Savings Tools to Utilize During Military Saves Week

Military Saves Week begins next month and when you take the pledge, it will be good to have an idea of what to save. However, along with knowing what to save for, comes figuring out how to save. Fortunately there are tools to help!

Military Saves Week, is an annual opportunity for installations and organizations to promote good savings behavior, and a chance for servicemembers and their families to assess their own saving status. Typically hundreds of organizations participate in the Military Savings Week, reaching millions of people.

With new goals, you need a strategy to make those goals become reality and knowing how to assess your financial status is just as important. Military Saves and America Saves, both campaigns of the Consumer Federation of America, offer many resources that can help. Both promote the SMART Rule as a strategy to help set objectives for financial decisions. The Financial Saver Checklist, a new tool created by America Saves, is made up of successful saving characteristics, which include debt management, establishing an emergency fund, etc. Both tools can help you to navigate a successful financial strategy for your Military Saves Week goals and your financial plans throughout the year.

Assessing Your Financial Status with the Financial Saver Checklist

In November of last year, America Saves released the Saver Checklist tool to allow Americans to quickly assess their savings effectiveness. The checklist can serve as a useful starting point for evaluating how to prepare to save. The Saver Checklist contains 15 “savings accomplishments” range from successful debt management and saving for emergencies and retirement, to saving automatically and building home equity. The Checklist is a helpful in not only evaluating your savings behavior, but it also provides motivating information about each of the 15 savings accomplishments. When you sign up for Military Saves Week, make sure to complete the Saver Checklist to help guide you in setting your financial goals.

The SMART Rule

The SMART Rule is based on the theory that all major decisions should include four elements: decisions should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable and Realistic. This strategy works well in just about any situation, including making financial decisions; from making large purchases like a home or car, or for more routine financial decisions, such as setting a holiday budget or monthly spending plan.

For example, if you take the Military Saves pledge and pledge to save for a car, before making a purchase you want to make sure to ask yourself the following questions:

Specific: Do I want to buy a new or used car?

Measurable: How much can I afford to spend on a car?

Attainable: Is the type of car I need available?

Realistic: Can I buy this car on my current salary?

Timely: Do I really need a car right now or can this purchase wait?

Make sure to ask yourself these questions, and you will be of to a good start in figuring out how to go about purchasing a car. It may take some research to get the answers to these questions, but you will be better off in the long run because you not only set a goal, you made a plan, and in the end you will save!

If you haven’t ye signed up your organization for Military saves Week, sign up today! Individuals can also participate in Military Saves Week by taking the pledge here.

More Articles on Savings Strategies

How to Save for a Large Purchase: Remember the SMART Rule

5 Ways to Start and Maintain an Emergency Fund

Save for Retirement

Saving for a Car

 

Tip of the Day

  • Written by Guest Blogger | April 18, 2014

    Don't Fall Prey to the Payday Loan Trap! Read these tips alternate options http://ow.ly/vTKTh

Saver Stories View all »

A Plan for Success

Written by Super User | April 26, 2012

SSGT Zuniga

I’m Staff Sergeant Robert Zuniga and I have been an active duty Air Force medic for eight years. I plan on staying in long enough so that I can retire at 20 years. I have always been interested in personal finance and would like to share how it IS possible for me and my stay-at-home wife and two kids to not only save and invest a ton of money but also have a lot of responsible fun as well on 'low' enlisted pay. You CAN do it too!

Read more...

Making Savings a Part of Marriage

Written by Super User | November 26, 2010

Capt. Rob Eckhardt is the first to admit that he hasn’t always been responsible with money. But less than 10 years after a rocky start to saving, Eckhardt reports that he and his wife are free from credit card debt, have a down payment on a home, and are saving regularly for retirement. And, as the Military Saves representative for his Air Force squadron, he’s helping others make similar progress.

Read more...

Regular Savings is the Key to Success

Written by Super User | November 26, 2010

My name is Chris Strong. I joined the Air Force on 25 March, 1985. On that day, my financial life changed forever. I was introduced to saving bonds in Basic Training. Savings bonds were the big thing back then just like the Thrift Savings Plan is today. A Colonel gave us a briefing. I cannot remember his name but I can remember the 100 savings bonds he had posted to a piece of card board. He gave us a speech on the importance of saving money and how it can change your life. He inspired me to save.

Read more...