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.


 
 

 

Luke welcomes Nurse Advice Line

Remember that moment? The moment you thought you had something medically wrong with you but didn’t know exactly what it was? After a few Web searches, you find yourself on WebMD and are questioning whether you have the least worrying of possible diagnoses or the worst — cancer or even death. To help patients save...
 
 
141020-SMSgt-Shelly-Bailey-8x10-DW

Path to inspirational leadership evolving skillset

Senior Master Sgt. Shelly Bailey At some point in our Air Force career we will assume a leadership role. Leadership is an ever-evolving skillset that you will continue to develop throughout the course of your career. The highes...
 
 

Bridges: build, don’t burn

Have you heard the phrase “don’t burn your bridges?” This idiom is used to describe the importance of not ending a relationship on a bad note. In this case, the relationship is your military career. For example, when you build professional relationships you are networking or laying the foundation for the building of a bridge....
 

 
141008-F-HT977-005

Unaccompanied housing to be upgraded

Funds have arrived from Air Education and Training Command for unaccompanied housing to use to take care of Airmen in the dorms, from reconstruction of dorms to fixing a door knob. “With these funds we are able to maintain do...
 
 

News Briefs October 24, 2014

Notice to claimants In accordance with Air Force Instruction 34-511, paragraph 3.1.5, notice is hereby given that Airman 1st Class Wheeler Nichols is deceased. The undersigned has been appointed summary court officer for the purpose of estate settlement in accordance with AFI 34-511. All persons having claims for or against the estate should call Lt....
 
 
Senior Airman Grace Lee

New honorary commanders inducted

Senior Airman Grace Lee Honorary commanders chat with Luke Air Force Base leaders Oct. 17 during social hour in Hangar 431 at Luke Air Force Base prior to their official induction ceremony. The honorary commander program partne...
 




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