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COMMUNITY CORNER - Military Saves Week opportunity to plan financial goals, educate kids

By Col. Andrew Cole | GARRISON COMMANDER | March 25, 2014

COMMUNITY CORNER - Military Saves Week opportunity to plan financial goals, educate kids          Col. Andrew Cole           GARRISON COMMANDER

A penny saved is a penny earned. We have all heard this old adage before.

The saying is most often credited to Benjamin Franklin, although versions of the phrase can be dated back more than 100 years before Franklin.

The phrase is often “coined” as meaning money you save is more valuable than money you spend right away. Maybe you want a new car, a new home or would like to take a vacation. By setting realistic financial goals and saving for the things you want, your goals can be met.

When we talk about savings, there is no better time to educate yourself than now, during Military Saves Week, which began Feb. 24 and runs through March 1.

Military Saves Week is about setting financial goals and sticking to them.

The annual campaign seeks to motivate, support and encourage military families to save money, reduce debt and build wealth, according to its website at www.militarysaves.org.

The campaign is coordinated by America Saves and the Consumer Federation of America, in partnership with the Department of Defense. It is an opportunity for organizations to promote effective and responsible savings behavior, and to provide an avenue for individuals to assess their own saving status.

The campaign is research-based and uses the principles of behavior economics and social marketing to change financial behavior. It encourages all service members, their families and civilian employees to take the Military Saves pledge.

Savers who take the pledge can opt to receive a monthly e-newsletter from Military Saves, as well as a quarterly e-newsletter from America Saves. Military Saves also works with FINRA Investor Education Foundation, defense credit unions, military banks and other non-profit organizations to promote savings and debt reduction.

Military Saves Week also is a great time to educate children about saving for their future. Whether it’s saving for college, a car or even a favorite toy, promoting savings is a great value parents can instill in their children at a young age. Many of the on-post schools have signed proclamations to “take the pledge” to save during Military Saves Week. We hope you “take the pledge,” too.

At Fort Riley, those wishing to “take the pledge” or learn more about financial readiness can call 1-888-929-2265 or the Financial Readiness program, Army Community Service at 785-239-9435.

For more information about the national campaign or to take the Military Saves pledge, visit www.militarysaves.org.

When we think about all of the daily stresses in our lives – whether it is a deployment, permanent change of station, worrying about your children, your health or the economy – the one thing we can take control of – personal debt – does not have to be one of those stressors.

U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu once said: “A penny saved is not a penny earned if, at the end of the day, you still owe a quarter.”

With proper planning, knowing you are financially secure by saving your “pennies” might just mean you owe nothing at the end of the day.

If you would like to comment on this article or suggest a topic for Community Corner, email usarmy.riley.imcom.mbx.postnewspaper@mail.mil or visit my Facebook page at www.facebook.com/fortrileygc.