Wednesday, March 26, 2014

How to Prepare Your Airmen to Exit the Air Force

It it an interesting time to be a member of the United States Air Force (AF).  The current Secretary of the AF (SECAF) has stated that the AF must cut as many as 25k Airmen in the next year and many programs have been enacted to achieve this goal.  I understand that this post is a little late with the news so I will not waste time discussing then many force reduction programs and how they work.  Instead, I will focus on how to prepare you Airmen for this drawdown.



1.  Get as much free tuition assistance while you still can!  The AF provides $4,500 in tuition assistance for a Bachelors, Masters, and one graduate certificate.

2.  Get started on your resume!  You need to look to the recent retirees or contractors in your office and get their advice on how to describe your military skills into verbiage that a potential human resources department can understand.

3.  Start a LinkedIn profile!  LinkedIn is the Facebook for the business world.  You account will be paired with your resume to give an employer a more complete look at your credentials.

4.  Learn how the contracting world works!  There are not as many GS and GG jobs as their used to be but someone will have to do the work of all of the Airmen who exit the force.  Learn how to properly apply and negotiate contracts so can hit the ground running.

5.  Build your network!  Your skill set can only help you if people know who you are.  You must build a strong network of contacts in order to get your name on an employers list.

Even if you are not eligible for any of the drawdown programs this year these tips can still help you prepare for another potential drawdown in years to come.  At the very least this post should give some you NCOs, SNCOs, and officers the tools to make sure your troops are ready for the civilian world.



Sunday, September 8, 2013

Financial Carnival for Young Adults

Below you will find a list of the latest financial blogs from around the web.

Emily @ Evolving Personal Finance writes Does Less Exposure to Commercials Translate to Fewer Wants? - I got a scary email last week about a pay decrease!

Alexis @ FITnancials writes My Updated Budget - I haven’t been doing my best at saving my money lately, and since the summer is over and the vacations are pretty much over as well, I am ready to get back on my A game and do my best.

Michelle @ Diversified Finances writes Life After I Leave My Job - A couple of weeks ago, I talked about all of the positives of working from home. I honestly cannot wait, and I think about my self-employment switch date all the time.

GMM @ Grad Money Matters writes How to Make Money as a Freelancer - Are you interested in becoming a freelancer? Maybe you want to work for yourself and not someone else anymore. Or, maybe you are looking for ways to make additional side income.

Michelle @ Making Sense of Cents writes Is A House Right For You? - It seems like a hot topic in the personal finance community is whether a person should rent or buy a home. What if you’re not sure if a house is even right for you? Maybe an apartment would be better? There are many factors to think about before you buy a home.

Roger Wohlner @ The Chicago Financial Planner writes Choosing A Financial Advisor? Ask These 6 Questions - Deciding to hire a financial advisor can be a tough decision for many investors. Once you make this decision, how do you go about finding the right advisor for you? Here are six questions to ask when choosing a financial advisor.

Emily Nolin @ www.emilynolin.com writes How Gift Cards Got Off My Shit List (Kind of) - Self explanatory (see title)

Minimalist @ Minimalist Finance writes Setting a Home Maintenance Budget - Setting a Home Maintenance Budget has been published on Minimalist FinanceFirst time home buyers don’t always consider all of the expenses of purchasing a home. In reality, it’s not just down payment and closing costs that can cost a lot of money, what happens after you sign those papers can also cost you a pretty penny.

MR @ Money Reasons writes Both Best and Worst Personal Financial Times This Year So Far - Oddly, I'm having both the best and worst of financial times this year from a cash flow perspective. Read why I'm in such an odd financial state of being!

Don @ MoneySmartGuides writes Making College Affordable - How can we make college affordable? The first step is to limit student loans. That might sound crazy but...

Eva Baker @ TeensGotCents writes Real Estate Careers - Shopping With Sarah - Sarah shares about her latest adventure. After reading, you may want to check out real estate careers yourself. It's like being a personal shopper!

Maria @ The Money Principle writes Taxing Issues on Tax Avoidance - Tax avoidance is habitually blamed on companies downplaying their need for profits. Governments allowing loop-ravines are equally, if not more, to blame.

