5 Ways Military Families Can Get Smart About Finances

When it comes to financial planning, there are special programs that offer benefits.

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Posted in , Oct 5, 2017

Financial planning for military families

With October being National Financial Planning Month, I want to share some financial planning tips and tricks for military families. Fortunately, the government has enacted several programs that give military families special benefits. Local and national businesses also honor the service of military men and women by offering financial discounts and programs.

As a military families, you’ve earned these benefits. You sacrifice and serve—along with your loved ones in the military—and to look at these benefits as handouts is missing the point. Your country wants to honor your commitment, and you should allow them to do so.

Here are some planning tips to keep in mind:

1.  Keep a financial calendar.
Take a yearly calendar and list all your paydays, possible deployments, vacation plans, etc. Add in actual dollar amounts, doing your best to be as accurate as possible. 

2.  Develop a monthly budget.
For years I was the spouse who hated budgets. I saw them as limiting and frustrating. However, when I finally took a course—with my husband—on how budgets could help us achieve our dreams, I became a huge fan. The course that changed my life was the Dave Ramsey, Financial Peace course. He also offers a Military Financial Peace version of his program and I personally recommend you give it a try.

3. Write down your goals and dreams.
These should range from things like a family vacation next summer, to when you want to retire and how you want to live during that retirement. Again, I was that person who didn’t want to commit goals and dreams to paper. I’ve come to realize it had to do with fear—my fear that if I let everyone know what I dreamed about—they’d tell me it wasn’t achievable. Not really accurate, but that was how I felt, and I let those feelings get in the way of actually achieving my goals. 

4.  Find special benefits offered to military families.
This can be everything from looking at discounts for military families offered at vacation sites, to extra perks offered at some financial institutes and colleges. 

5.  Spend time in prayer over your finances.
God promises that He will supply our every need. He also promises to bless us with exceeding abundance. Prayer can often bring clarity and insight in ways we can’t begin to imagine.

When we’re smart about financial planning—and we don’t leave God out of the equation—military families can far exceed anything they might hope or dream.

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