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The yellow footprints if you don’t know is what you will stand on right when you get to bootcamp. They are literal yellow footprints that you stand on with all the other recruits you arrived with. I believe it is supposed to signify standing right where every recruit stands before they become a Marine. That we all start at the same spot and you are just about to hate life for three months. But trust me when you are actually standing on the yellow footprints you will not be thinking that all. Or if you do those thoughts will quickly leave your thoughts. My only thought once I stepped on the yellow footprints was one simple one. “Fuck I should have joined the Air Force”. It is what it is you know.

Getting to the Yellow Footprints

Seeing as you are thinking about getting on the yellow footprints, I will make the assumption that you are in the DEP and waiting to go to bootcamp. You may even have some anxiety and excitement about leaving, I certainly did.

 I came out of Florida, so I obviously went to Parris Island. Just to give you a little insight on the actual arrival to Parris Island. I and the other deppers from all the services stayed at a hotel before leaving. This is all paid for by the Marine Corps. I think it’s to keep us from backing out last second. I was there with all the other military deppers from other the branches coming out of that MEPS, maybe the Coast Guard too…I know they are technically apart of the military but fuck them you know. So pretty much all the military deppers were there to ship out the next day.

The Day of Shipping Out

So, the day of shipping out you will first go to MEPS to get checked out one last time. You will go over your contract just last-minute checks to make sure everything is okay. The logistics is all provided so don’t worry about getting there. (Weird but writing this is making me relive the emotions I had waiting at MEPS. All the deppers were quiet and looked scared. Even though Air Force guys for whatever fucking reason. But I just remember everyone was quiet. So, its normal to feel this the day of shipping out.)

The Marine Deppers were the last ones to leave. I remember because little by little more deppers were leaving until it was only the Marine Deppers. Then the few of us got in a van and headed to Parris Island, South Carolina. We stopped a couple of times for gas, restroom breaks, and our last meal was at a Golden Corral. Again, no expense coming from you. I am not sure why the recruiters insist on having a 20 on you, probably just in case. But this is the actual transportation if you are coming from Florida.

Right Before Arriving

I remember right before arriving our driver who was a Marine veteran tried to give us all a pep talk. It was the shittiest pep talk I have ever heard. He basically just said they won’t hit you, so it’s not that bad. It was not very uplifting at all. I remember thinking, “oh, okay that’s cool.” Then I am not sure if this is standard procedures but as we get the gates of Parris Island the driver told us we all had to put our heads down. I can only guess so we don’t think about escaping? I don’t know your guess is as good as mine.

Anyways you will wait in the van or bus whatever you came in for a while. Then the Drill Instructors will come get you. You know all that yelling and screaming you hear that they do. Yeah that’s actually true, like 100 percent. You get up and get out quickly. Then you finally step on the yellow footprints. It’s going to be dark outside, cold, and you also may evaluate every decision you have made in your entire life until that point. You will see the steel doors; they do look pretty cool. This is how you finally get to the yellow footprints. Don’t base what you see from the Drill Instructors from your first impression though. They get much nicer and friendly once they get to know you. Just understand when they scream at you that they just don’t know how special you are.

Check out my other posts. And as always if you any questions just send them my way and I will get back to you. Being a Marine Poolee and USMC Standards.

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Many people in the military struggle with saving in the military. This is not anything new or groundbreaking. But really most people in general having trouble saving. Luckily there is a very simple way to ensure you can get a handle on your personal finances in the military.

Easy Way to Save in the Military

Some of you go paycheck to paycheck, sometimes desperately waiting for the 1st and 15th. This may actually be you or at the minimum you know someone like this, and this is 100% percent totally avoidable. Most people and this maybe you save in this way. Which is I will save what I can after I pay all my expenses. After I pay all my bills, groceries, oh and I need to spend some money on enjoying life. So, after all this I will save what is left over. This is pretty much the way people try to save. This is a good way to make sure you spend all your money and not being responsible with your money. But this is a generally bad way to save. This method usually never works, and it is just unsustainable. No one is going to think about saving after you pay all your bills and after buying the things that you enjoy in life.

So, what is the better way to save? Is there even a way to save money but also at the same time being able to spend money on things you like? Yes… yes there is. The way to do this is to save first. Yes, it is this simple. Which is why it is the best way to save in the military.  

New Way To Think About Saving

Think about saving as almost another expense, like another bill. But this bill is one that helps you and in your personal finances. Think about it you make sure or are told to always pay your bills. You always or at least try to always pay your bills first then whatever is left over you spend. Well to save consistently and to ensure you save and have a better handle on your personal finances make sure you pay yourself first. You pay everyone else first, but not you? That doesn’t make any sense. Pay yourself first. Annnnnd then go and spend your money like usual. You can spend down to the last cent if you want. It’s not recommended, but you will at least be responsible enough to have set money aside into your savings account. In this way you consistently save every month or every paycheck depending on how you want to save it.  

How to Save in the Military

This is where it gets very easy and you will easily forget you are saving. The “how” to save money is also very easy and simple. You just set up your finances where you save automatically.

Depending on how you want to do this. You can setup your bank account to take a certain amount every paycheck or every month, whatever you want and put it in a savings account. This could be the same way you pay your credit card. Where you automatically make payments at a certain date.

Make paying yourself first automatic. You can make this on the 1st or 15th, some date close to this, so that it will automatically go to your savings account. This means your money will quickly go to your savings account not giving you the chance to spend the money. It goes straight to your savings account. This is simple to do. With most banks it is easy to do online, or you could even just call the bank and have them do it. I used Navy Fed and have never had a problem with this.  

Understand by doing this and setting this up automatically you will never have to think about actually saving it will just happen automatically. You will probably forget you have this saved up, then in a couple of months when you remember you will be happy to see it add up.When you do this you can still spend money on the things you want. You don’t have to account for every dollar. There really is not much you need to do, except set it up

How Much Should I Save

If you are asking yourself how much you should save, just put a number that is realistic. Maybe even for the beginning on the more conservative side. Just so you can see how easily it is to save and how it starts to add up after a while.

This Saving Method

This saving method by the way can be utilized for saving into anything you want. Into an emergency fund, vacation fund, Christmas gift fund, and even a retirement fund. The concept can be used for all of these. You are essentially just putting your money automatically into whatever you want to save money in.

Conclusion

Understand that this way to save is very easy and you need to put minimal effort into doing this. All you do is the setup and you will save every month. Its simplicity is the reason I think it is the best way to save in the military.

Feel free to subscribe because I will be posting an article on how you can use this method to save for your retirement.

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How To Save Money in the Military
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