Community Manager
Community Manager


USAA Community Financial Fun Sharing Image.png

Read the title and you may be asking yourself “what the heck is “financial fun?” No, I’m not talking about the ongoing bull market fattening your 401(k), TSP, IRA and other investment accounts. While that’s cool, it doesn’t really translate into what I would call fun…and at some point, things are going to head south and, personally, I don’t want my family’s fun-meter to be at the mercy of the markets. As far as that goes, keep saving for the future, use pay raises and promotions as opportunities to save more (without feeling the pain), steer clear of letting the day-to-day headlines throw you off track and ultimately you should be in position to secure the type of fun I’m talking about -- you know, doing the stuff that makes you, your significant other and your whole family smile, laugh and enjoy.


So, what’s really going to make this year fun? A big vacation? A trip home to see family? Upgrading your family’s transportation? At our house, 2018 is going to be a relatively slow year. We’ve got a second grandchild on the way, a new home to continue to outfit, some car loans we want to put in our rearview mirror and big plans for 2019. Take a moment and make your fun list.


It probably wasn’t difficult to identify your big ticket items and events for 2018. However, after that, it’s time to shift gears and focus on making those goals … drum roll please … financially fun. In other words, the kind of fun that doesn’t result in a nasty debt hangover, pangs of financial regret or leave you asking yourself, “what have I done?”


These three easy steps can set you up for financial fun:

  • Identify your goal(s). You may have already done this, but for this exercise we’re talking about the type of activity or purchase that represents a major outlay sometime in the next year or two. As with all goals, be specific: What, when, how much and why are required elements.

  • Set up your savings accounts. If you have two goals, you should have or set up two savings accounts. Nickname the account(s) to reflect the goal(s). I’ve got three different savings accounts nicknamed Vegas fund, House fund and vacation fund. Next time you see me, ask and I‘ll show you. However, if you catch me in July, following our June trip to Vegas, that account is typically hovering around zero. Nicknaming is important because when you look at your phone or computer and see the accounts, you see more than money…you see fun…in whatever form you plan.

  • Automatically fund accounts. Fund the goal, by setting up a transfer or allotment each paycheck to get you the amount you need in time for your fun.



Easy, right? It’s like having a Christmas account (another oldy but goodie) for all your short-term goals and is sure to result in 2018 being financially fun.


What fun goals are you saving for?


Author Bio: JJ Montanaro is a Certified Financial Planner® professional and part of the Military Affairs team at USAA. He’s a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy and has over 20 years of financial planning experience.


* Disclosure: "Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. owns the certification marks CFP® and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ in the United States, which it awards to individuals who successfully complete the CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements."


The information contained is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to substitute for obtaining professional financial advice. Please thoroughly research and seek professional advice before acting on any information you may have found in this article. This article in no way attempts to provide financial advice that relates to all personal circumstances.


250461 - 0318