Evolve Money Benefits for Military

The U.S government continues to draw down troops from Afghanistan. In January there were about 37,500 troops in the country, with the government planning for only 10,000 to remain after the year is up. [1] This means that thousands of military personnel may reenter the workforce. In light of Memorial Day, we’re bringing you four smart ways to get on top of your finances when returning home.

Reentering the Workforce

There are different options for gaining an income source once you return home. Perhaps you have solid skills that make you an asset in the work force immediately. Perhaps you would like to set up shop on your own by becoming an entrepreneur. You might also choose to hold a full time job while having a gig on the side to bring in extra money. However you go about seeking income, set aside a time each day to pursue your goal. Even if you don’t plan on leaving the house on a particular day, it’s still a good idea to wake up and prepare for the day as if you were already employed. Check your branch’s Transition GPS program for assistance. [2] There are also plenty of employment resources at military.com. You will also want to research the web for veteran’s job boards and for companies with a reputation for hiring vets.

Get Your Bills In Order

It’s important to make sure that your bills get paid on time each month, and to get caught up on any outstanding balances you owe. Setting up automatic or online bill pay is a great way for you to manage finances.  If you have a spouse or loved one at home overlooking your important day-to-day finances, you should ensure that everything is paid to date as you prepare to return home. You should also make sure that you’re taking advantage of every opportunity to save money on your bills. Some providers have discounts specifically for military veterans. [3] Many utility providers also have discounts and plans for those experiencing financial hardship. [4]

It is also important to make sure that paying off debts is a priority when returning home. The Service Members Civil Relief Act (SCRA) allows active duty and deployed service members to postpone financial payments on leases, mortgages, and even outstanding credit card debts. [5] If you have taken advantage of this benefit for your time in active service, it is important to start preparing to pay back debts 30 to 90 days after your discharge date.

Take Advantage of Discounts

Veterans can get discounts on more than just your utility bills. Military discounts can help you save money in a variety of ways, including on gasoline, groceries, and medications. If you frequent stores like Costco, Walgreens, and CVS pharmacy, ask them for discounts and benefits they offer to military veterans. [6]

Consider a House Purchase

If you’re ready to purchase a home, then consider using a VA (Veteran’s Assistance) home loan. With a VA home loan, you can purchase a home with no down payment. The builder issues a warranty for the house for up to one year, and you don’t have to pay for any of the required building inspections. Even if you’ve used a VA home loan before, you may still have “remaining entitlement” to use another loan. See Military.com’s FAQ on VA Home Loans for more information. [7]

Arranging your financial life is one of the most challenging parts of returning home. With smart planning and the skills you’ve learned on active duty you can find yourself working towards an even better financial situation than when you first entered the service.

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