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Military Saves Week ends, but saving doesn't have to

Military Saves is a Department of Defense campaign designed to promote financial readiness among servicemembers and their families by encouraging them to effectively manage or eliminate their debt and to begin saving for the future.

Military Saves is a Department of Defense campaign designed to promote financial readiness among servicemembers and their families by encouraging them to effectively manage or eliminate their debt and to begin saving for the future.

MCENTIRE JOINT NATIONAL GUARD BASE, South Carolina -- While Military Saves Week ended March 2, saving money is something that can be done year round.

Military Saves Week highlights the need for military families to reduce debt and save for the future, something the military emphasizes to keep the force ready. Military Saves Week is part of the yearlong Military Saves campaign, an opportunity for leaders to stress the importance of good financial habits to all members of the force and their families to encourage saving, reducing debt and building wealth.

Military Saves is part of the Department of Defense's Financial Readiness Campaign and has been a partner with DoD since 2003. Military Saves is a social marketing campaign to persuade, motivate, and encourage military families to save money every month, and to convince leaders and organizations to be aggressive in promoting automatic savings.

"Having money put away for retirement or an emergency fund can always help alleviate a stressor in so many of our lives," said Lt. Col. Ben Lovejoy, commander of 169th Comptroller Flight.

Lovejoy also encourages traditional Airmen, along with fulltime Airmen, to explore options to save for retirement such as the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP). TSP is one option to have money pulled from your check, pre-tax, to put into a retirement account.

"Meeting a financial counsellor to create goals can also be a way to kick start savings plan," Lovejoy said.

Having credit problems can also lead to difficulty in getting a security clearance. To help with financial goals the S.C. Army National Guard has a personal financial counselor to assist Airmen and Soldiers. Contact Robert Martin at 843-513-3239 or RMartin@MFLC.Zeiders.com

Shaw Air Force Base also has a Personal Financial Management Program offering information, education and personal financial counseling to help individuals and families maintain financial stability and reach their financial goals. They offer classes such as checkbook maintenance, debt management, identification theft, and basic investing.

While Military Saves Week is an annual event that ran Feb. 25 - March 2 this year, SCANG Airmen can still take advantage of saving throughout the year. For more information visit http://www.militarysaves.org for more information about Military Saves and to read about success stories related by people who have used the program to achieve their financial goals. Military One Source also has financial tips on their website.