Military Saves Blog

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

Cheap Thrills... Finding Fun Things to Do for Little or No Dough

Summer Savings
Written by · 23 May 2012

by Lila Quintiliani, AFC®

Military Saves Assistant Coordinator

My husband and I were just discussing how when we were younger and more foolish, we somehow managed to spend our weekends frittering away money on movies, restaurants, bars and coffee shops.  Fast forward and we have two kids, a mortgage and are trying to save for retirement and college at the same time.  Our “B.K.” (Before Kids) lifestyle has gone the way of the dinosaurs, and now I’m always looking for something that we can do that isn’t going to break the budget.

Fortunately for us, there are quite a few options out there for military folks to have some inexpensive fun, and this past week, the National Parks Service upped the ante by announcing that service members and their dependents can get a free military pass that allows entrance to not only national parks, but also sites managed by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Forest Service.

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Credit Score Quiz. Will You Pass?

Credit Score Credit Report
Written by Super User · 18 May 2012

Credit Score Quiz.  Will you pass?

By Andia Dinesen, AFC ®
Military Saves Coordinator

I had always considered myself fairly well-versed in financial matters, however when I began working toward my certification as a financial counselor two years ago, I really began to realize what I didn’t know.  Credit score and credit history were two areas that, I have to admit, I really didn’t understand.  I suppose I understood the basics.  I knew that if I missed a payment on a loan or had a huge amount of debt that it definitely affected my score; knowing more than that really didn’t seem to matter (at the time).  Then I learned more; and now I wish I knew long ago that it really does matter.  That is, if you like paying thousands of dollars less for a car, a home, and insurance.  Or if you want to have an easier time getting a job, renting an apartment or hooking up your utilities.  That is what I love about www.CreditScoreQuiz.org.  I wish I could go back in time and take the Quiz two years ago and compare my scores.  Today, I rocked it. Okay, to be honest I still missed two questions, which only proves I have more to learn!

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Feeling Stressed? Help is at Hand

Financial Planning
Written by Guest Blogger · 16 May 2012

by Lila Quintiliani, AFC®

Blue Star Families just released its 2012 Military Family Lifestyle Survey Report.  While the survey has tons of significant feedback on important topics such as military pay and benefits, children and deployment, and spousal employment, the thing that caught my eye is that 68% of respondents said they experience financial stress.  Meanwhile, only 34% said that their unit provided financial education and that they knew where to find answers to their questions.  Wow!  That’s troubling.  And I can’t help but feel that while there are some individual units out there that may be lacking when it comes to educating service members and families, there is DEFINITELY help out there, if you know where to go to find it.

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Pain in the FAFSA

College Education
Written by · 14 May 2012

Planning for College Doesn't have to be a Pain in the FAFSA* - New Government Tool Helps Military Families Plan for College

By Sean Naron
Administrative and Advocacy Associate at Consumer Federation of America (and recent College Graduate)

College is expensive. Really expensive.  The cost of tuition, board, books (and beer) seems to go up every year and between loans, grants, work study, and the other myriad forms of financial aid (including the dreaded on-campus job), it can nearly impossible to figure out what you will owe for four years of fun higher education.

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Get Sweaty

Savings Tips
Written by Super User · 10 May 2012

Get Sweaty: Do Sweat the Small Stuff and Find Out How Much You Can Save!

By Lila Quintiliani, AFC
Military Saves Assistant Coordinator

A while ago I read a personal finance article, and the gist of it was “don’t sweat the small stuff.”  That people needed to pay attention to saving on big ticket items, like houses, cars, rent, and so on and to stop wasting their time nit picking over the minute details of their spending.  Well, I couldn’t disagree more.  I think most people get into difficulties because they don’t pay sufficient attention to what they are spending their money on daily.  They are literally nickling and diming themselves into financial difficulties.

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Tip of the Day

  • Written by Guest Blogger | March 7, 2014

    Make sure your financial advisor’s title is accredited, and that the he/she is qualified through a training program that holds its members to strict ethical standards.

Saver Stories View all »

Regular Savings is the Key to Success

Written by Super User | November 26, 2010

My name is Chris Strong. I joined the Air Force on 25 March, 1985. On that day, my financial life changed forever. I was introduced to saving bonds in Basic Training. Savings bonds were the big thing back then just like the Thrift Savings Plan is today. A Colonel gave us a briefing. I cannot remember his name but I can remember the 100 savings bonds he had posted to a piece of card board. He gave us a speech on the importance of saving money and how it can change your life. He inspired me to save.

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A Disciplined Approach to Saving

Written by Super User | November 26, 2010

I just recently retired after 30 years of service with the Marine Corps. I truly enjoyed my time serving the Corps and I flourished in the disciplined environment. I also took a disciplined approach to saving. Here are some of the tactics I used-they are very low to moderate risk.

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Involving Kids in Family Finances

Written by | April 19, 2019

 

One of the best lessons we can share with our kids is about money. By middle school, kids should have a good understanding of how money works as well as the importance of saving.

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