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Military Saves Week: Counselors help Soldiers make most of money

Published: February 20, 2014

FORT RUCKER, Ala. (February 20, 2014) -- For the past couple of years, there has been a bit of discussion in the media about how Americans are not saving much money.

Even if people were to begin saving money or increase the amount they save, inflation rates have required people to get creative, so Mike Burden, Army Community Service accredited financial counselor, and other financial counselors and financial institution representatives on post are taking the time to help Soldiers find ways to get their money working for them.

“We like to do outreach and information tables during Military Saves Week,” he said. “In conjunction with the Army Aviation Center Credit Union and Armed Forces Bank, we will set up a table to help reach as many people as possible Feb. 28 in the atrium of the Soldier Service Center (Bldg. 5700).”

About 52 percent of Americans earned more than they spent, according to the Federal Reserve Survey of Consumer Finances, and it almost seems unnecessary to save anyway because people are not making enough cash in interest to make up for inflation, Burden said, agreeing with a recent report in to Time Magazine.

But if Soldiers and their Families want to find the best ways to beat the heat when it comes to saving money, Burden said to stop by the table to learn the tricks of the trade.

“We want to educate military Families about how they can save and spend their money wiser,” said Burden. “We provide information about the program and answer financial questions people have. It is also a chance to set up appointments if people wish to get further information about saving and finances in general.”

The tables are manned by financial counselors and bank representatives with pamphlets and helpful information.

According to a memo from Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and his senior enlisted adviser, Sgt. Maj. Bryan Battaglia, the campaign’s goal is to persuade, motivate, and encourage military service members, their Families and DOD-associated personnel to save money every month, and to convince leaders and organizations to be aggressive in promoting automatic savings.

“Military Saves Week is an opportunity for our military community to come together with federal, state, and local resources … to focus on the financial readiness of military members and their Families to help them reduce debt and save for the future,” the memo reads.

Anyone is allowed to stop and speak with the representatives at the table, but only military personnel and their Families can make an appointment with Army Community Service financial services.

Burden said that there are many types of savings accounts and long-term investments that many people may not know very much about, and that stopping at the table can help clear up any misconceptions.

“People have questions about their saving vehicle; things concerning interest or stocks,” he said. “Typically, younger people are not sure about ways to save, like money market accounts and the like. Others may just be putting away a few dollars a paycheck, which is good, but we might be able to help them save even more.”

Since the economic adjustment from 2007 Burden said that it is more than smart to save money away – it can make life safer.

“For Soldiers, it is not uncommon to have to go on emergency leave because of an ailing Family member who lives far away, or heaven forbid they get in some type of accident. Everyone has those unexpected emergencies, and if you have some money put away it is not as stressful,” he said.

If people get into the habit of saving, it is easier to do, said Burden, adding that people should pay themselves first and that the first step is stopping to talk to a counselor or bank representative in the atrium or making an appointment to speak with a financial counselor. 

For more information, visit, or call 255-3817.

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