If nearing the end of another year  means you’re getting closer to leaving the Armed Forces, then this article is for you.

MoneyForce (at www.moneyforce.org.uk) has the information and tools you need to make the resettlement transition as smooth as possible. MoneyForce is brought to you by The Royal British Legion, the MoD and Standard Life Chartible Trust, set up to help UK Service personnel and their families.

MoneyForce just gives you the facts so you can make your own informed decisions. So here are a few things to get you started on the road to civvy street.

Find a home

The Joint Service Housing Advice Office (JSHAO) holds briefings all year round whether you’re leaving Service or not, so attend one of their briefings. They’ll explain your options and give you advice and information to help you get started.

Check out the HomeFinder tool on MoneyForce to find out the average cost of property around the UK. Answer a few simple questions and it will tell you how likely you are to be able to get a mortgage, or how to improve your situation.

You can also find information about estate agents, solicitors and the whole home-buying process.

Find work

You could be eligible for a variety of support including time off to complete resettlement activities, access to one of the Career Transition support programmes, a grant for training costs and allowances for travel or accommodation costs.

For access to online courses, jobs, and impartial advice, grants and loans, try The Royal British Legion’s Civvy Street website.

Another resource is SORTED! – a group of seven well established charities providing a wide range of employment-related services and support for you and your spouse/partner and dependants to find and stay in work. They can also provide advice on training and any other employability issues.

Make the most of your money

You will need to budget even more carefully on the outside. MoneyForce has some cool, interactive tools, for example:

Start off with the MoneyFit Challenge – where you can assess your financial fitness across five key topics – budgeting, debt, savings, planning and protection. Test yourself and get your own personalised action plan so you know what to do first.

Use the Budget planner, Credit Card Calculator and GoalSaver. If you can get your money working for you, that’s one thing less to worry about.

Prepare yourself

What to do with your pension, which insurance policies you need or finding out which organisations can help you and your family – MoneyForce has it all.

Take a look at grablife.moneyforce.org.uk for information on your pension options whether you’re serving or have left the Armed Forces.

So look forward to the New Year and your new life with MoneyForce’s 5 top tips:

  1. Reduce your debts – it’s usually a good idea to pay off expensive debts first (eg credit card) so it’s not eating into your day-to-day money. Use our Credit card calculator to see how paying off a little more each month can reduce your debt.
  2. Do the MoneyFit Challenge – check what your current situation is and what you need to do to get on the right track.
  3. Agree where you will live – unless you have family or work commitments, could you move to a cheaper part of the country? Use the HomeFinder tool to find out how likely you are to get a mortgage.
  4. Use your existing skills or retrain – you can use your Learning Credits in conjunction with your Training Costs Grant to fund activities which form part of your personal resettlement plan. Take advantage of organisations that can help you write your CV and check out their job directories, they have a wealth of employers willing to take on ex military personnel.
  5. Look forward and stay MoneyFit – review your budget whenever your circumstances change with the Budget planner and save for your future with the GoalSaver.

The future is in your hands and with a little help from MoneyForce (and friends) you can make it work for you!