Military Saves Kicks Off at Yokota

An Airman takes the saver’s pledge as part of the Military Saves campaign at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Feb. 26, 2018.

An Airman takes the saver’s pledge as part of the Military Saves campaign at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Feb. 26, 2018. The Military Saves campaign encourages all Airmen to take the Saver’s Pledge, urging service members and their families to save money, reduce debt, and build wealth over time. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Matthew Gilmore)

Col. Sergio Vega, 374th Airlift Wing vice commander, signs the proclamation officially beginning the Military Saves campaign at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Feb. 26, 2018.

Col. Sergio Vega, 374th Airlift Wing vice commander, signs the proclamation officially beginning the Military Saves campaign at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Feb. 26, 2018. The Military Saves campaign is a research-based campaign which seeks to persuade, motivate and encourage military families to start saving money to build wealth over time. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Matthew Gilmore)

Col. Sergio Vega, 374th Airlift Wing vice commander, addresses those in attendance about the importance of financial saving at the Military Saves kickoff ceremony at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Feb. 26, 2018.

Col. Sergio Vega, 374th Airlift Wing vice commander, addresses those in attendance about the importance of financial saving at the Military Saves kickoff ceremony at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Feb. 26, 2018. Throughout the Military Saves campaign, the Airman & Family Readiness Center is offering a variety of financial education courses to aid Airmen in reaching their financial goals. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Matthew Gilmore)

Col. Sergio Vega, 374th Airlift Wing vice commander, slices a cake to commemorate the beginning of the Military Saves campaign at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Feb. 26, 2018.

Col. Sergio Vega, 374th Airlift Wing vice commander, slices a cake to commemorate the beginning of the Military Saves campaign at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Feb. 26, 2018. Military Saves encourages all Airmen to take the Saver’s Pledge, urging service members and their families to save money, reduce debt, and build wealth over time. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Matthew Gilmore)

Airman & Family Readiness Center staff assist an Airman in taking the Saver’s Pledge as part of the Military Saves campaign at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Feb. 26, 2018.

Airman & Family Readiness Center staff assist an Airman in taking the Saver’s Pledge as part of the Military Saves campaign at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Feb. 26, 2018. The Military Saves campaign is a research-based campaign designed to help service members assess their current financial situations, develop goals, and put plans in place to achieve those financial goals. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Matthew Gilmore)

Tech. Sgt. Armando Avalos, 374th Force Support Squadron dining facility shift lead, takes the Saver’s Pledge as part of the Military Saves campaign at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Feb. 26, 2018.

Tech. Sgt. Armando Avalos, 374th Force Support Squadron dining facility shift lead, takes the Saver’s Pledge as part of the Military Saves campaign at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Feb. 26, 2018. The Military Saves campaign encourages all Airmen to take the pledge, urging service members and their families to save money, reduce debt, and build wealth over time. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Matthew Gilmore)

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago, the second best time is now.

The same can be said for financial planning. It’s never too late to start that savings account, to keep an eye looking forward to your financial future. Every day that passes is a day you could have spent saving. The Airman & Family Readiness Center is doing its part to empower Airmen to create that brighter financial future through the Military Saves Campaign.

The A&FRC began their month-long Military Saves programming with Col. Sergio Vega, 374th Airlift Wing vice commander, signing the proclamation and taking his own Military Saves Pledge at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Feb. 26, 2018.

The pledge taken by Vega is no different from the pledge all Airmen are encouraged to take, the Military Saves Pledge states “I will help myself by saving money, reducing debt, and building wealth over time. I will help my family and my country by encouraging other Americans to build wealth, not debt.”

“Military Saves encourages all service members, their families, and civilian employees to take the pledge,” said Bernice Milton, Airman & Family Readiness Flight personal financial readiness program manager. “Savers who take the pledge will also have the option to receive savings-related text messages and reminders to aid them in their saving.

“As an added bonus, everyone who completes the pledge online will receive a free credit check.”

While the pledge is a simple one, the occasion offers Airmen a chance to reflect on their own financial situations to make a change for the better, making a promise to create new healthy saving habits.

“Every opportunity is a good opportunity to start something new, the saver’s pledge is just that,” said Sonya Meier, A&FRF chief. “We just started a brand new year and this is a great opportunity for people to take a look at their finances and determine where they are, decide what their financial goals are, and put a plan in place to achieve those financial goals.

“Once the goals are set, the pledge is now a commitment to yourself, a commitment to keep yourself accountable and keep on saving until you achieve your goals.”

To aid service members in staying true to their pledges and meeting their long term goals, the A&FRC will be hosting a variety of educational opportunities over the course of the event.

“One of the new seminars we are holding this year is the Home Sweet Home: Strategies for Home Buying course,” said Meier. “We know it is something that is not as relevant while overseas but we hope the course helps those that attend get financially prepared to purchase that home when they return to the states.”

With courses in place to help attendees make better financial decisions, the A&FRC has also elected to bring in additional personal financial counselors to help meet with Airmen and their families on a one-on-one basis.

“These personal financial counselors are trained professionals that will give you all of the information possible so that you can make educated decisions about your finances.” said Meier.

With a month of education and counseling in place, the Airmen who stay true to their pledges can be amazed at how much of a difference a few small saving changes can make.

“21 days,” said Meier. “It takes 21 days to make a new habit. If you can focus for 21 days on trying to save even a small amount of money, whether it is a dollar a day or avoiding that extra coffee from the coffee shop, just saving yourself from those small expenses can make a difference. If you stay true to those changes, you will be amazed at how quickly you can build a savings.

“Whether it be for retirement, a vacation, or even a rainy day, these small saving habits we teach will help you build a nest egg for yourself. The best time to plan for the future is long before it happens. Let today be the day you make a commitment to saving, the day you start not only thinking about your financial goals, but about how you are going to make those goals a reality.”

To schedule a one-on-one appointment with a PFC and/or reserve a seat in one of our educational courses to help get you started on the path to your financial goals, please contact the A&FRC at 225-8725.