Digging into the Pledge: Military Saves Month
It’s Military Saves Month. It might not be on your radar, but maybe it should be. The signs could be popping up all around you: no cash cushion, too many bills, unbridled spending, money arguments or lack of financial focus. The Saver’s Pledge may provide a solution:
“I pledge to save money, reduce debt and build wealth over time. I will encourage my family and friends to do the same.”
On the surface, it doesn’t seem earth-shattering, but if the pledge becomes a guide to how you manage your finances, it has the potential to rock your world. Really!
Here are four ways to incorporate savings into your financial life:
- Start saving today. Forget having that ideal three to six months’ worth of expenses set aside in a savings account and contributing 10-plus percent to your Thrift Savings Plan or 401(k) account. Even if it’s only in a small way, set up your automatic savings today. Don’t say, “I cannot afford to.” Acknowledge you can’t afford NOT to save by starting in a small, but sustainable way.
- Launch your plan to attack debt. It won’t happen on its own. Start by assessing where you stand, commit to avoid adding additional debt, and then map out an approach that works best for you … one paycheck at a time. Too often, I listen to arguments about the “best” way to knock out debt – whether to start with higher interest rates or lower balances. My thought? Start.
- Purposefully build wealth. I’m sure not everyone out there will agree, but I don’t think wealth is a destination. In other words, in my view it’s a means to do what you want to do, to create flexibility and options and to live the life you want to live. That’s where “purpose” comes into play. Figure out what gets you stoked and put those goals front and center as you save and invest to accomplish something. You should always have an answer to the question, “What are you saving for?”
- Build a winning team. As long as we are focused on doing financial good, be deliberate and ensure that your rising tide lifts all those around you. I’d start at home on a quest to raise financially savvy kids and build out from there.
Sounds basic, right? However, without action, all you have is words. This month, walk your talk, make a commitment to change and demonstrate the dedication to move forward. Taking the pledge could be the first step on your journey. Visit AmericaSaves.org or MilitarySaves.org today and consider taking the pledge.