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Financial Checklist: 4 Things To do When Your Spouse Dies

When going through a traumatic situation like the death of a spouse, what's one thing you should do financially that can help you control your financial situation?  To help you control your financial situation when your spouse dies, we asked financial coaches and business professionals this question for their best advice. From freezing unnecessary spending to creating and sticking to a budget, there are several pieces of advice that may help you take the right steps to secure your finances when you lose your spouse. Here are four things to do financially when your spouse dies: Freeze Unnecessary Spending Check Obligations and Deadlines Take Inventory of All Assets Right Away Create and Stick To a Budget Freeze Unnecessary Spending Ideally, before you experience an emergency or traumatic situation, you would have taken steps to build an emergency fund that covers 3 to 6 months of expenses. Unfortunately, for many, these preparations are not in place. If you find yourself unprepared

Tips to Help You Transition from Military to Civilian Life

When military veterans decide to transition into civilian life after five, ten, or twenty years, it can be a challenging or scary experience. Interviewing for a new position, managing your finances, and understanding healthcare benefits can be an experience you haven't considered for a long time. I've compiled tried and true tips that can be helpful for you as you transition to your new normal. How do I prepare for civilian job-seeking? When preparing for civilian job seeking, you should first determine what career path you want. You must decide if you're going to continue with your current military job field or if you're going to transition to a new career path. Once you decide on your future career path, you can start building a resume geared toward your future career choice. When crafting your resume, it's important to translate your military skills into civilian terms. To help you with this translation O*NET Online has a military skills translator that can guid

6 Ways Military Families Can Protect Their Financial Well-Being

Military families face unique financial challenges when leaving the service, deploying, and constantly relocating. What's one thing military families can do to maintain or gain financial stability? To help military families maintain financial stability, we asked financial coaches and veteran welfare managers this question for their best ideas. From knowing how to budget their pay to developing several passive income streams, there are several things military families can do to help ensure financial well-being in and out of active service. Here are six ways military families can protect their financial well-being: Save by Living Below Allocated Budget Display Your Veteran Status On Social Media To Be Hired Establish An Emergency Savings Account Learn How To Budget Their Pay Use The Government-Sponsored Thrift Savings Plan Develop Several Passive Income Streams Save by Living Below Allocated Budget One thing military families can do to maintain financial stability is to create a budg

Military Life Lessons: Renters Insurance

Flood Damage In Military Housing On January 16, 2021, our washing machine flooded the first floor of our house at Camp Pendleton. Lincoln Military Housing, LMH, owns the home. The total amount to repair the damages caused by the water was $14,377.00. We had USAA renters insurance, but our flood damage to the house was not initially covered. Then, on May 27, LMH gave us two payment options. We could pay the total bill of over $14,000 within 30 days of turning the house over to them on Friday, May 28, 2021. If we didn't pay the full amount, they would send our bill to collections. We could start a payment plan, interest-free, with 25% due on Friday, May 28. If we didn't pay 25% on May 28, the payment plan option would be taken off the table, and the full amount would be due within 30 days of May 28. Again, we would be sent to collections if the bill was not paid. We didn't know how long the payment plan would go or what our final bill would be until we checked out on Friday,

How to Get Debt Relief While in the Military

When in the military, preserving and maintaining your credit can be difficult. It's even more challenging when you have predatory lenders who prey on military members. There are a few protections in place, like the Military Lending Act and the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), that can help you take control of your finances and get you out of extreme debt situations. Here are a few tips and options to help you and your family get credit card and debt relief.  How Bad Credit Can Affect Your Security Clearance A bad credit score can affect your chance of obtaining a security clearance. The military wants to know that you can handle your finances carefully while operating in an advanced position. In addition, when receiving a security clearance, you have access to protected information. If you are having trouble with your credit, individuals who want to gain access to protected information could use your debt as an end to their means. How can this happen? The bad guy could offer

I Got a Raise at Work, and I Bought Towels

Yep, you read that right. All of my bills were paid, and my mortgage was paid off, so I thought about how I could treat myself with the pay increase I had just received. Typically, the only place I spend money is at the hair salon, so I decided to upgrade my towels. Now, these aren't your regular towels. They are soft and plush luxury towels from Frontgate, and I love them! Photo by Sven Brandsma on Unsplash I Saved and Invested Some Too Now, I'm not going to lie. I did save and invest a considerable part of my increase. I increased my retirement contribution percentage to the maximum allowed and called my financial advisor to see how I could invest a little more of my income. That may sound a little scary in today's market, but I think it's the perfect time to invest. I'm just going to sit back and wait for the market to rebound.  A portion of the money I saved also went towards future unexpected expenses and the oh-so-fun travel trip with my husband. We love to

10 Fun and Cheap Family Activities for The Summer

What is one cheap family summer activity that won't cost a lot of money? To help you sample out some fun and cheap family activities for the summer, we asked parents and outdoor enthusiasts this question for their best ideas. From creating your own activities to nature walks and hikes, there are several fun activities you and your family can do this summer without breaking the bank.  Here are 10 cheap and fun family activities for the summer: Create Your Own Activities Homemade Playdough Backyard Scavenger Hunt Arcades and Gaming Centers Camping Fun at The Beach Museums and Parks Or Home Movie Nights Ice Cream Bike Tour Neighborhood Tennis Courts Nature Walks Or Hikes Create Your Own Activities Consider the following low-cost or no-cost events and activities for your own children or a group of friends who want to have fun and make memories without breaking the bank.  Make two boxes with index cards with activities printed on them, one for "outside" and one for "insid