By Hector Rojas, Spring 2017 Student Intern
Now that we have an understanding of what Military Saves Week is, what the Military Saves Pledge is, its time to talk about some of the specific goals the Military Saves campaign encourages our service members to commit to saving to.
Setting Goals: What to Save For
Military Saves encourages our service members to save for a particular goal. Whether it is an emergency cash fund for when life gets hectic, to pay off some debt, make a down payment on that dream car or home, or to simply save for college or retirement, setting a goal to save towards allows you to see the bigger picture and helps keep you motivated.
Save for Emergencies
Building an emergency fund is one of the top goals of Military Saves. Because life can manage to get hectic and unexpectedly cause financial crisis, it is important that we are prepared to adjust to meet the demands of life financially. An emergency savings funds of $500 to $1000 allows us to meet the unexpected financial crisis of life such as repairing the brakes on your car, buying your child a new pair of needed shoes, replacing a broken window in your house, paying for a parking ticket, or flying to visit a sick parent.
Saving for Retirement
Saving for retirement is a top priority for many Savers. While retirement is something many Americans look forward to, the thought of no longer earning an income can be stressful. Unfortunately, not all spouses and family members have access to an employee-sponsored retirement plan, such as a 401(k) plan, which can add to the stress of retirement. However, you can still save for retirement by putting money into an Individual Retirement Account (IRA). Therefore, Military Saves encourages individuals to save for retirement in order to alleviate some of the stress that comes with retirement and to be prepared for retirement when that time comes.
Saving for a Car
While it is not always necessary to own a car, being able to travel by car can help people earn more, spend less, and get better value in their housing. Therefore, one of the goals Military Saves encourages our service members to save for is a car. Whether you are buying a new, used, or leasing, having a reliable source of transportation is important in this era.
Getting Out of Debt
Debt, while inevitable, can be controlled with discipline and proper planning. Debt is costly, just look at the interest rates and fees you are paying on your credit cards. In addition to this, taking on too much debt can lower your credit score which can make it harder to rent an apartment, get utility services, and even get a job. Therefore, it is obvious why it is important to save money in order to stop borrowing money. Military Saves encourages our service members to do this by setting a budget and stop spending more than you earn. By setting a budget, you will be able to alleviate the stress of having too much debt and find some peace of mind. Remember, small permanent changes are what matters and what will lead to successful long term saving habits.
In part four of this five part series, we will talk about some specific ways Military Saves encourages our service members and their families to save. Stay tuned.
To find out more about saving for emergencies, click here.
To learn more about saving for retirement and IRA accounts, click here.
To learn more about saving for a car, click here.
To learn more about saving to get out of debt, click here.