Whether you have moved into a civilian career and lost your military benefits, or you have retired from service and are now looking to enjoy a relaxed pace of life, money challenges can certainly crop up. Statistics suggest that more than half of veterans feels that they would not be able to deal with a financial emergency.
Here’s how to ensure that you’re in a better position when those challenges come along.
Live on a budget
When you get that new job after leaving the military, your first paycheque can come as a bit of a surprise. This is because losing your tax benefits may mean that you are earning a lot less than you thought you would be. You might need to calculate your earnings before you take a job just to be sure.
When that wage hit does come, make sure that you start living to a budget. Set out what you need for expenses such as rent and bills, take a cut to be put into your savings, and only spend what is left. This will help you to build up something of a nest egg ready for when challenges come up.
Make money from your space
If you have spare room in your home or on your property, you can certainly make use of it. You could rent out a spare room, garage, shed, or any kind of space that you might not personally be using. You can use a site like Spacer to list your space and then see who might be interested in renting it.
You can approve or deny any requests, so you can see who will be renting ahead of time. This gives you peace of mind as well as a bit of extra income.
When it comes to your expenses, you may want to shop around. Haggle with your utilities suppliers: if they think that you are going to switch, they might offer you a better deal. You should also consider going for non-veteran policies in areas such as life insurance.
It can be tempting to go straight for the vet deals whenever you see them, but do your research. You could end up paying less if you go in as a civilian.
Go to college
One of the big challenges stopping veterans from getting a good job once they leave the military is that many don’t have enough of an education. A lot of soldiers might go into training right out of high school, leaving them without a college degree.
While a lot of your experience in service will be useful to your resume, it might not translate to the kind of jobs you want to take. If you find yourself unable to get a job that pays better than the minimum, look for college scholarships and funding programs for veterans.
You could find yourself a better education and get a chance at a high-paid career by getting those extra qualifications.
Sell your skills
Finally, if you don’t make enough money from your main source of income or you are retired, you can consider taking on a side gig. This is a part-time or occasional way to earn extra money. You could use some of the skills that you do have to get the income you need.
This could be engineering or mechanic skills, manual labour, or even helping out fellow veterans who are just leaving service and need help getting back on their feet.
There’s always a way to make a little extra income, so don’t panic. Sit down, assess your options, and tackle your money challenges head on.