Macho Money Video Series
Our Macho Money area has videos filled with valuable financial information including, Definitions, Military Spouse Investing 101, Financial Advice, and Money Do's and Don'ts.
Whatever your Winter Holiday tradition, now is the time when many cultures have historically livened up the dark days of winter (in the Northern Hemisphere) with celebrations of community, charity, and gift-giving*. Going into debt, however, should not be a part of your tradition.
How much should you spend on Christmas?
Macho Spouse presents Macho Money
Learn how to EARN your money.
Learn how to KEEP your money.
Learn how to LOSE your money.
Learn how to GROW your money.
As a male military spouse, I know how important it is to stretch every dollar as far as I can for my military family. I'm always looking for tips on how to save money and I really appreciate money saving tips for the Military Family.
Here are some questions to think about:
Do you have an emergency fund? Are you saving enough money for retirement? Do you have a budget? How close are you to financial freedom?
Military Saves Week is an annual opportunity for installations and organizations to promote good savings behavior and a chance for servicemembers and their families to assess their own saving status. Typically hundreds of organizations participate in the Week, reaching millions of people.
UPDATE: The link to the DFAS Military Pay Tables has changed. Visit the DFAS website to get the latest Military Pay Tables and charts and get other information to help you manage your money.
The Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) military pay tables have current and historical pay tables including Reserve pay, special pays, and allowances.
The DFAS website has the following regarding the military pay tables it provides:
"The following pay tables are provided for reference use only and not for official purposes. The effective dates of certain pay rates may differ from dates for various allotments and other pay entitlements.
Pay tables are presented in .pdf (Acrobat) format."
Very early in my experience as a male military spouse I encountered the PowerPay Money Tool. I remember the day my wife brought home a floppy disk with the DOS version of this financial software. (Yeah, that just took me waaaaaay back.) It didn't have any frills, but PowerPay helped us calculate, plan and execute our path to debt elimination.
I know that there are plenty of money management tools out there. PowerPay is worth a look, especially if you need to develop your debt-elimination plan. This money management tool helped my family.
[These aren't real questions that avid readers have sent in, yearning for my sage advice. I'm just paraphrasing some discussions I've had about money with family, friends, and co-workers]
I just changed jobs. Should I leave my 401(k) with my old employer, or roll it over to my new employer's 401(k) plan?
You shouldn't do either. You should rollover your old 401(k) into an IRA with low-cost mutual funds, like Vanguard. There are 2 main problems with 401(k) accounts in general:
Click image to enlarge.
Is it possible to buy a home with no money down? If you or your spouse qualifies for a VA home loan, the answer is yes. VA home loans are a special benefit available to current and ex-members of the U.S. military only and they can save homebuyers a lot of money. Veterans and active members of the U.S. military are eligible for some of the lowest interest rates on the market but that's not the only way VA Loans save buyers money. VA Loans are also "No Money Down" home loans.
OK, here is an important topic USAA wrote about a few months ago and we obtained permission to re-post on Macho Money.
Guys, the APA has determined that men and women share cognitive skills, we are fundamentally the same. The whole notion of guys being better at math and women being better at communication is simply a social construct. I firmly believe that statement, but that doesn't change the social construct.
One of the great resources we have at Macho Spouse is the Men's Room for Military Spouses (sorry ladies, this is a private Facebook page designed for all male military spouses only). We plan to start sharing some of the more informative/interesting conversations on our website, the thread below is our first "share." Some of the names have been hidden for privacy purposes, see if you can figure out which names are fake...
In Part 1 of Nurturing the Money Tree we chatted about creating income by working for someone else. But if you are like me, maybe working for someone else isn't for you, and many military spouses actually choose to own their own businesses. I know I did.
This option gives them the flexibility and control that they are looking for while building something for their future at the same time. Being a business owner has some great advantages, but if you don't know what you are getting into and you don't have a plan of action it can quickly take over your life or worse leave you in a financial pickle.
To work or not to work that is the question on all of our minds at one time or another in our military careers.
It seems that the subject of employment comes up whenever money is tight, when the kids are all finally in school, or you PCS to a new duty station. I can't tell you how many times I have thought about getting a job outside of our home just so we could have a little wiggle room in the budget.
I even tried it one year to get some extra holiday cash, and frankly it was a disaster. Nothing got done, the kids were disappointed because I wasn't home when they came back from college, and my husband hated the fact that his life had to change, not to mention my home business began to struggle as well. (Yes, he is spoiled but the fact that he is a genius on the grill makes up for it)
For some military spouses working outside the home works for them, but for many of us the constant changes, multiple moves and unpredictability of our lives make employment very difficult unless you are fortunate to have a career that can move with you.
Guys, this effects you directly. If you're a little unsure of just exactly what's happening and what this is all about, please visit this cool new page from MOAA (Military Officers Association of America). They do a great job of laying out the issue, why we should care, and they also make it very simple to help the cause of defending your benefits. Today's "small cuts" to our retirement COLA will effect every one of your families in the future. But what's most important is that these cuts represent a breach of contract, a breach of faith, and a broken promise our government made to each and everyone of our families. Please don't just do nothing, help the cause and join the fight.
Buying a house can often times seem like an impossible dream for the average American. But as military family members, many people believe it's “easy” because, when eligible, we can buy a house with “no money down.”
Military and veteran discounts lists from national brands, chain locations and online stores to local area mom and pop, single location establishments.
Comprehensive coverage on active duty and veterans financial benefits, money, taxes, VA loans and all other matters related to planning and securing a financial future.
An active-duty entrepreneur is a military service member or spouse who deliberately plans and carries out the steps required to conceptualize, develop, and (perhaps) launch a small business while still on active duty. They understand that utilizing their unique military ecosystem (which provides job security, a dependable salary, health-care, and a predictable career timetable) provides them a built-in advantage over other aspiring entrepreneurs. In fact, the military ecosystem might be the ideal place to begin small business development. Think of the untapped well of entrepreneurial potential energy the Department of Defense has to offer! If only a small percent of the overall military population mobilized this new approach, it would be a game-changer by spurring small business development, innovation, and job creation resulting in an overall positive affect on the sluggish US economy.