JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH< Texas —
A new class offered at the Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph Military & Family Readiness Center this month will give participants advice on how they can handle their money to achieve a greater position of financial strength and weather possible future downturns.
Titled “Stretching My Money,” the class will be presented from 1-2:30 p.m. June 23 at the JBSA-Randolph M&FRC, 555 F Street West, building 693.
“The purpose of the class is to talk about saving money, creating a budget you can live with and using less credit,” said Courtney Waggoner, JBSA-Randolph M&FRC personal financial counselor.
The class will offer participants a money management challenge to create and follow a spending plan, avoid impulse buying and save as much money as they can.
Preparing a solid budget involves tracking income, expenses and debt and ensuring money will be set aside for savings vehicles such as emergency funds and investment and retirement accounts as well as for vacation and holiday expenses, Waggoner said.
“There is not one budget that fits all,” she said. “You need to have something that works for you. I’ll show people the ways they use a budget and help them find one that works for them.”
It’s important for people to write down their income and what they spend, Waggoner said. For couples, budgeting requires communication so they’re on the same page and can reach an agreement on what they will spend.
“Write it all down – all the income and bills you have and the other purchases you make,” she said. “That’s the first thing to do if you don’t know where your money is going. Once it’s on paper, you can prioritize what you can do to reduce your spending and save more.”
Waggoner will also recommend ways to save on utilities, groceries, clothing, vehicles, electronics and other expenses. Examples are packing a lunch instead of eating out, renting a movie rather than going to a theater, carpooling, working out at home instead of spending money on a fitness club membership, using LED bulbs, using coupons at grocery stores and buying clothes from thrift stores.
Other ways people can save money is by renegotiating interest rates, consolidating loans, taking advantage of military education benefits and taking tax deductions, she said.
Waggoner said she hopes class participants will be more optimistic about their finances and follow the advice they receive once the session is over.
“Financial stress hinders everything else,” she said. “If you make sound financial decisions, it will help every other aspect of your life.”
For more information or to register for the class, call 652-5321.