Credit & Debt Smart Military Money

  • Should It Stay or Should It Go? What Financial Records You Need to Keep

    Should It Stay or Should It Go? What Financial Records You Need to Keep

    With the sheer amount of paperwork needed to maintain a household, many of us struggle with what to keep and what to throw away. Bills, bank statements, insurance policies and credit card information often blend together into one unintelligible pile. How do we know what is safe to pitch? Developing a solid financial records management system can help you and your loved ones navigate your personal and financial documents in case of a major life event. What to Keep There's a temptation to err…

  • 3 Ways to Know You’re Not Ready For a Credit Card

    3 Ways to Know You’re Not Ready For a Credit Card

    Obtaining one may be as simple as signing your name on the dotted line of a preapproval form, but a credit card is no small responsibility. Complete with fine print and plenty of penalties, they can be both risky and rewarding, especially in terms of your financial future. Fortunately, the decision doesn't have to be daunting. Here are a few ways to gauge if you're ready. Do you budget? A well-maintaine…

  • Maximize Your Money Through Minimalism

    Maximize Your Money Through Minimalism

    In the military, you're issued exactly what you need to accomplish any given mission. Every piece of equipment is well-maintained, organized and serves a specific function. From deployments to training exercises, I always enjoyed beautiful simplicity of living each day with only what was needed. It may have been these experiences that attracted me to minimalism. About a year ago, I gave away, sold or donated most of my possessions and moved to a new city out of the back of my car. My original…

  • New Bully on the Block: Identity Thieves Are Targeting Your Kids

    New Bully on the Block: Identity Thieves Are Targeting Your Kids

    Identity theft is on a frightening rise, and the most vulnerable group of victims might surprise you: children ages 6 to 11. It's a "startling and disturbing" finding from Child Identity Theft, a recent Carnegie Mellon University study that claims children are targeted as much as 51 times more often than adults. "Wouldn’t you want to know your child was in foreclosure on a home in another state? Wouldn’t…

  • Not Just Debt: 4 Ways Building Credit Can Help You Save

    Some people just prefer to pay for everything with cash, so they don't think having credit is important. But what do you do when you want to purchase something large, like a car or a house? Chances are, you're going to need a loan. And for a loan, you'll need credit. You have to determine for yourself if building credit is a good move for you. Having a credit score will likely be helpful for you in the future, …

  • The Hidden Danger of Payday Loans

    The Hidden Danger of Payday Loans

    Few things are more detrimental to your finances than payday loans. As a tool to effectively get paid before an individual receives a paycheck, a payday loan can lead to serious debt. These loans require repayment of the principal and a fee measured as a fixed dollar amount per $100 borrowed. Military personnel are no less susceptible to these loans than civilian consumers. In 2010, the Financial Industry Regulat…

  • 4 Crucial Takeaways From The Cyprus Banking Disaster

    4 Crucial Takeaways From The Cyprus Banking Disaster

    Nobody lives a mistake-free life. Imagine how boring that would be. A life with no mistakes, no lessons learned and no maturation sounds unfulfilling. At the same time, humans try to avoid disastrous mistakes. Learning to handle your money will undoubtedly cause mistakes. Just ask Cyprus. Last week the island country’s two major banks sought a $13 million bailout. It’s really not much compared to the $650 m…

  • Your 3-Step Plan To Reclaiming a Rogue W-2

    Your 3-Step Plan To Reclaiming a Rogue W-2

    “When will I get my refund?” “How much will I get?” These are the two most common questions people ask when tax season comes around, both of which depend on Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement. Before you file this year’s tax return, you should have received a W-2 from each of your employers. Per IRS guidelines, companies had until January 31 to mail out the forms, but sometimes they are late, or misplac…

  • Hey Consumers, Stand Up for Your Credit Reports

    Hey Consumers, Stand Up for Your Credit Reports

    Your credit report won’t defend itself. When a nationwide consumer reporting agency — Equifax, TransUnion or Experian — makes a mistake on your credit report, it’s up to you to get it fixed. Those companies don't make exceptions for military consumers, as nice as that would be. As a consumer, you need to be vigilant in checking your credit and disputing errors. The number of consumers disputing item…

  • 3 Tax Tips to Save You Money

    3 Tax Tips to Save You Money

    Tax season is quickly approaching, and although it may be the last thing on your mind, now is the perfect time to start filling out that 1040 form. This can be a stressful time of year for many, regardless of whether you pay for tax services or are a self-preparer. By completing these three simple steps, you can make your life much easier – and potentially save money – when it’s time to file taxes. …