Mike @ Annuity Rates HQ writes Is an Annuity Right for Me? - Since annuities are complex, they may have been simplified too much by some financial advisers which incurred horror stories ending in lawsuits. However, it is not because some investors got fooled by their advisers that annuities are evil. Annuities can be customized according to your personal financial situation. You can also combine more than one product to make sure that everything is covered.

Roger the Amateur Financier @ The Amateur Financier writes 10 Items for Your Last-Minute Travel Checklist - A list of things to take while traveling, including money, clothing, water, toiletries, clothing, passports, and medications if needed on your trip

krantcents @ KrantCents writes 12 Things that Successfully Convert a Great Idea into a Reality - 12 Things that Successfully Convert a Great Idea into a Reality. These are the things that work best for me.

Lindy @ Minting Nickels writes Modifications that Add Value to a Used Car - Just as new granite countertops can improve the value of a home, the right modifications can boost your car's value.

Mike @ Personal Finance Journey writes Quick Ways to Decorate your Bedroom on a budget - Easy simple ways to decorating your bedroom on a tight budget that still gives that new bedroom feeling.

Lauren @ L Bee and the Money Tree writes My Complete Employment History, and What I've Learned - Ever wanted to know what I did before I became "L Bee and the Money Tree?" Well here is my complete employment history.

SBB @ Simple Budget Blog writes Is it Really Possible to Negotiate Lower Auto Insurance Quotes? - Like anything worth having, it will take a bit of work cheap auto insurance rate quotes, but those who are up to the challenge will likely reap the rewards. Here are the ways to go about it.

Hank @ Money Q&A writes Three Reasons Why Your House Is Not Selling - What can you do if months and months later you’re still stuck in the same place after being unable to secure a sale? You are sure to be wondering why your house is not selling.

Bargain Babe @ BargainBabe.com writes How to start couponing the easy way - You've seen the shows on TV about extreme couponing - basically a money saving contact sport. But how do the rest of us coupon without it taking over our life? With just a few tips...

Cat Alford @ Budget Blonde writes How to Make Your Dream Holiday Within Reach - If you want to go on a dream holiday but can't afford it, here are some tips to make it within reach!

Mrs. Accountability @ Out of Debt Again writes How to Automate Your Finances - Sometimes I feel like a massive accounts manager just handling my personal family’s finances.

Robert @ The College Investor writes Is Your Impulse Shopping Causing You Problems? - We’re probably all guilty of having thrown something in our shopping cart that we didn’t plan to buy, just because it caught our eye while we browsed. While this isn’t likely to be a problem if it only happens occasionally, it could cause financial problems if it happens on a more regular basis. Credit cards are useful to have, but if you’re using them to make such impulse purchases – without being able to make full repayments each month – then it could be time to assess your actions

Robert @ Entrepreneurship Life writes Three Ways to Tackle Your Overdraft - Here are three ways you could get on the path towards leaving your overdraft behind:

Robert @ Cult Of Money writes Should You Get a Credit Card? - If you’re weighing up getting a credit card there are a few things you might like to think over before settling on one. With so many lenders and a huge range of products available, it’s worth shopping around to see what is on offer.

Robert @ Beat The 9 to 5 writes My Monthly Income Stream Report – August 2013 - Welcome Quitter Nation! It’s been another fun month here at Beat the Nine to Five. As of writing this, my son just turned one month old – it’s crazy how fast time flies. This entire month I’ve been on paternity leave from work – which has been amazing.Anyway, here is what has been going on in my neck of the woods.

Robert @ Kids Ain't Cheap writes 5 Reasons Why Children Are Priceless - There seems to be a lot of discussion, constantly, about how expensive children are. While yes, you do have to be financially responsible about having a child they do not need to be anywhere near as expensive as some ‘studies’ would have you believe. Not if you don’t want it to. This is a topic I’ve already written about so today we’re going to chat about the priceless value children bring to our lives.

MMD @ My Money Design writes Recognizing Opportunities to Build Multiple Streams of Income - Ever since I’ve started reading about how people find different ways to build multiple streams of income, I find myself becoming more aware of them as I recognize them in even the tiniest things throughout my everyday life. Here are my thoughts on what we can do to try to achieve the same.

DW @ Great Passive Income Ideas writes Passive Income Opportunities You Can Take Advantage of From Home - No matter what your financial situation is, there are plenty of passive income opportunities that are easy to do right from the comfort of your own home. Here are a few you can start trying now.

