Military and veteran millennials’ preference for professional advice lines up directly with one of the most common sayings in the military: “Don’t remake the wheel.” Service members are trained to learn from and apply what others have done before them. This attitude seems to carry into their finances.
The structure of military pay and quality of role models are two more factors responsible for the financial savvy of current and former service members.
Unlike many civilian jobs, military pay structure is segmented — similar to a household budget. In addition to their base pay, service men and women receive allowances for housing and clothing, and those with dependents receive additional payments. This makes budgeting simple: If I only receive $1,650.00 in allowance for housing, I know how much I can afford to spend on a house.
The morale of our service members can be greatly impacted by factors outside of the workplace, such as spending time away from and providing for growing families. As a result, commissioned and non-commissioned officers take a hands-on approach to mentoring their soldiers.
During my time in the Army, we had annual briefings on finances and resources available. Sure, we all groaned about sitting through these presentations — or as we called them, “Death by PowerPoint” — but there was a wealth of good information in them. By the time I was honorably discharged, I had received dozens of hours of education and assistance that my civilian friends had not, which has helped me develop into the financially responsible individual I am today.
The military provided me a place to finish growing up during my young adulthood. As young adults, the structured lifestyle gives us an opportunity to develop personal, professional, and financial skills while being surrounded by the best support structure in the world. Our nation’s armed forces pride themselves on creating the best soldiers in the world and in the process, they also create well-rounded professionals with a keen financial savvy.