Friday, February 5, 2016

TOP STORY >> Military Saves promotes readiness, fiscal fitness

By Airman Grace Nichols
19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Those bummed out over missing on the billion dollar jackpot still have an opportunity to earn a plum prize.

Military Saves Week, an annual DOD-wide event focused on motivating and inspiring military members and their families to be financially aware, is set for February 22 to February 26.

The Airman and Family Readiness Center will host a number of events for Team Little Rock members to cash-in on the habit of saving money.

“It’s going to be fun,” said Rick Tomaskovic, a Community Readiness Consultant at the A&FRC.

The campaign will kick off with Team Little Rocks members filling out an online survey projected to be available February 10 until February 17. The squadron competition measures the fiscal intelligence of each member.

“The survey determines the financial IQ of each squadron, and no one wants to be last,” said Sharon Thompson, chief of the A&FRC, who added that after the survey, squadrons will pick teams of four to compete in the competition, a Financial Literacy Tournament during Military Saves Week.

Thompson and Tomaskovic said it’s important to see saving money as more than buttoned-up and boring charts and spreadsheets, they want people to know there is a fun side of finance.

Besides the competition, financial classes and practical information will be offered throughout the week.

Tomaskovic said that money is never boring, and to support his claim, an information fair will be held daily in the lobby from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. of the Walters Community Support Center, where representatives from various financial institutions and programs will be offering free financial information to military members and their families.

In addition, Team Little Rock members will have an opportunity to go online and take a pledge that states their savings goals in 2016.

“Every day, there are people on this base who cannot pay their rent, cannot buy for themselves or their families. They are good people; they are people that are going to work every day, and doing everything they’re supposed to do,” said Thompson. “But they don’t know about developing a budget or a spending plan; they don’t know how to make their money work for them.”

 The goal is to teach people better financial habits so that saving money becomes more than a one-time thing.

“Fifty-five percent of people don’t save for anything. They just kind of live pay-day to pay-day; that’s a lot of things to not have planned for. Basically, the Military Saves Campaign is just about trying to create financial awareness,” said Tomaskovic, who added that this approach is the key to turning this dire financial situation around, yielding benefits for every week of the year. 

The A&FRC staff hopes to make a lasting difference in the financial lives of military members and their families through the Military Saves Campaign. 

“That’s why this campaign is so huge: It teaches people how to be successful; how to get what they want,” said Thompson. “Education is the key.”

For more information regarding the Military Saves Campaign, how to make a financial pledge, take the financial IQ survey and other A&FRC events, contact the A&FRC at (501) 987-2667.

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