As we head into Memorial Day weekend and look forward to spending time with our friends and families, our thoughts go out to those in military families who are separated from their loved ones. While Mint.com can’t help much in bringing them physically closer, we can bring them financially together and reduce some of the stresses that money management places on them. We spoke with Lieutenant Colonel Mike Fenzel about this issue.
Lieutenant Colonel Fenzel has served in Afghanistan and Iraq while his wife and three children remained stateside. He agrees that family members serving overseas face a particularly difficult time staying on top of their money while living apart.
“Leaving home to go to war for a year or more is hard enough, but when you add the complexity of managing finances while taking care of the kids it becomes a significant challenge and, as the months go by, a real burden,” he says. “This is particularly true if you own a home, are paying off school loans, or raising a growing family. When you do finally get on the phone with your spouse, the very last thing you want to talk about is a financial problem. Any tools that will make this easier for military families and lighten this burden would result in thousands of silent ‘thank you’s’ from around the military community.”
Mint.com addresses the needs of military families (and all families) by:
- Letting you see the family’s total financial picture on one, secure website…available 7/24.
- Making it simpler to track the family’s spending. We consolidate and categorize all debit and credit card charges in a single, searchable database…and provide charts and graphs which show how spending is trending over time.
- Making it easier to set and stick to budgets, by automatically calculating and tracking spending in the categories that each family feels are most critical.
- Making it clear how the family’s investments are performing vs. “the Market” with easy-to-understand graphs.
- Sending email or text alerts on significant expenses and deposits to both spouses simultaneously, wherever they are in the world.
- Providing iPhone access to virtually all of the above services, via the free Mint.com iPhone app.
We hope to provide a little peace of mind to anyone serving at home or abroad. Thanks for your service and Happy Memorial Day to all.