How to Manage Your Finances When a Loved One is Deployed
November 10, 2017
By Colin OShea
SNB Securities Analyst
As a veteran, I know my loved ones have experienced firsthand the unique and inevitable challenges faced by many military families today.
When service members are deployed, in particular, we often think of their individual sacrifices (and rightly so). But we also shouldn't forget the loved ones they leave at home, who must manage daily life, work, school, parenting and the household while juggling the other stresses that come with military life.
That’s why, during the month of November — Military Family Month — we’ve come up with a few tips to help military families protect their finances while their loved ones are off protecting us.
Here are some helpful strategies for military families to manage their finances when a loved one is deployed:
1. Set a budget
Living within your means is vital to any successful financial plan. By setting a budget, you can track your expenses and have a better understanding of what you can afford month to month. This information can then be used to make responsible financial choices.
2. Know your options
Have you heard of the Service Members Civil Relief Act (SCRA)? It's a law that provides protections for service members who are called to active duty, including:
- Reduced interest rate on mortgage payments.
- Reduced interest rate on credit card debt
- Protection from eviction if rent is $1,200 or less
- Delay of all civil court actions (bankruptcy, foreclosure, divorce proceedings, etc.)
If you’re loved on is deployed, you are eligible for these benefits and more. For more information, visit the SCRA website or contact Security National Bank.
3. Use direct deposit & mobile banking.
Direct deposit is the quickest and easiest way to receive your paycheck, regardless of your profession. But it’s especially important for military families, because no matter where around the world you are deployed, you and your family will have easier access and control of funds. To set up direct deposit with SNB, set up an appointment with a personal banker today.
Along the same lines, military families should take advantage modern features involved with mobile and online banking, including mobile deposits (deposit your check from anywhere, with your smartphone), online bill pay and the ability to check or transfer funds from anywhere using the SNB Mobile App.
4. Have an Income Tax Game Plan.
If you will be deployed when taxes are due, you will want to plan ahead to decide how and who will file your income taxes, and how you will do it. You might also wish to file for an extension through the IRS.
5. Use special pay wisely.
Those serving in the military often receive special pay or tax exemptions for the dangerous situations in which they are placed while serving overseas. Rather than using these funds to make a big purchase, consider using them to give your retirement savings a boost or paying off a large debt. Adding these funds to your retirement savings will allow that account to grow faster. Paying off a debt you’re carrying will eventually free up those funds to be used elsewhere on a monthly basis.
6. Ask for help.
Every branch of the military has a financial relief organization. If times get tough, make sure you consult one of these organizations for help. You can also make an appointment with a financial planner either through your military branch, or through Security National Bank. Our professionals at SNB are always available to help you evaluate your unique circumstances and come up with a financial plan that is easy to manage.
And to all military service members and their families: we thank you.
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