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Tips For Financial Literacy in the Military

With Veterans Day and Military Family Appreciation Month, November is a time of year dedicated to recognizing and honoring active military, veterans, and their families. In observance of this important time, Before You Bet wants to educate on the importance of financial literacy for service members and veterans and provide resources for those who may need them. 

During the 2021 National Council on Problem Gambling Conference, Patrick Kelly, Ph.D., and Jonathan Heller shared that gambling is a prevalent activity in all branches of the military, spanning all demographics. Additionally, there is a significant stigma around mental health in the military. As a result, there is a false belief that discussing any issues, fears, or asking for help could result in a discharge or could make it hard to move up in the ranks.

On top of these factors, many individuals enter the military straight out of high school and may not have a firm understanding of personal finances. Financial literacy is not taught in the military or most high schools, and often young members do not understand the consequences of their gambling habits.

It can be difficult for active members and veterans to admit they have financial issues. But there are free programs that can help them, or anyone, take control of their finances and learn more about all that goes into financial decisions.

Personal Finance 101: This beginner course offered by Udemy, explains the basics of personal finance. It helps to educate users on difficult to understand topics like credit management, tax preparation, and how to handle big purchases like a house or new car. It enables users to have a good knowledge base on the fundamentals of finances so they’re able to make well-informed decisions. It contains 53 lectures and can be completed in about 3 hours.

Financial Literacy: This course by Alison goes into in-depth discussions on not just your money, but also understanding what financial literacy is, how it works, and what it means for you personally. It includes interactive classes that help you set up bank accounts, show you how to do taxes, and how to budget properly. It can be completed in about 6-10 hours. 

Personal Finance: This course by the University of Missouri provides personal finance tips through their iPhone-specific app. This can allow users to learn on the go and apply their quick eight video courses to real life. 

There is always something new to learn when it comes to responsible gambling. For additional resources, tips, and news on gambling visit BeforeYouBet.org. 

Before You Bet also offers a free, two-minute quiz that gauges risk level for gambling and a community toolkit with resources dedicated to veterans, available at BeforeYouBet.org/community-toolkit  

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