NEWS | Feb. 23, 2011

Joint Base Charleston hosts 5th annual Military Saves campaign

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jennifer Hudson Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

The Fleet Family Readiness Center at Joint Base Charleston-Weapons Station held its 5th annual Military Saves campaign in conjunction with Military Saves week, Feb. 22 to Feb. 25.

Military Saves is designed to highlight the importance of spending wisely, saving and investing, and helping individuals build their personal savings for short and long term financial needs.

"The goal of this year's campaign is to increase awareness about the necessity to build individual savings," said Melanie Brenham, a financial specialist at FFSC.

"When it comes to finances, take baby steps. Even if you do not have much money left over each month, all it takes is $20 put into savings to start out," she said. "We want everyone to be aware of the fact that it is important to save now."

Although FFSC gives financial guidance to military members year-round, Military Saves Week reaches out to the local military community with federal, state and local resources, including local banks and credit unions to emphasize the importance of savings to Sailors and their families and to encourage them to take a more active role in planning their financial future.

"Nothing makes this evolution more crucial than the state of our current economy," Ms. Brenham said. "Because of the uncertainty of our country's existing financial situation, it is important that individuals and families take action to secure their own personal finances.

"Now is the time to examine where you are financially and where you want to be 10 years down the road and start working toward that goal," she continued.

Building wealth starts with the commitment to save and setting reasonable and achievable goals. Whether a service member is saving to buy a home, a new car or get out of debt, having a good savings strategy and game plan will help them achieve that goal.

"A Sailor who does not have any financial worries is a Sailor who is able to support the Navy's mission," said Naval Support Activity Executive Officer Cmdr. Charles Phillip. "Personal finance readiness is critical to a command's readiness. Military Saves Week provides the education and tools needed for service members and their families to get them onto the path of building personal wealth while helping them achieve their short and long-term financial goals."

The campaign kicked off with the signing of the Military Saves Proclamation at the JB CHS - WS galley Feb. 22, followed by the annual 'Learn and Earn Carnival' for children Feb. 23.

"This campaign promotes a sense of financial well-being," said Mrs. Brenham. "The events held in conjunction with Military Saves Week are a way to not only educate our service members and their families, but to motivate them to save their hard-earned money for both emergencies and future goals."

Service members are encouraged to sign-up and register to take the "Saver Pledge" at www.militarysaves.org or enroll into a savings plan to help them on the road to financial freedom.

For more information and financial guidance contact Melanie Brenham at 764-7478 or Melanie.branham.ctr@navy.mil.