(Sorry, this is yesterday's post. I've been having some difficulty lately - I think I've posted something, then I come back and it isn't there. I'll figure it out eventually.)
Just imagine that you answered the phone and got some unexpected news, the kind that makes you realize that you need to get on an airplane or get in the car and head back to wherever it is that you call home. Are you financially prepared to do that, or would you be sitting in your local relief society office trying to get a loan? Don't get me wrong, the various military relief societies are awesome, and I appreciate all the great things they do for our military families. However, in a time of high stress, I'd rather be packing than sitting in a waiting room.
So, seriously: if you got that phone call right now, how would you finance your trip? I think this was the very first reason that I realized that my husband and I needed an emergency fund. We were moving to Hawaii and we had older grandparents, and I wanted to be absolutely sure that we could get home if necessary. As it turns out, my husband did end up having to come home from Hawaii for a funeral, and I was darn glad that we had the money.
The military provides emergency travel money in some situations, but most of the time those funds are coming out of your own budget. We military folks aren't alone in this regard. The same funeral my husband attended had civilians travelling as well. However, sometimes military service sends us places that we hadn't considered living.
Today, I urge you to do two things. Find out how much money you would need to get your family home in an emergency. Then brainstorm three ways that you could start putting money aside. For some of you, it will be a big chunk of money. In my case, it would be around $6,000 to get my entire family home unexpectedly. No one expects you to come up with that money overnight, but you'll never finish accomplishing that goal if it you don't begin sometime. Make today your beginning.
I hope that you never need to use that money, but if you do, you'll be glad to have it. If you don't, you can leave the service with a little extra savings to help with the transition to the next phase of your life. It is a win-win situation.