As we welcome a new year, many of us may be thinking about making some positive changes in our lives. What about making some financial resolutions?
Making financial resolutions is especially important for military families. Many active servicemembers and spouses are worried about personal finances. Working to take control of your finances may give you some peace of mind. And it could lead to financial health throughout the rest of the year -- and even for years to come.
Looking for some inspiration? Here are 5 financial resolutions for this year.
1. Create a New Budget
More Americans are budgeting than ever these days. Even if you’re already budgeting, the budget you used last year may need an overhaul. After all, situations change frequently -- especially when you’re in the military.
Your financial situation may look much different than it did at this time last year. By ensuring that your budget matches your current situation, you can set yourself up for a better chance of success when it comes to sticking to it. Otherwise, that budget isn’t good for much.
And if you haven’t yet created a budget, now’s the perfect time to get started.
2. Make a Plan to Manage Debts
Many Americans have debt, and members of the armed forces are no exception. Life in the military can be expensive due to the unique circumstances for service members, such as frequent relocation and deployment, which can cause additional financial strain.
Making a plan to manage debt the best you can is a smart goal for this year. Unmanaged credit card debt, student loans and other financial obligations often lead to more financial stress and higher interest rates. It can sometimes feel like it’s snowballing out of control.
Try throwing that snowball back at your debt: the snowball method is one debt repayment strategy, according to Investopedia. With the snowball method, you pay off your smallest debts first to help build your motivation through the debt payment process. The other winter-themed debt metaphor is the avalanche method -- which is when you pay your debt with the highest interest rate first.
3. Learn to Utilize Digital Banking
Each year’s new technological advances can often fit into our lives seamlessly to make things easier for us. If you already have a checking account with digital banking, you may not know that you already have access to your personal finances right at your fingertips. It’s on your mobile phone, tablet or your computer through digital banking. Digital banking is free and easy once you learn your way around.
This year, save a few trees and trips to the bank by going paperless. Here are some of the benefits of Digital Banking with Armed Forces Bank:
- Streamlined Access - More intuitive experience that works similarly across all devices -- mobile, tablet or desktop.
- Enhanced Alerts - Set up, customize and manage alerts the way you want with ease.*
- Mobile Deposit - Deposit checks for free in a snap – safely and securely from a mobile device.** Available on iPhone or Android.
- New Payment Tools - Move money to your other accounts through account-to-account transfers. Use bill pay to schedule and send payments.
- Secure Messaging - Reach us for questions about your account on any device through secure messaging.*
4. Enroll in Military Early Pay
While we’re on the subject of Digital Banking, did you know that Armed Forces Bank clients can get paid a day early with Military Early Pay?
Early Pay is a free, automatic direct deposit service we offer to military service members. Whether active or retired, all service members can access their direct deposits one business day before the set pay date.
Enrolling is easy. If you have a checking or savings account with direct deposit, you’re already set! No forms to fill out, no fees to pay. If you don’t have a checking or savings account yet or need to set up direct deposit, here’s how to take care of both:
To open an account, look at your options for checking or savings and apply online. Applying typically takes 10 minutes or less.
To set up direct deposit, contact your servicing payroll office or log into your MyPay account and enter your checking or savings account details and routing number (101108319).
Learn more about Armed Forces Bank's Military Early Pay.
5. Explore Special Ways to Save Money
In honor of your service to our country, many businesses and industries offer special discounts and savings for active military and veterans. By spending a little more time comparing prices between different companies, you could be in for big savings. From retail, to insurance, to travel, to services and more, it’s worth exploring your options for military discounts.
Consider a few major brands offering discounts for service members:
Adidas: 40% off orders
Apple: 10% off orders
Microsoft: 10% off select products
Nike: 20% off online orders
Under Armour: 20% off select purchases
Walt Disney World & Parks: Specially priced tickets
Speaking of discounts, don’t forget that the Armed Forces Bank Access Rewards Checking account offers even more ways to save. From travel and leisure discounts, to shopping rewards and more, Access Rewards Checking provides big rewards and big protection.
To Your Financial Health
No matter where life takes you, creating financial resolutions may help you feel more in control of your finances. Armed Forces Bank will be here as your partner through it all. A happy and healthy New Year to you!
* Message and data rates charged by your mobile phone carrier may apply.
** Deposits are subject to verification and not available for immediate withdrawal. Deposit limits and restrictions apply.