Military Saves Blog

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

How to Save for Your Dream Purchase

Saving
Written by Super User · 01 March 2013

How to Save for Your Dream Purchase

Emilie Papageorgiou
AFC© Candidate   
FINRA Military Spouse Fellow

Most people want to buy a “big ticket” item at some point, whether it’s a new car, appliance or other luxury item. However, don’t just reach for the credit card to fulfill your material wants. Diving head-first into expensive purchases often just leads to unnecessary debt or financial insecurity. If you’ve set your mind on a major purchase, it’s time to develop a solid plan to reach your goal.

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Set a Goal: Save for a Large Purchase

Saving
Written by Super User · 01 March 2013

Set a Goal: Save for a Large Purchase

March 1, 2013
By Lila Quintiliani, AFC®
Military Saves Assistant Coordinator
Communication & Outreach

Surveys have shown that those who have a plan for their money are more successful at saving and feel better about their finances, regardless of their level of income.  You wouldn’t set off on a long journey without trying to map it out, and you wouldn’t put together a complicated kit without glancing at the directions.  Your financial future should be no different – you should always have a plan for it, or at least a general destination in mind.   Then once you have a goal, whether it’s a new home, a car, a vacation or a college fund, you have to have a plan to get you there.  Today we are asking you to pledge to save for a large purchase.

Financial action for today: Make a plan to save for a specific goal

Click here to find out more about goal-setting.   You can also read our other blog entry for today.  The way to achieve those goals is by breaking them up into attainable chunks.  Set aside a monthly amount to go toward your desired goal, and consider setting up a separate account for it.  If you are deployed, take advantage of the Savings Deposit Program (SDP) which offers a 10% guaranteed interest rate on up to $10,000 in deposits.

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Take Action for America Saves Week: Save For Retirement Now

Retirement
Written by Super User · 28 February 2013

February 28, 2013

By Nevin Adams, Director, American Savings Education Program (ASEC), Employee Benefit Research Institute

America Saves Week is an annual opportunity for organizations to promote good savings behavior and a chance for individuals to assess their own saving status. Take the pledge today to commit to your savings goal.

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Set a Goal: Save for Retirement

Retirement IRA Roth TSP
Written by Super User · 28 February 2013

Set a Goal: Save for Retirement

February 28, 2013
By Lila Quintiliani, AFC®
Military Saves Assistant Coordinator
Communication & Outreach

When there are bills to pay in the here and now it’s sometimes difficult to think about saving for retirement in the distant future.  But the best time to think about retirement *is* the here and now:  if you start saving when you are young, you will have time (and the benefits of compound interest) on your side.  Remember, though, no matter what your age is, the best day to start is today!   There are many different options out there, but the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), the defined contribution retirement savings plan for federal employees, is a good place to start. Pledge to start or increase your savings for retirement.

Financial Action for today: Start participating in the Thrift Savings Plan.  If you are already participating, increase your contribution by 1% in 2013.

The TSP has also added a Roth option to its offerings, so you will have to decide whether you want to pay taxes on your money before you contribute or when you withdraw it.  You can also do a combination of both.  Another great option beside or in addition to the employee contribution plan is to open a Traditional or Roth Individual Retirement Account (IRA).

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How to Make Investing Less Scary: Make it Automatic

Automatic Savings Investing
Written by Super User · 27 February 2013

How to Make Investing Less Scary: Make it Automatic

By J.J. Montanaro, CFP™
USAA Financial Planner

There’s a lot in life that can scare us.  I vividly remember our frantic neighborhood search years ago after my toddler son wandered away from the babysitter. And I can still recall my dry mouth and desperate heart as my wife and I sat in the hospital waiting room while our daughter was undergoing surgery. You’ve no doubt had your own scary encounters as well. You know, the ones that bring an empty feeling, even pain, to the pit of your stomach.

There’s another less serious issue out there that also strikes fear into the hearts of many: investing.  Though it shouldn’t be a fear generator, I regularly see and hear from folks who are filled with trepidation at the thought of it. So, in a financial planners attempt to be a healer, here’s one great way to ease those fears: do it systematically.  Here’s how systematic saving and investing can help:

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Tip of the Day

  • Written by Guest Blogger | April 22, 2014

    Is your child a victim of Identity theft? Find out!  http://ow.ly/C7B3q

Saver Stories View all »

Setting a Goal Leads to Success

Written by Super User | May 24, 2019

Growing up, Marisa’s dad had always talked about saving first, but she said she didn’t really internalize it until much later. “I was drifting along with no plan, carrying a little bit of revolving debt, saving some money here and there, but without a real plan for it.”

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From Shopaholic to Saver

Written by Jackie Toops | January 13, 2021

Many of us spend too much money on things we don’t need, but we don’t always know why. It’s easy to get a quick fix from retail therapy, but before we know it, our hard-earned money is gone. Oftentimes, when we engage in a “shopaholic” lifestyle or sporadic shopping sprees, we still experience feelings of emptiness, but to make it worse, we now have debt, too.

Khanmany was a shopaholic who turned everything around. She is active duty Navy and shares, “I was spending too much on things I didn't need. I was going shopping for no reason and was trying to fill a void. I was running up every credit card I owned to include Victoria's Secret, Military Star, Navy Federal, TJ Maxx, JCPenney, Macy's, USAA, and was only paying the minimum payments.”

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Building a Six-Figure Savings While Enjoying Life

Written by Jackie Toops | November 13, 2020

Does the idea of saving up hundreds of thousands of dollars seem impossible? How about doing it while still living an enjoyable lifestyle?

For military spouse Martina and her husband, an E-5 in the Navy, accumulating a six-figure savings has become a reality. One might think that in order to save this much, it would take a great deal of sacrificing and forgoing a certain quality of life, but Martina and her husband would disagree. “Over the past few years (about five), we've managed to save almost $120,000 while mostly living on one income. We've learned so much about easy ways to save money and live a good life,” shares Martina.

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