Eager to get your America Saves Week plans started before the New Year? This is the kit for you! New this year, the Mini Kit offers sample tweets, daily themes, and important resources in advance of the launch of the complete digital kit in January.
(If you haven’t signed up for the Week yet, please click here to sign up your organization today.)
Military Saves Week’s Daily Savings Focus
We encourage you to promote these savings strategies each day during the Week:
- Monday, February 27: Save Automatically
- Tuesday, February 28: Family Savings Day
- Wednesday, March 1: Save for Retirement
- Thursday, March 2: Saving at Tax Time
- Friday, March 3: Pay Off High-Interest Debt
- Saturday, March 4: Save for Emergencies & Military Life’s Challenges
Sample #MSW2017 Tweets and Posts
Use this content leading up to and during the week (more content available in January):
Save 50¢ a day for a year & you can build nearly 40% of a $500 emergency fund! http://bit.ly/2hQYfma via @MilitarySaves #MSW2017
Both individuals & organizations can join in #MSW2017! Visit http://bit.ly/2hQPpEM for activities, free materials, & more! @MilitarySaves
Start #saving & encourage others to save w/ these free downloads from @MilitarySaves: http://bit.ly/2hIOf2i #MSW2017
Savers w/a plan are 2x more likely to save for #retirement, have #emergencysavings, & stick to a budget - @MilitarySaves #MSW2017
Have 5 minutes? Test your #credit knowledge! Take the quiz at creditscorequiz.org. http://bit.ly/2h3stlG @MilitarySaves #MSW2017
How well are you managing your #debt? Find out with this assessment! http://bit.ly/2hITeQu @USAAEF @MilitarySaves #MSW2017
The easiest way to save is automatically. Transfer $ to a #savings account every paycheck. http://bit.ly/2hISOtp #MSW2017
Get tips & tools on spending and saving from @FINRAFoundation >> http://bit.ly/2gE4AQZ #SaveAndInvest @MilitarySaves #MSW2017
A #taxrefund can provide an opportunity to improve your financial situation: http://bit.ly/2gMsIWs @MilitarySaves #MSW2017
Pledge or re-pledge to save w/ @MilitarySaves! Receive goal-based savings tips & advice. http://bit.ly/2h3qZYO #MSW2017
Sample Article and Important Resources
We encourage you to use the blog content below in your website, email, or other content marketing strategies.
Simple Steps to Save Successfully During Military Saves Week 2017
By Tammy G. Bruzon, Military Saves
Military Saves Week (February 27 – March 4, 2017) is an annual opportunity for individuals to assess their savings and take financial action. Each year, we encourage servicemembers and military families just like yours to set a goal, make a plan, and save automatically.
This Military Saves Week, try these five simple steps to help yourself save automatically – and successfully:
- Assess Your Savings
Like your health, you should assess your savings annually to make sure your savings priorities are on the right track. Complete this simple 12-question assessment to find out your current standing and help you plan for the future.
- Evaluate your Savings Preparedness
Check off your savings accomplishments on the Saver Checklist to further evaluate where your savings habits need strengthening for your future goals.
- Take the Military Saves Pledge
Set a goal, make a plan, and save automatically. Those with a savings plan are two times as likely to save for emergencies and retirement than those without one. Join more than 250,000 Military Savers who have already committed to save. When you take the pledge, you can choose to receive text message tips and reminders to help you save towards your goals. Need some inspiration to save automatically towards your goals? Here’s how.
- Share Your Savings Goal
Take part in the 2017 #ImSavingFor photo contest. Share a selfie or video that shows what you’re saving for on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Then check AmericaSavesWeek.org in early 2017 to learn more about contest entry details and prizes. Savings never looked so good.
- Make Your Savings Social
Are you on Twitter or Facebook? Join Military Saves in encouraging your friends, family, and colleagues to save this week. Better yet, join one of the many Twitter chats, events, and activities that Military Saves will be a part of this week to get real-time savings tips and advice.
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 saving status.
Want more? Sign up your organization today to receive important updates on #MSW2017 and to participate in all the fun! Also, check out other downloadable materials on MilitarySaves.org that promote the Week to other organizations or keep your eyes peeled for the full digital toolkit that will be available for download in early 2017.
