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MilitaryAvenue's Monthly Military Family Newsletter
February 2012




Fresh out of college. Brand new job. This was my former life. I worked for a benefits administration company, in their customer service department. Our clients' employees called us to help with their health care benefits, 401(k) plans and pension plans. After a bit of time with them I became 'the manager' you talked to if you had a problem with your 401(k). Yes, I knew the rules and regulations like the back of my hand.

Fresh out of college. Brand new job. Disposable income. I bought a convertible. I /loved/ that convertible, a Mitsubishi Spyder. Wind in my hair. Feeling of Freedom.

Military Saves Week: That Wind in Our HairOne of the big advantages of working for a benefits company was ever day I saw the power of a saved dollar. I talked to folks making much less than me that had retirement accounts building wealth. They looked to their future. I talked to execs who had millions saved. They had started saving back when they too were making much less, when their belts were much tighter.

With my disposable income I maxed out my 401(k) contribution each paycheck. I watched my account grow. After a few years I got married. I had to trade in the convertible for a car to hold our family. I was growing up.

Hubs and I bought a house. I changed jobs. We had four boys. Disposable income? What is that? My hubs attitude: "Pay yourself first!" Each month we have automatic withdrawals going into our IRAs; we have rolled over my 401(k) and he is enrolled in his TSP. Every month we pay our self and look forward to our future!

We have some great articles on from USAA, the Department of Defense, and other great resources. Be sure to read through them. Educate yourself. Understand the power of a saved-dollar!

Some day after our boys have grown up I'm going to feel that wind in my hair again! Thanks to our IRAs, TSP, and 401(k).  Learn more about Military Saves week and the power of a saved dollar!



Keep "saving" on,


Leanne Kocsis and the MilitaryAvenue Team


It is Military Saves week! A subject that is dear to my heart as Americans (including military-families) find themselves in more and more financial trouble. Sometimes saving money can be found in the simple things. Today's blog post on saving money is about what you can do in the day-to-day. There is value in maintaining your home.

Continue Reading >>



MilitaryAvenue Alerts

Speaking of Saving Money.  Always ask businesses if they offer a Military Discount:


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Are you interested in Military Discounts in your area? Did you know we have numerous companies sign-up to be part of MilitaryAvenue every day? We call them MilitaryAvenue Partners. The Partners can have a free ad on MilitaryAvenue as long as they offer a military-discount to our well-deserving service-members and families. (That's you, military spouses and military members!)


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Where would you put an extra $10 to $30 a week? Perhaps towards your retirement? A down payment on a home? A vacation? Start saving now for a brighter future!

Here are a number of ways, from a number of sources that will help you get to your savings goals.


A Savings Shadow Box


Start a savings shadow box with a picture of what we're saving for. This would also be cool for the kids, to teach them to save for something by seeing you do it and letting them join in with items they want as well. Perhaps a picture of Disney World, a picture of the garden you want to create, a picture of a new car. The ideas are endless: 


Continue Reading

It's Never Too Early to Save for Your Retirement - DoD Live



Maybe you picture long, sunny days spent fishing or gardening, spending more quality time with family and friends, or traveling to new places. Whatever your vision for your retirement, careful planning and disciplined saving can help make it a reality.


There are many paths to a comfortable and financially secure retirement, but whichever one you choose, the cardinal rule for retirement planning is to start early! Your retirement savings grow by compounding interest year after year. The earlier you start to save, the more time your money has to compound interest, and as the money in your account grows, its potential to earn even more interest on the increased amount grows as well.


 Continue Reading >> Resources: Money & The Military


Looking for some resources related to money-management?  Look no further: 



The Stress of Making a Purchase - 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.  ...


The Grocery Bill - The grocery bill: One of the big chunks of our family budget and probably our largest 'discretianary' item in the list of many family expenses. How do you save? I enjoyed this article in the Times, "Millions of coupons: Military shoppers score savings on base". It got me thinking about how we, you and me, can chunk down the amount we each spend on our weekly trips. It isn't always about coupons but they sure can help!  ...


Extending Your Dollars Not as Tough as Once Thought - Trying to squeeze a few more pennies out of those dollars you receive every couple of weeks is a challenge to many. To determine your financial health, you can take this Personal Finances Check-up  that should help you determine your financial risk. Once you learn how you think about money and how you actually spend it, you are on your way to a healthier wallet.  ...

Read these articles and many more >> 



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Dear Tara & Star,


I attended your seminar at Ft. Campbell and loved your ideas for care packages. My husband deployed 3 weeks ago, so I'm wondering if you have a list of Valentine's Day care package ideas.


Becky; Fort Campbell, KY; 

Active Duty Army; 4 years



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PS Valentine's Day may be over but there is /always/ a reason to send a care package full of love!

Additional Reading



Military Saves Week 2012's Military Center


Deployment and Finances


DOD Spotlights Value of Financial Fitness


Chairman's Corner: The Military Health System


DOD Raises Nearly $16 Million in CFC Contributions


Family Matters Blog: Site Connects Kids Dealing With Deployment