Military Families: 3 Financial Challenges All Service members Face

by Mike on October 22, 2016

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Service members from all sectors of the military are reasonably well paid. But let’s face it, for what they do, it isn’t a lot. And, there are still many financial challenges for them to deal with. The constant change and uprooting is a major issue, of course. It leaves little room for maneuver, and often, the family finances will bear the brunt. Here are some of the most critical financial issue you will face while serving – and how to deal with them.

Credit Card Debt

Let’s start with something that many military families experience: credit card debt. A study in 2010 revealed that more than one in four service members owed more than $10,000 on credit cards. When compared to private credit card debt, it’s over 10% more. It’s a significant figure. When you combine it with the fact that over a third of military families struggle with monthly bills, a worrying one. The problem might be something to do with the fact that military families don’t want their colleagues knowing they are struggling. There is debt counseling available, of course, but many will avoid it for fear of their commanding officers finding out. However, service members who are struggling should seek out help. There are many nonprofit programs that are available for military families. Getting back on track is critical, as debt problems will severely impact your family. You don’t want that on your mind when you are away on active duty.


Money Management

Long distance money management is also a big issue for military members. While the Internet has made it easy to transfer money from abroad, many countries still have a lot of restrictions. There can be delays, which could spell trouble when family members are desperate for money. When you are short on cash, what can you do in an emergency situation? According to Omni Financial, military loans are available to anyone that is serving in the army, navy, air force, marines or coast guard. You can use them for anything, from emergency repairs to medical bills. However, bear in mind that depending on your credit rating, loans of any kind may be expensive and hard to pay back. It is always advisable to pay these loans off as quick as possible before more debt issues arise.

Moving Home

There are no other careers where you will move quite so much as the military. And you have to understand that wherever you are in the world, you will always get the same wage. It means that one minute your families could be living like royalty in a developing country. But, the next, you could be based in one for the most expensive cities in the world. The costs of living aren’t the only problem, either. Your spouse may find it hard to find job after job with every move. And then there are the costs of buying homes every couple of years. In most cases, you are better off renting, unless you know for a fact you will be stationed in the same place for at least five years.


We hope this has highlighted some of the common financial issues for military families. There is help out there, however, and if you are struggling it is vital that you access it.


***Image thanks to DVIDSHUB***

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