How to Build Wealth in the Military
In an age when foreclosures are at a record high, credit card debt is hitting new highs and personal savings are at an all-time low, thousands of Americans’ military are worried about their financial future as they defend our Country. Many resorts to payday lenders with high fees and interest rates to solve their urgent financial needs.
Financial education – a skill young people seriously need – isn’t taught in high schools. So many military members, they enter the military with no knowledge of how to handle their finances. This can result in financial problems and military debt because it’s the first time many of them need to make financial decisions on their own.
This lack of financial education is evident in a recent Associated Press report stating that thousands of U.S. troops are being banned from serving overseas because they are deep in debt. Due to this high level of debt, they are considered security risks. On top of that, many shady payday lenders are taking unfair advantage of many members of the military by charging them fees and interest rates that make it practically impossible for them to get out of the hole.
You can become financially secure in the military with some basic steps. The advice below will place you on the path to financial freedom.
1. Cut your costs
To pay for the items you would like to buy, begin by listing everything that you would like to purchase in the order you want to purchase them. This will help you concentrate your spending on the things you desire the most.
To eliminate unnecessary waste, track what you spend money on for a few weeks. Find out where you spend your money by listing everything you buy. If you’re spending four dollars on a cup of coffee during the week that amounts to more than $1,000 a year. You’ll discover quickly that those small purchases add up fast.
Establish a military budget by documenting your take-home pay and noting your current expenses. If you’re spending more than you make, it’s time to cut those costs or work extra hard to receive that promotion.
2. Create a savings plan
The average American spends more than they make, so become a money rebel and save money. With a simple investment strategy, just by saving $250 a month beginning at age 18, you could reach millionaire status by age 40.
Get in the practice of paying yourself first. Have your bank automatically transfer a portion of your money from a checking account to a savings account or start an allotment directly to your savings account. Each time you deposit your paycheck, money is automatically transferred into your savings before you have an opportunity to spend it. That way you’ll have military money set aside for the long-term and available for the things you want to buy now.
Many of you are serving the country overseas now in hostile territory and earning hostile fire and imminent danger pay. You’ll find this is a great way to keep more money in your pocket. Take advantage of the military programs such as TSP (Thrift Savings Plan) and SDP (Savings Deposit Program) that allow you to save military money and get a greater return when compared to the majority of civilian savings accounts. By simply setting that military money aside, it will help you to have money in the bank and a way to treat yourself when you return for a job well done.
3. Have the government buy your home
You can become a homeowner using the benefits the military offers. VA loans enable you to borrow 100% of the purchase price which means you will not need money for a down payment in most cases. Combine that with BAH (Basic Allowance for Housing) for civilian housing and you can have your mortgage payments paid for.
This is a massive benefit because if you purchase a $100,000 home your property could be valued at over $570,000 in 30 years. The best part is using BAH you could have not even made a payment with your own money.
4. Invest in yourself
The military provides education benefits through the G.I. Bill, VEAP (Veterans Educational Assistance Program), LRP (Loan Repayment Programs), and TA (Tuition Assistance) may all help you to receive higher education. Similar to in the civilian world the higher education you get the more likely you are to get promoted and paid more.
You serve America, protect our freedoms; and you deserve to be financially free to live the life you want without having to worry about military debt. The suggestions above will help you avoid the shackles of lifelong debt and put you on the road to financial freedom.
With Mission First Capital, you can start your investment journey alongside other military members and veterans! If you have questions or would like to talk about potential partnerships or investment opportunities, don’t hesitate to reach out. Give us a call at +1 (844) 632-3863 or visit our website MissionFirstCapital.com to learn more and let’s invest today!