MAY 20, 2022 – When you were on active duty, money might not have been a huge issue. You lived on base, ate at the mess hall, and didn’t have any outstanding debt. Life was far different than what you lived prior to entering the service. But now that your time in the military is ending, getting back to living like a civilian might feel strange. In fact, you might feel like setting up your finances out of the service is daunting. After all, you’ll no longer have the security of the military keeping everything in check. If you’re close to being discharged, now’s the time to start preparing for life as a civilian, and that includes getting your finances in order. Below are four tips to make transitioning back to being a civilian easier.
Create a Financial Plan
One of the hardest things about going from soldier to living everyday life is financial planning. For this reason, you need to create a financial plan before you’re discharged. The best way to do this by tabulating your current expenses and then factoring in what you know you’ll have to pay. If you’re paying on student loans, you might want to consider refinancing to lower your payment. Utilizing NaviRefi student loan refinancing can reduce your monthly payment and the interest rate as well. This will be particularly helpful if you’re not receiving benefits upon discharge. You should also account for housing, clothing costs, and regular living expenses. If you served for a long time, you’ll probably be receiving monthly benefits, which can help you get back on your feet. If not, you do need to have a solid strategy in place to make the transition as smooth as possible.
Perform a Job Search
If you don’t have a job lined up already, you need to start looking now. Depending on your skillset, you may find work in a variety of roles, on and off base. A lot of previous active-duty members are able to find gainful employment in the same sector they are working in previously. Many of them are also able to work at the same military base as well.
If you were serving overseas, you might have lost touch with friends. Now’s the time to reconnect and build a strong support system. You can also consider joining meet-up groups to meet other veterans as well. It can make entering society feel less jarring when you have people to connect with.
If you plan on returning to your family home, then you’re already one step ahead. However, if you need to find a place, it’s best to look for one that’s a bit under what you can afford. Lower rent will ease the burden of paying for housing while you get used to living outside the military. Keep in mind that there are a lot of apartment complexes that offer reduced rent for active personnel and retired veterans. In addition, you can also join groups that revolve around your favorite hobbies, like cycling, running, art or music. The goal is to build a strong network of friends you can rely on once you’re on your own.