The Department of Defense since 2007 has designated the last week in February each year as Military Saves Week to encourage personnel to save money.

In preparation for this year's Military Saves Week that runs from Feb. 26 through March 3, the Garrison command issued a proclamation calling on members of the Fort Knox community to take control of personal finances.

"Set a personal savings or debt reduction goal, make a simple savings plan, and take action on that plan, or take another positive wealth-building action," states a pledge established by U.S. Army Garrison.

The first step, according to Garrison Commander Col. Patrick Kaune, is to take the pledge, which can be found at Caution-

Military Saves Week is a component of America Saves, a nationwide campaign managed by the Consumer Federation of America, a non-profit organization. The focus is to motivate, encourage, and support "low- to moderate-income households to save money, reduce debt, and build wealth," according to the website.

The campaign's slogan is, "Start small. Think big."

In order to accomplish this, local organizations have joined forces to support participants, including the Garrison, Army Community Service, Fort Knox Federal Credit Union and Armed Forces Bank.

Officials at ACS offer some practical tips on saving money.

The first tip is to save automatically by setting up an allotment through MyPay. The second is to save for emergencies by tracking expenditures to find where overspending may be occurring and saving a portion of tax returns. Third, save for future purchases, like holiday gifts, to avoid maxing credit cards. Fourth, save for retirement using the Thrift Savings Plan and opting into the Blended Retirement System, if eligible. Last, save year round.

For more practical tips and advice, visit representatives at ACS, Armed Forces Bank and Fort Knox Federal Credit Union at Barr Memorial Library throughout the week. ACS financial readiness is also available. Call (502) 624-5989 to set up an appointment.

For more information about Military Saves, go to