For most of us, joining the military was a huge culture shock. In a few (relatively) short months of bootcamp you’re transformed from a high school senior on top of the world into a member of the armed forces. With that transition came adult problems, expectations, and a completely new lifestyle. Suddenly you were forced to be in the right place, and the right time, and in the right uniform, with serious consequences for messing up. There are also immediate perks your civilian counterparts miss out on, like free medical and dental care, life insurance, uniform and meal stipends, and for those non-married types a barracks room to call your very own.

With your basic needs met, that first real paycheck looks very tempting indeed. Next thing you know you’re driving off the lot at Honest Eddie’s Used Car Emporium with a jet black convertible at the totally reasonable rate of 34.6% APR.

A new Xbox? Done. That absolutely necessary set of brand new scuba gear? Absolutely.

Suddenly your world is filled with possibilities, along with a ton of new (and expensive) toys and responsibilities.  

However, just because you spend money like a boot does not mean to have to insure like one. The only thing worse than having to lay down your brand-new Harley Davidson Soft Tail on the road, is finding out that your insurance isn’t going to pay to get it fixed.  

We can’t make you buy vehicles and bikes your paycheck can actually support, but luckily low-cost GEICO insurance bundles can ensure (see what I did there?) you’ll still be able to get your new toys fixed or replaced with no hassle.

Luckily most service members have figured this out. For many a car or motorcycle is their first major purchase after leaving home, and protecting that investment is incredibly important.

Unfortunately, renter’s insurance is far less common, but just as important, if not more so, than your auto coverage.

Renter’s insurance covers (almost) everything inside your home, whether you rent or own. Furniture, jewelry, uniforms, toys, electronics, etc. Anything you’d be struggling to replace in the event of a catastrophic loss is covered. Seems like a no-brainer right?

In addition to the contents of your home, renter’s insurance also covers quite a few things your average servicemember might not be aware of.

-Medical bills for someone who is injured on your property

-Reimbursement for living expenses when a covered loss keeps you from staying in your home

-Credit card fraud, forged checks, and counterfeit money

-Damage to any additions you’ve made to the property, like decks, patios, walkways, etc.

Being in the military means you have a lot of things on your plate. Dealing with hardship from catastrophic property and residential losses shouldn’t have to be one of them.While talking about insurance isn’t sexy, it is absolutely essential to avoiding crippling financial struggles. So do your homework, spend 15 minutes using an online estimator, and add a few bucks to your budget for auto and property insurance, as well as the peace of mind it brings. You’ll be glad you did.

This article was sponsored by GEICO.