Desert Lightning Team Airmen gathered at the Airman and Family Readiness Center from Feb. 25 through Mar. 1 to educate themselves on the importance of saving money throughout the year.
“Military Saves Campaign is a campaign to encourage service members and their families to take a military saves pledge which is a commitment to begin a journey towards financial freedom,” said Michael Starkey, AFRC financial counselor.
During the week -long event, active duty Airmen were put in a drawing for each class that they participated in. Airmen chosen in the drawing will win a stay-at-home movie night gift basket, which includes DVD’s, gift cards for movie rentals off base, sodas, and movie box candy.
First term Airmen, Senior Airman and below, can sign up for a class to help set up a budget. After taking the class, Airmen will receive a free oil change at either the auto hobby shop or Firestone on base.
“The other thing is we are having a walk-in service. And anyone who walks in will have 15 minutes where they can pull up their free credit report and it comes with a free credit score as well,” Starkey said. “It’s a nice thing to have to see where your credit score is and it gives you some tips and pointers to improve the number.”
Units around the base also participated in competitions. One competition was to see which unit could come up with the most Military Saves Pledges throughout the year. Another was to see which unit could collect the largest number of cut up credit cards. The winning unit will receive a $200 gift certificate.
“On our Facebook page each day we are going to have some video tips on savings,” Starkey said. “Following the video there will be some quizzes available on the Facebook page. Individuals wishing to participate have an opportunity to win $10 Starbucks gift cards for answering correctly by a random drawing each day.”
For those who were unable to participate the campaign activities, one of the biggest tips the AFRC offers is to set a goal and make a plan to save money.
“We have some tools in place to set it up automatically to set up an allotment into an emergency savings account and making it a little difficult to access that account. If making it hard to access it, it will allow us to say it’s not worth the trouble to access it for a want versus a need and that money can continue to accumulate. Another way is a Thrift Savings Plan which is also through an allotment but it’s one of those long term investments.”