Commentary

August 17, 2012

Planning finances pays off big-time

by Airman 1st Class GRACE LEE
56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

For those living paycheck to paycheck or wondering where all the money goes every month, making a budget may be worth looking into.

Budgeting can allow for financial freedom, according to Cory Carmichael, 56th Force Support Squadron Airman and Family Readiness Center community readiness specialist.

“A properly executed budget with enough income to cover all spending allows us to meet prioritized goals,” he said. “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”

For Ronald Lewis, 56th FSS A&FRC community readiness consultant, the word budget can be intimidating.

“I prefer the term financial plan rather than budget because of the emotional overtones budget has for some people,” he said. “A financial plan provides a visible, concrete map of action. It should be proactive rather than reactive.”

Lewis suggests asking the following questions prior to making a plan.

What do I want to achieve financially?

Do I want to make a large future purchase like a car or house?

Do I want to send my children to college?

Do I want to retire and live comfortably?

While knowing what to budget for is imperative, it is equally important to have a savings account or emergency fund, Lewis said.

“The general rule for financial ease is to pay you first,” he said. “That means put enough money aside for emergency savings and investments. Ten percent of net income is a good rule of thumb for saving and investing, but more is better.”

Carmichael said flexibility is key, especially in the beginning.

“Be honest with yourself,” he said. “While it is hard to plan for every obstacle that people encounter, an emergency fund or savings in the budget makes life easier. And, never spend more than you earn. If you want to spend more money, then get a promotion or a part-time job.”

In addition, tracking expenses can prevent overspending.

“Review bank and credit card statements every month to see where the money is going,” Carmichael said. “Many people underestimate how much they really spend. While creating a budget won’t solve spending habits, it is an important step in determining financial fitness.”

Lewis advises starting a financial plan today.

“Be proactive,” he said. “Don’t wait until you have a budget problem to start looking at your financial situation.”

Although writing down a budget may work for one person, Lewis said there are other options available to keep track.

“Some budget programs let you use a basic version for a test period,” he said. “However, some people prefer paper and pencil plans. It depends on what works best for each individual.”

For more information, call (623) 856-6550. The A&FRC will assist Luke Air Force Base members with creating a budget or other financial-related issues.

“The A&FRC, in addition to having trained financial counselors, has publications, guides, classes and other resources to answer all financial questions,” Carmichael said. “We also provide one-on-one appointments to review and discuss budget and spending plans. Take the steps now to improve your financial fitness.”




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


 
 

 
Courtesy photo

EOD called out for expertise

Courtesy photo The 56th Civil Engineer Squadron Explosive Ordnance Disposal team recovers military ordnance July 4 from the rubble of a burnt down building at an auto repair facility in Phoenix. The Luke EOD team recovered nume...
 
 

Strong followers challenge authority

It’s not surprising that when I tell subordinates to challenge authority, I often get a look of confusion. Admittedly, this is a step used to provoke thought. Obviously, we don’t need subordinates undermining their leader’s authority. My intent is not to create insubordination — it is to underscore the importance of strong followership. Great leaders...
 
 

Travel access, opportunities not to be ignored

Possibly one of the greatest and overlooked gifts we have in the military is our ability to travel. More often than not, we are stationed at bases around the world where we have the access and opportunity to travel and see the local sites. However, it happens way too often that we ignore those opportunities....
 

 
Staff Sgt. Darlene Seltmann

Thunderbolt joins elite Thunderbirds

Staff Sgt. Darlene Seltmann 56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs photojournalist, took this photo March 15 during Luke Air Force Base’s Open House and Air Show. She had no idea at the time that just a few months later she would b...
 
 

News Briefs July 25, 2014

Wanted: Airmen selfie videos The Air Force wants to hear from Airmen with unique stories about what led them to the Air Force, who are proud of their job and how it impacts the Air Force mission, or work in an exceptional unit. The 2014 American Airman Video Contest is open to all Airmen who...
 
 

Thunderbolt of the Week

Airman 1st Class Anna Valdez 56th Contracting Squadron Contracting specialist Hometown: Moscow Years in service: One Family: Husband, Phil; mother, Natalia; and father, Oleg Education: Russian State University of Trade and Economics bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics Inspirations: My parents demonstrated excellence and success in a loving environment, taught me to never give up...
 




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