Military Saves Blog
Tips, advice, and the latest news from the savings world.
December 18, 2012
As the end of 2012 quickly approaches, make sure to give your finances a checkup and discover if you need to make saving your New Year’s resolution. You may discover that you have debt you need to pay down or that you are ready to take the next step in savings. Helping yourself and your family save successfully for the future should be near the top of your resolution list – and it’s one resolution you can’t afford to break! Remember, you don’t have to make a lot of money to save successfully. Start Small. Think Big.
By Andia Dinesen, AFC ®
Military Saves Coordinator
When asked about saving, kids have a lot to say. They may be repeating what they have heard from their parents, at school, or even something they’ve seen on TV. But, they are beginning to form their own opinions at a young age. It is interesting to see what they think of money and saving. It is clear we all have different feelings about money and those feelings can begin to develop pretty early in life. In our last installment of What a Nine-Year Old Knows about Savings we found that both girls interviewed were saving from money they earned doing chores. This new interview was a little different.
December 13, 2012
by Miriam Darden Settles, CFP®
Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board
With its rollout of the Roth option this year, the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) created educational materials (both printed and online) to help you understand how Roth works and determine if it’s the right choice for you.
New online calculator
We have a new calculator on our website: The Contribution Comparison Calculator. It allows you to compare the effects—on your paycheck today and your TSP balance in the future—of making Roth contributions vs. traditional contributions. If you’re thinking about Roth, we encourage you to try it out. Visit the Planning & Tools tab on our website, www.tsp.gov.
The nature of traditional installment loans can be complicated and misleading. Luckily, The American Financial Services Association Education Foundation (AFSAEF) has created a financial literacy initiative called Personal Loans 101. Personal Loans 101 educates potential borrowers, policymakers, and other interested parties on the framework of installment loans.
In today’s world, almost everyone needs access to credit. Whether it is to make a small purchase, pay for an unexpected emergency, repair the car or obtain a mortgage on your first home, everyone must have access to affordable credit.
But how do you choose the best loan to fit your individual circumstances? If you are like most Americans, you want a loan that is relatively easy to obtain and understand. You do not want to go through a lengthy, complicated and confusing process to determine what loan or credit product best meets your needs. You want an easy way to compare them. The latest brochure from AFSAEF: Understanding APR defines Annual Percentage Rate (APR) and explains how to calculate the true value of loans. The brochure includes:
December 11, 2012
By Lila Quintiliani, AFC®
Military Saves Assistant Coordinator,
Communication and Outreach
Not all servicemembers and their families realize it, but there is a government institution watching their back on financial matters. It’s the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and its Office of Servicemember Affairs (OSA), whose mission is to educate and empower military families to make better-informed decisions on financial products and services. But they don’t just disseminate information – they also collect consumer complaints, actively monitor them, and coordinate with state and federal agencies to help strengthen consumer protection laws that safeguard the military community. In just over a year, they have already handled over 3,000 military complaints.
While the CFPB is not the only place that takes complaints from servicemembers (others include the Better Business Bureau Military Line, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Internet Crime Complaint Center), its ability to work with a variety of agencies (including the Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Justice, and state attorneys-general) to pinpoint military consumer law violations, issue industry guidance, and bring enforcement actions puts it in a unique position to help military families through a wide range of tools.