(NewsUSA) - Given the unique challenges and frequent unpredictability of a military lifestyle, financial planning is especially valuable and necessary for military families. There are several opportunities for military families to reach their financial and savings goals, such as low-cost investments, loans, insurance and legal protection.
Applying the same mission mindset to managing finances that you bring to managing your military career can be especially helpful, says Steve Repak, CFP,® an Army veteran who went on to a career as a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional after 12 years of military service.
"If I had done a little planning and executed on what might have been a slightly painful budget when I first joined the military, I wouldn't have been left with so much credit card debt," he acknowledges.
To make the most of your finances, plan a strategy for saving and investment just as you would plan a military maneuver. Here are a few helpful tips to help you reach your financial planning goals:
* Identify your goal. First, identify where you are and where you want to be -- then outline the steps to get there. Start by figuring out your monthly income and expenses, and create a budget with how much you want to have in savings each month. Put a plan in place to reduce or eliminate spending to meet your goal.
* Turn to your team. Military families can consult a range of resources for help in developing a financial plan, including Army Community Services (ACS) for Army personnel. In addition, a CFP® professional can help clarify financial goals and objectives and offer strategies for meet`ing them.
* Be determined and take action. What you know about financial planning is less important than what you do about it, Repak says. Adopt a "war fighting spirit," and do what is necessary to accomplish your mission. Whether it is saving money, reducing debt or building wealth for retirement, taking specific steps for money management now will pay off with financial freedom in the future.
Visit LetsMakeAPlan.org for more advice and tips to help military families meet their financial goals.