JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA –
Joint Base Charleston kicked off its 10th annual Military Saves Week (MSW) with a financial education seminar at the Charleston Club here Feb. 22.
MSW is held annually to promote financial responsibility and proactivity to service members.
“The majority of service members are under 30 years old,” said Erin DeVille-Brown, Fleet and Family support personal financial counselor and educator. “Military Saves Week gives us an opportunity to provide them an economic foundation and establish the importance of being financially sound.”
Ellie Kay, the best-selling author, was the keynote speaker for the event was best-selling author, Ellie Kay’s husband was a fighter pilot and three of her sons currently serve in the military.
Kay and her husband had a total of $40,000 in consumer debt when they got married. Although her husband was a captain in the Air Force at the time, between paying off their debt and bills, Kay equated their actual take home pay to that of an airman first class. By implementing basic financial strategies, she eliminated their debt in two and a half years and saved $161,000.
“I married into a large debt,” said Kay. “With my brokerage background I was able to budget one-third of our pay to our debt, one-third to paying off bills and living off of our remaining one-third.”
Base agencies such as the Airman and Family Readiness Center offer various financial services year round to military members and their families.
“We believe military readiness is tied to financial readiness,” said Kay. “We are proud to support Military Saves Week. It is extremely important for military families to learn how to save in a variety of ways. Whether it is investing in the Thrift Savings Plan or a civilian IRA, the only financial failure is doing nothing at all.”
The session also featured JJ Montanaro, a certified financial planner at USAA savings bank, who highlighted the importance of good credit. Kay also emphasized the importance of compound savings, budgeting, car buying tips and saving for retirement.
“We had a very a robust turnout at the seminar. The audience interacted with the speakers,” said DeVille-Brown. “We would like to see them back again.”
Money can affect an Airman’s career and family life. A financially ready Airman is focused on the mission and performing their job to the best of their ability.
“Start where you are,” said Kay “Do what you can and in the long run you will find progress.”
Military Saves Week runs from Feb. 27 to 4 March at JB Charleston. Information regarding events planned by our Military & Family Services team may be found on Facebook #JBCharleston MFS or by contacting the Military & Family Services team (Airman & Family Readiness or Fleet & Family Support Centers) at 963-4406 or 794-7480.