Essential Financial and Career Tips for Female Veterans

The transition from military to civilian life can be a tough one. You're suddenly thrust into the real world with no idea what to do next. It's essential to take things slow and steady, but you must also know the steps to get you where you want to go.

In our Career Moves series we share advice and tips to help you achieve your career aspirations.

Start off on the right foot with this comprehensive guide to building your finances and career as a recently discharged female veteran:

Eliminating Debt

One of the first things you should do when you're discharged from the military is to work on eliminating any debt that you have. This may require making some sacrifices, but it will be worth it in the long run. Here's how you can tackle your debt:

Create a budget.

The first step is making a budget that reflects where you are financially and where you hope to get to. Track your income and expenses to see where your money goes each month. And don't forget to include necessary expenses like housing, food, and transportation in your budget.

Chip away at your debt.

Then, start working on paying off your debt, starting with the debt with the highest interest rate, such as:

  • Credit cards

  • Car loans

  • Student loans

  • Mortgages

You may also want to consider consolidating your debt to get a lower interest rate and make just one monthly payment instead of several. Just be careful not to commit to a consolidation loan that you won't be able to pay monthly.

Saving Up Funds To Buy a Home

Owning a home is a major financial goal for many people. If you're a veteran, several programs are available to help you achieve this goal.

Research VA home loans.

As a veteran, you may be eligible for a VA home loan. This program offers several benefits, including:

  • A lower interest rate than most other home loans.

  • No down payment is required.

  • No private mortgage insurance (PMI) is required.

Taking advantage of a VA home loan can help you achieve your goal of homeownership. And since VA mortgage interest rates are typically much lower than those offered by other home loan programs, it's worth considering if you're in the market for a new home.

Work toward your down payment.

One way to start saving up for a down payment is to open a savings account specifically for this purpose. Then, set up automatic transfers from your checking account into your savings account each month so that you're automatically saving money without thinking about it.

Reduce your spending.

Another idea is to cut back on spending in other areas of your budget to free up more money to put towards a down payment on a home. For example, if you usually spend $200 per month on entertainment, try reducing it to $100 per month and allocate the extra $100 to your down payment fund.

Preparing Your Career

Now that you're out of the military, it's time to evaluate your career options and decide what you want to do next. After all, boosting your income is one of the most impactful strategies for building long-term wealth!

If you're not sure what you want to do, that's okay! Plenty of resources can help you figure out what steps to take next.

Look into veteran career resources.

Some of the best places to start include the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the Department of Labor, and the Department of Defense.

The VA is a fantastic place to start for veterans looking for career opportunities. It offers a wealth of information on its website about various careers, job training, and education programs. It also has a database of jobs open to veterans.

The Department of Labor offers various programs and services to help veterans find good jobs. These programs include job training and placement services, employment counseling, and more. And the Department of Defense offers many different programs that help veterans transition from military service to civilian life, including job training and placement services, education benefits, and more.

Finally, don't forget to connect with Arche Careers. Our mentor coaches can guide you step-by-step to a fulfilling and lucrative career.

Seek an education.

Once you've determined the career you'd like to pursue, look into returning to school to get the education and training necessary for success in that field. Don't forget about using your veteran resources! There are often programs available specifically for veterans looking for employment opportunities.

Here are some of the best college degrees to consider as a recently discharged veteran:

Computer Science: This degree will give you the skills and knowledge necessary to work in various tech-related fields, including software development, computer systems engineering, and more.

Business Administration: A degree in business administration will prepare you for a career in management or entrepreneurship. It will also teach essential skills like accounting, finance, and marketing.

Psychology: A degree in psychology will give you a strong foundation in studying human behavior. You can use this knowledge to pursue a career in counseling, social work, or human resources.

No matter what career you ultimately decide to pursue, getting an education will help you achieve your long-term goals.

Starting a Business

Finding a job isn't the only way to build a fruitful career in a field you're passionate about. If you're thinking of starting your own business, congratulations! It's a challenging but rewarding endeavor. And if you prepare well before diving into your startup, you can position your company for long-term success.

Here are some essential steps to laying a firm foundation for your new business:

  • Do your research. Before you take the plunge and start a business, do your homework. Research different industries and businesses to see which ones are most viable and have the greatest potential for success.

  • Create a business plan. A business plan is essential for any new business. It outlines your business goals, strategies, and how you plan to achieve them.

  • Get funding. Start-up costs can be daunting, so it's essential to secure funding from friends, family, or investors as early as possible.

  • Establish the proper legal structure. Having the right business structure will allow you to accomplish your goals. An LLC provides tax advantages, liability protection, and many other benefits, and you can save time and stress by going through an online service.

  • Build a strong team. Building a solid team of professionals is key to the success of any business. Find people who share your vision and are passionate about what you're trying to achieve.

  • Stay focused and motivated. Launching a new business is no easy task, so you must stay focused and motivated throughout the process. Celebrate every small victory and don't get discouraged by setbacks along the way.

Taking Care of Yourself

To be your best self, you must take care of yourself in all aspects of your life. That means making time for physical activity, practicing self-care, and nurturing your mental and emotional health. When you're feeling your best, you'll be better positioned to achieve your financial goals and build a successful career.

Wrapping Up

As a female veteran, you have unique financial and career needs. But there's no limit to what you can achieve with the right advice and resources.

In this article, we've outlined some essential steps to take when tackling your debt, purchasing a home, and building a career in a field you're passionate about. Keep learning how to lay a foundation for a fulfilling life, and foster your well-being along the way. You'll be living your dream in no time!

This article is part of our Career Moves series; advice and guidance to help you achieve your career aspirations.

Arche helps people architect, navigate and advance their career path with expert advice and tools to support your job search, interview preparation, professional branding, salary negotiations, and career advancement. Book a coaching session.

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