Celebrate the Holidays & New Year with a New Financial You
The holiday reports are in! Retail spending will increase across the board by about three percent this year, reaching its highest point since the Great Recession. Many reports also show that people are feeling more secure about their finances as a whole and are planning their purchases more strategically. We want to celebrate this fact by encouraging Military Savers to take these good financial habits with them into the New Year.
Please share the article, social media content, and resources provided with your constituents, your partners, and the general public. As always, please encourage individuals to take the Military Saves Pledge—an important step in creating a plan to reach their savings or debt reduction goals. After all, those with a plan are more likely to achieve their goals!
In This Packet:
Use this content for your blog, newsletter, email communications, or any other publication. You can either rewrite the information or use as a guest post.
Five Steps to a New Financial You in 2017
Holiday shoppers have been careful each holiday season to make their lists and check them twice. Budgets have become more discerning, and savers have become better planners for their holiday spending, prioritizing savings along the way.
According to a September 2016 report, two out of five millennial shoppers got a head start this year and had started buying gifts for the season before summer had even come to a close.
These successful financial habits don’t have to stop there. With the New Year comes an opportunity to make some improvements to your financial health. Don’t make just another resolution that disappears by Valentine’s Day. Take your financial wellness to a whole new level: a New Year, a new financial you.
These five steps will help you to establish your best financial path for 2017, and you can have all the heavy lifting done before the clock strikes twelve:
- Take stock of your finances. Take account of all your income, expenses, and existing savings/investment accounts. And no matter how nice you were, don’t forget to include any naughty debts you may have incurred in the spirit of the season.
- Sketch out a budget “template” for the year to come. Think big picture. Plan your holiday spending for 2016 with this handy worksheet from Military Saves and find the method for budgeting that you’re going to use in 2017, and rough out what you’d like it to look like from month to month. Be pragmatic about your needs and be honest about where your money is going in. Plan to make adjustments and really dig into your spending habits when you check back in on a regular basis.
- Check your credit report. It is your legal right to get a free copy of your credit report every 12 months from each of the three major credit reporting bureaus. Add a visit to AnnualCreditReport.com to the calendar as an annual “holiday” or divvy up the bureaus to get a free report from a different bureau every four months.
- Set up bank and credit alerts, and financial reminders. Whether you’re at your computer or on your mobile device, you are in an ideal position to receive notifications about upcoming payments, suspicious activities on an account, transactions over a certain dollar amount, low balances, and more. Find out what online services your financial institution(s) offer, and supplement what they don’t with an app or calendar reminder. It’s all right there at your fingertips.
- Make a commitment to yourself to save. Those who make a commitment to themselves and their family to save usually save more than those who don’t. Think of this as your New Year’s Resolution. Make your commitment today by taking the Military Saves Pledge and follow the prompts to sign up for text message tips and reminders. Get regular advice and support from Military Saves to help you save money!
A new financial you is an achievable goal for 2017. Join those savers who have successfully opted to reduce holiday spending and prioritize savings throughout the season. To learn more about spending and saving during the holidays and take the Military Saves pledge, visit MilitarySaves.org.
Tammy G. Bruzon works for Military/America Saves, managed by the nonprofit Consumer Federation of America (CFA), which seeks to motivate, encourage, and support low- to moderate-income households to save money, reduce debt, and build wealth. Learn more at militarysaves.org.
Share the following messages with your Facebook & Twitter followers.
