TaraCrooksUSAA's avatarTaraCrooksUSAAMoney Matters Blog | ‎01-10-2014 03:21 PM

I Resolve...

shutterstock_152884028.jpgIt’s that time of year when nearly half of all Americans declare their resolutions. You may not realize it, but as a military spouse you hold a distinct advantage. Yes, I said “advantage.” You and your family have a bounty of free resources developed—and waiting—to assist you in reaching your goals. By delving deeper into those resources, even ones you already know, 2014 could be the year that you successfully stick to your resolutions.

 

Three of the most common New Year’s Resolutions – no matter what the year - include losing weight, staying fit and healthy, and spending less/saving more. Let’s match each of those resolutions with a specific military-exclusive resource you can utilize to reach your goal.

 

Lose Weight, Stay Fit & Healthy

 

Stay at home parents might have a tough time sticking to a healthy eating and regular exercise plan. Kids and busy schedules coupled with a lack of knowledge about nutrition information could be some culprits. Does this sound like your life?

 

With the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA), you could enlist the help of their Dietitian to assist you with snacking snafus. Major Karen Fauber is a licensed dietitian who shares her base of knowledge with quick tips and columns. She answers your questions in her “Ask the DeCA Dietitian Forum.” There is an awful lot to learn with making healthy choices at the commissary at the heart of it.

 

Perhaps exercise is your priority? Most military installations offer modern fitness centers and classes. If you are working within a civilian community, search out resources like the Armed Forces YMCA or simply ask for a military discount at your own gym.

 

Spend Less, Save More

 

The Department of Defense believes that financial readiness equals mission readiness; hence they created the Financial Readiness Program.

 

For too many, “payday” means receiving your direct deposit and spending it with no planning and no clear priorities. To get out of debt, you should review your financial status (short and long-term), pay yourself first, know your weaknesses, and identify back-up plans in case you are unable to make ends meet.

 

Military Saves is part of America Saves and the DoD Financial Readiness Program. You can join the campaign by registering your debt reduction and savings goal. Writing the goal down is a powerful tool in itself. Digging into the Web site, http://militarysaves.org, reveals advice from investing in the Thrift Savings Plan to how to shop around for an inexpensive loan.

 

Finally, as a military spouses myself, I truly believe the biggest resource you can utilize is the power of your attitude. Keep a positive attitude, empower yourself with resources, remain realistic in your goal setting, find balance and surround yourself with supportive friends and family members.