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Budgeting :

Living on military pay can be challenging, but just with every other challenge families face in service to our country, this one can be met and overcome! Our country is working each year to eliminate pay gaps and increase benefits, but it is important to manage what is available now.

One of the biggest causes of marital strife is money, or the lack there of. Having over due bills and creditors hounding you can really put a wrinkle in married life.

Learning to spend wisely is not hard, it just takes a lot of practice.

By having good spending practices ourselves we also show our kids how to be good stewards over what they have too.

ONLINE BUDGETING TOOLS

Military Assistance Program $$$ Checkup

As U. S. consumer debt nears ONE TRILLION DOLLARS, plenty of people are out of financial control. We hope you're in solid financial shape, but maybe you're not sure. Here's a way to find out. The $$$ Checkup Station tells it like it is.

Directions: Answer all questions honestly, one answer per question. Automatic scoring will still work if you leave questions blank, but the result will be less useful.

Important: Your checkup is 100 percent confidential. Guaranteed. The results are between you, our software (which remembers nothing about you) and your bank accounts.

So take the plunge -- you have nothing to lose and a lot to gain -- maybe even the financial catbird seat! Check UP Now!

Know Your Income!

To estimate spendable monthly income, the key is the box marked EOM

Military pay is complex. Your gross pay before taxes and mandatory allotments can be found in the Military Pay Tables. However, you need to combine the regular pay you find there with any special pays, incentive pays and allowances that you receive to get to your total gross income. Ask your family center personal financial manager or base pay and finance office for help if you're not sure how to do this.

Know What you Spend

Set up your budget categories in a log book that has several columns. Use months as the column headings. It's best to use the budget categories provided in the Household Budget Calculator. This will allow you to build alternate budget scenarios on that calculator later.

Track your daily spending for one complete month. Every day, enter your actual spending in each category. Families should do this together! At the end of the month, add up your spending for each category.

For "occasional spend" categories such as vacations, insurance premiums and taxes in which you listed no spending that month, estimate your annual spending and divide by 12 to estimate what you need to set aside each month.

Visit The Military Family Network™ Forums for Tips on Spending Less and Saving MORE! http://www.emilitary.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=908

TAKE THIS MSN MONEY QUIZ TO SEE IF YOU MAY BENEFIT FROM BETTER BUDGETING:
http://moneycentral.msn.com/investor/calcs/n_spend/main.asp

CREDIT PROTECTION FACTS FROM FTC (WITH FAIR CREDIT PROTECTION ACT)
http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/credit/crdright.htm

BETTER BUDGETING TOOLS ONLINE
http://www.betterbudgeting.com/budgetingtools.htm


HINT FROM EMILITARY USER:

Here is something that works for me... I take large envelopes, size 12 or 14 and draw lines across the front length wise... write all my payments down... biggest first, then down the list.

I mark amount, date due, and leave a place for checking off what date it was paid.

Example:


Feb 2003 (always mark the month and year)
Bill name amount due paid date
House pmt 345.00 15th 02/12/03
Truck pmt 234.00 5th 02/02/03

If you do this every month, you can get a very good idea of what bills are paid on time, and what you have left to pay.

 

 

 

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