Budgeting Smart Military Money

  • Stop Making These 4 Budget Blunders

    Stop Making These 4 Budget Blunders

    Nearly half of Americans faced financial difficulty last year, unable to afford bills for basic needs like medical care or housing. Almost a third live day-to-day and have no savings at all. Their current financial woes aren't all attributed to foolish spending habits. Some simply fell victim to common money mistakes that the majority of Americans make – even the ones who still have gas in their car, food on …

  • Don’t Spend That Bonus!

    Don’t Spend That Bonus!

    Strengthen Your Safety Net Before You Splurge

    A really great day for your finances can start just like any other day. Yawn, brush your teeth, have a cup of coffee and drive to work. But today, there's an envelope on your desk that's sure to put a smile on your face: a bonus. While many employers offer bonuses around the holidays as a yearly "thank you," bonuses are doled out throughout the year as praise for a job well done. And while that stack of cash may look pretty nice sitting in your checking account right now, you're more likely …

  • Is it Time to Rethink the Conventional Wisdom on Emergency Funds?

    Is it Time to Rethink the Conventional Wisdom on Emergency Funds?

    Federal employees, disabled veterans and scores of others continue to breathe a sigh of relief, albeit a cautious one, now that the recent government shutdown has come and gone. But the specter of another still looms, and with it the possibility of delayed payments that could lead to missed mortgage payments, unpaid credit card bills and other financial headaches. That frightening potential has spurred a renewed f…

  • 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…

  • Keep a Count on Your Accounts

    Keep a Count on Your Accounts

    Aside from cash, checks were the most common form of payment for much of the 20th century. In fact, using checks for everyday consumer payments was so popular that "check" became virtually synonymous with "payment other than cash." Balancing the checkbook also became routine procedure, as consumers would compare the figures in their checkbook registers against those in the statements that arrived in the mail each mon…

  • Stop Living Short: Save More, Earn More or Both?

    Stop Living Short: Save More, Earn More or Both?

    Though 61 percent of Americans are still unfamiliar with personal finance, expert interest in the subject is booming. Blogs have become overwhelmed by articles encouraging readers how to save more, budget better or spend smarter, all in an effort to ensure consumers are equipped with the knowledge to manage their money wisely. Sure, there may be an unlimited number of ways to stretch a dollar, but who says you have…

  • 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…

  • 4 Financial Signs You're Ready to Start a Family

    4 Financial Signs You’re Ready to Start a Family

    Starting a family is arguably the biggest change in an adult’s life. Although the unique sleeping schedule that goes along with having a child may seem like the most drastic change, taking on the role of financial provider for another is a huge undertaking. According to new studies, it costs the average family $235,000 to raise a child to the age of 18, not including college. The financial investment in starting…

  • Teaching Your Children Good Financial Habits

    Teaching Your Children Good Financial Habits

    Evidence shows that as little as one-third of America’s youth possess a basic knowledge of financial terms and concepts. This lack of monetary skills is likely to follow through into adulthood, when it will truly become an issue in the real world. Anything from purchasing a car to saving for retirement can be made tremendously difficult without a basic knowledge of interest, bank accounts, investing and other relat…

  • Quick Tips for Avoiding Last-Minute Tax Scams

    Quick Tips for Avoiding Last-Minute Tax Scams

    With tax season coming to an end, the stragglers waiting until the last minute are rushing to file on time. The IRS estimates around 25 percent of Americans waited until the last two weeks to file. If you’re one of the last-minute filers, be sure that the rush and deadlines don’t make you an easy target for scams. Dirty Dozen Every year the IRS releases a list of the top 12 tax scams to look out for. On…