Mr FD @ Financial Debauchery writes You Don’t Have Any Emergency Money? How Dare You! - You wouldn’t jump out of an airplane without a parachute, would you? They why do you go day-to-day without a stock pile of emergency money to take care of a disaster if one arises? Here are some tips for manning up and being prepared financially!

Debt Guru @ Debt Free Blog writes The Key to A Second Mortgage: Pros and Cons - There are many pros and cons to getting a second mortgage. Read here for help and information on the dreaded/savior second mortgage and how you can use it.

Tushar @ Earn More and Save writes Tips On Setting Up A Bank Account Whilst Abroad - Offshore banking is frequently linked with a high point of financial superiority. Nevertheless, the truth is that the common person can set up an overseas bank account with only some hours of work.

Kyle @ The Penny Hoarder writes Company Car or Car Allowance: Which one to choose? - One of the employment benefits most often talked about in Australia must be the company car. It's a valued benefit, but with a variety of options due to tax law changes back in 2002, it's hard to tell what is the right choice for you. Let's walk through the two options...

Dollar @ Easy Extra Dollar writes Finding the Problem: Quick Money - Your offering or product ought to satisfy a specific issue that your audience is both interested in solving and is willing to pay for the solution. Now, do not confuse the business of looking for information with the matter of looking for a solution.

Amanda L Grossman @ Frugal Confessions writes Get All those Sexy Nutrients for Less - Sexy drink beverages, supplements, and super foods sourced from exotic locations—the Amazon, the Himalayans, the Andes—and promising amazing benefits have flooded the grocery market.

LaTisha @ Young Finances writes Jumpstart your Career with an Unpaid Internship - An unpaid internship can lead to greater experience and eventually, a paid position. Many college students and young adults look for internships after college.

Ted Jenkin @ Your Smart Money Moves writes Are You Getting the Benefit of Low Natural Gas Rates? - Are you getting the benefits of low natural gas rates? You'd be surprised how much it can save you.

Little House @ Little House in the Valley writes What Are Bank Secured Credit Cards and Do I Want One? - If you are looking to repair your credit (or build it) a bank secured credit card could be an excellent choice for you.

Luke @ Learn Bonds writes Would I rather buy a home or own $50,000 of bonds? - Here is a look at the connection between housing prices and interest rates and how to decide when to cash in an investment to buy a house.

Joshua Rodriguez @ http://cnafinance.com writes How To Make A Budgeting Spreadsheet That Makes Budgeting Fun - This post is a very detailed tutorial that walks people through the process of creating a budget spreadsheet. In this post, Joshua Rodriguez talks about the need for a budget spreadsheet that works for him and builds one taking screenshots step by step so it's easy for others to repeat the process!

Tony @ We Only Do This Once writes When Paying Down Debt, Downsizing, Decluttering and Simplifying Allows Your Universe to Open Up - Anyone who has read this blog long enough knows about my transformation with finances and my relationship with "stuff". Along the way, I have (hopefully) helped others as well with this notion. But I never would have guessed that it would all lead to where I am today.

Daisy @ Suburban Finance writes Grow Rich with Real Estate - There is some money to be made in housing, and we have a practical guide as to how to be rich in real estate investing.

IMB @ Investing Money writes Investing in China - A Time for Caution - The Chinese economy is in a state of transition. Investors, time to watch China's banks carefully! Read here to learn more about China's economy.

Tushar @ Finance TUBE writes 5 Tips On Saving Money In The UK - You want to save money? Here are a lot of plain ways to make considerable savings on your normal spending, which could clear your debt of the British credit card many times over in less than a year.

Harry Campbell @ Your PF Pro writes Another Tough Run In With Best Buy - Even though I often see a lot of negativity towards Best Buy, they are still in business and somehow opening more stores than they’re closing. When was the last time you saw one of their stores go out of business(a la Circuit City)? I have even noticed a trend of lower prices at Best Buy over the past year or so that seem to coincide with when online retailers had to start charging sales tax.

Tushar @ Start Investing Money writes Living with Cash: Would You Spend Less? - Every now and then you read a report or story that suggests one day we'll live in a cashless society. However many people would argue that it's easier to spend less money when you live with cash instead of using credit or debit cards.

