When I joined the military, I opened my first bank account. This was shortly after I turned 18.
But I didn’t make my first unsupported financial decisions until I was 26, when I ultimately got out. Transitioned into an economy that would experience the great recession not long after.
It really is true. The United States military will give you everything you need to live. From the roof over your head to the underwear you put on each morning, it’s all there.
But this does put separating soldiers at a disadvantage when they’re entering into civilian life. A lot of us haven’t figured out how to manage our money effectively.
Don’t think so? Look at us when we get back from deployments. Barracks rooms bear more of a resemblance to Best Buy than anything. And the parking lots are full of vehicles purchased with high interest loans.
That needs to change. We need to make sure our veterans know what a successful modern budget looks like.
Not just that. They also need to know how much their work is worth.
That is a pitfall I personally experienced many times. Even recently as I struggled with my own business.
If you’re not sure about the absolute value of the dollar, then everything else will be off. You’ll be overcharging or undercharging on your services and products. You won’t be able to identify the truly valuable opportunities that come your way.
You’ll accept lower paying positions. You’ll overpay for things that aren’t really worth it.
It’s a tough draw for sure. That’s why we need to be prepared.
And there are predatory services actively hunt vets for that very purpose.
Which is why we have to do right by them and make sure they’re prepared when they leave the service.
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