The Basics

Whether you are joining soon or have been serving for a while, enlisted or officer, the basics are the same.

Here are the ten things I recommend for someone looking to get their finances under control.

  1. Sign up with a reliable bank.
  2. Have a small emergency fund, 3-6 months of expenses.
  3. Budget and track your finances monthlyknow your savings rate.
  4. Track your net wealth, it should go up every month.
  5. Know, control, and kill your debt.
  6. If you use a credit card, pay it off every month – no exceptions.
  7. Invest in the TSP.
  8. Invest in a Roth IRA.
  9. Consider opening a taxable investment account.
  10. Understand asset allocation.

These are the basics and this website goes into further detail about each of these points and more.