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Congratulations on completing your service in the military! Now that you’re returning to civilian life, you might feel overwhelmed by the prospect of transitioning back into “normal“ life. The transition can be challenging and intimidating, especially when it comes to managing your finances and building a promising future. VeteransPlus has provided some practical advice to help you keep your finances in order as a new veteran:
Take Advantage of Veterans Benefits for College
Veterans have access to a wealth of college benefits, and if you want to further your education, learning about these benefits should be a top priority. Education benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) can help cover tuition, books, housing, and more as you work toward obtaining a degree or certificate. Visit the VA website or the nearest VA office to learn more about the resources available to you.
Create an Outstanding Resume
When it comes time to start applying for jobs, you’ll want an outstanding resume in hand. Using an online template can give you an edge over other jobseekers and help ensure that your qualifications and skills shine when employers review resumes.
There are plenty of free templates available online (give this a try). Just make sure you customize it so that it reflects who you are as an individual and highlights your unique skill set.
Start a Business in Something You're Passionate About
Many veterans feel drawn back toward military service because they miss the camaraderie they felt while serving with their fellow soldiers. If this resonates with you, consider starting a business — whether it’s selling niche products online or offering services like landscaping or painting — where you can share those same types of experiences with others who might have served in the military.
When you launch a business doing something you’re passionate about, chances are it won’t feel like work at all! Just be sure to set yourself up on a solid legal footing. An LLC offers an excellent way to protect your personal assets when running a company. It’s also simple to set up and maintain.
When creating this type of company, remember to follow local regulations and laws, and register your business with the appropriate government agencies. Using a formation service can save you time while giving you less to worry about!
Tackle Your Debt
One of the scariest things about leaving active duty is coming face-to-face with any debt accrued during your time of service. Instead of getting overwhelmed, find strategies to tackle your debt quickly and efficiently without causing yourself too much stress.
For example, you could use credit counseling services or sign up for automatic payments to ensure your debt payments are made each month. That way, you won’t have to worry about forgetfulness or a lack of funds putting you further in the hole.
Whatever you do, don’t ignore your debt. If left unresolved, it can lead to serious repercussions down the line, such as lower credit scores and difficulty finding employment opportunities.
Make a Monthly Budget You Can Live With
Finally, leading a fruitful financial life requires you to maintain a sensible budget. Creating a budget isn’t always fun, but it’s crucial to achieving financial freedom in civilian life. Start by tracking expenses over one month using only cash; this will give you an accurate picture of how much (and where) money is coming in versus going out.
Transitioning back into civilian life after serving can be intimidating, but arming yourself with financial management strategies will leave you with nothing else to fear! Remember to research the benefits available, brainstorm career and business ideas, create a stellar resume, develop a budget that works for you, and implement the other tips in this guide. You’ll taste financial freedom and come across exciting opportunities in no time!
Would you like to read more helpful content or learn about our veterans programs, benefits, and projects? Visit VeteransPlus.org today!
By: Jenna Sherman
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