By Hannah Simmons
Staff writer
The 2018 Military Saves Week Campaign starts Feb. 26 with a celebratory kick-off at Dewey's. The entire week will be filled with sessions encouraging practical financial behavior and how to embark on the road to financial success. Last year's campaign was centered on "Start Small-Think Big."
Sailors, retirees, civilians and family members attended classes on Debt Reduction Strategies, Basic Budgeting and Money Management, How to Be a Million Dollar Sailor, Retirement Savings, Investing, Car Buying Strategies, and more.
During this year's campaign, trainings will be held at the commands, such as Naval Hospital Jacksonville, Patrol Squadron 30, Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training Unit Jacksonville, VyStar Credit Union, and other locations.
This is the first year classes will be brought to the commands, instead of spending the week at Fleet and Family Support Center.
"We are trying to maximize participation of the Sailors, and we came up with the idea to take the training to them," said John Baker, FFSC financial educator.
A new savings strategy will be the introduced each day during Military Saves Week.  On the first day attendees will be asked to make a Military Saves Pledge, and throughout the week those who made a pledge will be entered into a contest for a chance to win up to $750.
According to a Military Saver Survey taken in 2017, 58 percent of the military savers reported they have implemented the tactics they learned and began saving.
There will be one session on how to automatically transfer money from a checking account to a savings account in order to prevent overspending.
There are times in life when emergency funds are needed. Another course will show how saving for emergency funds is beneficial and eliminates the need to panic during unexpected inconveniences.
A "Five-Step Blended Retirement System Checklist to Success" was created by the Department of Defense's Office of Financial Readiness to encourage service members to plan for retirement.
Tax refunds and work bonuses are often, more than likely, spent instead of put into the bank. There will be a session encouraging participants to save the extra funds instead of going on a shopping spree. There will also be sessions centered on saving money as a family. The planned sessions are designed to demonstrate how thinking ahead of time and planning for the future can result in better financial stability and success.    
The goal of these free assemblies is to educate service members on financial health in hopes that the attendants carryout the strategies they are taught. The campaign will end March 2 in the Vystar Credit Union training room.  
For more information on Military Saves Week events call the FFSC at 542-4718/5635 or view their Facebook page: