Military Saves Blog
Tips, advice, and the latest news from the savings world.
March 11, 2013
By U.S. Department of the Treasury
Expecting a tax refund this year? If so, consider a convenient savings option offered by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Taxpayers can buy paper Series I Bonds, in amounts ranging from $50 to $5,000, with their annual tax refund.
Grab a Wingman to Help You Save and Stay Resilient During Tough Financial Times
March 7, 2013
By The Wingman Project
There are a lot of things we can do to set and meet our goals for savings on an individual level. From paying off debts and automating savings deposits to opening an emergency fund and setting money aside for retirement, the possibilities for savings success are endless.
Unfortunately, it's easy to put off the task of saving money, and the thought may seem daunting if you're just starting out. Having a Wingman by your side who keeps you on track can make meeting your financial goals much more realistic and less daunting than going at it on your own.
A Wingman can be anyone—a significant other or spouse, a close friend, a relative, or even a colleague from your unit. Find someone you trust, and someone you know will be there to help you stick to your goals.
March 6, 2013
By Katie Bryan, America Saves Communications Manager
America Saves Week may be over but our work is not finished. The sixth annual national survey assessing household saving, released as part of America Saves Week, revealed that only about half of Americans reported good savings habits.
How to Make Sure You Have a Smooth Move
March 6, 2013
By Lila Quintiliani, AFC®
Military Saves Assistant Coordinator
Communication & Outreach
Permanent Change of Station (PCS) season is fast approaching, and most military families start doing research on housing, schools and installation amenities as soon as they get orders in hand. Perhaps the best way to prepare for a move, however, is by having an emergency fund in place. Moves are expensive, and although many of the costs may (eventually) be reimbursed, there are plenty of unexpected pitfalls that may be encountered. These difficulties can derail the best of budgets and plunge military families into debt.
Know Before You Go
There are some costs that come immediately to mind when you think about your PCS: transportation to your new duty station, meals and lodging enroute and temporary lodging when you get there. Those are among the things that will be reimbursed by the government. And Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) has detailed information on these entitlements and how to file for them. There are, however, a host of non-reimbursable costs that you might encounter including:
· Shipping a pet overseas (and entry fees, vet exams, containers and vaccinations)
· Cost of switching over license plates and registration to a new state or country
· Replacing all condiments, perishable goods and cleaning products at a new duty station and possibly having to buy new drapes or other furnishings
· Cost of shipping a second vehicle overseas (or cash to buy a new vehicle after arrival)
· Setting up new cell phone, cable and internet services
· Putting down a security deposit and a pet deposit
There are also likely to be delays in getting pay adjusted as well as delays in obtaining travel settlements and other reimbursements.
How I Learned to Budget in D.C.
by Kristina Wedseltoft
America Saves Intern
Moving from California to Washington D.C. for 3 months was a drastic change in it itself, but learning how to budget my money effectively was an entirely different kind of change. In San Diego I had a job working at our school bookstore and for the most part didn’t really concern myself with creating or following a budget. But once I came to D.C. my only source of income was going to be the money my mom gave me on the first of each month. Before I left California I decided to create a budget that I thought would be perfect. But it wasn’t until I was here in D.C. that I figured out my spending habits had to change.