Harry Campbell @ The Four Hour Work Day writes Vacation is More Meaningful When You Have a Job - I’ve often found that returning to work after a long and restful vacation is one of the most depressing feelings on earth. I know you’re supposed to feel refreshed and relaxed after vacation, but for me, going back to work is what I dread most about vacation. It’s not like I’m thinking about work during my vacations, but when I’m back at work I can’t help but remember how much fun I was having the week before.

CAPI @ Creating a Passive Income writes The Reset Button: When to Declare Bankruptcy - Although filing for bankruptcy is a difficult decision, there are several red flags on when it's time to start fresh and consider the option. Read here!

Crystal @ Budgeting in the Fun Stuff writes 45 Activities with Kids on the Cheap - Here is the list of 45 activities with kids that I've come up with that can be done even with a tiny budget. Cheap children's activities.

Martin @ Don't Throw Money Away writes Make Money By Switching On Your Laptop - There are many options for making some extra cash but if you are stuck for ideas- try these easy ways of making money online, without using up too much time

Ashley Lennon @ Skint in the City writes Would You Wear Clothes then Return as 'Unused'? - Would you wear clothes then return them to the shop to get your money back? What about books and electrical goods? New research shows that many people do! Post explores this issue and asks, is it morally wrong or can the big shops afford it?

Jo @ Jo Money Blog writes Save Money On Grocery Shopping - Grocery shopping can add up if you go to the store without a plan- here are my tips for saving money on your future shopping trips.

Jon Haver @ Pay My Student Loans writes How to Let the Military Pay For School - This is not a loan, but the money that is to be considered “earned” as base pay. The Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and Coast Guard each have their own unique set of service requirements. Congress has given each service the right to pay up to 100 percent of tuition expenses for selected students enrolled in off-duty hours classes.

Brock Kernin @ Clever Dude writes What Apple and Car Salesmen Have In Common - Would you trade in your perfectly good iPhone?

Travis Pizel @ Enemy Of Debt writes Surprise, High School Freshman – Real Life Starts NOW! - Whether they know it or not, real life starts as a high school freshman!

John @ Ourinsurancecanada.com writes Easiest 3 Ways To Get Cheaper Auto Insurance In Canada - Shopping around is a great way to attempt to find cheap auto insurance. Another choice could be to drop your collision protection or drive a less pricey car. Pricey cars tend to need more money put into them for parts and repair, and this could cause your insurance company to have to shell out more money.

Daniel @ Sweating The Big Stuff writes The 5 Worst Ways to Save Money - There are some good ways to save money and there are some bad ways to save money. Do not go too far in your quest to save!

Matt Becker @ Mom and Dad Money writes Where Should Buying a House Fit in Your Financial Priorities? - There are a lot of positives to buying a house, many of them having nothing to do with money. It's certainly a worthy goal if it fits into your vision for your ideal life. But don't assume that owning a home is a signal that you've "made it”. There are many other financial stepping stones that will do more to bring you closer to the goals of security and freedom.

FI Pilgrim @ FI Journey writes Considerations When Waging A War On STUFF - Having a sparsely decorated, neat and tidy house has been more than worth the effort of waging a war on stuff! In this post I explain the obstacles we faced.

Monica @ Monica on Money writes Free TV, Just Like It Used To Be - I gave up cable 7 years ago and estimate that I have saved over $8400 by not having cable.

Corey @ 20s Finances writes 5 Tips to Starting Your College Year Off Right - Heading off to college, whether you are a freshmen or a senior can be a stressful time. Packing up your belongings, saying goodbye to family and friends and then unpacking everything are emotional tasks.

Buck @ Buck Inspire writes Don't Hesitate When Opportunity Knocks Ian Ziering - I must confess back in the day I was a fan of 90210, who wasn't? I wasn't big on Team Dylan or Team Brandon but who wasn't on Team Steve Sanders?

Holly @ Club Thrifty writes A Career in Sales Isn't for Everyone - Have you ever considered a career in sales? Read this post for one man's story of how it didn't work out like he planned.

Shannon Ryan @ The Heavy Purse writes Tips on How to Talk to Kids about Money (ages 0-7) - Kids form money habits and beliefs by age 7 according to recent studies. Shannon shares tips on how to talk to kids (ages 0-7) about money so they can develop a positive relationship with money.

