When young veterans transition into civilian life, they can face a number of challenges. One of the biggest is the shift in their financial circumstances. While in the military, they may have had access to a steady paycheck, healthcare benefits, and a host of other resources. These benefits can suddenly disappear once they leave the service, leaving them with a host of new financial decisions to make.
Fortunately, there are some key pieces of financial advice that can help these transitioning veterans ease into their new lives and make their money work for them. Read on for some insights from the Dallas Ft. Worth Veterans Chamber of Commerce.
Stick to a Budget
The first thing that any young veteran should do when leaving the service is to create a budget. Budgeting is an essential tool for managing finances, and it can help veterans stay on top of their expenses, prioritize their spending, and ensure that they have enough money for unexpected expenses. Bank of America points out that a good budget should include all of your income, as well as your expenses and debt payments. By tracking your spending carefully, you can identify areas where you are overspending and make adjustments to save more money.
Learn About the GI Bill
Many young veterans are eligible for the GI Bill, which can help them pay for their education or job training. This benefit can go a long way in helping veterans become more competitive in the civilian job market, and it can also help them grow their earning potential over time. It’s important to take advantage of this benefit early, as some of the programs are time-sensitive.
Learn New Skills Through Online Education
Earning an online degree presents an excellent career opportunity for newly discharged veterans, as it offers flexibility, accessibility, and a wide range of programs tailored to suit their unique needs and aspirations. The convenience of online learning allows veterans to balance their education with family obligations, job commitments, or other responsibilities while transitioning back into civilian life.
As just one example, there are bachelor’s degree information technology possibilities, including online programs. Going this route results in earning an IT degree to position yourself for a lucrative career in the tech field, whether that be in cybersecurity, IT management, or network engineering.
Save on Everyday Purchases
Another way that young veterans can manage their finances more effectively is by looking for ways to save on everyday purchases. This might include using coupons, shopping around for the best deals on groceries, or taking advantage of discounts for military members. By trimming expenses where possible, veterans can free up more money to put toward their financial goals.
Build Up Your Credit Score
Having a strong credit score is essential for anyone looking to secure financing or take out a loan. Military.com notes that there are a number of things that veterans can do to build up their credit scores, including paying bills on time, keeping their credit card balances low, and monitoring their credit reports for errors.
Take Steps to Automate Savings
One of the easiest ways to build up savings over time is by automating the process. Many banks and financial institutions offer automatic savings programs, which can help veterans save money without needing to think about it. By setting up a regular contribution to a savings account, veterans can build up an emergency fund or work towards other financial goals over time.
Compare Loan and Mortgage Options
When it comes to more significant purchases like loans and mortgages, it’s important to shop around before making a decision. Veterans may be eligible for VA loans, which can offer favorable rates and terms. However, it’s still important to do your research and compare your options before making a decision.
Open a Business and Register as an LLC
Finally, one smart financial decision for young veterans is to start their own business and form an LLC. This can provide a host of benefits, including tax advantages, greater control over one’s professional destiny, and the potential for higher earnings. By pursuing this path, veterans can take control of their finances and build a strong foundation for their future success.
In conclusion, young veterans have a range of financial decisions to make as they transition into civilian life. By following the tips outlined above, including advancing their education and building up their credit score, they can put themselves in a strong position to manage their finances effectively, build wealth over time, and achieve their long-term goals.
The Dallas Ft. Worth Veterans Chamber of Commerce enhances the professional lives of active duty, transitioning military, and Veterans through business, employment and education. Contact us today at 214.714.5344 for more info!