Military Saves Blog

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

Saving for Your Next Ride

Car
Written by Super User · 11 June 2012

Saving for Your Next Ride

by Lila Quintiliani, AFC ®
Military Saves Assistant Coordinator

One of my biggest financial mistakes came early on in my marriage.  My husband and I fell madly in love…with a large, extended cab pickup truck.  But the honeymoon was over when the car payments started.  After just a few months, there was a trickle down effect – because we were struggling to make the payments, we weren’t able to pay off our credit card fully each month.  We ended up carrying a balance on our card, and that balance got bigger and bigger.  After a couple of years of this, we finally realized we had to stop hemorrhaging money and we sold our truck and got a used SUV.  Eventually we paid off our credit card debt.  But we were so scarred by the experience that we now do our darnedest not to have a car payment.  And when we do have to take out an auto loan, we make paying it off one of our first priorities.

I have seen plenty of people struggling with huge car payments.  Several times I have counseled service members who had TWO car payments totaling nearly half (or more!) of their monthly take home pay.  Here are some tips for saving for your next vehicle so you won’t be crippled by your auto loan:

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Question from a Military Saver – Have you Examined your Leave and Earnings Statement (LES) Lately?

TSP
Written by Super User · 06 June 2012

By Lila Quintiliani

Military Saves Assistant Coordinator

Do you look closely at your LES?  I mean, really look at it and ponder what the various boxes mean?  Well, one soldier did, and sent us a very valid question the other day.

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Are We Too Entangled in Our Plastic Safety Net?

Credit Cards
Written by Super User · 04 June 2012

Are We Too Entangled in Our Plastic Safety Net?

By Lila Quintiliani AFC ®
Military Saves Assistant Coordinator

Have you ever found yourself in the commissary a day or two before pay day with a full basket of groceries but a low balance in your bank account?  So you pull out your credit card to pay, hoping that by the time you get your next statement, you’ll have the money to pay, or at least pay the minimum?  Do you routinely pay only the minimums on your credit cards?  Do you take cash advances to pay your rent or your auto insurance?

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Inertia – It Can Work For You or Against You, Which Will You Choose?

Saving
Written by Super User · 29 May 2012

Inertia – It Can Work For You or Against You, Which Will You Choose?

By Lila Quintiliani, AFC ®
Military Saves Assistant Coordinator

In the behavioral economics book Nudge, authors Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein say “never underestimate the power of inertia.”  What they mean is this:  people are generally averse to change.  They will stick with the status quo.  Especially when it comes to financial decisions.  In other words, and the authors don’t use this term, but I will – we can be kind of lazy when it comes to making financial choices.

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Money as You Grow

Young Savers Children
Written by Super User · 24 May 2012

Money as you Grow.  What should kids know about money?

(Blog includes first installment of “What a Nine-year-old Knows about Savings”)

By Andia Dinesen, AFC ®
Military Saves Coordinator

Kids and money.  Kids and finance.  Kids and saving. Kids and spending. These are things we should all be talking about with our kids, but when? How?  When to talk to your kids about money and how to talk to them about it can be overwhelming and exhausting.  What should your 3 year-old really know about money?  How about your 12 year-old?  Your 18 year-old?  Now, there’s a big challenge.

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Tip of the Day

  • Written by Katie Bryan | December 16, 2013

    Check out the guide from @CFPB that helps you to know which questions to ask when shopping for a financial advisor http://ow.ly/rrjYO 

Saver Stories View all »

One Sailor's Course to Financial Freedom

Written by Super User | November 26, 2010

We all know its not easy to get out of debt once you in over your head. But it can be done with the sound advice and support that the Military Saves program offers. I am a testament to that. I was a recently divorced, single mother. Like many people I had credit card debt, a car loan, bad credit, and a low income job that never seemed to be enough to put food on the table.

Then I decided I'd had enough of living paycheck to paycheck and worrying about money all the time.

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On the Right Track to Build Wealth

Written by Super User | April 16, 2013

My name is Robina Wahl, and I am a military wife and a veteran. Although I am fairly new to the Military Saves Campaign, the message to “Build Wealth, Not Debt” reassured me that my husband and I were on the right track and doing the right things.

I have always been pretty responsible when it comes to saving and living within my means, but I was not prepared for the unpredictable employment lifestyle of being a Reservist and military spouse.

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60 Teens participate in Massachusetts Youth Saves Program

Written by Super User | November 26, 2010

During the months of June & July, 60 teenagers aged 13-19 from Marine, Coast Guard, Army, and Air Force families attended Youth Saves programs across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to help increase their knowledge of financial literacy.

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