Dealing with personal finances can be a daunting task for those not experienced or unaware of the resources available.
Personal Services Centers, located on each camp, offer a solution for those seeking financial stability.
The course, dubbed the Money Management Workshop, held on every camp at least once per month, aims to inform military members, their families, Department of Defense civilian employees personnel and other military-affiliated civilians about basic financial practices and techniques, according to Gene De Freitas, a personal finance specialist with the PSC on Camp Kinser and the class instructor.
“The main goal of this course is to get people interested and aware of their financial situation,” said De Freitas, who has taught the class for more than three years. “Anyone with the desire and base access is welcome to attend and learn about what they can do to make themselves more financially stable.”
During the class, De Frietas covers multiple finance topics, including budgeting, financial statements, life insurance, car and home buying and the basics of the Thrift Savings Plan.
Participants also complete personal finance sheets to help them calculate their debt-to-income ratio and begin planning a budget.
“It’s important for everyone to be aware of their debt-to-income ratio, especially service members, because an unfavorable debt percentage can limit the types of jobs and assignments they qualify for,” said DeFreitas.
Class participants run the spectrum from seasoned officers to junior enlisted, the financially savvy to beginning savers.
Cpl. Christopher Johnson, a recent participant at the workshop, said the class offered valuable advice.
“I learned a lot about the importance of setting financial goals and how to utilize available resources to my advantage,” said Johnson. “I also learned that I need to start working on those goals now instead of later.”
The Money Management Workshop is one of several finance-based courses offered by the PSC. Additional classes include: Credit Report and Score Analysis, TSP Workshop, Basic Investing Parts 1 and 2 and Home and Car Buying Workshops.
De Freitas said he hopes the preliminary information provided during the Money Management Workshop will encourage attendees to participate in the more detailed finance courses provided.
“This class is all about helping you see where your money is going instead of guessing so you can be better prepared for the future and ultimately, retirement,” said De Freitas. “People need to know it is vital for them to start saving early, because at a certain age it will be too late.”
This work, PSC offers monthly Money Management Workshop, by Cpl Jovane Holland, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.