Good financial planning can help military families during deployments
Tuesday, June 12, 2012, 4:04:52 PM
It's important for all families to have a certain level of financial readiness, but for military families, it is particularly important. One of the main stressors for many servicemembers is the wellbeing of their families back home when they are deployed. It can be difficult to prepare for the emotional stress of having a loved one deployed, but there are ways to prepare financially, according to U.S. News and World Report.
Because a servicemember may be called to duty at any point in time with little warning, it is important to establish a number of important financial goals to ensure the family stays within budget while he or she is gone.Start a savings plan
It's always good to have a cushion of finances to rely on in case of an emergency, but this might come in especially handy if a loved one is deployed. Military members should sit down with their spouses and discuss a budget that can be maintained while they are home and while they are away. If assigned to a six-month deployment, the family should have enough to live on for that period, so it is important to have enough in savings to cover necessities like groceries, child care and utilities, and less crucial expenses like landscaping, according to the news source.Insurance is key
No one likes to think of the worst-case scenario, but thinking about and securing high-quality insurance is crucial for servicemembers. Troops should double-check to make sure their insurance policy includes traumatic injury protection and offers benefits to family members if their loved one is killed in action, the news outlet reports.Pay down debts
In addition to saving money, it is important for military families to prioritize paying down any debt they may have accumulated, according to Military.com. It can be hard for families to save if they are racking up debt meanwhile, so servicemembers and spouses may consider working credit card or loan payments into the family budget so they can pay more than the minimum payment each month. In doing this, they can save money in long-term interest and improve credit scores.
Improving credit may not seem vital for families who are not planning on making any large purchases, but good credit can take time. Starting immediately can put military families in a better place for when they do want to buy a home or a car, so they can get the best terms on a loan.
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