Get Up To $3,000 Per Year in State Military Benefits

Most state governments offer military benefits in addition to those offered by the federal government.  I live in Minnesota and recently learned I can use the MN GI Bill benefits in addition to my federal GI Bill.  One feature of this is up to $3,000 a year in reimbursement for licenses, certificates, and admission tests (like the GRE).  More details can be found here: https://mn.gov/mdva/resources/education/minnesotagibill/ I recently completed an online written exam to earn my Lean Six Sigma Black belt through www.IASSC.com.  The black belt test is $395 and I opted to take the practice exam for an additional $89.  After passing the…

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Opportunity Cost of Military Orders

For most of my Reserves career I operated on the assumption that TDY orders (Temporary Duty Y’all) meant making bank.  In the past few years in my civilian career I started to earn a decent salary and my assumption switched to “I’m going to lose money on these orders” – or there will be a financial opportunity cost to taking orders.  The simple answer would be to compare my civilian pay stub against my military pay stub and compare. That wouldn’t be any fun and there are some intricacies that I would miss so I thought about this a little deeper.  I don’t…

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American Express Platinum for Military

I’m finally going there as a financial blogger (sorta) – I’m going to talk about a credit card.  I know there are a million other sites who will review and talk about credit cards better than I will and I’m not going to review every one I open.  However, this one is pertinent to those of you who are in the military and reservists in particular.  This week I applied for and was approved for the American Express Platinum card!  If you’re new to this scene it’s the elite travel card with tons of benefits….and a $550 annual fee.  That fee, however, is…

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Handling Joint Finances

When you get married or are in a long-term relationship eventually you will have to discuss if/how you will merge finances.  I’ll share with you the methodology my wife and I have been using for the past several years.  This is not the perfect system, but it is what has been working for us.  We all have hidden financial biases developed in our youth that influences how we think and act in regards to money.  I once read a good book on the topic but I can no longer remember or locate the title.  While I don’t know what our personal biases exactly…

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