By Maria McClureMarch 15, 2019
FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. - On every payday, Terrence Jones, Army Community Service-Financial Readiness Program manager, suggests you pay yourself first.
Money set aside can go a long way in making an emergency not so dire.
"Take 10 percent of your paycheck and put it into a savings account," said Rick Rzepka, ACS-Financial Readiness Program counselor. "There is value in having a little extra money in the bank."
Money in the bank also can finance future plans - a Family vacation, your child's education or retirement. Money in the bank is the insurance that can ease all of life's transitions - good or bad.
"Be forward thinking and put a little money away so you can be prepared for whatever life throws your way," Rzepka said.
Although Army Emergency Relief is available when the unexpected happens, the staff of ACS-Financial Readiness also provides financial training that can prepare you for the unexpected.
"Our goal is not to put a Band-Aid on the problem but to provide education on how to become better money managers," Jones said. "You work to earn a living so why not create a life - make your money work for you."
If you do not have sound finances you will instead be reactive to everything that happens in life, he said.
Money management is typically not a skill that is taught in school, Rzepka said. Educating yourself can be the key to gaining financial stability for yourself and your Family.
Financial management classes are available through ACS-Financial Readiness to active-duty Soldiers and their Families, as well as Reserve and National Guard Soldiers, retirees and Department of the Army civilians.
Financial management classes include:
•Bank Account and Debit Card Management offered 9-11 a.m. the first Wednesday of each month.
•Money Management classes 9-11 a.m. the second Wednesday of each month.
•Thrift Savings Plan 10-11 a.m. the third Wednesday of each month.
•How to Buy a House 1-3 p.m. the second Tuesday of each month.
The classes are offered at ACS, 2601 Indiana Ave. ACS-Financial Readiness Program staff also can bring training to units, Family readiness groups, and community agencies by appointment. The ACS-Financial Readiness Program staff can be reached at 270-798-5518.
"We want to make people aware of the possible financial pitfalls they could experience throughout their lives," Rzepka said.
One-on-one confidential financial counseling also is available by appointment with the end goal to establish financial stability. Counseling can include developing a budget, evaluating personal finances, assets and liabilities, investments and savings, as well as assisting those who are having trouble meeting their financial obligations through a debt liquidation program.
"The Army has made a concerted effort in this arena because they know that being financially stable does add to readiness," Rzepka said. "We invite anyone to come and learn the basics of financial security."