Time and money

  • Published
  • By By Lt. Col. Joseph Angel
  • 728th Air Mobilty Squadron commander
As the Military Saves Campaign is winding down, you may be thinking to yourself, "I've got time ... I'm young ... I have more pressing wants ... I can wait until next year." With all due respect to the commercials on Armed Forces News -- "Don't Be That Guy."

I've been there. Rewind 19 years. Sacramento, Calif., that first Leave and Earnings Statment in hand with a direct deposit to our credit union account burning a hole in my pocket. I think to myself, "We're young. We've got time. We're newlyweds"... and I convince my wife "we just have to have a new stereo system" (yes, it had a turntable back then).

The following month it was something else. Next thing you know, we're five years down the road with two kids in the house and an outdated financial plan, little savings, and no direction for the future.

Financially, maybe you've worked yourself into a corner. The bills are piling up, the auto loan is draining your account, and you're barely squeaking by to make the minimum payment.

You think there is no way you can continue, let alone start saving any money. Some folks are embarrassed of their situation or want to solve the problem themselves.

As tough as it may seem, others are going through what you're going through or have been there before. Don't procrastinate or make excuses. Take that first step to change your financial behavior.

With all of the financial choices available, it can be overwhelming at times. It may seem as if you need to be a Wall Street stockbroker to get started.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Don't put it off. There are a number of ways to get started. Many financial institutions and the Thrift Savings Plan require very small monthly deposits to begin. If you don't know where to begin, check out the Military Saves website at www.militarysaves.org.

There is a lot of great information all in one place to assist you in getting started. If the website is not enough, there is always a friendly face at the Airman and Family Readiness Center.

They are educated on this very topic. They are anxious and willing to assist. You are their passion and it's confidential.

You may not think you can spare another dime out of your paycheck, but you would be surprised what small changes can do. Cut out an energy drink or soda per day ... and you could easily free up $25 a month.

Take that first step. Get started now, and in a few years, you'll be pleasantly surprised that time really is money. This time - in your favor.