As part of National Military Appreciation Month, our Tuesday Tip this week is for military members! To all military members and their families, we appreciate you! Your sacrifices do not go unnoticed. Here are some financial tips for military families to making saving money a little easier.
Financial Tips for Military Members
Do a majority of your grocery shopping at the commissary.
You can’t beat the low prices of groceries at the commissary. According to the Defense Commissary Agency, you can save 23.7 percent by using commissaries as opposed to regular grocery stores. Plus, if you live on base, the commissary is probably more convenient anyway!
I was a military brat (and a pack rat), so I know firsthand that moving with too many things can be a headache. It’s so easy to buy unnecessary things and let them accumulate, but you can save money and space by living a more minimalist lifestyle. Before you buy new clothes, furniture, or other items, ask yourself two questions: “Do I really need this?” and “Do I really want to pack this when we move?”
Save for retirement.
Military retirement pay is great if you’ve completed 20 years of service, but you should still be investing in a retirement plan. Many military members will not serve for 20 years so they will not get a pension. For the ones that do, the pension will likely not be enough to support you and your family, so you shouldn’t rely on that too much after retirement. This is why it’s important to start saving for retirement as early as you possibly can. The government’s Thrift Saving Plan is similar to a 401(k), so this is a good place to start. You should also open up a Roth IRA account if you haven’t already since you will not be taxed when you withdraw from it.
Use military discounts whenever you can.
There are TONS of military discounts out there, so use them! You can get discounts at restaurants, retails stores, cars, travel and more. In fact, I recently went to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston with my boyfriend, who is a veteran, and we were able to get in for free.
Military life can be tough, but saving money and achieving financial freedom doesn’t have to be!
For more financial education resources, ACCC can help! To speak with a certified credit counselor, call 800-769-3571.