Make Ends Meet: Financial tips for veterans ahead of Veterans Day
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - As we recognize our nation’s military this Veterans Day, the reality is that many veterans are struggling to make ends meet.
Financial issues rank among the most stressful lifestyle concerns for active-duty service members, veterans, and their families
First, lack of savings. A survey found that half of military families do not have enough money save in an emergency fund to cover three months living expenses.
Financial expert Jeff Sheppard from the Family Wealth Group said an easy way to get started is to set up an automatic transfer from your paycheck to your emergency fund, even if it’s just $20. An emergency fund should have enough cash to cover three to six months of living expenses.
Credit card debt is also an issue. 58 percent of service members carry twice as much credit card debt compared to the general population.
Sheppard said organize your debt by the amount you owe and tackle your smallest balance first. Dedicate any extra money from deployment or bonuses to paying off your debt.
“The balance of saving money, paying off debt, contributing to a work plan, not living above your means, are all simple fundamentals that work,” Sheppard said. “If we don’t follow those fundamentals we get into a mess.”
Also, there are many scams targeting vets. Watch out for scammers who offer cash for their future disability or pension payouts. People will try to steal a veteran’s identity by calling and pretending to the be the VA.
Veterans and active-duty military can always speak to a financial professional who works with service members. It’s also important to look for organizations designed to connect veterans with the resources they need.
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