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Personal Finance 'Boot Camp' offered to military families

Recent studies reveal that while the recession has been instrumental in prompting individuals to take control of their finances and control their spending habits, many lack the education to manage their money properly. A large number of families do not create a monthly budget, obtain their credit reports or plan for retirement. Additional strain may be placed on members of the military who are often moved to new areas or deployed overseas. To help improve this situation, the New England College of Business and Finance has announced it will offer free web-based personal finance courses to military personnel, veterans and their family members.

According to the college, the program is geared towards improving financial literacy and more than 50 education service officers enrolled during the first week of its announcement.

"There is a tremendous financial strain on military members and their families and this online boot camp is designed to give them the skills and long term planning necessary to reduce that strain," New England College of Business and Finance president Howard Horton said. "Financial literacy is essential for anyone but with long war time deployments, multiple moves, and the requirements for continued education, our military members have the greatest need for this online course," he added.

The program will offer a mixture of online lectures, financial activities, reading materials and scenario-based assessments. The course will utilize five different modules that will provide instruction on the issues that most heavily affect every family - saving, budgeting, identity protection, insurance, investing, saving for a home, college education and estate planning.

More programs geared toward helping Americans better understand and improve their finances are popping up nationwide as it is becoming evident that individuals are still not managing their money or planning for the future. A recent survey conducted by the Employee Benefit Research Institute revealed that 69 of Americans polled say they have not saved for retirement and another 27 percent reported they have less than $1,000 in savings.

Failure to plan for the future or build up an emergency savings account could cripple a family financially in the event of a medical or financial emergency, dragging their credit score down with them. Seeking out financial education resources may benefit Americans by teaching them more about budgeting, saving and using their credit report as a foundation for improving their financial behavior.