Big Money Lessons for Military Families

From the first sign that you may be shipping out, a soldier needs to prepare mentally, emotionally and financially.

My sister, Zulma Sanclemente-Youngs, is Rank Sergeant for the 230 Sustainment Brigade in Tennessee for the U.S. Army National Guard. Since Zulma served overseas in 2007, she gave me these pre-deployment tips for soldiers and their families.

Check out these 10 basic to-dos for getting your finances and life in order prior to deployment, which were reviewed by the Tennessee Military Department of Joint Public Affairs.

1. Saving is the name of the combat game.

Preserving a bit of the money from the military paycheck will help to deal with rainy days. “Biggest thing in finances is to save money and get everything prepared,” advises Zulma. Taking a small part of your paycheck and placing it in a separate bank account, while using the rest to pay bills, will assist in unexpected situations when returning from deployment. “When we came home, gas was outrageous … luckily we had plenty of savings to get us prepared,” Zulma said.

2. Know who is caring for your kids and your finances.

Take the time to find the right person to look after your children and take charge of your finances. “Get legal advice to figure out who has power of attorney to take care of your kids and someone that you trust,” Zulma said. Also, make sure it is someone that you trust 100% because they will have the authorization to act on your behalf in legal and business matters. “They are basically taking your place temporarily, not permanently until you come home,” Zulma said.

3. Introduce your power of attorney to EVERYONE.

Take time to introduce your POA to all you know. “Physically bring the person who is going to be in charge of your kids and finance and introduce them to everyone and also your creditors,” instructs Zulma. You want to make sure your lawyer, doctors, mechanic, accountant, friends and family personally meet the man or woman who will temporarily step into your shoes to assuage doubt and to give your loved ones advance notice.

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