Military Saves Blog

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

Take a Break With a Thrifty Getaway

Summer Savings
Written by Super User · 12 June 2012

by Lila Quintiliani, AFC®

Military Saves Assistant Coordinator

“You guys are always going somewhere,” a friend of mine exclaimed recently.  It’s true, my husband and I like to travel, and we usually try to make the most of our duty stations by seeing the local sights.  We are fortunate in our current assignment because there are plenty of things to do within a few hours’ drive.  The challenge is to make our weekend jaunts affordable, and I think we’ve done a pretty good job of that.

I’m a planner by nature and I have found that my attention to detail has come in handy when figuring out how to have fun on a budget.  Recently, we spent an enjoyable and thrifty weekend on Virginia’s Eastern Shore.  We already have plans to go back, and I have figured out how to make it even less expensive next time.  I’ll share some of my travel secrets with you if you promise not to mob our favorite vacation spots!

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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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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 »

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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One That Almost Got Away

Written by Super User | November 26, 2010

Brody Lockwood - Like a typical fledgling, I started down the track of financial indebtedness. Nineteen years old and nothing to lose. Credit - who need it? Savings - that was for older people with responsibility. Debt - my parents were in debt ergo it must be OK. When I was eligible for reenlistment, I reenlisted for a multiple of 3 worth $15K. I was happy to pay off my debt, but would I be able to stay out of debt?

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Savers Pledge Leads to Savings Success

Written by Super User | October 13, 2011

My name is Rob and I am a Staff Sergeant in the Marine Corps Reserve. My financial success is a huge result of the Military Saves Campaign.

My journey began five years ago after marrying my wife, Lisa. We entered our marriage with no savings plan in sight, carrying debt and living in a tiny apartment. After seeing an advertisement for Military Saves, we decided to grab the reigns of our finances and implement a positive financial plan.

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