During my short tenure as a Corporal, one of my Marines could barely read and write. He got made fun of for it (often), but we slowly taught him how to make words on paper. This skill matters.
Many Marines were never taught how to use spreadsheets, like Microsoft Excel, or Google Sheets - the way your money is displayed to you through your banks app interface. Do you see the problem yet?
We laid out a typical LCPLs budget with color coding, so that even after your Marine eats all of their crayons, they can still figure out where there money went. But I think we can do even better for our jar-headed peers.
Look at the green box at the bottom right of this image:
You'll find spending goals for each day ($21), week ($159), Month ($637), and Year ($7,648).
The box at the very bottom tells you what this money would add up to at your EAS date. This example uses a devil getting out on June 20, 2026 - they could easily get out with 15 or 20 grand in the bank, with a little bit of effort.
Effort can be a tricky little bitch, though.
You can absolutely bust your ass, working as hard as you can, and still end up with less than nothing - this is bull shit, and we can fix it.
I propose that if an 18 year old American PFC doesn't know how to spell, it's safe to assume they could be deceived financially. That would be simply unacceptable.
The following image depicts the exact same information as the calculator above, only it is laid out visually. Does this give a better picture of where this Marine's money goes?
To me, $637 seems like a pretty good chunk of change to party for a month. Especially because we already saved and set aside $150 for beer!
My goal for the new year happens to be $21 per day, which I will be keeping track of in the payday challenge program. I predict that I'll pay more attention to the money I'm spending if I pay the $10 per month to challenge myself.
At the end of the month, I'll have more money than if I didn't play the game. I'm playing because I can't afford not to. Can you?
-LCPL Brandon, M.S.