Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
3 Ways To Be Better With Your Finances Today
As an American veteran, your service and defense of the nation sets you apart from most other Americans. But that's not all — your financial circumstances are also different. Caring for your family today and in the future requires a specialized approach to money management that is geared toward your experience as a veteran. Financial skills can be complex, but fundamentally they consist of three components:
- Budgeting for today
- Saving and investing for tomorrow
- Protecting against unexpected risks
Think of these tasks as three legs of a stool: Neglecting any of them will unbalance the stool and topple your financial stability. Additionally, these components evolve from active-duty service, to transitioning from the military, and finally to retirement.
This is the first of three articles and it addresses the specific habits needed by active-duty military families to develop the right financial habits today so that they will be set up for financial success throughout their lives.
Few military operations take place without a written plan, but many families never write down their financial goals or estimate what they should spend each month. Military pay and allowances should be able to cover all of your necessary expenses, so you should develop a plan and have the discipline to stick to it.
Budgeting helps you to avoid debt. In the military, you have a steady, government-issued paycheck, which means you will likely qualify for loans and credit cards. Unfortunately, many businesses are eager to "help" you purchase expensive items with their credit so they can charge exceptionally high interest rates. By living within your income, you can avoid expensive consumer debt.
Saving and investing.
Your “rainy day fund” should include three to six times the amount of your monthly expenses so you can pay for a major car repair, replace that old refrigerator, or travel for a family emergency without going into debt. Saving one-twelfth of your paycheck each month will fill your emergency fund in under three years.
After starting your emergency fund, save for long term goals like buying a home, paying for college, or transitioning out of the military. While in the service, you benefit from annual cost-of-living increases and well-deserved raises for longevity and promotions. When your income goes up, put at least half of each raise into long-term savings. By implementing this simple savings strategy throughout your career, you can build substantial long-term savings while still steadily improving your quality of life.
Losing a valuable asset — such as your car, your property, or your life — can be a financial disaster unless you are protected against that risk. That is why insurance is important so that if the unexpected happens, your family will not be financially devastated.
Shop around for insurance to save money each month, because those savings really add up. Even the government-provided $400,000 of Servicemembers Group Life Insurance, or SGLI, which costs $28 per month, is not the least expensive. There are non-profit associations, such as AAFMAA, that provide the same benefits as SGLI for a lesser monthly fee and the insurance continues after you leave the service.
The three sailors whose lives were cut short by a gunman at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, on Friday "showed exceptional heroism and bravery in the face of evil," said base commander Navy Capt. Tim Kinsella.
Ensign Joshua Kaleb Watson, Airman Mohammed Sameh Haitham, and Airman Apprentice Cameron Scott Walters were killed in the shooting, the Navy has announced.
This article originally appeared on Business Insider.
SIMI VALLEY, Calif. – Gen. David Berger, the US Marine Corps commandant, suggested the concerns surrounding a service members' use of questionable Chinese-owned apps like TikTok should be directed against the military's leadership, rather than the individual troops.
Speaking at the Reagan National Defense Forum in Simi Valley, California, on Saturday morning, Berger said the younger generation of troops had a "clearer view" of the technology "than most people give them credit for."
"That said, I'd give us a 'C-minus' or a 'D' in educating the force on the threat of even technology," Berger said. "Because they view it as two pieces of gear, 'I don't see what the big deal is.'"
WASHINGTON/SEOUL (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said on Sunday that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un risks losing "everything" if he resumes hostility and his country must denuclearize, after the North said it had carried out a "successful test of great significance."
"Kim Jong Un is too smart and has far too much to lose, everything actually, if he acts in a hostile way. He signed a strong Denuclearization Agreement with me in Singapore," Trump said on Twitter, referring to his first summit with Kim in Singapore in 2018.
"He does not want to void his special relationship with the President of the United States or interfere with the U.S. Presidential Election in November," he said.
The Pentagon’s troop deployment denials means nothing when the White House screams ‘fake news’ all the time
The Pentagon has a credibility problem that is the result of the White House's scorched earth policy against any criticism. As a result, all statements from senior leaders are suspect.
We're beyond the point of defense officials being unable to say for certain whether a dog is a good boy or girl. Now we're at the point where the Pentagon has spent three days trying to knock down a Wall Street Journal story about possible deployments to the Middle East, and they've failed to persuade either the press or Congress.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that the United States was considering deploying up to 14,000 troops to the Middle East to thwart any potential Iranian attacks. The story made clear that President Trump could ultimately decide to send a smaller number of service members, but defense officials have become fixated on the number 14,000 as if it were the only option on the table.
Just before 8 a.m. on a Sunday morning 78 years ago, Lauren Bruner was preparing for church services and a date that would follow with a girl he'd met outside his Navy base.
The 21-year-old sailor was stationed as a fire controlman aboard the U.S. battleship USS Arizona, overseeing the vessel's .50-caliber guns.
Then alarms rang out. A Japanese plane had bombed the ship in a surprise attack.
It took only nine minutes for the Arizona to sink after the first bomb hit. Bruner was struck by gunfire while trying to flee the inferno that consumed the ship, the second-to-last man to escape the explosion that killed 1,177, including his best friend; 335 survived.
More than 70% of Bruner's body was burned. He was hospitalized for weeks.
Now, nearly eight decades after that fateful day, Bruner's ashes will be delivered to the sea that cradled his fallen comrades, stored in an urn inside the battleship's wreckage.