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A&FRC offers financial readiness advice, programs

  • Published
  • By Kevin Gaddie
  • Team Eglin Public Affairs
The Airman and Family Readiness Center's personal financial readiness program offers education and guidance to its military and civilian members.

"Money touches so many areas of our lives. It impacts everyone," said Angela Teixeira, an Airman and Family Readiness Center community readiness consultant.

Teixeira said financial readiness is a critical component of the military's mission success.

"The mission can't happen if you can't do your job," she said. "A service member who constantly takes off from work because of financial issues can find themselves in a real spiral."

Alcohol and Drug Abuse, Prevention and Treatment briefings delivered at commander's calls show statistics on many issues, such as substance abuse, divorce and suicides. Financial difficulties are almost always linked to them, according to Teixeira.

"People will often find unhealthy ways of coping with their financial problems," she said. "If a service member is having financial problems and is in a relationship, chances are they're having relationship problems, too."

Teixeira said the knowledge acquired through the A&FRC's personal financial readiness program can help a service member tremendously, in the short-term and the future.

"These classes promote financial awareness, which can help service members become more self-sufficient and build their confidence," Teixeira said. "They feel better about themselves knowing they don't have to turn to payday loans, credit cards, family or a bank, to meet their financial obligations."

Tech. Sgt. Thomas Piening, a member of the 33rd Maintenance Group, and his wife, Sarah, recently made an appointment with the A&FRC to review their financial picture.

"We wanted to make sure there was nothing outstanding on our credit and everything was up to date," Piening said. "We're looking to make some home improvements and we don't want any surprises. They told us we are on the right track, which was very reassuring."

Piening recommends a visit to the A&FRC to anyone who desires financial advice. "We received valuable advice and had a great experience," he said.

Teixeira said the knowledge gained through financial readiness can last beyond a military career.
"Military service is going to end one day," she said. "By the time a service member retires, their children are likely going to college and the service member is starting another career. We offer skills they can use for the rest of their lives, and can teach their children."

Classes are available on a mandatory, regular, bi-monthly, monthly, quarterly and one-on-one basis.

The mandatory classes include first term Airmen; first duty station officers; Moves 4 Warriors and non-commissioned officer professional enhancement.

The monthly classes are: building better credit; understanding the car buying game; investing for your future; and the ABCs of TSP. An upcoming class, tentatively called "Spending Plan," uses a 'budget map' to guide participants toward personal money management solutions, Teixeira said.

Home buying classes are also hosted bi-monthly. Bundles for babies and estate planning classes are given quarterly.

A new couponing class is scheduled for early fall.

"That one should be a lot of fun, given the recent attention couponing has received on television," she said.

One-on-one classes include PowerPay, MyFICO and the Extended Absence Financial Plan.

Information on A&FRC classes is available on the 96th Force Support Squadron's webpage and in Eglin's Life and Leisure monthly publication. Teixeira encourages anyone eligible to attend a class to call 882-9060 to register.