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6 Ways to Cut Costs During a Deployment
If you or your family is having trouble financially while your spouse is deployed, it is important to know that you are not alone. Almost a quarter of all military families with active duty service members are young, single-income families and at times must rely on food stamps and other forms of aid.
It is hard enough to be apart from your significant other during their deployment, without the added stress of financial difficulty. Below are six important strategies to implement that will help you financially, especially while your spouse is deployed.
Familiarize Yourself with the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA)
If you need help getting out of your lease in order to relocate due to your spouse’s change of station, the SCRA is a resource that can help you. Under this act, members of the military may be eligible for specific caps on interest rates for loans (like car financing and mortgages) and other debt (credit cards) incurred prior to military service.
Put off Large Purchases
You may need to replace large appliances or buy furniture for your new home, but if possible, try to spend money on only the basics until you can get better footing. Minimizing your spending and finding creative ways to do things will pay off in the long run. If you must lay out a large sum, look for businesses that offer affordable interest free loans over several years, with perks for members of the military.
Weed Out Wasted Time
If you are not able to work full time but should be able to prioritize your schedule to accommodate part-time or temporary work. Think of your time as money – each hour that you spend at the grocery store could be spent making money at work. Finding solutions like taking turns shopping with other military spouses can help free up time so you can work. Staffing agencies are a good resource to use for finding part-time work.
Establish a Realistic Budget
Have money set aside for food, utilities, car expenses, clothing and emergencies. This will take away some of the anxiety of having to make financial decisions for the family on your own while your spouse is deployed.
Go Cash Only
Do not take your debit/credit cards with you when you go out. Use cash to pay for groceries, gas, entertainment and other small expenses. This will allow you to spend only the amount you have available.
Save any deployment pay
If your spouse is eligible for extra pay during deployment, saving this money is key. It is important to put deployment pay into a savings account whenever possible. These additional incomes will serve as a rainy-day fund in case an emergency comes up.
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