Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Peterson Space Observer

Military Saves Week encourages financial balance

By Lea Johnson

21st Space Wing Public Affairs staff writer

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — It’s never too early to start thinking about Christmas, retirement or this summer’s vacation. Similarly, it’s never too late to start saving for these things either.

This year, Military Saves Week is Feb. 25-March 2. According to Hugo Escobar, Airman and Family Readiness Center accredited financial counselor, the purpose of Military Saves Week is to encourage Airmen to build the foundation of good saving, and eventually investing habits.

This year marks the seventh observance of Military Saves Week and Escobar plans on taking a different approach to this year’s events.

“This is just one week out of the year but if people can be proactive every week or every month with their finances, it’s going to reduce stress and put them in a better situation,” Escobar said. “It all comes down to being balanced with their finances.”

The balance, he said, is having money in savings for expenses as well as fun.

Active duty members, spouses and civilians are welcome to attend any of the three classes being offered during the week including the information fair Feb. 26, Unraveling the Mystery of the Credit Score Feb. 27, and Financial Planning Feb. 28. Call the A&FRC at 556-6141 to sign up.

A finance class for teens is also being offered at the youth center Feb. 28. Call the youth center at 556-7220 to sign up.

Financial planning classes are also available each month through the A&FRC or Escobar can meet with individuals one-on-one to discuss their situation. Military OneSource and the Military Saves Week website also have resources available for those who may want to remain anonymous, he said.

During Military Saves Week, individuals are being encouraged to take the pledge to start saving. “When you take the pledge that you want to start saving, it’s a personal thing. Nobody’s going to follow up with you,” he said.

When an active duty member or spouse takes the pledge online, they will be directed to a link where they can receive their credit score for free, and then follow up with Escobar if they are interested in more information.

Because the pledge is just a personal commitment, Escobar said he will be pushing financial information out through the first sergeants throughout the year to keep the pledge fresh in people’s minds.

Escobar said he speaks to individuals through his own personal experience. “I am proof. I have been there, I have lived paycheck to paycheck, and I made changes because I wanted to be able to take care of my family,” he said.

Finances are a very personal thing, but Escobar emphasized that he does not judge others for their situation, but rather he is there to help make positive changes.

“It’s not how much money you make. It’s what you do with your money, and it goes back to having a plan,” he said. “Live Military Saves Week every day and not just for one week out of the year. If you can do that, you will enjoy your financial freedom.”

For more information, visit www.militarysaves.org or call 556-6141.

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