Luncheon helps military families save money

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Olivia Bumpers
  • 23d Wing Public Affairs
Many people struggle to save money while others find that saving money allows them to finance their biggest goals without worrying about extra interest or debt.

The Airman and Family Readiness Center (A&FRC) kicked off their Financial Lunch and Learn: Securing Your Future classes on March 7, 2013 beginning with the topic of Financial Planning and led by Sharon Register, 23d Force Support Squadron community readiness consultant.

"Our goal for these classes is to give people the tools to be financially fit," said Register. "During each workshop, we go over every aspect of finance, and teach those good spending habits and decision making when it comes to saving."

The four classes include financial planning, credit and borrowing, budget and savings plan, and debt management.

"During the classes, I have the students write down all of their income and expenses," said Register. "By the end of class they'll figure out if they are financially secure or if they have a deficit.

"The point of the program is to increase your income and decrease your debt," added Register.

To reach financial goals, Register advised that there should be three to six months of pay saved up in an untouchable account.

She stressed that being prepared for emergencies is also important. She advised her students how to determine how much to save monthly, so paying for an emergency out of pocket isn't an option.

"A lot of people don't realize that they are in a financial hole and end up spending more than they have," said Register. "I always urge them to ask themselves if it is something they can live without."

Though saving money can be tough for most, students who have attended the class said they gained valuable knowledge that will benefit their financial situations.

"This is my first time attending one of these classes and there was a lot of good information provided," said Lashaundra Coad, wife of U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Michael Coad, 23d Logistics Readiness Squadron. "I would recommend this to anyone who is interested in being financially secure."

In addition to teaching students how to reach their financial goals, Register recommended using the 70-20-10 rule where 70 percent of your income goes to living expenses and household, 20 percent goes to debt, and 10 percent to savings.

"It's all a mindset," said Register. "It's having the will to make the sacrifices that are needed to get where you want to be.

"Once you pay off one debt, begin to work on the next."

After each class ends, students are able to sign up to receive a free credit report to get their credit score.

Register also recommended using the A&FRC flight, Air Force Aid Society, a trusted bank or credit union, or consumer credit counseling as sources of help for those in a financial crunch.

For more information regarding financial assistance contact the A&FRC at 229-257-3333.