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Your emergency fund

Military members can sometimes be complacent about their biweekly paychecks. They live, in fact, like many Americans, paycheck to paycheck. You can find yourself in serious trouble, though, if something comes up that is outside your normal expenses. Examples include water heaters, car repairs, unexpected travel, gifts, medical expenses. The list goes on and on.

This is why it is so important to have 3-6 months of military pay set aside. Note what I said, 3-6 months of pay, not expenses. Most financial experts say 3-6 months of expenses, but I am convinced that most military families can relate better to the military pay than to the expenses sum.

How do you do it? I recommend that you start an allotment from your pay for 8% of your income. In one year you’ll save 1 month’s pay. Be patient, you don’t have to get it all put away at once. At the end of a 3-4 year tour, you’ll be in the heart of the envelope, and well on your way to having a nice shock absorber to meet any financial challenge.

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