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2010 Military Saves Week - The Stress of Making a Purchase

Did you know that The Department of Defense has designated Feb. 21 through Feb. 28, 2010 as Military Saves Week? Saving money... kind of a sore point for me. I would MUCH RATHER take a shopping spree at Target then save a budgeted amount each month for my retirement ... in like 30 years! Egads... don't the 'financial experts' know that I live in the here-and-now?!

Well not my husband. He is my saver. Finances might be tight but darn-it-all our monthly budgeted-allotment is going into our IRAs. "You have to pay yourself too", he says. Well I'll pay myself... by buying that cool new household-gizmo that I just need right now. He just shakes his head in utter-dismay. Is there really any hope for his wife?!

But I have SEEN the beauty of saving first hand ... and because I have it has made me a better consumer in the long run. Strides ... I'm taking great strides! I'm a little less prone to stomping out of the room when hubs pulls the "It is not in the budget" line. I pick things up .... put them down ... pick things up ... and finally put them down for good. (Sometimes things even stay in my cart for a couple trips around the aisle while I contemplate.)

Almost two years ago we got stimulus-money from the government. My husband was in Iraq and I knew I wanted to plan a big family vacation when he got home. I KNEW he would be thrilled if I said let's save this stimulus money for when we are a family again. And I did! I opened up a CD, put the money in and let it sit for a WHOLE YEAR! Wow that felt good! And you know what felt better?! Disney World in 2009! Knowing we had that money stored away made that trip so much more fun to plan. We weren't worrying about breaking the bank. Why? Because we saved!

There is so much less guilt about spending - when you have saved for it. If I make a conscientious decision to buy something --- If I think about it for a few days, or a few weeks depending on the circumstances, I don't question myself and then in that same sense feel dread thinking, "How are we going to pay for this?!"

This isn't a new subject for me I've written about "Penny Pinching" ... which /is/ different then budgeting ... but makes budgeting so much easier! Here is an expert ... but you can read the whole blog too: (http://militaryblog.militaryavenue.com/2009/03/penny-pinching.html)

All this money-talk though has me thinking about ways that we can save money, a nickle at a time, even.
  • I can't be the Joneses
  • Coupon Clipping
  • Compare prices
  • Do you need that cart?
  • Line-dry your clothes
  • Nothing says "I love you" like a homemade card.

There is a lot to be said about budgeting, penny-pinching, of course, saving. I am glad to see efforts being made to educate our military & their families! There are a lot of resources out there! Here are just a few:

Other "Letters":
Financial (In)dependence
Your Finances in a Crisis? An Interview with a Financial Expert from USAA
Your Finances in a Crisis? Part 2: An Interview with a Financial Expert from USAA
Your Finances in a Crisis? Part 3 and Final: An Interview with a Financial Expert from USAA

Additional Resources:
Military Saves Web site
Shop smart using saver savvy tips
Financial Readiness: As Critical as Fully Charged Batteries
MilitaryAvenue.com Resources: Money & The Military
Personal Finance Expert Gives Soldiers Advice They Can Bank On
Take Your Thrift Savings Plan with You
Thrift Savings Plan
Where to Go — and Not Go — When You Need Money


So I raise my glass (of milk, of course, I am 4 months-pregnant and we are SAVING for baby number four now too) and toast to Saving, Budgeting and less-stress in Purchasing!

- Leanne from MilitaryAvenue.com

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