Working in the military is a privilege and an honor, but managing your money can be a nightmare. With all of the different expenses you have to take care of there are some different approaches that can help. If you are married and have two incomes, you may at some point decide to try to make a go of it on one income. Here are some ideas that may help you make your financial dollar stretch further.
Variable Savings- Look at what your income that you have and compare it with your overall goals of financial expenses. If you fall short, then take another look at your financial plan, and try to make things match up. If you are attempting to make a go of it on one income, you can eliminate a lot of things that only really apply for two income budgets. For example:
-Commuting and vehicle expenses for two.
-Business and job related lunches, and meals.
-Child Care expenses.
-Wardrobe and professional clothing.
There are other examples, these are just a few.
If you are living on base you wont have to set aside housing funds. Are you willing to part with certain things that may help you meet your goals? You might have to think about parting with your prize Harley Davidson motorcycle in order to catch up and say ahead financially. There is no one size good for all decisions on working toward half price living.
Assess Income- Grab a paper and a pencil. Write down three columns, and list all your expenses for the month. In the first area, write down all income sources, including dividends, interest, salary, and allotments. In the second area, write down the dollar amount of each type of income. In the third area put a heading of “Varies-Yes/No,” and put down a yes or no regarding if the income varies. Examples of variable income may be tips or commissions.
When you are all done add up all three areas separately. The total for the second area is your basic monthly income.
Determine Assets- Think of things you can live without. Most people do not have to change their car, or home. But if you own a rare corvette, and you are struggling you might reexamine your assets including possessions of high value. Take a hard look at all your possessions, cars, boats, RV’s jewelry, as well as any accounts you have.
Make Final Budget- After looking at some of these areas, make a final budget. You may want to seek financial assistance from a financial counselor or banker. But once you make a budget, you should do your best to stick to it.