Preparing to transition to a fulfilling career and civilian life after being deployed can be an adjustment for veterans. Those who have served in the military may feel as though no one understands them. They may have financial woes. Securing a job and getting used to life at home can be easier with the following financial tips for veterans.
Look to the Internet as a Resource
You have probably updated your resume as you are preparing to transition to civilian life, but are you active online? You can get many financial tips on the internet that can help you with the transition to civilian life.
Social media is an ideal way to network if you use it wisely. Refrain from posting unprofessional content on Facebook and Instagram. Create profiles on websites that offer job boards, such as VetJobs and LinkedIn. Reach out to friends and family members who work in fields in which you may be interested. You can even ask friends and colleagues online for financial tips.
Take Advantage of Your Resources
Veterans get discounts that civilians do not have access to. For example, Linked In provides free year-long Premium Career memberships for veterans. These let you contact professionals who are not in your network. It also offers other useful job-hunting tools.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs also has a list of veterans employment resources for people who are preparing to transition out of the armed forces.
One of the best financial tips is to investigate a VA loan if you are buying a house. VA loans offer loans with no money down and competitive interest rates. They also usually feature lower closing costs than conventional loans do.
The VA also provides financial tips and legal counseling. These financial tips can help you get settled once you return home.
Examine Your Budget
Many veterans feel like they are floundering financially while they are preparing to transition to civilian life. When you get a job, make sure you budget for the total that you will take home after taxes. You might need to reduce your expenses to feel comfortable.
Some areas in which you can cut back include:
Reducing insurance coverage that you do not need
Shopping around for car and home insurance
Canceling your TV service
Making coffee at home instead of buying it at the coffee shop
You might even want to start investing. There are many apps that allow you to invest with as little as $5. If you invest $5 a week, you will not notice the money leaving your bank account. But it will compound, and you will create a nice savings.
An emergency fund will also help you feel secure even after you are preparing to transition to life at home. Aim to accrue at least six months’ worth of living expenses. Set up automatic transfers to your savings account so that you do not make excuses and spend the money.
Consider Your Education Options
You might want to consider going back to school while preparing to transition to civilian life. The Post-911 GI Bill offers up to 36 months of compensation for attending a public institution of higher learning in your state.
If you have children, you can use your GI Bill benefits to support their education. You can also transfer your GI Bill education benefits to your spouse.
Preparing to transition to civilian life is not always easy or comfortable if you are used to being in the military. These financial tips can help you feel more secure, relieve stress, and allow you ease back into civilian life seamlessly.