Military Saves Blog

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

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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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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Tip of the Day

  • Written by Guest Blogger | June 17, 2014

    Teach your #kids about finance - start with the #Money as you Grow program >> http://moneyasyougrow.org

Saver Stories View all »

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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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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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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