Are your finances ready for your next deployment? If you have all your business affairs in order, then you will have less stress on your next deployment because you won’t be worried about the things you didn’t get done. The items on the checklists from our last blog and from this week will make all the difference in minimizing stress not only for yourself, but for your loved ones as well.
- Budget – If you are married, then set up a budget with your spouse that can be used throughout your deployment. Make sure they know when bills are due and how much is owed for regular payments. If you email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and request the “Sixty Minute Money Workout” we will send you a free guide that can help you set up your budget with your spouse or a “money buddy” so that you can establish a budget and discuss financial matters with your mate without arguing. Mint.com has an excellent budgeting app and there’s an interactive, free budgeting tool at elliekay.com as well.
- Will including a Living Will or advanced medical directive. Don’t get so busy that you rely on the laws of the state for which you have residence to administer your estate. Instead, make sure you have a will that not only includes who will have control over your financial assets, but also include where you would like to be buried and if you want cremation or not. We once lost a pilot in a routine training accident in our squadron. His wife was left with a six week old baby girl and she had to face his parents who insisted he be buried in their hometown while she had other ideas of what he wanted. The more specific you are, then less headache your family will have when they are already dealing with tremendous loss.
- Accounts and Auto Pay Bills – List all accounts (credit card, car, utilities) and any passwords or acct numbers for the person taking care of your bills. If possible, set up these accounts to pay automatically so that you are not late on them and won’t get a hit on your FICO (credit score).
- Legal Documents – Gather all legal documents such as birth and marriage certificates, deeds, mortgages and automobile titles and put them in one central location so that they are easily accessed by your spouse.
- Meet with Personal Financial Manager (PFM) from the installation family centers or through MFLC (Military Family Life Counselors) or Military OneSource.com to go over any other financial issues that need to be settled before you deploy.
- Emergency Financial Assistance In the event the family may need assistance while the servicemember is deployed, it saves time and headache to take care of this ahead of time. You can pre-Authorize assistance by going to: http://www.nmcrs.org (Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society).
Whether you are single or married, it’s important to check off the above items to make sure you are financially ready for deployment. Thank you for your service and a special thanks to those family members who support you as well!