Funding my PreVeteran start-up might be the most demanding thing I’ve done in my life, and I’ve spent 7-years as an enlisted Sailor, 5-years married, and 3-years with children. Luckily the military provides amazing financial opportunities and pairs them with incredible financial resources. Keep reading for an overview of how you can bootstrap on a military income.
It’s All About That Base… Pay –
Early in my military career I was advised by a Jewish Orthodox Chaplain to seriously consider my finances before getting married. The revelation struck me as paramount. I was about to embark on a life-long journey filled with adventure, responsibilities, and conflicts. He explained to me that the easiest way was to set a baseline. I would treat Base Pay as such, and any allowances or bonuses would be socked away as an “opportunity fund”.
Opportunity came in a variety of fashions; Black Friday furniture sales, growth-stock mutual funds, and even vacant land in Washington’s wine country. I feel we navigated them fairly well, but I undoubtedly would not have a business right now if it weren’t for consistent, diligent planning for unforeseen opportunities. When you live simply with the goal of seizing opportunity, you’ll be surprised at what’s opportunities come your way.
Another thing to consider is the next paygrade. Does wearing a heavier collar device require a change to our budget? Good personal financial management will lead to a growing “opportunity fund” which in turn can fund your start-up like it did mine.
Resources, Use Them –
As a Command Financial Specialist, I am intimately aware of financial management resources available to service members. Trained personal financial management specialists work on most bases and the skills they teach can directly impact your businesses finances as well. The fact is that funding your small business is likely going to depend on your personal finances, so take advantage of what’s available! A local PFM specialist can offer advice on budgets, investment instruments, and even small-business related financial hurdles. Resources are available…make sure you use them!
PreVeterans are the most dedicated people I’ve met. They serve our country, then themselves. They attack the challenges of separation by forging their own path. When others scoff at their departure from the normal path, PreVeteran’s keep their vision and stay the course. Officer or enlisted, I salute you.