Commentary

May 18, 2012

Know how to manage your money

by Lt. Col. Brian Jackson
62nd Fighter Squadron commander

I was listening to the radio the other day and heard a staggering statistic: 78 percent of all NFL players are in some sort of financial distress three years after leaving the NFL. While divorce was cited as the most common cause, “basic financial irresponsibility” played a large factor. While I don’t know what the exact definition of “basic financial irresponsibility” is, I can only imagine it means a lack of planning and a lack of a basic budget. I got to thinking, were those NFL players much different than our newest Airmen? Really not, some are right out of high school into the work force, others with four-year college degrees, each with some training in financial management, whether at a rookie symposium, First Term Airmen Center, or Air and Space Basic Course and we still see financial mismanagement issues. So the moral of the story is whether you make $4 million, $400,000, $40,000, or $4,000 a year, play in the NFL or are an E-1, you need to have a plan for living now and living later. The NFL has refused to invite me to this year’s rookie symposium, so I am going to give you a money management technique in hopes of reaching a few Airmen.

I wouldn’t say that I don’t like money, I just don’t like talking or worrying about it. If you love to budget, check the market every day, and live and die by the prime lending rate, my technique is not for you. My knowledge of investing, retirement planning and budgeting is limited yet functional. I am as far from a certified financial planner as you can get, but I am on the way to the financial goals I set for myself as a second lieutenant almost 18 years ago.

My basic strategy revolves around something I learned at a young age, if I had money in my pocket I would spend it. No saving up for the big toy, if I had $2 I needed to go find something to spend $2 on right away. I quickly realized that if I had any intention of saving money, it needed to stay in my parents’ wallet. I used the same approach when I developed my financial plan — don’t let it touch the bank account. Anything that is a required, recurring payment never makes it into my bank account.

Along with the mortgage and car payment, I have a separate account for power, gas, water and cable. All of that money is handled by an allotment of some sort and is never in a position for me to squander it away and get into trouble. Once the “living now money” is taken out, next comes the “living later money.” The “living later money” is directly invested in the Thrift Savings Plan, individual retirement account and savings for a rainy day. There is not really the option of skipping a month because I want a new 60 flat screen. The resulting money goes into the checking account and can be spent frivolously and without consequence because everything I need to live on now and later has never reached my pocket and is therefore safe and sound.

Is this a plan for everyone? Of course not. Is it a good place to start if you don’t have a plan? I think so. It has worked for me and would probably have worked for 78 percent of NFL players.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Grace Lee

Pilot saves six Marines earning him the Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor

Grace Lee Brig. Gen. Scott Pleus, 56th Fighter Wing commander, pins the Air Force Combat Action Medal onto Capt. Aaron Cavazos, 61st Fighter Squadron weapons officer, Jan. 16 in Club Five Six at Luke Air Force Base. Cavazos was...
 
 

Financial responsibility — vital to readiness

In the “Band of Brothers” miniseries, there is a line in the movie where the soldiers are told to make sure they sign up for life insurance to ensure their next-of-kin gets $10,000 upon the soldier’s death. While none of us are about to make a combat jump in 1944 to fight the Nazis, Airmen...
 
 

Adapt, overcome, succeed

Change is inevitable, especially in today’s Air Force. If you’ve been serving for more than a few years, it’s likely you’ve experienced everything from new physical fitness requirements to the implementation of force management programs. Enlisted performance reports and feedback forms have been altered and changes to the promotion system are rapidly approaching. We expect...
 

 
Courtesy Photo

Chrach saves lives, earns recognition

Courtesy Photo Tech. Sgt. Steven Bruner, 56th Security Forces Squadron military working dog handler, and Chrach, 56th SFS MWD, pose for a photo in Afghanistan during their 2012 deployment. Chrach was recently awarded the 12th A...
 
 

News Briefs January 23, 2015

VH1 concert VH1 and sponsors supporting the event are hosting a Super Bowl Blitz concert featuring Fall Out Boy and Charli XCX at 5 p.m. Jan. 30 in Hangar 999 as a “Thank you” to those who serve in the U.S. military. Members of the Luke community are invited and the concert is free. Service...
 
 
Courtesy Photo

Civilian answers AF call, gets dream job

Courtesy Photo Senior Airman Kristina Inocencio, 56th Civil Engineer Squadron engineer technician, measures the distance from the tree to the building Jan. 15 during survey training at Luke Air Force Base. One of Inocencio’s ...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin