Yanira is the Operations Editor for the Veterans Today Network. She has been on the job since 2008.

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What Military Service Can Teach You About Money Management

 

Military duty teaches service members about accountability, duty, and discipline. The same values that help individuals succeed in deployment can inform money management. Here are 6 ways past military service experience can inform managing your personal finances.

  1. Maintain integrity with yourself and others

The military promotes a culture of integrity and honesty. Service members must take accountability for their actions and not lie to protect the lives of fellow soldiers and civilians.

After service, veterans can carry the same values forward for smart money management by taking an honest assessment of their debts and savings, not overspending, and curbing bad habits. Confronting debt can be difficult but being honest about what you owe is the first step toward overcoming spending habits that are adverse to your financial well being.

  1. Take responsibility

While many people may be inclined to put off managing their finances, the military value of taking personal responsibility can be channeled to put an effective plan in place and pay off any outstanding credit card debt, old bills, or personal loan debt. Having the discipline and wherewithal to confront financial challenges head-on is one quality that can pay dividends in your financial future.

  1. Making Sacrifices

Service members often work in uncomfortable situations for long periods of time, enduring a short-term sacrifice as part of their duty. Regarding money management, military personnel can apply the same principle of sacrificing comfort in the short term for the greater good later on.

Whether it’s making do with an old clunker or passing up pricey restaurant meals and cooking in, sacrificing the luxuries of today can boost short-term savings and enable you to fulfill financial goals like repaying a debt or saving enough for a downpayment on a home.

  1. Prioritize tasks

Military leaders analyze, prioritize, and plan. They know that rushing into a task or trying to multitask can backfire by spreading the attention too thin. If you feel overwhelmed about your financial situation or unsure which debt to pay down first, you can fall back on military training and make a plan. Prioritizing tasks keeps you on track, helps you measure progress toward a goal, and helps you maintain control of your money.

  1. Delegate when necessary

Military men and women work as part of a team, and there’s no reason not to take the teamwork approach with your personal finances. A financial adviser, accountant, investment planner, and others can help you make the most of your money, so that you can provide for your family and save for your dreams.

  1. Stay resolved and stay the course

The grit and persistence that enabled you to make it through basic training can be used to develop superior money management skills. If you’re trying to change your relationship with your money or get on top of debts, the resolve you honed in the military can help you stay strong even when unanticipated obstacles get in the way.

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