NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — With the new expenses of being a first term Airman at Nellis such as car notes, rent and the alluring Las Vegas strip, managing one’s money may be difficult but is essential to being a financially resilient person.
Financial resiliency is the ability to cover the expenses of life events whether they are negative or positive. Negative being the loss of a job or income and positive being an increase in family size.
One area Airmen may struggle with is budgeting.
“Budgeting is the biggest financial issue Airmen face today,” said Quan Franklin, Airman and Family Readiness Center community readiness specialist. “The cause of this issue is the fact that they tend to spend money beyond their means. With Las Vegas being a prime vacation and tourist spot, family and friends visit, and people want to take them out and show them a nice time. They end up taking their guests downtown and spending money or gambling.”
Although budgeting is a growing issue with Airmen, learning to set aside a few dollars a month can help establish a savings and emergency fund which can help with unanticipated situations.
“A lot of people don’t have an emergency fund established so they need to know how they can establish and start one,” Franklin said. “There will always be some type of unforeseen circumstance that happens, that’s why it’s important.”
Setting up allotments, which is a designated amount of money from your pay that is automatically distributed for you, or payment plans may also be a good way to eliminate debt.
“Personally, I have an allotment set up that is for my spending money, “said Tech. Sgt. Sandra Sauceda, 99th Comptroller Squadron deputy of financial services. “That money goes to a certain bank and that is what I use for the whole month to spend.”
According to Air Force Instruction 36-2906, Personal Financial Responsibility, consequences for financial irresponsibility may lead to involuntary allotments made on behalf of the creditor or garnished pay.
With the help of classes and workshops held by the AFRC, counteracting and even preventing finances from becoming an issue is the first step to financial freedom.
“We encourage people to come in before there is a financial issue,” Franklin said. “We do offer one-on-one consultations, various workshops and classes. People just have to take that first step to come in.”
Another resource Airmen can use to get useful information and tips on managing their finances is www.militaryonesource.mil.
Military One Source is a free program providing comprehensive information on every aspect of military life at no cost to active duty, guard and reserve service members, and their families. Information includes, but is not limited to finances, deployment, relationships, grief, spouse employment and much more.
For more information on financial resiliency, classes and workshops call the AFRC at 702-652-3327 or Military One Source at 1-800-342-9647.