Military Saves Week kicks off

The 86th Force Support Squadron Military Saves Week is an annual Department of Defense-wide program where facilitators encourage participants to take the pledge to save. (Courtesy graphic)

The 86th Force Support Squadron Military Saves Week is an annual Department of Defense-wide program where facilitators encourage participants to take the pledge to save. (Courtesy graphic)

RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany -- The 86th Force Support Squadron Airman & Family Readiness Center is kicking off this year’s Military Saves Week at the Kaiserslautern Military Community Center food court from 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m., Feb. 26.

Military Saves Week is an annual Department of Defense-wide program where facilitators encourage participants to take the pledge to save. Those who take the pledge will receive emails to keep them on track to achieve their goals.

At the KMCC kickoff event, Service members and family can register for free classes to learn more about how to manage money. The classes will cover topics like how to travel Europe on a budget, home buying, and retirement planning basics. Participants can also enter a drawing for an iPad. The winner will be announced during the closing event on Mar. 2, 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Ruthy Srun, 86th FSS A&FRC community readiness consultant, talked about the importance of being able to handle one’s finances.

“If finances are going wrong, it can impact relationships,” Srun said. “It can impact readiness. It can impact every single part of our lives, and we’re so scared to talk about it sometimes. Sometimes coming out and talking to a group makes people feel more comfortable receiving information.”

The A&FRC has licensed professionals who provide financial counseling, and Srun has seen some trends during her time there.

“In the military, one of the biggest challenges we see is folks not understanding how to save,” Srun said. “We all have the ability to save, but sometimes it can feel overwhelming. Whether you start by saving $10 a month, or $100 a month—it doesn’t matter. Even starting small is going to go a long way.”

For those who might not be able to make it to the events this week, or who want to dive deeper into the wealth of information available, Srun encourages them to call and make an appointment at the A&FRC.

“We have folks of all ranks and grades coming in for financial assistance,” Srun said.

Srun said that sometimes people think the A&FRC’s financial counseling is only for those who are having trouble, but that is not true.

“We have a lot of folks come in because they want to be proactive,” Srun said. “They’ve gone as far as they know how to go, and they want to know what else they can do.”

As Srun explained, there’s always more to learn and she highly recommends even financially successful people to come get more information.

“You can always do better,” Srun said. “I feel pretty confident and successful myself, but I’m always the first to read an article about finances and go to a class on a topic I don’t know about. The way finances work changes all the time. Everyone, even experts, always need to get continued education on finances.”

Customers sometimes return to the A&FRC to give an update on how the information helped them. Some of those customers find the information so helpful that they want to help pass it along to others.

“One of our consultants here met with a customer about debt management.” Srun said. “The customer came back and said ‘this was incredibly helpful, and it really made a difference for me.’ Now she’s having us come out and talk to about 100 Airmen in her unit about finances.”

Srun said that people spreading the word and helping others get the same help is exactly what the consultants of the AFRC want.

“We will come out to units and provide financial education if they invite us,” Srun said. “We’re happy to do that. We want to meet people where they’re at.”

All Military Saves Week classes require a reservation. For more information call DSN 480 5100 or commercial number 06371 5100.