Taking control of your finances can be trying for anyone, but for struggling veterans, this issue may feel impossible to tackle. Luckily, there are lots of resources available, and the Purple Heart Foundation prides itself on helping military veterans and recognizing the sacrifices they’ve made. We would like to extend some information on how veterans can take control of their own finances on an individual basis.
- Check Your Credit Score
Credit scores may not be the first thing on your mind when checking your bank accounts, but they are an extremely important tool that is needed when making big-ticket purchases. For example, buying a home will require a credit score check before you are able to take out a loan. Although VA loans offer flexibility to veterans, it’s still a great idea to first understand what credit score is needed to buy a home. Checking your credit score is free and won’t impact your credit. Plus, just this small step will allow you to gain a clearer picture of your financial situation.
- Have a Plan to Pay Off Your Debts
Anyone struggling with debt understands the burden it can have. However, it’s crucial that big and small debts alike come with a plan for paying them off. Some of the more important factors to consider when creating a debt payoff plan that financial experts recommend is to include what your baseline budget will be and how much you’re going to allocate each month toward your debt payoff. Having an idea of how you’re going to pay your debts on time and eventually living debt free will be a huge weight off your shoulders and allow you more flexibility in your finances.
- Cancel Unnecessary Subscriptions and Limit Overspending
Overspending is a common problem for many. There’s a reason such a thing as “retail therapy” exists! But that joy from buying a fancy back scratcher will quickly fade once you do the math on how much these unnecessary wants are costing you. Ways to combat emotional spending may include window shopping instead of buying so you can learn to understand what triggers your desire to overspend. Even taking a look at your monthly subscriptions, such as streaming services, and cutting back on those can help you increase your budget and improve your ability to meet long-term financial goals.
- Save Up Toward Retirement
Lastly, retirement should be a huge consideration and part of your overall financial plan. Whether it’s through a 401(k) plan or savings account, having money set aside specifically for your retirement is a great way to start. Consider also speaking with a financial advisor to see exactly how much you and your family should save up to retire, and what your individual options are.
Taking control of your finances is no small task, and with the COVID-19 pandemic, this task may become that much more difficult. The Purple Heart Foundation is committed to helping veterans in whatever way possible, so we hope these steps will help you take control of your finances. If you would like to help veterans who are struggling financially, please be sure to check out our Veterans Critical Assistance Grant and make a donation today. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of our nation’s veterans.