When it comes to saving, the sooner you start, the better. Military Saves, a campaign managed by the nonprofit Consumer Federation of America (CFA), is dedicated to helping service members and their families improve their financial lives by promoting practical saving behaviors that help build wealth and reduce debt. Start reaching your savings goals with their top five recommended saving strategies:
- Save for Emergencies
Maintaining an emergency savings fund may be the most important difference between staying afloat and sinking into debt. Keeping at least $500 in a savings account can allow you to easily meet unexpected financial challenges should they arise.
- Pay off Debts
Debts are the largest financial reason that people have trouble saving and building wealth. The first step in getting out of debt is to stop borrowing. Make a budget and cut out any expenses you can. The best investment most borrowers can make is to first pay off consumer debt with double-digit interest rates.
- Save automatically using myPay
A designated amount of money is automatically transferred from your pay into a savings account. These savings can provide funds for emergencies, future consumer purchases or even retirement. Saving automatically is the easiest way to save because what you don’t see, you probably won’t miss.
- Participate in the Thrift Savings Plan
A retirement savings and investment plan for Federal employees and members of the uniformed services, the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), offers the same types of savings and tax benefits that many private corporations offer their employees under 401(k) plans.
- Take advantage of the Savings Deposit Program
During each deployment a total of $10,000 may be deposited and will earn 10 percent interest annually. The account can’t be closed until you’ve left the combat zone, but your money will continue to draw interest for 90 days once you’ve returned home or to your permanent duty station.