Meet Wacinque BeMende. He’s so passionate about encouraging savings and promoting financial literacy, he’s established his own Kid’s Savings Program. Wacinque donated $15,000 to the Community Action of Laramie County in Cheyenne Wyoming to begin the Wacinque “ Rhino” Fund Endowment to help kids open savings accounts.

This financially self-educated and investment savvy Staff Sergeant in the Army National Guard started saving when he was 12. Wacinque grew up in a poor family and that is why he is focusing on helping children of low-income families to start saving and become financially literate. He says what separated his thinking from everyone else’s is that as a kid he believed he could save his way out of poverty so he took action.

Wacinque advocates getting back to the financial basics with savings accounts for kids. With their own savings accounts, kids can see first-hand what interest does and hopefully break the cycle of poverty.

Wacinque is challenging other military members to open accounts for kids or create matching programs to help stimulate action.

Wacinque says, “You don’t need to save as much if you spend less and save consistently because even a little bit eventually adds up.”

This Army guardsman is preparing to deploy and is actually looking forward to it. He’s a big fan of the Savings Deposit Program (SDP) and thinks there is no better savings product because you cannot beat the 10% annual return. He says, “Put all the money you save by not having to pay taxes on your federal income while you are in a combat zone into the SDP and you won’t miss a dime. When you take the money out, when you return, you’ll have to pay taxes on what you earn but the bonus is that you EARN, you don’t spend!"

Wacinque is also a big fan of Military Saves because Military Saves is also about breaking the cycle and changing savings behavior. To him, it’s all about making a difference and touching one person at a time.


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