Saving helps you build a solid financial foundation and plan for your budget, transitions, emergencies, unexpected expenses, and luxuries.
- Set a savings goal and a timeline to save and invest over a long time.
- Use allotments to save. Set aside savings from every paycheck.
- Start small and gradually increase until you can save at least 10 percent of your income. Put money in a cash account that you can get to quickly and easily. Work toward saving another 10% or 20% of your income in another account that’s future-focused to use in case of job loss, emergencies, or large purchases. Keep funds from savings in separate accounts and focused on particular goals so you won’t be tempted to spend them on other things.
- The younger you are when you start saving for retirement, the more time your money has to grow and work for you. Start retirement savings immediately through the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP). Your contributions are matched by the government up to a certain percent. Service members’ contributions are tax deductible, and your earnings are tax deferred. Talk to your PFM about your best options.
- Take the Military Saves pledge to help set and achieve your savings goals.
- Deployment can provide extra income and a chance to boost savings. Check out the Savings Deposit Program, which pays a 10% guaranteed interest rate on deposits up to $10,000. In a Combat Zone Tax Exclusion Area, some or all of your normal pay may be tax-tree while you’re on duty. If you re-enlist in a combat area, you may be entitled to a tax-free bonus.
- Avoid carrying balances on your credit cards, or high-interest loans for things like cars or trips. Pay your bills before their due date to avoid late fees or other charges. If you can, pay off your credit card balance in full each month. If you can’t, try to make more than the minimum payment. Pay down the card with the highest interest rate first.