Financial Planning For Deployment
Story by: FRP Staff
Ongoing readiness means thinking about the importance of finances, budgets, and goals. Putting a plan down on paper is easy and will pay off with smoother family money management during deployment.
Preparation may prevent problems such as overdrawn checking accounts and bills not being paid. A financial plan will give peace of mind and enable you to concentrate on the mission during deployment. A well-developed financial plan will contribute to efficiently organizing and running the household while you are away.
Family finances are important. Lack of attention to finances and budgeting can lead to major difficulties any time, but most especially during deployment. There are many things to consider when you begin to plan your financial budget.
Both you [the Soldier] and your spouse need to decide in advance who will pay the bills, how much money will be budgeted to the Soldier and how much to the Family. The budget is important to see that the family has sufficient money for such things as housing, food, utilities, clothing and even money for recreation. The Soldier needs to budget some money for recreation, too. Are there other considerations you can think of?
The spouse who remains must understand the amount of the monthly income and the amount of the monthly bills. How will the spouse receive the monthly income—by check, to the bank or by allotment? To what companies are money owed, how much is due each month, when is it due, and where does the payment go? There should be no surprises!
One important aspect of ongoing readiness is planning the deployment budget. The best time to examine or develop a deployment budget is before the need arises. Try not to wait until just before the Soldier leaves.
Suggested Guidelines For Deployment Budgets
1. Review old bills and canceled checks to estimate expenses during the deployment.
2. Consider any changes in your income, spending, and savings that will be caused by deployment.
3. Set realistic spending and savings goals that will allow you to balance your income and expenses during deployment.
4. Start a special savings account to help cover any unforeseen expenses during deployment.
5. Establish a system for paying bills.
6. Understand allotments:
-Allotments used for deposits are usually savings and checking accounts
-Allotments used for withdrawals or payments are usually used for paying insurance premiums or other bills
7. Decide how to use credit cards during the separation:
-Who will use them
-What will be the spending limit
-Decide how you will inform each other of charges made
8. Consider a second checking account for the Soldier.
The monthly financial worksheet should be helpful in putting your deployment budget together. The worksheet is comprehensive but easy to follow.
Stop by the Finance Office, bank, or credit union before deployment to verify expected pay and take care of any allotments or direct-deposit arrangements.
It is recommended that a joint account be set up and make sure your spouse knows how much and when money is deposited to the account.
Assistance in managing family finances is available before deployment. Army Community Service is staffed to provide help in planning and assisting you in preparing your own household budget.
Army Community Service
Financial Readiness Program
Custer Hill, 7264 Normandy Drive
Fort Riley, Kansas 66442