1. Debt Reduction:
Pay off your credit cards. Any chance you get to pay off or at least pay down expensive revolving credit debt is a smart move. And if you are experiencing a financial crisis and need further assistance, such as credit counseling, or debt settlement, please contact The National Foundation for Credit Counseling. This organization promotes the national agenda for financially responsible behavior and builds capacity for its Members to deliver the highest quality financial education and counseling services. NFCC will identify a local credit counseling agency that will provide in-person and/or online counseling. Call 1-800-388-2227 to speak to a counselor near you.
2. Plan for the Long-Term:
Start a retirement account! Whether it's a tax-deferred traditional IRA or a tax-free Roth account, either way the money will help afford the cost of living during retirement. The sooner you put money into an account, the sooner it will start compounding.
3. Plan for the Unknown:
Open an emergency savings account. This account could be a lifesaver if your car or major appliance breaks down. With even a little cash stashed away, you can cover unexpected expenses without having to resort to overburdening your charge card.
4. Enhance Your Education:
The GI Bill waves tuition, fees, a monthly housing allowance, books and supplies for military servicemen and women at Massachusetts state colleges and universities. Be aware that if you are on active duty you will not receive books & supplies stipend and if you are enrolled exclusively in online training you will not receive the housing allowance. Books, supplies, or housing are some of the best ways to allocate your Veteran's Bonus.
5. Contact Your Local Veteran's Administration Office to learn more:
Do you receive the veteran benefits and opportunities that apply to you? Make sure you fully understand your benefits and take advantage of them. Don't be afraid to ask questions and think outside of the box when it comes to utilizing benefits - and even access the benefit estimator.
Just a few examples of opportunities for veterans that may be available to you:
- Educational Benefits: Learn more about education grants, bills, waivers, and discounts. Be sure to access the Student Checklist, for using the GI Bill and Post-9/11 GI Bill. This list was created by the VA .
- The Coming Home to Work (CHTW) Program: This program is a Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment's (VR&E's) primary early intervention and outreach program. The goal of CHTW is to provide rehabilitation services to VR&E eligible service members pending medical separation and veterans receiving treatment at Community Based Health Care Organizations and VA medical treatment facilities. Other great job related resources for veterans are available at: http://vetsuccess.gov/jobs