Military Saves Week targets fiscal health
Maj. Gen. James M. Milano is Fort Jackson's commanding general.

FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- The way that you manage and spend your money is your own personal business, but it is troublesome to me when I see Soldiers make bad financial choices.

It is also sad to see Soldiers looking for a bailout from Army Emergency Relief from a crisis that could have been avoided.

The bottom line is that reckless spending and living above one's means almost always spell trouble, and they almost certainly distract from mission readiness. Have you ever given the idea of "saving money" much thought'

It's an interesting concept, and it's been around quite a while. More people who develop and practice good savings habits might be exactly what our country needs. Renowned economist Alan Greenspan once said: "Anything that we can do to raise personal savings is very much in the interest of this country."

I agree wholeheartedly and strongly encourage the Fort Jackson military community to join Army Community Services as we celebrate Military Saves Week. Military Saves is a Department of Defense-wide Financial Readiness Campaign aimed at convincing service members and all those affiliated with the military to reduce debt and save money.

The campaign was developed and tested by its non-profit sponsor, Consumer Federation of America and the military services from 2003 to 2006, then launched throughout the DoD in early 2007. It is part of two larger campaigns, the DoD Financial Readiness Campaign and the National America Saves campaign.

There is no sharing of personal financial information in this campaign. A person's participation is not reported to anyone. The thrust of the campaign is to promote commitments among participants to build wealth over time and encourage others to do the same.

Approximately 43 percent of American families spend more than they earn each year and the average household carries approximately $8,000 in credit-card debt. Clearly, there is a substantial number of Americans who could use a solid financial plan. Military Saves can help you accomplish just that.
Military Saves encourages the development of a personal financial plan, the establishment of good credit, saving a portion of each paycheck, enrollment in the Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance, the Thrift Savings Plan, and, when eligible, the Savings Deposit Program.

While it is an ongoing campaign, the entire military community comes together to focus on financial readiness during Military Saves Week. During this week, Army Community Services offers seminars to encourage, motivate, and educate our community to increase personal savings, decrease debt, and develop financial habits that lead to improved personal financial stability. This translates directly to mission readiness. For more details on any financial seminars, contact the Financial Readiness Program at ACS, 751-5256.

This campaign is not a quick fix, a specific savings program, or a one-time promotional campaign. It takes a long-term, ongoing effort to make a real change in our nation's future. If you have not already done so, I urge you to join us and log into www.militarysaves.org and click on the Saver Pledge and enroll as a military saver.

Start now, take the first step, make a commitment to save and build personal wealth. Start small and think big. Remember that financial readiness translates to mission readiness. Maintaining good credit, financial stability, a regular savings, a TSP account and life insurance coverage are all important to mission success.

Army Strong and Victory Starts Here!

Page last updated Wed February 23rd, 2011 at 15:15