Saving money can be difficult, we know. There will be tight months and unexpected expenses like car repairs. But it’s never too late to start saving and adopt good habits. Making room to save is the important thing — even a little can go a long way. Saving on a regular basis is a great way to grow your “nest egg.”
Plan for Emergencies
You may already put money aside for things like birthday presents, a new dishwasher, or maybe a new home. But your most important savings goal should be an emergency fund. This fund will help you cover expenses you’re not anticipating — for example, repairs if your car suddenly breaks down, or if you or your spouse unexpectedly lose part of your family’s income.
Ideally, this fund should be enough to cover your regular monthly expenses, like rent, food, and utilities, for three to six months.
Military Family Emergency Savings
More than half of military and veteran families are unprepared for a financial emergency or a significant loss of income. Enlisted military and veteran families are the least prepared.
Veterans Benefits Banking Program
In retirement especially, it is important to keep track of your income and benefits. The Department of Veterans Affairs and the Association of Military Banks of America have partnered to create the Veterans Benefits Banking Program. Through this partnership, veterans and their beneficiaries now have an additional option to receive VA benefits via direct deposit, as well as access to financial services at participating banks.
This nonprofit resource from the FINRA Investor Education Foundation provides financial education tools and resources for military families and other investors. Find tips for managing everyday finances, navigating debt, avoiding fraud, saving for college or retirement, and more.
Association of Military Banks of America
The Association of Military Banks of America (AMBA) is a not-for-profit association of banks, including those operating on military installations, those not located on installations but serving military customers, and military banking facilities designated by the Department of the Treasury. AMBA has a long history of working with the Department of Defense for the benefit of military members and their families.
Defense Finance and Accounting Service
If you are a retired veteran (i.e., receiving military retirement benefits), you can create a myPay account with the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) to receive your monthly retirement account statement. This statement will include information about your DFAS-managed pay, benefits, and deductions.
Whether you retired from the military or separated before retirement, Explore VA has a great and easy tool — the VA Benefits Navigator — that helps you understand which VA benefits you and your family may be eligible to receive. The VA Benefits Navigator will provide you a list of the benefits you may be eligible for.