Sunday, February 10, 2019

Financial Secrets for Military Members

During my time during active duty i've tried to take advantage of all of the financial perks of being in the military. Here are my three favorite benefits:

1.) Credit cards
  • Most credit card companies waive annual fee's for military members. I think all military members should have the following three credit cards as a must:
    1. American Express Platinum
      • $600 sign up bonus.
      • Free yearly $200 in annual Uber credits
      • Free yearly $200 airline credit
      • Sign up here

    2. American Express Hilton Aspire
      • 100,000 point sign up bonus
      • One free weekend annual night. 
      • Free yearly $250 airline credit
      • Free yearly $250 resort credit
      • Sign up here

    3. Chase Sapphire Reserve
      • 50,000k sign up bonus (worth $750 in travel). Free annual $300 travel credit
      • Sign up here
2.) Investments 
  • You can contribute to BOTH the Roth IRA and the Roth TSP. Both of these allow your money to grow tax free so that you can keep all your money when you retire. 
  • Roth IRA - up to $5500 every year - I would recommend opening account with Vanguard and if you are looking to keep things simple just investing in the S&P500. 
  • Roth TSP - up to $18,500 every year
  • To manage your finances I like Personal Capital. They are similar to Mint but better. 

3.) Other Sweet Deals (3 examples)

Thursday, January 31, 2019

How to Sign Up for the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP)

I recently signed up for the Thrift Savings Plan so I figured I'd write a post on how easy it is if you know where to go. This post is geared toward Military Members. I break it down into 11 easy steps

1st StepLog in at mypay.dfas.mil

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

How to MAXIMIZE your TSP

When it comes to long term scheduled investing there are two trains of thought. I will apply both of these to the TSP. The TSP allows you to contribute $18,000/yearly into a retirement account.

Here are examples of both examples:

1.) Dollar Cost Averaging - this means putting a fixed amount of money into the TSP every month.
  • Example: Putting $1,500 into the TSP every month. 1.5k x 12mon = 18k. This would allow you to max out the TSP while potentially reducing your risk of incurring a substantial loss resulting from investing the entire "lump sum" just before a fall in the market.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Military Discount on your PHONE Plan (Verizon, AT&T, T-mobile, Sprint, etc)

Lets break down the Military Discount for all of the major phone companies. Most are offering 15% off part of the bill. There are additional military benefits as well, like getting activation fees and such waived in addition.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

How to Save Money With Military Discounts + Cash Back

Ebates gives you extra cash back for all of your online and in-store shopping. Now you can shop with Ebates and use your military discount and get BOTH discounts!!


Here's the low down on the Ebates / Military Discount Combo:
  • Shoppers will be prompted to verify their military status in the merchant’s checkout flow. This can include entering a military ID, a dependent ID, a veteran ID or another type of military ID. 
  • Shoppers will still get Cash Back as they normally would with an emphasis on stacking savings. 



Here’s how to double dip and save even more money with your military discount and Cash Back! Learn all the ins and outs of military discounts and stacking your savings.

If you have a military discount, we can help you make the most of it with extra savings on top. Ebates gives you Cash Back for shopping at your favorite stores, and if you’re not already a member, it’s free to join. The great thing about shopping with Ebates is that you can stack your military discount on top of Cash Back. That means you’re saving twice! Not sure if you qualify for military discounts or how to use them with Ebates? Read on!

What is Ebates? 
Ebates is where you can get Cash Back for shopping at over 2,500 stores. Becoming a member is free! Stores pay Ebates a commission for sending you their way, and Ebates shares the commission with you as Cash Back. Get paid every three months, plus earn a cash bonus when you join and shop. Founded in 1998, Ebates has paid members over $1 billion Cash Back. Start getting yours!

How to use Ebates:
  1. Start your shopping at Ebates.
  2. Shop like you normally would and earn Cash Back. 
  3. Choose how to get paid—PayPal or check. 

What are military discounts?
Military discounts are given to military personnel and often their family members. These discounts can vary from store to store. Some stores might give coupons to qualifying shoppers, while others may give a percentage off the total purchase amount. Some stores even give perks like free shipping. If you’re interested in a particular store, it’s worth checking to see if they offer a military discount and what type it comes in, as stores set the discounts at their discretion.

