Saving money takes time, discipline and commitment, which is nothing new to military families. These seven steps will help you on your journey to financial security.
Military personnel receive pay raises that are linked to private-sector raises, as measured by the Employment Cost Index. These raises are for both reserve and active-duty service members.
- Examine your monthly cash flow to see how much is coming in and going out. Start by checking your pay on the basic pay tables and on myPay. Then, look at your expenses. What does your housing payment look like? How much do you spend on car loans, household bills, and entertainment?
- Track your spending habits for one month on your smartphone or in a small notebook.
- Write down your short-term financial goals. It’s a good idea to start building an emergency savings account, reducing your debt or saving for a family vacation.
- Write down your long-term financial goals. Homebuying, saving for retirement and contributing to a college savings plan all apply. It’s never too soon to start.
- Prioritize and set savings goals for each item. If you need help, consult a personal financial manager on your installation or call Military OneSource at 800-342-9647 to reach a financial counselor. OCONUS/International? Click here for calling options.
- Check for resources available through the Department of Defense. You will find numerous tips and resources by accessing the DOD’s free Sen$e app, available via the Apple Store and Google Play.
- Don’t overthink it. Make saving automatic by using allotments or a scheduled bank transfer each month.
With the help of your personal financial managers and Military OneSource financial counselors, you’re in a strong position to start saving for your future.