Daniel @ Make Money Make Cents writes How to Live Within Your Means but Still Live Well - If you have any doubt that Americans love their credit cards then all you need to do is look at the latest Federal Reserve figures showing that we have nearly $860 billion worth of credit card debt to our names.

Andrea @ So Over This writes Several Good Reasons to Not Contribute to Your 401(k) - A very common piece of advice that is given about retirement is that of maxing out a 401K plan at work. More than a few people, including professional financial advisors, will tell you that this is a way to make sure that your retirement is truly golden.

Lenny @ Best Money Saving Blog writes The Cost, and Risk, of Long Term Care - When you are working on your retirement savings, ask yourself this question: do you think that your nest-egg could take a half-million dollar hit?

Justin @ Digit Fox writes The Different Methods of 3D Printing - Many people have asked about the different types of 3-D printers and 3-D printing methods on the market so we put together a blog post to explain a little bit about those methods and printers and how they work.

David @ Financial Nerd writes Saving Money on Parking in NYC - Here's a funny story about how a friend and I saved money on a parking garage in NYC.

Matt @ Budget Snob writes Why many good people have problems following sound financial advice - The basics of personal finance is very simple. But many people do not follow the rules and that has led to some of the most difficult financial times in generations.

Oscar @ Money is the Root writes The Best Investing Advice for Newlyweds - The simple fact is, couples who educate themselves about investing and set goals for savings not only increase the chance of being able to take a second honeymoon someday, but also that they\'ll head into retirement not only still together but in excellent finance shape.

Alice @ AvantCredit writes Crusty No-Knead 4-ingredient Bread - I'm here to share a great money saving recipe! Bake a fresh delicious bread with what's left in your kitchen.

JP @ My Family Finances writes How Important is Credit Rating of a Life Insurance Company - Most websites that provide whole and term life insurance quotes provide the insurance company rating next to the quote.

Jay @ Daily Fuel Economy Tip writes 10 Tips to Save Gas Today! - People truly love their cars and the freedom that they give, but with gas prices nearing ridiculous levels, everyone is feeling the pinch at the pump.

Danielle @ Saving Without A Budget writes Simple Steps to Jumpstart Your Finances - With all of the financial advice that we give here on our blog, people always want to know where they should start.

Jack @ Money Saving Ethics writes Investment Advice from one of the Best Minds at Morgan Stanley - Morgan Stanley is arguably one of the best investment and brokerage companies in the world today and have at their disposal some of the best minds in the world when it comes to investment strategies.

Amy @ Money Mishaps writes Shop at Warehouse Clubs? Avoid these pricey mistakes - Warehouse clubs like Sams Club and Costco are some of the most popular places to shop in the United States today. But avoid these mistakes!

Bob @ Dwindling Debt writes The Best Tips for Solo Entrepreneurs - If you are a solo entrepreneur, you have many more responsibilities than the average working guy or gal. There are a few things that you definitely need to do when you work on your own in order to be as successful as possible.

Lily @ Paying Debt Down writes Finance Tips for 20 Somethings - The average 20-year-old is being forced to make many more financial decisions than ever before. The ones at the beginning of a career are especially important.

Katie @ IRA Basics writes Benefits of a Budget - Budget. It is a dreaded word, not one that instills ideas of grandeur and immense fun. It is also a word that is often neglected, an idea that most of us would rather not think about.

Sam @ The New Business Blog writes Choose the Right Bank for your Small Business - If you are an entrepreneur and getting ready to start a new small business, one of your first tasks is going to be to find a bank that helps you to achieve your goals.

Brent @ PersonalFinance-Tips writes Best Tips on Saving Interest on Your Home Loan - Saving money on your home loan is very easy if you strategize properly. Many people concentrate so much on the interest rates when shopping for loan. They forget that even the other features are very important. Below are tips on how to save interest on home loans: Paying in lump sum.

Miss T. @ Prairie Eco Thrifter writes How to Get a Job with Little or No Work Experience - There are some things that you can do to improve your chances of getting a job when your work experience is thin on the ground or completely non-existent.

