FTAC students gain knowledge through financial management

by Senior Airman Hailey Haux
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Being new to the Air Force can be a huge step in a person’s life. For some, it’s just another job. For others, it’s their first major job since graduating high school.

With a new job come new responsibilities — one of those being financial stability.

The Ramstein Airman & Family Readiness Center briefs First Term Airman Center students about different ways to be financially responsible.

Graphic by Hans Roth
Graphic by Hans Roth

“Everything costs more here in Germany,” said Heidi Goodbar, A&FRC community readiness consultant. “You have the euro to dollar ratio and the extra 19 percent tax, so a lot of people aren’t financially prepared to move here.”

The A&FRC has a four-hour slot to talk with first term Airmen about the building blocks for financial success, short-term and long-term goals, retirement plans, emergency savings funds, having a budget and a few financial mishaps.

“The briefing was very helpful. There was a lot of good, useful information,” said Airman 1st Class Maryssa Cruz, FTAC student. “I wish I had this briefing a long time ago, because this is valuable material to help us get settled down with our finances.”

The Airmen were given spreadsheets with the breakdown of all possible expenses a person can have each month to assist in getting them on the right track with bills and savings.

Not only were the Airmen briefed on how to spend and save their money, they were given information about additional resources the A&FRC offers to everyone.

“We offer child care for Airmen who have moved here and 30 hours of child care a week for Airmen who want to volunteer,” Goodbar said. “It’s the little things that can save money here and there that helps.”

Goodbar also gave financial advice for the different “colors” of people: orange, blue, gold and green. Each personality has a different way of using their money, and knowing what color a person is helps them overcome possible financial trouble.

“Many of these kids are new and young. This is their first big job. This is their first time being away from home and managing their own money,” Goodbar said. “We are here to give them the tools to get a good start.”

There are many other financial classes the A&FRC offers, such as managing your money, understanding the Thrift Savings Plan, extreme couponing and ditching the dorms.

For more information, call the A&FRC at 480-5400.