More than 1.5 million military and veterans and surviving spouses are eligible for billions of dollars a year via VA pensions, long term care and various other benefits. After having served in the armed forces, trying to integrate back into the workforce could be stressful for many veterans. Thus, the most common problem they face is their finances. That is why proper financial management is very important to military and veterans. This will help them get settled and back into the workforce with minimal stress and tension.
In order to avoid common financial problems, military and veterans should know the top 3 important things about financial management:
Budgeting is probably the most important thing in financial management. For any financial budget to be successful there should be proper planning. Take some time to sit down and analyze everything you are saving and everything you are spending. Make a list of your income and all expenses. Include everything in your expense list; from your morning coffee to the mortgage of your home. Start by putting it all down on paper. Having your expenses all clearly listed on paper will give you a better understanding of where the money is going and how much you are spending. After listing your income and all your expenses, make note of what you want to accomplish financially and stick with your plan. If you plan to become financially independent, keep your eyes on your goal and you will find it much easier to achieve it. This may also mean changing a bit of your lifestyle like giving up some habits, minimizing shopping, or making wiser choices on how you spend your money.
Improve Your Credit
Improving your credit is one of the important aspects of proper financial management. If you are using a credit card, it is important to pay your credit card bills on time. If you are not sure when the bills are due, make a calendar to keep track of them. Consolidate any old loans or credit card accounts you might still have. The problem is when there are several small bills to pay, it becomes easier to miss a payment. A good idea would be to merge those small payments together so that you can stay on track of all your payments. One of the best ways to maintain good credit is to not run up credit. Instead of using “plastic money” to pay for things, use cash. This will limit your expenditure on unnecessary things.
There are several veteran-specific programs available. For example; the “GI Bill” is useful for your education and for the education of your children. This will help cover the cost of education for yourself or for your kids. The Federal Thrift Savings Plan is available to veterans as a type of retirement saving fund. Apart from this there are various programs specially designed for veterans like; housing grants, healthcare, loans, insurance policies, etc. Many of these programs can help veterans get back into the workforce and manage their finances better.
Knowing these 3 important things about financial management, military and veterans will be able to put to good use the money they earned from hard work.
This post is written by James Rudd, a Veteran of the U.S. Navy who is now a financial coach on and authority on Military and Veteran finances. Visit his website at militaryfinancialadvice.com for more military financial advice.