Tushar Mathur @ Everything Finance writes Three Tips to Prepare Your Family For the Cost of Aging - Admitting that your loved one is getting older is hard but not as hard as trying to figure out how your family will afford the overwhelming costs associate

Brian @ Luke1428 @ Luke1428 writes How to Choose a Career - If you could face your 18-yr. old self again, what would you say in regards to choosing a career? Here are some helpful questions and considerations I wish would have crossed my mind.

Ryan @ Cash Money Life writes What You Wear Matters ... When You Shop - Dressing the part can play a large role in getting a good deal, or being treated well by store clerks, especially in high end shops and car dealerships.

Pauline @ Make Money Your Way writes How I make money as a DJ - This post will show you how Evan made $50,000 as a DJ.

KK @ Student Debt Survivor writes Budgeting for 4 Eyes - Today, glasses are a fun fashion statement. When I was in middle school, not so much. Keep your eyeglasses fun and frugal with these eye care budgeting tips.

Pauline @ Reach Financial Independence writes Would you buy a 5 bedrooms, $100 house? - Detroit is dirt cheap, is it time to invest?

GD @ MLIQ123 writes Keyman Life Insurance - Key man life insurance should be a consideration for every business owner, whether you work from home and manage other employees or own a small/medium-size business. Insuring a key employee, executive or partner in your business can cover the costs of recruiting, hiring and training an essential part of your organization, as well as provide the funds to buyout a partner's share of the business. Check out our guide on key man insurance and see if it right for your business needs.

Wayne @ Young Family Finance writes How to Find the Right Auto Insurance for Your Family - Been a while? It may be time to shop for a new auto policy.What you need to know to find the right auto insurance policy for your family.

Daisy @ When Life Gives You Lemons, Add Vodka. writes How I Started Side Hustling: Staff/Ghost Writing & Freelancing - Daisy gives real-life, applicable tips on how to start a writing gig (even if you have never had one before)

Mr. Frenzy @ Frenzied Finances writes Finance Tips: 10 Things I Wish I Knew When I Was 20 - There are some things you just don't know when you're 20. Read here for the top 10 things 20 year olds should know on finance.

Matt @ Living in Financial Excellence writes How to Set Up Your Small Business Finances - Setting your business finances up correctly from the start can save you a ton of headaches down the road.

Grayson @ Debt Roundup writes Credit Cards Are Only Tools In Your Financial Toolbox - How many times do you use the tools in your toolbox? Do you feel good when you use your tool the right way and it achieves a positive outcome? I know I do. Today, I am talking about using your credit card just as it is supposed to be used, a tool in your financial toolbox.

Simon @ Airline Miles Experts writes 4 Common Credit Card Pitfalls and How To Avoid Them - A credit card is an alluring concept for many individuals. You can pay for the items you need or want without actually having the money in the bank. While credit cards are convenient and beneficial- they can also be problematic if used irresponsibly. Here are some common credit card pitfalls and steps for avoiding them.

Todd @ Modest Money writes Are You Watching Mortgage Interest Rates Surge Through The Roof? - Have you been diligently tracking mortgage interest rates? You should. They’re surging. Recently all the way up to 4.625%. That’s the largest weekly increase in FIFTY years! Just in January mortgage rates were 3.25%. There was no way to predict that they’d surge up 50% by 1.5 percentage points in less than half a year.

John S @ Frugal Rules writes Should You Pay Off Debt or Invest in the Stock Market First? - There can be a fine balance between paying off debt or investing in the stock market first. The truth is that it’s a personal decision and one that will aid your wealth building, debt reduction and saving for retirement at the same time.

Jon @ Novel Investor writes Traditional IRA Rules: Everything You Need To Know - Everything you need to know about the traditional IRA rules (and probably some stuff you don’t) so your retirement plan goes off without a hitch.

Investor Junkie @ Investor Junkie writes Why Strong Brands Matter for Investor Success - There are at least six reasons why strong brands matter when it comes to investing in a company:

Anton Ivanov @ Dreams Cash True writes Portfolio Planning Basics – Choosing Investments - A detailed look at choosing investments for your portfolio. I discuss why index funds are your best option and how to pick the best ones.

Michael @ Financial Ramblings writes Dividends Are Not Free Money - The past few years have seen an explosion of interest in dividend investing. While there are (arguably) good reasons for this, many investors don’t seem to fully understand what dividend payments actually represent.

