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.


 
 

 
140805-F-LW839-135cropped

Ramping up …

An F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter prepares to land Aug. 5 at Luke Air Force Base. This is the fifth F-35 aircraft currently assigned to the 61st Fighter Squadron with more on the way before the end of the year.
 
 

Contract signed to improve base for years to come

Being the largest fighter wing in the Air Force has its costs. Everything from school quality, the local economy, crime rates, traffic and climate, to on-base amenities, such as commissaries, are assessed to determine the best Air Force bases in the US. In order to keep the living standards high for all Airmen at Luke...
 
 

Knocking it out of park means excellence

Over the past several years the Defense Department has seen an unprecedented reduction in force. Twenty years ago when I was a young Airman learning the Air Force ropes, our active-duty force was more than 421,000 strong. Today, our end strength stands at just over 323,000 Airmen, a reduction of roughly 100,000 personnel. Because of...
 

 

Gut check: Where do you stand?

Since the beginning of our Air Force careers, the majority of us have been taught that in order to lead, we need to lead by example and lead from the front. Today, that has not changed. However, as we all know, it is virtually impossible for all to be in front at the same time,...
 
 
Airman 1st Class 
JAMES HENSLEY

Nursing fellows take on trauma training

Airman 1st ClassJAMES HENSLEY Chief Master Sgt. John Mazza, 56th Fighter Wing command chief, and Brig. Gen. Scott Pleus, 56th FW commander, congratulate the 56th Medical Group nurses who graduated from the Critical Care and Eme...
 
 

News Briefs August 15, 2014

Base-wide exercise The 56th Fighter Wing will conduct an active-shooter exercise today. The exercise will include military and local, county and state law enforcement, and fire departments. On and off-base residents should expect traffic disruptions, gate closures or delays, and interruptions of customer service operations. Expect to see simulated explosions, smoke, role players depicting indiv...
 




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