Retailers will trick you into #spending money this #holiday season. Here's how: http://ow.ly/oK9D305Ytpm @MilitarySaves #SavingsTipTuesday
"Make bite-sized money goals," like setting a spending limit this holiday season http://ow.ly/yEvt306ahfv @MilitarySaves #SavingsTipTuesday
Find the funds for the #holidays without #credit cards and #debt! Here's how: http://ow.ly/ToEn8 @MilitarySaves #SavingsTipTuesday
Make 2017 the year you're ready for life's gotcha moments! http://ow.ly/N8tM306chNp @MilitarySaves #SavingsTipTuesday
Take control of #saving & #spending during the #holidays- create a holiday budget! http://ow.ly/D4dJR @MilitarySaves #SavingsTipTuesday
Insulate your #finances from seasonal chills this holiday season. http://ow.ly/QDyp306ciGG @MilitarySaves @FINRA_Investor #SavingsTipTuesday
Take these 10 steps to reduce your #holiday stress, expenses, and regrets: http://ow.ly/EavIN @MilitarySaves #SavingsTipTuesday
You may spend $800 or more this holiday season on gifts. Plan with a FREE budget! http://ow.ly/vQ2H306ajFV @MilitarySaves #SavingsFactFriday
The average consumer will spend $1000 or more between Halloween & New Year's. http://ow.ly/ToD9D @MilitarySaves #SavingsFactFriday
Spending on extras can blow your holiday budget. Make a plan & stick to it! http://ow.ly/D4fcB @MilitarySaves #SavingsFactFriday
Setting reasonable expectations can keep your #holiday shopping in check. http://ow.ly/D4fus @MilitarySaves #SavingsFactFriday
#MilitaryConsumer is revamped with articles,/tips, including those on spending $. http://go.usa.gov/xkJdr @MilitarySaves #SavingsFactFriday
A list is different from a budget. And 6 other signs you may be spending too much. http://ow.ly/spVX306cjs0 @MilitarySaves #SavingsFactFriday
When you create your #budget, include extras, like holiday parties and meals. http://ow.ly/1yxF306ckoW @MilitarySaves #SavingsFactFriday
Protect your #identity while #shopping online. Avoid public computers, & verify websites are secure. http://ow.ly/ToHcH @MilitarySaves
#Holiday #shopping with a #credit card? Calculate what it will take to pay off that #debt: http://ow.ly/ToND9 @MilitarySaves
Assess your current #financial stability to determine your approach to #holiday #spending: http://ow.ly/ToPhZ @MilitarySaves
The #costs of going home for the #holidays can be high. Use the Holiday Travel Planner to plan ahead: http://ow.ly/ToS5Q @MilitarySaves
Do you have a savvy tip or story about #holiday #savings? Share it with @MilitarySaves! http://ow.ly/eG4h306fniM
Ever wish you could just ask an economist? @AmericaSaves did! Here's what they had to say about holiday spending: http://bit.ly/2efx07w @MilitarySaves
Please join @AmericaSaves and @MilitarySaves on Thursday, December 8th at 2pm Eastern for a 45-minute power chat on savings and financial habits during and after the holidays.
Americans plan to spend over $900 on their holiday shopping this year. It makes sense when you add up all the travel, meals, gifts, tips, and even the lights! Please join our Twitter conversation to discuss how to set a holiday budget, limit spending, and establish good savings habits for the New Year.
Aaron Klein, fellow of economic studies at Brookings Institution (@Aarondklein)
Mark Calabria, director of financial regulation studies at CATO Institute (@MarkCalabria)
Topic: Holiday Habits: Spending Less and Saving More
- Insulate Your Finances Against Seasonal Chills
- Your Thrift Savings Plan Is Not a Christmas Club Account
- How to Financially Survive the Holidays and Keep Saving
- Finding the Funds for the Holidays
- Beware of Holiday Budget Busters
- Holiday Spending That Won’t Bust Your Budget
- Make 2016 the Year Your Ready for Life’s ‘Gotcha’ Moments
- Look Fabulous at Your Military Ball Without Spending a Fortune
- Online Holiday Shopping Traps Part Two: Phony Deals and Offers
- Six Warning Signs That You May Be Spending Too Much This Holiday Season
- Ten Terrific Tips to Take Charge of Holiday Spending
- Find Joy This Holiday Season, Not the Insanity of Consumerism
- 2016 Holiday Outlook, PwC US
- Anticipated holiday spending on the rise; Two in 10 consumers have already started shopping for the holidays, The NPD Group
- Consumers Expect to Spend Slightly Less on Holidays This Year, Consumer Federation of America
- Consumers generally upbeat about finances but expect to spend the same or less on holiday gifts, Berkeley Research Group
- Consumer Spending Research, National Retail Federation (NRF)
- National Retail Federation Forecasts Holiday Sales to Increase 3.6%, NRF
- Holiday Shopping Habits 2016, Rubicon Project
Holiday Spending + Savings in the News
- Black Friday Sales That Aren’t Worth It, GOBankingRates
- Financial fine-tuning you must do before year's end, USA Today
- Holiday Outlook: Spending Up, Santa's Helpers Down, US News & World Report
- Is the Grinch at last banished from holiday spending? CBS MoneyWatch
- Low-income consumers plan to spend more this holiday, CNBC
- Poll: Holiday retail season starts too darn early, CreditCards.com
- Retail Spending to Grow by 3% This Holiday Season, TheStreet
- Steps to Take Now to Avoid Holiday Overspending, GoBankingRates
- 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy
- Military OneSource
- Money Management International
- National Foundation for Credit Counseling
- Practical Money Skills
- Smart About Money
Subscribe to Military Saves partner updates to be the first to receive new partner packets, the latest savings news and research, and information about Military Saves Week.
Get the most out of your holiday savings and spending plan with these top tips:
1. Set your spending limit before you start budgeting
And stick to your limit. That might mean making some compromises. Think through what you need to make your holiday happy and successful. You may need to pay for travel to your holiday destination, but maybe you can pack some food from the pantry rather than buying a meal along the way.
2. Reduce your spending
Add up the total of your holiday list, and don’t be shy about reducing it some more. Challenge yourself to spend a little less each year.
3. Plan for as many expenses as possible
Be as comprehensive as you can as you create your budget. Don’t forget things like holiday tips and year-end giving.
4. Remember to save
Continue saving over the holidays so you don’t shortchange your retirement, education, small business, or other goals.
Military Saves is a free program. Organizations that want to participate in Military Saves do so because they are primarily interested in helping military members and their families save money. Participating organizations do not receive any benefits, real or implied, for their participation in Military Saves.
Organizations may participate in various ways, depending on their resources and interests. Activities include promoting saving in and through their own organizations; developing and marketing new and better savings instruments and other wealth building products; providing volunteers, funding, and other support to local campaigns; and providing financial and technical resources to support staff, travel, equipment, website, and other aspects of the national campaign.
Who sponsors Military Saves, and why?
Military Saves is a part of America Saves, a national social marketing campaign sponsored by Consumer Federation of America (CFA), a non-profit consumer advocacy organization. The campaign’s purpose is to increase the national savings rate and decrease the consumer debt load by persuading people to save money and reduce debt, ultimately changing America’s social norm to saving and wealth building.
How does Military Saves work?
A network of government, non-profit, and for-profit organizations carries out the activities of the campaign. Through participation in the campaign, an organization commits itself and its resources to promoting savings to its constituents through a variety of means; to using and promoting use of the Military Saves brand; to participating in special promotions during America Saves Week/Military Saves Week and throughout the year; and to respecting the boundaries and guidelines of Military Saves, America Saves, and all relevant Department of Defense and military service laws, instructions, regulations, and directives.
What are participating organizations encouraged to do?
We ask all participating organizations to develop in-house promotional programs to encourage their members, employees, and customers to save. This impacts the military member only if the member is already part of that organization. The act of a partner or member joining Military Saves does not impact third party relationships.
Can our organization teach military members about money?
Organizations that offer financial literacy resources to military personnel and their families through their relationship with Military Saves must observe the following boundaries:
1) All DOD and military service directives, instructions, and regulations regarding the offering of those financial literacy resources must be observed;
2) All electronic financial literacy resources offered through Military Saves must be accessed through commercial-free websites;
3) All financial literacy resources offered in face-to-face settings, whether co-branded with Military Saves or not, are provided at the invitation and with the consent of the local military commander.
What about banks and credit unions?
Financial institutions are key participating organizations in Military Saves. Both the Defense Credit Union Council (DCUC) and the Association of Military Banks of America (AMBA) and their member financial institutions are excellent resources. Military Saves encourages financial institutions to develop more competitive and better savings products for use by military members and their families during Military Saves Week and throughout the calendar year.
What is a “Military Saver” financial product?
During Military Saves Week, financial savings products can be designated “Military Saver” products if they meet minimum affordability guidelines: no fees or minimum balance for at least 18 months (to allow small savers to build up a balance over time); interest bearing; and no minimum opening balance.
How can Military Saves help our installation or community?
What is the relationship between Military Saves and the FINRA Investor Education Foundation?
The FINRA Investor Education Foundation is Military Saves’ lead funder. Through its partnership agreement with the FINRA Investor Education Foundation, Military Saves has agreed to credit SaveAndInvest.org on its website and on its materials and to promote SaveAndInvest.org when possible.
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