Who qualifies for military discounts?
Many different types of military personnel and a lot of times also their family members qualify for military discounts. You might be able to get the discounts if you’re an active duty military member, veteran, retired military member, reservist or military spouse or dependent.

How do military discounts work with Ebates?
Great news: You can use your military discount and earn Cash Back on top of that! To stack your savings, first start at Ebates and click on a store link to take you to the store. The store will prompt you to verify your military status by entering a military ID, dependent ID, veteran ID or another type of military ID. Next, do your shopping using your military discount. Once the store reports your order to us, Cash Back will automatically be added to your Ebates account! It’s that simple.

What if a store doesn’t offer a military discount?
You can still use Ebates to save money. Just remember to start your shopping at Ebates and you’ll still earn Cash Back on your purchases.

Whether or not you have military discounts, Ebates can save you money on the shopping you’re going to do anyway. Not an Ebates member yet? Join now for free and start earning Cash Back on top of your military discount. Keep in touch and be the first to know about new deals on Facebook,Twitter,PinterestGoogle+and Instagram.



Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Military Discount - 2016 Microsoft Office for $9.95


Did you know that Military can download 
2016 Microsoft Office Professional Plus for $9.95! 
This is a steal of a deal. Normally it costs $399...yikes. You can use the download link on two computers also, which makes the final price like $5 per computer. 


Here are 8 easy steps for the Military Discount 
on Microsoft Office


1) Click here to visit Microsoft Hub
***Use your home computer/laptop (not your military laptop or military work computer)***


2) Enter your military email address 
For example: @mail.mil, us.army.mil, navy.mil or usmc.mil

*Your email must be in the following format John.Doe@navy.mil, Jane.Doe@usmc.mil, etc

If you are a veteran and don't have a military email,
 then you can still get a one year subscription for a discounted price ($62)
 at the Microsoft Store for Military


3) Enter the program codes below:
(Updated November 19, 2016)

If that doesn't work than try NOT entering any code. Some people have had success entering NO code. 

Army
enter the code 44C0707F11

Air Force
New code for 2017 Air Force members4A82EF7B8F
If you are AIR FORCE....click the blue link that says you do not know the program code and it will send you an email with what you need. I tried with the code first, then without the code... and that is what worked for me.

Navy
This code should work for Navy - 44C0707F11
or 22FCF442D2 or 18DCD3115E
Read our new post specifically for Navy Members - Click Here
For Non-NGEN USMC users: use program code 44C0707F11
For NGEN USMC users: use program code or 18DCD3115E
The code 67F2F2491D also has been reported to be successful as well. 



*Remember try entering your email address without any code FIRST


4) They will then send you an email that contains a link to download the software
 GREAT TIP from comments below - "Make sure to use your work .mil address and then forward the confirmation email to your personal PC. I have done it for both my Mac and Windows 8.1"



5) Click on the link inside the email
GREAT TIP from comments below - "Make sure to use your work .mil address and then forward the confirmation email to your personal PC. I have done it for both my Mac and Windows 8.1"


6) It will bring you to the page below



7) Proceed with the checkout and click install


8) YOU'RE DONE!!! (takes about 5 minutes)
CLICK HERE or click the Picture Below to take you to 
the $9.95 download page or  



Please comment below your Military branch and if it worked for you. If it didn't work for you give us more details then just "the code didn't work". Tell us your branch, status, email address, and details like you didn't get the email, or it wouldn't accept my military address, etc. and we will try and help. 

If you are a veteran and don't have a military email then you can still get a discounted 1 year price ($62) at the Microsoft Store for Military. Right now they are giving an extra 10% off

The military also provides McAfee or Norton Antivirus software free of charge , visit our page Military Free Antivirus Software (McAfee - Norton) to learn how to download it. 

If you LIKE what you've read, LIKE us on Facebook for more awesome Military Discounts!

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Great Wolf Lodge (20% Military Discount)


This weekend I went up to Great Wolf Lodge with my Brother and his kids. Very fun place! The cost of a room is around $160-$250 depending on how early you book and how many people you have with you. They offer 20% Military Discounts at all of their locations. You can book online by clicking here or using the promo code "HEROES" or you can ask for the military discount at the front desk.


Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Lowes Broadens 10% Military Discount to Include All Veterans

Lowes has previously been offering a 10% discount to Active Duty, 20-year-service Veterans, and VA Recipients and their immediate family. But they announced today that they will be expanding the discount to include all retired and honorably discharged veterans.


To get the everyday discount, apply at www.lowes.com/military

Lowes will either add the automatic military discount to your existing MyLowes Account or send you a MyLowes card which applies the 10% discount at the register or online. 

You can read the official news release HERE with more information.


Like what you read? Want more deals for military?

Monday, September 10, 2018

Pay Tricare Dental Plan with Credit Card

This post goes over how to switch your Tricare Dental Bill over to your credit card so you can get credit card rewards points instead of having the payment deducted straight from your paycheck.

First lets briefly go over what the Tricare Dental Plan is about:

  • As an active duty military member, the military gives me free dental coverage that includes basically everything I would need to get done
  • For your Family/Dependents, you can purchase the Tricare Dental Program for a minimal monthly fee (Single-$11.39/month,  Entire Family-$29.62/month). See table below for full details.

This provides free yearly checkups, and discounts on all dental procedures (see costs here)

The payments are normally automatically deducted from your LES. 


Here are the steps to switching it over to your credit card
Step 1 - Visit the United Concordia Website and log in here - LINK
Step 2 - Click on "More" then "My Preferences"
Step 3 - Click on "Manage my Billing Preferences"
Step 4 - A new window should open up (see pic below). You may have to enable "pop up boxes"

Step 5 - Click the payment tab. Then on the bottom right you should see a box that says "add". Click the "add" Box
Step 6 - Click on the tab "Payment Method List"
Step 7 - Click on the add button under the credit card section
Step 8 - Enter in all your credit card info
Step 9 - Go to the "Recurrent Payment List" tab
Step 10 - Click Add. Select the credit card you just entered. Change setting to "ongoing" or until a certain date
Step 11 - Done

Example
Family Plan would be $29.62/month = $355year. You put this on your USAA's 2.5% cash back credit card and that's an extra $9 bucks a year. Not much but it takes like 3-5 minutes to set up. I'm going to be in the military at least 7 more years so that's an extra $60 in credit card reward points for logging in and changing my information. 



If you LIKE what you've read, LIKE us on Facebook for more awesome Military Discounts! Also, my buddy is a dentist in Meridian Idaho and does great work if you are in that area!

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Truck Rental - Military Discount (Budget, Penske, U-Haul, etc)

When Military Personnel have to make a PCS (Permanent Change of Station) they have two main options for moving all their household goods to their new location.

  1. Have the government do it. They will hire a commercial contractor to pack and move everything. This is the stress free method. They do this at completely no cost to the military member as long as they stay within their "authorized weight limit" (example E-6=11,000 lbs or 0-3=14,500 lbs)
  2. Do it your self. The 'Personally Procured Move Program' allows military members to do it themselves. They can receive 95-100% of the Government Contracted Cost (GCC). This is usually the 'financially savy' or 'no one touches my stuff but me' method
Because Military members often like to do it themselves I thought it would be a good idea to compare all the moving truck rental companies and compare their Military Discounts. 



 
Budget Truck Rental has a Military Discount of 20%. Use the 
promotional code "20DIS"




Penske has a Military Discount of 20%
They automatically give you a 10% discount for 
booking online and an additional 10% by showing 
your Military/Veteran ID. If you are an AAA member 
however you can get 12% off which comes to 22% off. 



Other options that have competitive rates and often will price match
  • U-Haul
    • They do not have an official military discount. They give a one month free storage unit to military. You can call their them at 800-468-4285 be asked to be transferred to their sales department. Their sales department will often give you lower rates or a 10% discount. This is not considered a military discount however. (Click Here to read our full article on U-Haul's Military Discount)


If you are making a Permanent Change of Station anytime soon, consider getting multiple quotes from the companies above. If you prefer one company over another check and see if they will price match a lower price. If you have personal experience with a recent do it yourself move, tell us about it below in the comments section.



If you LIKE what you've read, LIKE us on Facebook for more awesome Military Discounts!