Presented by AAFMAA

The Most Important Thing to Include in Your Family Budget

Air Force family
U.S. Army photo by Catherine Caruso

You have a vision for your future. A vision of the kind of life you want for your family. You want your kids to go to college. Maybe you’re thinking about continuing your education, too. Perhaps you plan on moving back home and building your dream house when your spouse transitions out of the military. Of course, those are just the big things. Your vision is really about the day-to-day life you want to live — a lifestyle that is comfortable and gives you the confidence to do the things that make you happy.

Ensuring you have the financial security and independence to live that vision without worry is a challenge every military family faces. You’ve probably covered most of the basics already. You should have a well-developed budget that you and your spouse review regularly to outline your financial goals and determine how you’re going to achieve them. As part of that budgeting plan, on a regular basis you should be building an emergency savings fund equal to six months of expenses and paying down any debt you may have as quickly as possible. You can boost those efforts by setting aside any special pay and allowances your spouse may receive to build that savings and reduce that debt even faster. Then once you’ve gotten those two things down you can start investing your surpluses for the future.

But what if something unexpected happens? What if something unforeseen derails your vision? Your budget plan and everything attached to it are based on having consistent income to spend and save. What if your spouse is lost in the line of duty? Do you have sufficient protection to provide for your family in that worst-case scenario? The government offers up to $400,000 through the Servicemembers Group Life Insurance (SGLI) program, but will that be enough? Enough to cover the mortgage and replace that income for the family? Enough to keep your vision intact?

What if something happens to you? What if your family loses you? Even if you don’t work outside of the home, the loss of the contributions that you make to your family would create a significant financial burden in your absence — above and beyond the emotional loss. Would your spouse be able to continue to serve? Think about all of the things you do for your family – childcare, home care, transportation, shopping. If all of those duties had to be replaced, the cost of doing so would be significant.

That’s why buying an adequate amount of affordable life insurance for yourself might just be the most important thing that you can do as part of your financial planning and family budgeting process. While your own death may be the last thing you want to think about, it is one of the first circumstances you should plan for. Do you have a plan in place that will ensure the well-being of your survivors and the continuity of your vision for the future? Life insurance is the foundation for this type of financial security. Fortunately, there are reputable companies that focus exclusively on serving the needs and best interests of the military community.

Sponsored: American Armed Forces Mutual Aid Association (AAFMAA), a not-for-profit, member-owned association of military families offers some of the most affordable life insurance for service members, military spouses and their dependent children. Learn more.

You and your spouse are working hard in pursuit of your family’s goals. These kinds of financial resources are crucial in helping you achieve them — no matter what life may bring. With the right budgeting and planning tools in place to manage your finances, and life insurance backing up those plans, you’ll be able to breathe easier and take advantage of all of life’s opportunities with confidence.

Sponsored: AAFMAA membership coordinators can assist you in reviewing your assets and income needs to make sure you have the right amount of coverage for your family. Also, each one of their policies comes with AAFMAA’s exclusive Survivor Assistance Services, which provide compassionate care for survivors when a member passes. Learn more about Survivor Assistance Services.

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