WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Feb. 26, 2010) -- "Start small, think big:" Military Saves Week's slogan for 2010 emphasized its goal-to get Soldiers and Department of Defense civilians in a 'saving' mentality.

The week-long Feb. 21-28 campaign, partnered with the national America Saves program, and the DoD Financial Readiness Campaign, played out in the form of financial planning events on military installations across the country.

At the Pentagon, the fourth annual financial fair was held where representatives from partner financial institutions and organizations were on-hand to assist servicemembers and government employees with fiscal fitness.

"If you haven't started saving and want to learn how, this is the place to do it," said Brenda McDaniel, program manager for the Office of Personal Finance.

McDaniel explained that in the current economic conditions, more people seem to be interested in taking control of their personal finances, and saving in particular.

"I get so excited when I see people coming up and asking for information on saving," McDaniel said. "It reaffirms our position and goal ... getting people to think about saving for the future."

'Financial readiness equals mission readiness,' the Military Saves permanent motto, stresses the importance of being financially stable. McDaniel explained that if servicemembers don't have to worry about the balance of their bank accounts, they can spend their energy on more pressing matters-like fighting a war.

McDaniel encourages servicemembers to start saving early-even if it's a very small amount. She also promotes the importance of keeping some emergency funds tucked away for life's unplanned mishaps.

"You don't always need what you think you need," McDaniel said about making purchases.

McDaniel explained a good saving rule of thumb is if you want to purchase something, instead of buying on impulse, wait and ask yourself, 'do I really need this'' If the answer is yes, then go ahead with the purchase, but if it's no, that money may be better served in savings.

Military Saves also encourages users to take action by making 'The Saver Pledge,' a commitment to save consistently over time.

Visit www.militarysaves.org for more information.

Page last updated Fri February 26th, 2010 at 12:41