By Kristina Ludwig, Fall 2014 Student Intern
Now that you’ve gotten your debt under control, it is time to start saving. Saving, even on a tight budget, can be easier than you think. Here are a few tips to get you started.
- Make a budget. Comparing your income and expenses in black and white can help you determine which areas of spending can be turned into savings.
- Create an allotment in MyPay to automatically transfer a portion of your paycheck directly to your savings account each month. Even twenty dollars a month can add up to $240 a year in savings, which is better than nothing!
- Save your spare change. This is especially good advice if you are stationed overseas. When I was stationed at Kadena, I saved all my loose change, from yennies to 500 yen pieces, and I ended up depositing $245 in the bank. So get yourself a change jar.
- Put at least half of your tax refund into your saving account. You didn’t miss that money during the year, so why not let it accrue some interest as an emergency fund?
- Set up a retirement plan. Either the Thrift Savings Plan or an IRA or something—whatever the instrument, you need to start investing now for your future. After all, you don’t want to be working when you’re seventy, do you?
- Take advantage of military discounts! You’d be surprised where they are offered, so always ask.