Financial Services Feature Story

Do you have a small windfall headed your way?

Maybe you’re getting a tax refund, extra pay due to annual training or JRTC, or a military or civilian bonus. There are lots of things you could do with that money, but what is the best use of it for your life, right now?

Sometimes one of the best things you can do when you get a windfall is to just stop and take a moment (or a few) to think about your current financial situation. Are you feeling financial pressure? Where is it coming from? How can this money help with that?

Here are some ideas to consider:

According to a 2018 Military Family Survey, 82% of respondents reported that they lacked an adequate emergency fund. How about you? If you needed a quick $400, would you be able to come up with the money without putting it on a credit card?

Speaking of credit cards, if you buy everyday items like toiletries, gas, groceries, or clothing on a credit card and don’t pay the bill in full at the end of the month, the cost of those items gets a lot more expensive. Paying down high interest debt can save you hundreds or thousands of dollars a year.

Invest in yourself, and your spouse if you have one. Think about your career paths. Is there a certification, class, or conference that would improve your income or career potential? How about your child? Perhaps now is the time to start or add to a 529 college savings fund.

Don’t forget to celebrate, especially if you earned your money from AT or JRTC. You worked hard for that money. Decide how much you want to spend, maybe 10%-20%, kick back and enjoy!

If you are interested in any of these options, check out the links at: or call Susan Kelley-Outten at 802-318-2507 or email at


Vermont Veterans Outreach Personal Financial Counselor provides financial services to Vermont’s Veterans, Service Members and their families. These services include budgeting, debt reduction, retirement planning, and much more. Our Family Program Personal Financial Counselor can assist you in your efforts to become financially stable and independent. The Personal Financial Services integrates within the military life-cycle; from pre-deployment financial preparation activities through transitioning from the military to civilian life. These services are free, confidential and available to Veterans and families residing in Vermont.

2019 Tax Season Brief