Posted on Dec 22, 2020
PFC (Non-Rated)
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I’m currently on block leave for basic training and I had a DS for a very short time who tired to teach us about money and give us tips. I wish to learn more on this topic and what recommendations of banks and other such things. Sorry for the unclear question I’m very very Unexperienced in this topic do to me being a fresh high school graduate and not having much taught to me.
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SFC Retention Operations Nco
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I believe MilitaryOneSource still offers financial counseling for service members. If you're near any major Active Duty base of any branch, they all have financial counselors available as well
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LTC Jason Mackay
LTC Jason Mackay
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To add, if you are near an AD installation, Army Community Service hosts the financial wellness classes. The Navy has the Gleet and Family Support Ceneter. the Air Force has the Airman and Family Readiness Center.
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PFC (Non-Rated)
PFC (Join to see)
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I’m a near an air force base and was planning on goin to help my dad get a new military ID and get other things I might need for basic. I’ll defiantly try and visit their financial counselors
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CSM Charles Hayden
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Edited >1 y ago
PFC (Join to see) Congratulations on seeking to learn about personal financial management.
Other responders will offer other suggestions. My personal recommendation is for you to visit the DaveRamsey.com site and drill down for his books, Every Dollar budget tool and generally explore his site. His books will be work for you to read, that is how education begins, with work! He also has a money management course that is presented in various places. If you explore his “5” Step Plan and practice the precepts presented, you will be far ahead of your peers. One of his tenants is to have spousal buy-in for any budgeting plan. Couples need to plan spending as a joint enterprise. Best!
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CPT Staff Officer
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If you are not in any debt now you are a world ahead of everyone else at your stage in life. Usually PVT's seeking financial advice have been referred and are in a very adverse situation.

Take all the advice given thus far with programs there to help guide you.

You hit the nail on the head as a recent HS grad. I wish you kids came out of school knowing how to make economic consumer decisions.

As a CFA/MBA I'm not there to dig into the specifics of your personal situation, but I'd generally guide you toward reaching the following goals.

1) Debt should generally only be use for things with a secondary/used resale market, such as a home or a car. Don't finance anything you can't sell and get out from under the debt.
1a) If you are carrying a credit card balance you are effectively financing your lifestyle. Imagine you are paying 15% interest a month on that Starbucks in your hand if you carry a credit card balance from month to month.
1b) Always read the fine print. I hate consumer debt structured loans. They hide the cost of the financing in the overall price of the package. There is a price for the product, and that price is the 100% paid cash price. For example, 0% financing but locked in at a dealer price that is higher than the cash price is actually the price of the loan. Otherwise, the 0% financed price would be = to the cash price, and it's not.

2) In regard to retirement savings, always utilize/maximize your tax shelter options before you go saving anywhere else. If you have not maxed out your employer sponsored plan yet and you find yourself constantly with extra funds then seriously think about bumping up your monthly retirement plan savings.
2a) Always read the fine print fee structure of retirement investing options. You shouldn't be paying anymore than 1% in fees for a given retirement fund. I personally don't pick anything over 0.25% in fees. I avoid front load fund and back loaded funds. I prefer a simple annual administration fee of 0.25% or lower.
2b) Do not invest in Closed End mutual funds. They can be manipulated by market players. They have a fixed number of shares, and the price of the fund can diverge up or down from the assets in the fund. An Open End mutual fund buys and sells assets as shares are bought and sold and shares will always be on par with the value of the assets in the fund.
2c) Bitcoin etc.... I'm not going to pretend I know how to game the market, but in a world of collapsing economies and electronic infrastructure if the power/communications doesn't work then how you are you going to exchange your Bitcoin. Also, my neighbor literally had $80,000 of Bitcoin stolen from him because his CAR WAS HACKED.

3) TIME. Time is the most important variable in any financial formula. Sooner is better than later, and more is better than less, but Sooner/Later always outweighs amount. The funds you save from age 20-30 will comprise 90% of your retirement savings at age 60. The person that starts saving at the same rate from 30-60 will only have 10% of what was saved in the preceding 10 years. I'm speaking very generally here for the context of this conversation, but TIME is that powerful.
3a) In regard to TIME in retirement investing, it is equally powerful and crippling consumers if too much debt is taken on too soon in life. Student loans are speculative investing with open ended load terms. The borrower "speculates" they will enjoy an income sufficient to justify the loan.

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That's all I got, sure there is more, but hope the above applies to pretty much anyone without getting too far into the weeds.

Don't borrow for something you can't sell, invest as soon as you can. Read the fine print because consumer financing contracts are always out to hide the true costs.
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