Mr.CBB @ Canadian Budget Binder writes August Net Worth: +1.90% The calm before the storm - This month I talk about how we did in August with our finances but I also talk about how much money we did spend on shopping at the mall and purchases such as a laptop. The point of the calm before the storm means that we can't prepare for all situations where we need to go out and spend money but in some cases it is necessary.

Jessica Moorhouse @ Mo' Money Mo' Houses writes When in Doubt…Go Back to School? - Remember when you thought you would get a job right out of school? Then remember how hard it was to actually find a job post-grad? Well moving to a new city is no different, and since I have a lot of free time on my hands job-hunting I've been thinking about going back to school.

To submit your blog for a financial carnival please visit:  http://www.financeforyoungadults.com/financial-carnival-for-young-adults/

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Air Force makes changes to Tuition Assistance Program

For the past few months I been trying to get as much of my Masters degree done as quickly as possible.  Earlier this year the Air Force turned tuition assistance off.  When they re-instituted the program I was sure that there would be changes made for the next fiscal year (starting 1 October 2013).  I wasn't sure exactly what the changes would be but I didn't want them to affect my degree options.

Well the Air Force has now released changes to the program that will start on 1 October 2013.  They are still providing $4500 per year with up to $250 per credit hour.  The major changes start with the approval process.  They have now put the supervisor in the approval chain for each tuition assistance request.  This was done to make sure that continuing education will not hurt your ability to perform your primary mission or they feel upcoming PME or upgrade training might get in the way of off duty education.

One of the biggest changes is that tuition assistance will not be approved for anyone with certain disciplinary actions such as:

- PT test failure
- Active UIF
- Control Roster
- Referral EPR

The Air Force forums are ablaze with people who do not like this change and don't think that PT should having anything to do with acquiring an education.  I am not here to argue the pros and cons of the program.  I am only trying to inform what the new system will be so everyone knows what they need to do if they want to continue receiving this benefit.

The other services have mentioned that they are looking making changes to their programs as well.  However, no details have been released.

If you haven't started school and are looking for info take a look at my list on Top Military Friendly Schools, learn as much as you about the G.I. Bill, and don't forget to take advantage of the IRS tax credit for college expenses.

Tuition assistance is still a great program so I would suggest taking advantage of it as much as possible before it changes again or goes away.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

The best thing about deployments...

Please don't read the title of this post and think "there is no way this guy has deployed...he should know that deployments suck!"

I am not a huge fan of deployments.  There is nothing fun about being away from your family, missing key moments in their lives, eating the same thing every day, and living off of Rip Its, PitBulls, or whatever energy drinks you can get for free.

The one good thing about deployments is the balance in your bank account when you get home.  For you non military members, just pretend you went camping for 6-15 months and all of your food plus room and board was free.  You also had zero time or energy to spend any money so when you got home you had a nice little chunk of change in your bank account.   If you were able to re-enlist while deployed (and your job gets a bonus) you will receive 50% of the bonus, tax free, within a few weeks.  This means that you could have anywhere between $20k-$50k waiting for you.

I have seen people deal with this situation in many different ways.

- The single guys don't even wait to take a shower before heading to out to get the latest Mustang, Camaro, or Harley.  The stock model isn't good enough so most of their cash goes towards new body kits, paint job, exhaust, and any other mod to squeeze out a few extra hps.   Usually they repeat this cycle when the next model comes out and they lose a ton of money trading it in.

- The married guys usually use the money to take an extravagant vacation or something big for their house.  The vacation comes and goes with only some memories left behind.  Usually these memories could have been had with a much more frugal vacation.

- Then there are the outliers.  They could be single or married.  Two days after they return there is no visible sign that they saved any money.  They haven't bought a huge items and they aren't planning an expensive vacation.  They have put that money towards their early retirement plan.  Maybe they bough an investment property or paid off a large chunk of their mortgage.  Some have invested it in a low cost index fund while others have used it to pad their emergency savings.

Deployments give you an excellent opportunity to either fix a money mistake you made in your life or prepare yourself, or your family, for financial independence.  You worked hard while you were deployed and your family sacrificed at home.  Make sure that the sacrifice meant something by using the money to improve your future.