Military saves; building wealth, not debt

  • Published
  • By Teresa Torelli
  • Airman and Family Readiness Center
The tree is packed away and 2009 is here...
How many times have you made the New Year's resolution to start a savings account and pay yourself first? Or, maybe you decided you were going to put your tax refund in the bank to create an emergency fund. But, despite your efforts, there you sit with little or no savings to your name. Don't feel alone, you are one of thousands!
In today's economic instability it is hard to make ends meet, so for many, having a saving account seems impossible. Believe it or not, it is possible to start saving for you and your families future, even with a limited budget. The secret isn't the size of the deposits, it is the time your deposits spend earning interest. If you don't remember anything else, remember this: wealth is built over time. Let me give you an example: saving $1200 per year, equals your GI Bill payment, doesn't sound like much, but after 30 years or your Air Force career at 5 percent interest, you will have saved $83,712 towards your retirement gift to yourself. Continue this plan to the ripe old age of 65 and you will have $201,222 to spend cruising around the world. Don't believe me; use the financial calculators available on and see for yourself.

Now let's really talk "dollars and sense," yes I mean sense. If you are not claiming the correct deduction throughout the year, because you want that big tax return, you are throwing your money away. Why, because you are giving the Internal Revenue Service an interest free loan for 12 months. Further, if you do this every year for 10 years that's a lot of dollars and not a lot of "sense". 

So where do you begin? It's time once again for Military Saves Week. Military Saves is a social network that brings people together to take the pledge to build wealth not debt. Its prime function is to encourage, motivate, and persuade military members to start saving each month. The Campaign will be held at Lakenheath and run from Feb. 22 to March 1. Throughout the week base agencies will come together in a marketing extravaganza to encourage the base community to go online and pledge to open a savings account and pay yourself first. During the week there are going to be information booths, activities, and financial workshops to help put you in the right direction. For more information, call the Airman and Family Readiness Center at 226-3847, or visit the military saves website at