Get Started

Congratulations! We've compiled some financial information to educate you about the implications of your spouse's promotion. How will this impact your financial goals?

Get Started Now

Financial Planning

A promotion can have a very positive impact on your budget. Learn how you may leverage this season of life to strengthen your family's finances.

Discover the Opportunities

Resources

Learn about the resources available within the military community. There are sources of support and information available online and at each installation.

Know What's Available

Primary Text Separator for Milspouse Money Mission, Financial Education for Military Spouses
Calculator for Future Value of Investments

1

Getting Started

Congratulations on your spouse’s promotion! With your love and support, his or her hard work and dedication have paid off. This promotion comes with more responsibility and...a pay raise! Celebrate the achievement and plan to put the additional funds to work to reach your family’s goals.

1

Check your spouse’s LES to make sure the promotion pay is reflected and accurate.

2

Review your current TSP contributions.

3

Stop and review your household budget to see how this increase in pay can be put to good use.

Promotion-Soldier-3

2

Financial Planning Considerations

What are your goals and dreams and how will you reach them? The purpose of a financial plan is to provide a roadmap for your future. Think about what you would like to do and what it is going to take to get there. A promotion with a pay raise is always a good time to review your goals. If you need some help to get started, visit our Goal Setting section at https://www.milspousemoneymission.org/goal-setting/.

A strong family spending plan (or budget) will help you stay on track and provide a framework to achieve your goals. Think about how the pay increase can help fund your short- and long-term goals.

Visit Money Ready 101: Create a Budget, to learn the four steps to creating a sound spending plan, which includes revisiting your budget often to make adjustments as your life changes. Be sure to check out the spending plan worksheet offered there, too.

Watch this video to learn how Shaun, an Air Force spouse, and his wife use each promotion and pay increase to get ahead on their financial goals.

 

Eliminating debt is one way to put your new income to work. This way you can focus on funding long-term goals, like saving for retirement or your child’s college education. Two well-known ways to pay off debt are the snowball method and avalanche method. First, make a list of your debts and include the balance, interest rate and minimum payment.

  • Snowball — Attack the smallest balance first. Pay the minimum balance on every other debt, but pay extra on the smallest debt first. Once that debt is paid off, move on to the next smallest balance and keep going until all debt is paid off. This method can give you an emotional boost as you begin knocking out debts. Use our online calculator below to assess your financial situation using the snowball method.

 

Continuation Pay - Snowball Debt Calculator

Open Snowball Calculator

 

  • Avalanche — Attack the largest interest rate first. Pay the minimum balance on each debt and pay extra on the loan with the largest interest rate. As that loan is paid off, move on to the one with the next largest interest rate. This method will save you money long term because you will pay less in interest.

    The most important thing to remember is to find a plan that works for you and stick to it! In addition, this calculator can help you decide whether the avalanche strategy works best for your financial situation.

 

Open Avalanche Calculator

 

Learn how to Manage Debt and also watch the Debt Destroyer™ video series for a step-by-step guide.

Experts recommend having at least $1,000 with the goal to have three to six months of living expenses saved in an emergency fund to cover unexpected repairs, a job loss, or other unforeseen events. Consider using your increased income to fund this account.

Also consider setting up an automatic transfer from your checking to a savings account to fund this goal more easily. Check out this video on Understanding Emergency Funds to quickly learn how to build your reserve.
 


 

Investing your spouse's pay raise and letting it grow for retirement is a great idea. Putting the pay increase aside for retirement sooner than later is helpful so you pay your future self before you get used to the money in your current cash flow.

With a pay increase, the dollar amount into the TSP will also increase as the contribution is a percentage of income. But again, a promotion is a great time to consider increasing the contribution percentage!

The maximum contribution to the TSP is the IRS limit of $19,500 in 2020. If your Service member falls under the Blended Retirement System (BRS) then take this time to ensure they are contributing at least 5% into the TSP. This will allow them to receive the full automatic and matching contribution total of 5%. Otherwise you're missing out on free money!

Visit Money Ready 301: Plan to Retire for more information on this topic and for videos on the Legacy System, BRS and TSP.

Changes to the TSP contribution must be done on myPay. Your Service member will need to visit https://mypay.dfas.mil and log in.

3

Resources

Please visit the links below for each section to get more information. Promotion is an exciting time and it presents some financial opportunities. You can achieve your goals and succeed with accurate information and financial planning!

If you find yourself dealing with a consumer complaint or issue or for tips to avoid trouble, please download this handout for Sources of Help for Military Consumers.

 

Click to View PDF

 

Promotion is a great time to reflect on long-term career goals. Do this as a family and visit the DoD Career Ready Portal. You will find information and links to valuable resources designed to help service members, veterans and spouses. Visit USALearning.gov for more information.

Remember, every family’s situation is different. Your needs, goals and wishes are unique. What works for one family may not be right for you. Evaluate where you are and where you want to go. These tips and resources can help you get there.

Primary Text Separator for Milspouse Money Mission, Financial Education for Military Spouses

Recent Blogs

5 Tips for Avoiding Employment Scams

July 8, 2020

Beware of Employment Scams While this year’s permanent change of station (PCS) season is off to a slow, uncertain start, it is beginning to take shape. These moves will transplant military families around the country and even the world. As a result, many military spouses may be looking for jobs in a challenging job market.…

Read More

How to Protect Your Personal Finances Now

April 20, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the country and world is having a dramatic impact on how we live our lives and function within our communities. Many of us are affected by school and work closures and possibly even stay-at-home orders. Military families may also face additional uncertainty with the Stop Movement order impacting future assignments and…

Read More

2019 Tax Prep: Back to Basics

March 23, 2020

It’s tax time again. And while the federal income tax filing deadline for 2019 has been extended to July 15, 2020, that date will be here before you know it. Whether you’re preparing your own taxes or seeking professional assistance, here’s some guidance on what documents you need and where to get additional support to…

Read More

Staying on Track with Your Financial Goals

February 4, 2020

You Can Do It! Stay on Track with Your Financial Goals Did you set any financial goals or resolutions for the new year? If so, the end of each month is the perfect time to see if you’re staying on track with your financial goals. Set SMART goals Hopefully, you set goals that were SMART:…

Read More

Start the New Year Right, Set Financial Goals

December 17, 2019

As 2019 draws to a close, many of us are looking toward the new year with big plans and aspirations. Carry this excitement over to your finances, too! Set financial goals in the new year to build a stronger financial future for you and your family. The previous year is history. You cannot go back…

Read More

Tackle Unexpected Expenses with an Emergency Fund and Help from Relief Societies

October 28, 2019

One of life’s certainties is that it is uncertain, right? Life can throw a curveball in the form of a lost job, vehicle or home repair, health costs, or emergency travel, just to name a few. When these events occur, they can create havoc for a family’s financial stability. However, planning ahead and being familiar…

Read More

Reimbursement for Relicensing Fees Is Here, Milspouses!

September 26, 2019

Reimbursement for Relicensing & Certification Fees for Military Spouses The Department of Defense (DoD) recognizes the challenges many military spouses face maintaining a career while moving every few years. So, the DoD introduced the National Defense Authorization Acts of 2018 and 2020, which allow each branch of service to reimburse military spouses for qualified relicensing…

Read More

5 Steps for Sending Your Military Kid Back to School on a Budget

August 19, 2019

Back to School on a Budget It’s back to school time! And while parents may be breathing a collective sigh of relief, it might be a different story when it comes to their wallets. According to a recent survey, families with school-age children spent on average almost $700 in 2019 to equip their kids for…

Read More
Primary Text Separator for Milspouse Money Mission, Financial Education for Military Spouses