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How are you doing financially?

  • Published
  • By Lona Berndt
  • Airman and Family Readiness Center
Financial readiness and wellness means ensuring Airmen and their families are provided for within the limits of their income. The reason it is a readiness issue is that Airman with money problems may be unable to focus on their mission, especially if deployed.

Today's complex financial environment demands wise choices about savings, credit, mortgages, Thrift Savings Program and a host of fact-of-life issues. To further complicate financial readiness plans, the military lifestyle includes frequent relocations and deployments. Military service must not inhibit a servicemembers ability to build savings and prepare for long-term financial goals.

Training in financial matters can help service members gain control over their finances and manage their money more effectively. The goal of the Financial Readiness Program at the Airman and Family Readiness Center is to provide the Scott Air Force Base community with the tools to manage their money wisely and to make informed purchasing decisions so they are better able to concentrate on the mission at hand.

The AFRC encourages servicemembers and their families to seek financial education and counseling before they find themselves in financial difficulty. Taking a pro-active approach to overcome financial concerns or issues enhances the probability that it will not escalate to a readiness issue.

Buying groceries with credit is probably not a good financial situation. Not being able to afford a trip to the store without using a credit card may mean too much income is going toward credit payments. Food should be a high priority and if there's not enough cash for a high priority, then there's a problem.

Having trouble making basic household expenses is also a sign of potentially having a larger money issue. If the mortgage, rent, taxes or utilities aren't getting paid, then housing may be too expensive or too much income may be going to other things.

Not being able to make minimum payments on credit cards is a sign of overextension.

If any of these problems sound familiar, the AFRC has skilled consultants. The AFRC has a plethora of financial services, tools and education that can assist anyone in a difficult situation or if they are just looking for education in a particular area. All financial situations can get better.

In addition to the ongoing financial support that the AFRC offers, each year the AFRC supports the national Military Saves Campaign. The campaign encourages the military community to meet immediate needs and build long-term wealth through saving and debt reduction by partnering with squadron leaders in getting financial education to each unit. This year's campaign runs from Feb. 19-26.

In addition to financial education, the AFRC provides assistance to individuals and the community through the Air Force Aid Society. The Air Force Aid Society has supported the Air Force mission by providing worldwide emergency assistance, sponsoring education assistance programs and offering an array of base community enhancement programs that improve quality of life for Airmen and their families.