By James Lander, Military Saves Director.
Military Saves Week, February 24 – March 1, 2014, is a time to review your finances, decide what you want to save for, and set up a system that will allow you to save automatically. That’s why the Military Saves Week theme is Set a Goal. Make a Plan. Save Automatically. Did you know that only half of Americans report having good savings habits? Even if you are already saving, it’s good to take a look at your goals and decide if you can save more or start a new savings goal. Join thousands of others who are pledging to pay down debt, save money, and take financial action during Military Saves Week.
Not sure what to save for or what to save for next? Here are the most popular saving goals of those who have pledged to save through Military Saves:
Save for Emergencies – Only 37 percent of low-to-moderate income households have a savings or money market account at a bank or credit union and nearly a quarter of savers who have pledged to save have chosen “emergency savings” as their first wealth-building goal. Learn more.
Pay Down Debt – Getting out of debt is the #3 goal Savers select when they pledge to save. That does not come as a surprise since Americans spend well over $75 billion a year just on credit card interest and fees. Learn more.
Save for a Car – Being able to travel by car can help people earn more, spend less, and get better value in their housing. Cars, however, are relatively expensive to purchase and maintain. American households spend, on average, more than $8,000 dollars on car purchases and maintenance each year. Individuals can reduce this transportation expense by making wise purchase decisions. Learn more.
Save for Retirement – A 2013 survey found that retirement is the top priority for Military Savers. If you are Active-Duty Military or a DoD civilian employee you have access to the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP). Uniformed service members do not receive matching contributions from the Department of Defense into TSP but FERS employees do qualify for matching contributions. The contribution limits are set each year by the IRS .