Making Ends Meet: 12 Tips That Help Military Families Save Money
Although military servicemen are compensated handsomely, most of them usually struggle to save money. The main reason for this challenge is poor financial management.
So, how do you improve your savings? The first step is having a plan. Starting out might be difficult, but you will eventually grow into it over time. During this period, the savings will increase gradually into substantial amounts.
The following 12 tips can assist you and your family in saving money when you are working for the military.
Learn about Money
As mentioned above, the main challenge to saving is poor financial management. This problem stems from the neglect of this subject by most people in the working class. This, however, can be rectified by enrolling for at least one of the many free courses available online.
Plan for the Future
After obtaining financial education, the next step is laying out a savings plan. Admit it, you must have encountered a person who is leaving happily in retirement. Some of them even left their jobs before attaining the legal retirement age. The secret behind this is planning well.
To save, you must have a savings account. In addition, you must start budgeting your income. This can be done manually or using tools such as Personal Capital, You Need A Budget, and Mint.
Allocate Money for Savings
As repeatedly mentioned, most people find it difficult to set aside money for savings. If you fall into this category, you should talk to your bank so that a certain portion of your salary is redirected to your savings account. The recommended minimum is 10%, although this can increase depending on your goals. If the objective is to save for retirement, you can set up an individual retirement account through Navy Federal and the USAA.
What if there was a way to multiply your savings? This can be done through investing.
However, investment is a risky venture that often confuses beginners. For this reason, it is advisable to seek professional assistance in the field in which you have to decide to invest. Also, you should embrace diversification to avoid total loss if your venture becomes unsuccessful.
There are several ways of investing, including starting a business venture, buying property, and buying stocks and securities, and so on.
Capitalize on Military Discounts
Several outlets offer discounts to military veterans. If the store you are visiting offers such incentives, you should take advantage and save money. One such example is this store that offers ChallengeCoins4Less.
Another incentive available to your partner is an education scholarship offered by the Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts. This means that they can enroll in educational courses at subsidized costs or free of charge if they are lucky enough.
Save Every Penny Possible
Besides the aforementioned scholarship and discounts enjoyed by the military, there are other smaller benefits that are often overlooked. For instance, military bases sell fuel at considerably lower prices than conventional filling stations.
Military forces can also take advantage of the discounted prices in commissaries. Unlike other stores, goods sold in these shops are not taxed, meaning that they are significantly cheaper. Also, coupons are admissible in the commissary.
Apply for Veteran Administration home loans
Yet another benefit of serving in the military is having access to veteran administration home loans. This loan enables service members to acquire mortgages without depositing any amount and has flexible repayment plans.
When buying a home, avoid larger premises because they are expensive to maintain. Also, it is worth noting that the amount of mortgage awarded is dependent on your credit ratings.
Take Advantage of Tax Breaks
The government does not impose taxes on servicemen when they are deployed to combat zones. This is a reward for the risk you are exposing yourself to on behalf of your country. In this regard, it is advisable to seek the assistance of a tax expert or tax software to help in knowing all the tax reliefs you are eligible for.
Register for Life Insurance
All individuals who have ever worked in the military have access to the Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI). This policy is incredibly cheap, as it costs $6.50 for $1,000 worth of medical cover every month. This translates to $312 per annum.
Use the Appropriate Credit Cards
Currently, there are several credit cards that are specially designed for service members. The best example is the USAA Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature Card. This card has no subscription fees and no transaction limits. Moreover, users are eligible for a 1.5% cash back after every purchase.
Alternatively, you can use the Capital One QuicksilverOne credit card. Similar to the USAA Signature, this card offers a 1.5% cash back to clients. Every new user who spends $500 within the first three months of registration is eligible for a $150 signup bonus. The best bit, however, is that the card charges a fixed 4% interest rate for transactions conducted by active members of the military.
Save on Healthcare
The society displays gratitude to the courage of the military by offering free medical services to the servicemen and their families. This program is run by the Department of Veteran Affairs and covers the treatment of brain injuries, psychological issues, radiation exposure, and so forth.
For enquiries, service members can contact the Veterans Health Council. This body also provides consultancy services regarding various medical conditions.
Find Your Spouse a Job
Over the course of a military career, you are likely to experience regular transfers. The constant relocation can have an adverse impact on the employment status of your spouse. Luckily, the Veterans Employment Center offers a reprieve by helping the spouses of servicemen in getting jobs that are less likely to be affected by the military lifestyle.
It takes lots of courage and self-sacrifice to take up a job in the military. Both the government and the society acknowledge this by offering good salaries and a variety of discount wavers for servicemen.
Regardless of your objective, improving your financial management habit is essential to having an enjoyable future, especially after retirement. This should be enough motivation for you to start saving.