First Base Finance Mistakes to Avoid

You’ll never forget the time you arrive at your first base assignment. With your training complete, the next chapter of your military life is about to begin. You have a steady pay-check, and your financial decisions are all completely in your hands.

A key thing to remember is that after arriving at your assigned base, take advantage of any personal financial education that is offered.Today, we are sharing with you some of the financial mistakes that have been made by others to help you avoid doing the same thing.

#1 Not Using the Dining Facility or DFAC, where available!

One of the many military perks offered is the Meal Card that pays for all of your food on-base. However,  many people venture out for meals instead of using the facilities on offer. Sure,  it’s nice to get away from the DFAClfrom time to time, but don’t fall into the habit of forking out money for food and drink you can get for low or no cost on base. It all adds up over time.

#2 Buying a New Car

One of the critical things to avoid  is over-committing yourself financially. Purchasing  a new vehicle typically comes with higher costs, such as insurance, registration and title costs. For most people who haven’t yet built up their credit, this also means that the interest rates on any car loan may be higher than average too. Consider buying a reliable pre-owned vehicle If you need too.

Sometimes, leasing may be an attractive option, but you need to be careful that the lease doesn’t come with hidden costs  or unattainable mileage allowances. If you are going to be on a short assignment at a particular location, consider leaving the car behind  and use a base shuttle or ask a roommate with a vehicle to assist you.   

#3 Taking Financial Advice from Your Buddies

Getting the opinion of others is fine, but don’t make important financial decisions  on the basis of what others do. Rather use reputable resources like a Certified Financial Planner or a Certified Public Accountant. If you  are going to do it on your own be, try to use  personal financial guidance like that provided by the NFCC .You  have options at your disposal to give you the answers you need.

#4 Pay to Play

Paying out for others on a regular basis, picking up the tabs for the group’s drinks, pizza or entertainment and more can start to take its toll on your finances. If you want to get out, budget for it, and try to stick to your budget. Set a limit and try not to support the spending of others by being overly generous in order to keep the party going beyond its normal limitations.

#5 Payday Loans to Tide You Over

Getting a payday loan is never a good idea. If you start to mismanage your money, then a payday loan, plus interest, is never going to help you get back on track. There are other options at your disposal if you find yourself in a financial emergency. You should consider seeking out advice and guidance from base resources. The Air Force Aid Society, Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, and Army Emergency Relief may be r more viable solutions, especially if you are dealing with a family emergency.

#6 Not Making The Most of Your Military Benefits

When you join up, you get almost instant access to a world of monetary benefits. As the final point in the post, we wanted to offer some words of wisdom, to ensure you utilize these benefits. As just one example, the Savings Deposit Program will enable you to save an impressive $10,000, and it will give you a 10% interest rate in the case of you being deployed into a combat zone deemed eligible for the scheme. Finally, the VA loan scheme will give you access to affordable housing finance if you are thinking of buying a home.

Make sure you don’t miss out!

Making financial mistakes is something everyone does at one time or another; but if you pay attention to the points made in this post, we hope you can avoid making some of the same mistakes as others have done in the past.

Helping you navigate your military journey – OCS Connect is a free and open community dedicated to providing new service members and their families with expert advice and useful resources. We aim to help our members make the most from their military journey and prepare them for success.

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