Learning how to save money might be the smartest thing you ever do. It takes discipline, time and a commitment to financial planning to become a good "saver." You can easily score financial security — and peace of mind — for you and your family. Get started now with these eight small steps:
- Examine your monthly cash flow to see just how much is coming in and going out. What does your housing payment look like? How much do you spend on car loans, household bills, and entertainment costs? Fingers crossed that you're making more than you spend.
- Track your spending habits for one month on your smartphone or in a small notebook. $80 a month on lattes? Who knew?
- Write down your short-term financial goals. It's a good idea to start building an emergency savings account, reducing your debt or saving for a family vacation.
- Write down your long-term financial goals. Home buying, saving for retirement and contributing to a college savings plan all apply. It's never too soon to start.
- Prioritize and set savings goals for each item. If you need help, consult a personal financial manager on your installation or call Military OneSource at 800-342-9647 to reach a financial counselor.
- Check out Military Saves' countless resources and tools to help you create accurate figures.
- Don't overthink it. Make saving automatic by using allotments or a scheduled bank transfer each month.
- Save more by budgeting less on things like entertainment, eating on the go (those lattes again) or groceries (become a couponing champion or a master of the commissary).
Spoiler: with the help of your personal financial managers and Military OneSource financial counselors, you're going to need a bigger wallet.