Countdown to Christmas: 40 days

We say it over and over, but it really is true — your loved ones will remember and cherish the time you spend with them much more than gifts they get from Santa.

Not having the weight of a stressful financial situation on your back will give you the opportunity to really enjoy your family, and that is what it is all about, right?

We understand it can be difficult to find extra cash right now with so many demands on your wallet. One way to help you manage the holidays financially is by using the Army and Air Force Exchange Service layaway program. You do not go into debt and you receive a great service and optimal means to pay for gifts before you give them. Currently, layaway at the base exchange is fee-free and you need only put 15 percent down.

For the holidays, AAFES is also offering a special program for purchasing computers — normally not an item that qualifies for layaway. Remember, you will have to pay for the item in full before Christmas. Calculate how many paychecks you will get before Christmas and how much extra cash will be available. That will dictate how much you can afford to spend on layaway.

For more information, call AAFES customer service at 06371-407-9103.

The Ramstein Airman & Family Readiness Center recommends military families plan throughout the year and remember that gift-giving is not essential to having a wonderful and fulfilling holiday season.

If you have more questions or would like more information on budgeting for the holidays, A&FRC is offering “Avoid the Holiday Blues” from 9 to 10 p.m. Tuesday.

Reservations can be made by calling 480-5100 or 06371-47-5100. The A&FRC also provides in-house briefings, classes and one-on-one appointments to serve your financial readiness needs.

(Courtesy of Ramstein Airman & Family Readiness Center)