In the military, you learn to prepare for the future by using the tools at your disposal. Saving money falls into that preparation category. The more money you save, the more prepared you will be for opportunities or unexpected events that come your way. You may want to buy a new car someday or help your children pay for college. Here are several savings tools to help you achieve your savings goals:
Savings Tools to Get the Most Out of Your Military Pay
- Set up an automatic transfer from your paycheck into your savings account through myPay.
- Ask one of the military’s personal financial counselors to help you devise a budget plan. This service is free and it can help you manage your spending decisions.
- Is combat deployment in your near future? If so, then consider putting your combat pay into a Savings Deposit Program, which will allow you to earn a 10 percent interest rate on up to $10,000 in deployment pay savings. That interest rate will be available to you for 90 days after you return home. This benefit is unmatched in the civilian world—make the most of it.
- Take advantage of Qualified Tuition Programs, or 529 plans. These are state-run plans designed to help you save for your child’s college tuition. There are two types of qualified tuition programs that you can invest in: a prepaid tuition plan and a college savings program. Most states offer Qualified Tuition Programs.
- Join the Department of Defense’s Financial Readiness Campaign by taking the savings pledge. Pledge members are eligible to receive savings advice through text messages.
- The Defense Finance and Accounting Service offers military members a three-tiered retirement plan that spans from paying an equal amount of Social Security taxes to assisting military members growing their finances through a long-term savings plan.
- Invest in a Thrift Savings Plan, which allows federal employees and military service members to boost their retirement income by rolling a portion of their paycheck into a long-term savings account.
- Military OneSource provides access to free tax software designed to help you file your tax returns.