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Joint Base Andrews Features

NEWS | June 6, 2011

Not your average finance briefing

By Airman 1st Class Lindsey A. Beadle 11th Wing Public Affairs

Whether they're heard at the First Term Airmen's Center or around one's nightly dinner table, discussions about finances can either be an enlightening experience or ... the complete opposite. These financial talks don't always have to end up in tears though. By making an appointment at the Airman and Family Readiness Center here, one can not only learn how to budget and manage their money more effectively, but also experience, maybe for the first time, a finance briefing that didn't make you want to cry.

To begin the process of becoming comfortable with ones finances, making an appointment at the AFRC is a good start. Finance discussions at the AFRC target Airmen from ages 18 to 34 or who have obtained rank between E-1 to E-5. However, the one-on-one financial consultant briefings are available for anyone on base who is willing to make an appointment or seeks financial advice.

Mr. Kevin Hamilton, one of the AFRC's community readiness consultants, specializes in financial planning and budget management advice and is more than willing to offer his services to whoever wants it.

"Debt levels amongst Airmen are extremely high in today's age," said Mr. Hamilton. "Credit has become readily available and Airmen are having to make financial decisions now that they never had to before. The financial planning services that the AFRC provides have become an invaluable service."

Regardless of one's financial stability, Mr. Hamilton makes a point to tell everyone he advises to start saving now! Having an emergency savings fund readily available could have been especially beneficial during the recent crisis in the U.S. government.

"The biggest motivator I've seen recently to start saving was the recent potential government shut down," said Mr. Hamilton. "All of a sudden, people started looking closer at their Leave and Earnings Statement and it hit home with a lot of people that their money would be cut in half. This was a wake-up call for a lot of people who originally hadn't set up an emergency savings fund."

By making a financial appointment at the AFRC one can not only learn the benefits of saving, but expand on the discrepancies they might be making, yet overlooking, in their own budget. One-on-one financial counseling sessions provide servicemembers with an up close look at their credit report and monthly spending. But, if more generalized financial information is needed, AFRC's readiness consultants encourage all servicemembers here to visit Additionally, free financial planning and budget literature is available to everyone who makes an appointment.

"The real goal is to have a hundred percent of Joint Base Andrews start using the Thrift Savings Plan," said Mr. Hamilton. "But, if people read this and know these financial services are readily available, then that is a very good start."

A schedule of financial classes (on TSP, credit/money management, a budget (spending) plan and personal savings goals) is available at the AFRC. For more information or to make an appointment, call 301-981-7087 or stop by 1191 Menoher Drive.