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Financial Fitness: Get back on financial track after holiday spending

Getting financially fit after the holidays can be a challenge. The Airman and Family Readiness Center can help. (Air Force photo by Kelly White)

Getting financially fit after the holidays can be a challenge. The Airman and Family Readiness Center can help. (Air Force photo by Kelly White)

TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- Overspending during the holiday shopping season has a way of putting things into perspective come January when all the bills are due. Now is the time to get things back on track for financial fitness.

At the beginning of the year it is always a good idea to check on the finances and see if the budget from last year is still the same budget needed this year. If there was an increase or decrease in salary, or if there was a large purchase such as a new car or new home, those things can certainly affect the budget, so revisiting the old budget is a smart idea.

The Airman and Family Readiness Center provides support to those seeking help with financial stability. The Personal Financial Management Program offers information, education and individual counseling. The A&FRC staff can offer help learning the basics of opening a checking account, building a budget or transitioning out of the military or retirement by working hand-in-hand with the two base financial institutions, Tinker Federal Credit Union and FNB Community Bank. Some of the popular workshops include, Building Wealth, Car Buying, Basic Investing, TSP, Home Buying, Identity Theft and many more.

There are many organizations who offer free advice on money issues. Military One Source is one of the most comprehensive sites for a variety of information and is available by phone, 1-800-342-9647, or online at www.militaryonesource.com. Financial Industry Regulatory Authority is dedicated to investor protection and market integrity. For investor information, go to www.finra.org and before making an investment, check with www.saveandinvest.org or call 1-888-295-7422.

Sometimes people need an extra helping hand to get their financial affairs in order and the A&FRC can offer information on how to work with non-profit organizations such as Consumer Credit Counseling Services of Oklahoma, which offers confidential services for debt consolidation and money management.

Getting financially fit starts with a positive attitude, a willingness to learn and a plan to meet individual goals. A&FRC can help individualize a plan and provide resources toward a healthy fiscal future. To keep up with classes offered throughout the year, check the website, www.tinkerliving.com under the Airman and Family Readiness link, or like "tinkerliving" on Facebook. Mark your calendar now for Military Saves Week Feb. 24-March 1. Call 739-2747 to make an appointment, and make financial fitness an important part of 2014.