Classes Help Service Members Get Financially Fit

Cost Savings: U.S. Naval Base Guam (NBG) Fleet and Family Support Services (FFSC) Financial Management Specialist Pilar Pangelinan showcases coupons at the facility on NBG Jan. 16. FFSC and the Airman and Family Readiness Center at Andersen Air Force Base offers classes for military members and their dependents to teach them about financial management. U.S Navy photos by Shaina Santos/Released

Classes Help Service Members Get Financially Fit

by: Shaina Marie Santos
Joint Region Edge
published: February 09, 2013
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With the beginning of a new year comes the opportunity to start fresh; many like to take this time to reevaluate their current standings and decide how they can improve them.

Service members and their families looking to increase their finances can learn the ins and outs of managing money at the Fleet and Family Support Center (FFSC) on U.S. Naval Base Guam (NBG) and at the Airman and Family Readiness Center (AFRC) on Andersen Air Force Base (AFB).

On NBG, FFSC Personal Financial Management Specialist Pilar Pangelinan is ready to help all those looking to develop financial health.

“Service members just like anyone else work hard for their money,” she said. “They need the peace of mind that comes from knowing that their personal finances are secure. If people manage their finances well they have more choices, less stress and maintain credit. Good credit helps us acquire the things we want most out of life.”

FFSC’s financial classes that cover an array of subjects are offered monthly and patrons can also opt for one-on-one counseling with Pangelinan, where she offers sound advice to help patrons in the long term.

Pangelinan said there are a number of things people can take up right away that could help them get started on the right track.

“Manage the present, create a budget,” she advised. “Clean up the past, reduce or eliminate debt. Invest in the future.”

The FFSC also offers informational resources that one can take home to learn how to manage their finances on-the-go or in their spare time and a great assortment of clipped coupons for those looking to save at the commissary.

At the AFRC, services and classes are also available from  Work Life consultant Dave Ooka.

From a personal financial management refresher, Thrift Savings Plan, basic budgeting to credit report reviews, the AFRC on Andersen AFB offers lessons on a monthly basis from 9 – 10 a.m. and is open to all military identification card holders, federal employees with travel agreements and dependents.

“Being financially sound relieves service members and their family with financial stress,” Ooka said. “It provides service members with a peace of mind that in the event they must deploy, their finances are in order and they can concentrate on their mission.”

Ooka also suggests creating a budget to better manage one’s finances and also advises patrons to take advantage of their Cost of Living Allowance (COLA).

“While on Guam, service members receive COLA and would lose that entitlement when they PCS (permanently change station) back to the mainland,” he said. “If members could take their COLA earnings and invest or save it and live as if they were never receiving COLA, when returning to the mainland they need little to no adjustment to their budget. In addition, they would have a substation nest egg to either purchase a new car or put a hefty down payment on a new home.”

For more information regarding classes at FFSC call 333-2056. For information regarding classes at the AFRC call 366-8136.