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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PICK Chart – A Decision Making Tool

I recently decided to sell my rental property prior to a 6-month set of orders with the Air Force that would take me from Minnesota to Texas.  I decided to get out of the long-distance land lording business while the market seemed good. I gave myself a month to prep it for sale (so much needed after 7 years of renting it out).  Well, in true military fashion, the Air Force moved my start date up by 2 weeks and gave me 10 days’ notice (actually they didn’t tell me, I just happened to find out, but that’s a story for another day). …

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Optimizing the Air Force Fitness test

At the start of every Air Force fitness test you see any number of airmen nervously looking over the scorecards to ensure they know the minimum number they need to pass in the next up category.  Meanwhile I’m looking at it thinking how stupid it is that I have to go from 52 to 57 pushups in a minute just to get that last half point to take me from a 99.5 to 100.  Because I am who I am, I broke it down into a spreadsheet for you below.  I’ve only scratched my own itch and completed it for my age/gender.  If…

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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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Hobby Selection Matrix

If you’re like me you have more hobbies and interests than you have time or money to actually do in this lifetime.  Therefore, we must prioritize how we will spend our leisure time.  I’ve created a more objective approach to deciding by creating a WEIGHTED MATRIX in Excel.  A weighted matrix is simply a multiplication of criteria of an activity against its subjective value to you.  This idea came from a choosefi.com article.  I expanded upon it by adding a category for relationships and creating the excel matrix.  Filling the matrix out is straight forward, simply follow the instructions.  The scoring definitions can…

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Military Leave benefits- PTO calculator

With my upcoming military leave for technical school (6-9 months depending on seasoning training) I’ve begun to investigate my civilian employers military leave policy (beyond the basic requirements by law).  I learned the only real benefit is I will continue to accrue paid time off PTO while I am on military leave. This is nothing to scoff at and a fantastic benefit. I had the same benefit while working for a sheriff’s office when I deployed to Iraq for 2 full years.  I returned with more PTO than what was allowed (280 hours) and had to take one day off a pay period…

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