For Civilian Personnel concerned about the
financial impact FURLOUGHS will bring
Remember you are not alone. Below are some tips and resources to help you. If you need further assistance, please do not hesitate to come to see us for a confidential review. Call us at 915-569-8376 to schedule your appointment. Office hours are 0730-1630 at ACS, Bldg 2494, Ricker Road.
10 Tips to help you during furlough, that you can start today
- Live with 20% less NOW. Subtract 20% of your pay, and put it in savings for the emergency you will have during furlough.
- NO large purchases during this time.
- Save your tax return money.
- Pack your lunches. (FACT: 40% of discretionary incomes goes to eating out.)
- Adjust your allotments.
- Cut out premium channels.
- Decrease expensive drinks, i.e. Starbucks, energy drinks, sodas.
- Now is the time to start Smoking Cessation.
- Track your expenses. Print your bank statement for one month and see where your money went.
- Tell your kids NO. And don't feel guilty.
- Sample Hardship Letter for Creditors
- El Pasoans Fighting Hunger Food Banks
- Home Affordable Modification Program
- Please look at the resources and links to the right of the page. There are some budget spreadsheets you could use immediately to help you manage your expenses.
- The Federal Employee Education & Assistance Fund (FEEA) - or "FEE-uh" as it's commonly pronounced - is the only non-profit organization devoted solely to helping civilian federal and postal employees. FEEA helps federal employees every day through three signature programs: Emergency Assistance Program, Child Care Subsidy Program, and Annual Scholarship Competition. FEEA expects to keep its regular emergency assistance program in place through any furlough situation -- employees will still need to meet the threshold of having trouble paying for basic living needs like rent/mortgage or utilities and the maximum no-interest loan amount would still be $1,000. No furlough loans will be made until the employee actually receives a "short" paycheck and meets the other loan criteria. Those seeking FEEA loans will need to complete the regular Emergency Assistance application available on FEEA website http://www.feea.org/GetHelp.
The Financial Readiness Program offers education, counseling and support services to assist Soldiers and their families with their financial affairs, including living within their means and investing for the future. Services offered FREE to Soldiers and their families include:
- Consumer Credit Counseling Services
- Debt management - Are you in a financial crisis with creditors? Consumer Credit Counseling Services (CCCS) assists individuals in financial crisis by working with creditors to develop plans to pay off debts and live in a cash-based lifestyle. Army Community Service in partnership with CCCS, offers a no-cost, budget counseling and debt management service with certified credit counselor Philip Priest. He will work with you on money problems caused by pay issues, separation and divorce, reduction in pay, overspending, credit abuse, predatory lending problems and more. To get control of your debt, call ACS at 569-4ACS (4227). Appointments are scheduled in the morning and walk-ins start at 1 p.m.
- Budget counseling - Are you overwhelmed in managing your finances? Let us help you develop a budget that will work for you. We will review your assets, liabilities and financial goals and arm you with the knowledge, skills and resources to achieve those financial goals. Brochure
- Consumer Affairs
- Consumer Complaint Resolution - Have your consumer rights have been violated? If so, you can file a DA Form 5184-R Consumer Complaint and submit to our Consumer Advocate at ACS. When filing a complaint please attach all relevant and supporting documentation, i.e. warranties, bill of sale, correspondence with merchant, etc.
- Emergency Food Vouchers - Emergency food voucher is to assist active duty and retired military families with food in an emergency, not to exceed 3 days.
- Family Supplemental Substance Allowance (FSSA) - The FSSA is designed to offer an additional cash subsistence allowance of up to $500 for military families or households. It is an initiative to increase Basic Allowance for Subsistence and remove military families from the food stamp program. Program Screening
- Personal Financial Coaching - One on one financial coaching available to assist soldiers and family members achieve their personal financial goals.
- Financial Readiness Classes and Education
Come to our preventive classes at Army Community Service for Soldiers and family members who are feeling overwhelmed with financial issues. ACS has a staff of financial educators to provide information on getting finances under control. Class dates and times can be found in the Financial Readiness Program Fact Sheet (below). The classes provided are Banking and Checking, Planning and Budgeting, Understanding Credit, Savings, Investments, TSP, Debt Management, and Car Buying and Insurance. Child care vouchers are given for free child care for children registered at CYSS. Call 568-8956 for assistance in getting your child into daycare and attend a financial class!
- Scheduled classes - See schedule below.
- Unit Training & FRG Training - Financial Readiness classes offered to the units and FRG. Classes can be tailored to fit the needs of your group.
- First Term Financial Readiness Training: THIS IS A MANDATORY TRAINING FOR E1 TO E3 ON THEIR FIRST ENLISTMENT, PER AR 608-1, in-processing to Fort Bliss. This training can now be easily conducted online at www.myarmylifetoo.com. For more information, call 568-4614.
- Credit Repair: There are so many credit card offers and loans out there, how do you know which is best for you. This class will explain the different types of accounts that exist, the importance of viewing your credit report, knowing your debt to income and ratio, and more. Please bring with you to class a copy of your credit report, if possible. A free credit report can be obtained once per year at www.annualcreditreport.com. To register for the class, call 569-4ACS (4227).
- Car Buying & Insurance: Car buying requires time and research. You will leave with tips, resources and facts that will make you a smarter shopper when it comes to vehicles. To register, call 569-4ACS (4227).
- S aving, Investing & TSP: You don’t need to have a lot of money to save money. There are three types of saving accounts you should have: emergency, short-term goals, and retirement. If you have all three, you’re in great shape. If you only have one or neither, than come to our Saving, Investing & TSP class to learn how. To register, call 569-4ACS (4227).
- Planning & Budgeting: Do you feel like no matter how hard you try to pay all your bills, you still find yourself living paycheck to paycheck, worse yet; strapped for cash? If so, this class is for you. To register, call 569-4ACS (4227).
- Debt Management: Are you up to your eyeballs in debt? Do you find yourself paying more in fees than the original balance? Come learn how to minimize your debt. To register, call 569-4ACS (4227).
Want to take the Financial Readiness Program's "Understanding Insurance" class but can't find the time? Check it out here! Click the image to download the class presentation.
Let the Financial Readiness Program at Army Community Service teach you how to prepare great food on a shoestring budget. Dinner on a Dime focuses on making quick, healthy, affordable meals. Click here to view upcoming dates and register for classes.
Let the Financial Readiness Program at Army Community Service teach you how to prepare great food on a shoestring budget. Dinner on a Dime focuses on making quick, healthy, affordable meals. Classes take place at the Family Resilency Center, located at 250 Club Road. The class is free, but pre-registration is required. Register online at www.blissmwr.com/frp or by phone at 569-8376.
Classes are scheduled for:
Classes take place from 9 a.m. -11a.m. Free child care will be provided for children registered with Child, Youth and School Services. For more information, call 569-4ACS (4227).