Ready to get your Military Saves Week plans started before the New Year? This year, we're releasing our Military Saves Week Digital Toolkit early outlining the daily themes, sample social media posts, graphics, and important resources in advance of the launch of the complete digital kit in January. Check back often as we will be adding new content through January 2018.
We encourage you to promote these savings strategies each day during the Week:
Monday, February 26: Save with a plan
Savers with a plan can be over twice as likely to save successfully for things like retirement. Encourage service members to start their savings habit during Military Saves Week by setting a savings goal and making a plan to achieve that goal. It all starts with taking the Military Saves Pledge, and during Military Saves Week those who take the pledge will be entered in our annual #ImSavingFor Contest for a chance to win up to $750. Our 2017 Military Saver Survey found that 58 percent of Military Savers report they are saving regularly since taking the pledge.
Tuesday, February 27: Save the easy way...automatically
It can be hard to put aside money for savings, but there is an easy way to encourage service members to save money without ever missing it by making their savings automatic in 2018. Have them set up an allotment from their pay via myPay, preferably to an account that is separate from their regular checking. Or service members can use their banking institution's bill pay system to automatically transfer money from their checking account to a separate savings account.
Wednesday, February 28: Save for rainy days
A rainy day fund or emergency fund consists of an amount of money in a savings account separate from a checking account. For military service members, permanent change of station (PCS) moves, temporary duty (TDY), and deployments are a constant in military life. While a military paycheck is predictable twice a month, these life changes bring significant income volatility and increases or decreases in expenses, which can make a service member's budget a moving target. Service members should have funds set aside specifically or these events.
Thursday, March 1: Save to retire
Retirement was reported as the top savings goal for Military Savers, according to our 2017 Military Saver Survey. Beginning January 1, 2018, service members who are eligible for the new Blended Retirement System will be able to begin opting into the new system. But before they do so they need to make sure they are fully educated on all of their retirement options. Military Saves, in collaboration with the Department of Defense's Office of Financial Readiness has put together a Five-Step Blended Retirement System Checklist to Success.
Friday, March 2: Save the extra
We're more likely to save a windfall than a small amount consistently over a long period of time. Hack that psychology by encouraging service members and their families to save things like bonuses, raises, and tax refunds. This tax season, they can get ahead of their financial goals by saving at least $50, and reward themselves with SaveYourRefund by entering to win one of over 100 prizes up to $10,000.
Saturday, March 3: Save as a family
Good savings habits start at home. Whether a family is budgeting, saving, making retirement decisions, or assessing workplace benefits, service members should share the choices they make with their children, no matter their age. It's never too early to learn the habit of saving!
Posts encouraging saving during Military Saves Week:
Do you know the easiest way to save is automatically? This Military Saves Week, consider setting up a split deposit to transfer $ directly to your savings account every paycheck: http://bit.ly/2dIKQuK #MSW18
Savers with a plan are 2x more likely to save for #retirement, have a rainy day fund, and stick to a budget. Take the @militarysaves pledge and make a plan for your money today: http://bit.ly/2kSl9LK #MSW18
We encourage you to use the blog content below in your website, email, or other content marketing strategies.
Find Your Financial Fitness This Military Saves Week
By Alecia D. Blair, Military Saves Director, AFC® Candidate, FINRA Foundation Fellow
Set a goal. Make a plan. Save automatically. This Military Saves tagline and motto may sound easy enough, but what exactly does it mean?
What we're really talking about is creating healthy savings habits. But isn't a habit a negative thing? Not when it comes to doing these three things and making it a part of the way you live your financial life.
It's said that it takes 21 days to create a habit. This Military Saves Week, Feb. 26-March 3, 2018, start creating healthy financial habits by taking the Military Saves Pledge to set your savings goal. Then complete one step each week through the first part of March and be on your way to financial fitness just in time for spring. You can do it!
(Click image to download and print.)
Military Saves Week is coordinated by Military Saves. The Week is an annual opportunity for organizations to promote good savings behavior and a chance for individuals to assess their own savings status.
Want more?Sign up your organization today to receive important updates on #MSW18 and to participate in all the fun! Also, check out other downloadable materials on MilitarySaves.org that promote the Week to other organizations and keep your eyes peeled for the full digital toolkit that will be available for download in early 2018.
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?
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.
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.