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 Guest Blogger | May 14, 2014

    Pay more than the minimum due on your #credit card & pay off your bill sooner. More tips at http://ow.ly/wOaVh.

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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Setting a Goal Leads to Success

Written by Super User | May 24, 2019

Growing up, Marisa’s dad had always talked about saving first, but she said she didn’t really internalize it until much later. “I was drifting along with no plan, carrying a little bit of revolving debt, saving some money here and there, but without a real plan for it.”

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How Smart Financial Decisions Can Create Opportunities 

Written by | November 22, 2019

Written by Stephen Ross, America Saves Program Coordinator | November 22, 2019

Of the many stories Military Saves shares, most describe how someone was in dire straits financially and worked their way out of it with the help of Military Saves. This time we want to highlight a different kind of story. This is a story about how responsible financial decisions can build on one another to create opportunities you thought only the super-rich enjoy.

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