not really an emergency, and you whip out the credit cards instead, promising to yourself to have them paid off by March, or June, or next holiday season.
It’s not just holidays that are the trigger for these reactions. It could be a vacation, the insurance payment that comes every six months, property taxes, replacing the worn out carpet, and on and on. All of these payments are ones that you know that you’re going to have to make eventually, but instead of preparing for them, you find yourself to find the money to pay for them.
What’s happening here? Why are we always surprised when things we know will happen each year roll around?
By Quincy Enoch, Assoc. Dir. of Legislative Affairs & Military Liaison, National Association of Federal Credit Unions
Unfortunately, too many consumers have found out the hard way that paying off high interest debt can be a daunting task. Sometimes the sheer amount of debt along with the interest can be overwhelming. Since consumers in debt typically got that way through a series of bad decisions and poor financial management, it is not always easy to make the choices and take the actions to get out of debt.
With this in mind, I spoke with consumers that have dealt with debt, executives of financial institutions and financial counselors to come up with some tips to help you get started. They all were able to give me various tips. I have included those I see as most important, but the first tip on the list is one that I not only received from everyone I talked to but was also first on all their lists.
Only Half of Americans Have Good Savings Habits
March 12, 2013
By Katie Bryan
America Saves Communications Manager
Washington, D.C. – The sixth annual national survey assessing household saving, released today as part of America Saves Week, revealed that only about half of Americans reported good savings habits.
o 54% said they “have a savings plan with specific goals.”
o 43% said they “have a spending plan that allows you to save enough money to achieve the goals of your saving plan.”
o 50% of those not retired said they “save for retirement at work through a 401(k) or other contributory plan.”
o 41% said that, “outside of work,” they “save automatically through regular preauthorized transfers from checking to savings or investments.”
o 49% know their net worth.