WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT SETTING A MONTHLY MILITARY MONEY DATE
A money date is an opportunity to talk openly and honestly about your day-to-day finances and your short- and long-term financial goals
DO YOU SET A MONEY DATE?
Many Americans don’t have an accurate idea of the true state of their own finances, and around one-third are surprised to find that their situation is different than they thought. This, along with the new year approaching, will lead many of us to set some resolutions around improving our financial health and well-being.
Unfortunately, only around 9% of new year’s resolutions end in success. The top reasons for not succeeding are due to setting unrealistic goals and not tracking progress. That is why it is important to set goals that truly align with where you are in life, what you are capable of, and what you really want.
The first step is to do a financial self-assessment. We need to check in and ask ourselves where we stand financially, how we feel about it, and what we want to get out of our money in the future.
A great way to start is by setting a military money date!
WHAT IS A MILITARY MONEY DATE?
A money date is an opportunity to talk openly and honestly about your day-to-day finances and your short- and long-term financial goals. It is a time set aside for you to really dig in and discuss where you are in life and set specific goals that will get you where you want to be. For military members, a money date is a great way to stay on top of your finances while away with work. This is especially true if a family member or friend is handling your bills for you while you are away.
Use the time to review your account balances, calculate expenses, check your credit report, employer benefits, and retirement accounts. Once you know where you stand, you can set goals that are realistic for your current circumstances.
SET REALISTIC GOALS BY MEETING YOURSELF WHERE YOU ARE
What is a realistic goal? For some, it may be a new car, a vacation, or their forever home. For military, it may be starting an emergency savings, a PCS Savings account, or handling old debt.
Truly understanding where you stand right now will help you put together a logical set of goals that are in line with what’s important to you, what you truly want to achieve, and why. Your "why" gives the goals meaning and importance. Without a significant why, you won’t stick with them.
Start by creating a spending and savings plan. A written plan that outlines your income and expenses is the best way to know what you are actually capable of doing and what you are able to reasonably work toward.
Once you know what you are working with, you can then tackle debt, cut expenses, save or invest. It all comes down to what you really want financially. Being realistic and proactive by having a plan for achieving your goals makes you twice as likely to succeed.
Making some adjustments and taking strategic steps along the way that is doable for your current situation will get you closer and closer to your goals and ultimately lead to you achieving them.
SET YOUR MONEY DATE
Waiting to talk about money only when there is a problem is never a good idea. Finances can be one of the most significant causes of stress and conflict. Making a habit of talking about your finances often and planning ahead will only help you be better prepared to handle any situation that comes your way.
We suggest setting a monthly money date and committing to showing up prepared and ready to review and update your spending and savings plan.
Meeting regularly is one of the best ways to stay on track, know where you stand, and will help you do the best you can with your finances.
Things change and your plan will need to adjust and progress with those changes, which makes a regular money date all the more important.
It takes work and regular check-ins. The more you work at it, the more you will accomplish…..you may even begin to enjoy them!
Let Military Saves be your savings accountability partner! Take the Military Saves Pledge and choose your savings goal. We'll support you by sending email and text reminders, resources, and tips to keep you on track.