Military Saves Blog
Tips, advice, and the latest news from the savings world.
67% of Middle Class Reports Making Really Bad Financial Decisions
October 4, 2012
By Katie Bryan, America Saves Communications Manager
Last week the Consumer Federation of America and Primerica found that two-thirds of middle class Americans acknowledge having made financial mistakes, often costly ones.
The new report also concluded that the financial condition of most middle class families is challenging. For example, in 2010 the typical middle class family had financial assets of $27,300 – including retirement savings but not pensions – which was 28 percent less than the $37,800 held in 2007.
Teaching Children to Save
My three year old daughter was recently introduced to the concept of money. At a basic level, she understands that “daddy works so we can have money to buy things.” She also understands that we have to pay before we can leave the store with our goods. But that is the extent of her understanding of money.
At its core, money is an abstract concept that can be difficult for children to grasp. That is why it is important to start teaching children about money when they are young. It’s also a good idea to lead by example.
My wife and I already took the important step of starting a savings account for her, and we also opened a 529 college savings plan in her name. These will be important when she reaches college age. But what we teach her between now and then will be even more important than the amount of money we are able to set aside. If we can teach her how to better understand and manage money, then we are giving her a life skill she will take with her when she leaves our home and enters the real world where she will have to rely on her own decision making to get by.
October 2, 2012
by Lila Quintiliani, AFC®
Military Saves Assistant Coordinator
Last week, as part of the Administration’s ongoing efforts to make government data more accessible, the Treasury Department launched a new Finance Data Directory. While this move is aimed at fostering innovation amongst entrepreneurs and software developers (the Treasury Department recently hosted a contest, the MyMoneyAppUp Challenge, which solicited personal finance ideas and apps from the public), the Data Directory is also a pretty useful tool for consumers. It’s a one-stop hub where you can find links to all kinds of financial data on many different government websites.
How to Expect The Unexpected
By Amanda Leigh Furness, AFC®
What does an Emergency look like in your life?
- You get rear-ended at a traffic light
- Your car is making an ominous “clunk, clunk” sound
- There’s a call from your child’s school stating that your son has fallen off the jungle gym and an ambulance has been called
- Fluffy eats a Christmas ornament, and there’s a big veterinarian bill
- There’s a death in the family and you have to fly across country on a moment’s notice
- You go to the dentist for a cleaning, and you end up getting a root canal
If the term “Emergency” sounds alarming, then why do the above examples seem so familiar?
How Teaching Good Money Skills Early Pays Off in the Long Run
September 25, 2012
by Kimberly Shuck
FINRA Military Spouse Fellow
As a child, I was taught by my parents to save my money for a rainy day. They made sure I saved at least ten percent of any allowance, birthday or Christmas money. I even remember saving money I received from the tooth fairy. She didn’t pay what she does now! My parents modeled how to live within their means and be happy about it. Their actions and expectations for how I handled money laid a strong foundation for my financial success in adulthood.