When it comes to your financial future, there’s no excuse

Making excuses is a common way to avoid dealing with a multitude of daily tasks.  
We make excuses for not keeping New Year’s resolutions, for not calling home or for not walking the dog. We even make excuses for not saving for our futures. But saving is easy, once you get started. 

So, what’s your excuse? “I don’t make enough.” In today’s economy it’s easy to use this excuse. But in all likelihood, you do make enough. Start by tracking exactly what you spend. This can help you control spending and free up money for savings.

Get out of debt by paying off your credit cards. Then you can pay yourself the interest you were paying a credit card company.

Pay yourself first. The Thrift Savings Plan is a good way to get started. Set a percentage of your pay aside to be deducted each pay period using your MyPay account. It’s that simple, and you won’t even miss the money you are investing for the future.

“I can’t save regularly because I have to wait for my tax refund.”  
 If you normally receive a large tax refund, this means that you’re having too much taken out of your paycheck, and it’s time to change your exemptions.  
Once your exemptions are rebalanced, put the money you were sending to Uncle Sam into an investment account and let it work for you.
Why let the Internal Revenue Service have all the fun?
“I’m too young to worry about it.” 

Want to be a millionaire? Start saving early. Did you know that the younger you start saving, the more time your money has to grow?  
If you start investing $4,000 in a retirement account that earns 8 percent interest a year at age 22, you could have $1 million by the time you are 62.
But it’s like the lottery; you’ve got to play to win.

The Defense Department designated Feb. 19-26 as Military Saves Week, when the entire military community comes together to focus on financial readiness.
You can kick start your savings by joining the more than 100,000 military members and their families who have taken the savings pledge at www.militarysaves.org.
The pledge is a promise you make to yourself to save money, reduce debt and build personal financial security. You’ll also receive a monthly newsletter filled with savings and debt reduction advice.  

Army Community Service also offers several personal financial management classes such as Financial Readiness for First Term Service Members, Checking Account Basics and Principles of Personal Finance.

For more information, call Faith Barnes, ACS Financial Readiness Program manager, at 431-2085/civ. 07031-15-2085 or visit www.stuttgartmwr.com.