Long time no blog! I am using this time of quarantine as a way to get reacquainted with the wonderful habit of journaling and blogging with a first person voice, keeping you and me entertained in the process. You may feel like you have missed a few episodes, or rather a whole season! I will try to catch up as we go. In the meanwhile, stay safe and wash your hands 🙂
Today, I looked back at what I have done for the almost two months we’ve been on lockdown, and it’s not much.
I’ve stayed alive, healthy, so have the dogs and my husband. I have put on a bra before noon most days and had reasonable amounts of alcohol. We’ll call that a win.
But I also found out immigration might reopen the first week of June, and started thinking about more of a life plan.
Then an opportunity fell on my lap to apply for a fellowship and train to become a financial counselor.
Basically, it’s like a health coach, you make a financial plan with families depending on their goals, but you don’t sell them crappy products just because you get a commission.
The military bases have financial counselors, and I can’t say I’m in love with the ones here. So instead of complaining, I could take their job!
The fellowship covers the cost of studying, which is like $2,000, and then you have to do 1,000 hours of practice, which can be paid or not.
Because I am still waiting for my green card, I don’t have a work permit. So I am just allowed to study for now. Once the work permit comes, I could find a company to work for pay, even minimal, that would be better than a free internship.
You can also ask them to lower the 1,000 hours of practice to 400 if you have any experience, which between that blog and some financial coaching I have already done for readers, family and friends, I really hope I can pull.
The idea is this credential opens doors to help military families do better financially. I am passionate about financial literacy and it pains me to see families struggle financially when they shouldn’t have to.
We’ve talked before about the ton of free stuff you get in the military, from housing to healthcare to food allowance to gym and movie theaters, really, there is no reason to be paycheck to paycheck, even if salaries are lower than the private sector.
But a lot of junior members make poor decisions like getting in debt for a brand new car and maxing out their credit cards, and then it takes years to fix.
So the plan is to help the younger service members before this happens, and help the senior ones to make sure they transition back to civilian life with a good financial footing.
If I get a job on base, my services would be free to families, which is awesome. A bit like the content on this blog which will always be free, and I find advertisers to pay me instead.
Or I could freelance, with flexible hours and a higher rate. But money isn’t really the goal here. It is to pay it forward to the community, meet people, and maybe get a W2 so I can qualify for a mortgage and get into real estate here.
So I have applied for the fellowship, answer early July!