Becoming a pilot can be a very expensive endeavor. Since one of our goals at True Course Simulations is to help prepare students for their aviation career, we want to make sure we touch on all aspects of becoming a pilot, and that includes the financial side. We previously posted about several scholarship resources. However, we wanted to give you the following resources to help you be financially savvy so you can become cockpit savvy.
When dreaming about becoming a pilot, finances aren’t the first thing anyone thinks about.
It’s more fun to think about getting up in the air, but paying for it is something you can’t escape.
What kind of costs can you expect?
- Tuition for schools and instructors
- Flight simulation
- Flight hours
- Medical exams
- An aviation headset
- Tools for emergencies
- The exams to become certified
Not only will you have to pay for the things listed above, you also have to consider the costs associated with everyday living. Most likely you have housing costs, maybe a car payment, grocery expenses, a phone bill, internet, and several other expenses. Altogether, that means thousands of dollars. Whether you choose the university route or the FBO option, it will be expensive. Also, what happens if you want to buy your own plane?
While there are many financial tools, books, and institutions to help you.
Here are a few that are easy to navigate and readily available.
Mint’s claim is that they put “your financial life, all in one place.” They have tools for budgeting, saving, paying off debt, and even investing. Whatever goal you may have, like saving for pilot training, buying your own plane, or taking a long cross country flight, they have tools to help. Signing up is free, and it’s easy to use. You can even keep track of your credit score which may be helpful if you will be needing to take out loans for your training or buying a plane.
Dave Ramsey is a popular financial guru. He has several books out on the market, but also offers many free online resources. One of his popular tools is the debt snowball tool. This could come in really handy for paying off any debt you may have incurred. He also offers step-by-step guidance about how to become financially free, and gives sound tips and advice from years of experience.
This financial app made it on to CNBC’s best financial apps of 2014 list. It offers a way to keep track of your expenses on your phone. The program is simple, straightforward, and free. All of your expenses are grouped together in large categories so you can see where you are spending the most money. It is an easy way to see where your money is going which can help you be more aware and possibly spend less when needed. Spending less now can mean having more to spend on those important things for your aviation career or hobby later.
Paying bills is inevitable, and it’s easy to forget to pay a bill. Check is a free app that you can use on your phone to help you pay all of your bills on time. Not only will it send you reminders, but you can link up your bank accounts to actually use the app to pay your bills. It also has the power to link accounts from multiple banks and accounts in case you have more than one.
Financial Resources Directly Aimed At Pilots
The Aircraft Owner and Pilots Association is known for providing many resources to those in the aviation industry. One of those resources is helping its members find financing from reliable aviation lenders. They provide a loan calculator, many great articles to read, and an experienced team. If you want to buy your own plane they may be able to help.
Pilot Finance, Inc. finances flight training for student pilots. Their programs focus on private pilot training, but can include commercial training. They also finance helicopter training as well as sport pilot training as long as it fits within the scope of their program. If you plan on being in a part-time training program they may be the lending institution for you.
Finances aren’t as fun as flight time, but they are a huge key to making your dreams a reality. Securing finances through scholarships or loans is important if that is the route you need to take, but so is understanding your expenses, savings, and how to get out of debt. Hopefully, these resources will prove helpful for your journey.
Need another great resource to help you in your training? Check out our Private Pilot Course.