The Deployment ABCs is a 26-week series where I cover every deployment-related topic, from care packages to homecomings to OPSEC. Tips, tricks and maybe a resource or two to help military spouses navigate their way through the craziness that is a deployment. If there’s a topic you’d like for me to cover or are interested in adding your own thoughts to, send me an email and we’ll chat!
Can you believe that we are at the halfway point in the Deployment ABCs series?! Hopefully, you’ve gathered a few nuggets from all the topics I’ve covered, whether they’re about care packages, or first deployment advice or even keeping in touch with your loved one. I’ve tried to keep a positive spin on everything, despite all of us knowing that deployment hardcore sucks.
So here’s the positive message for today: deployments can totally help you out financially.
Many soldiers/sailors/airmen/Marines are deployed to combat zones, any area the President of the United States designates by Executive Order as an area in which the U.S. Armed Forces are engaging or earned during that time is tax free. That means, if you play your cards right, you can come out of a deployment in a much better financial position than you were in when the deployment started. You need to make big decisions about your finances. For example, there’s lots of credit cards for building credit out there and you need to ensure you pick the one that will be best for your unique situation.#Deployments can put you in a better financial situation, if you're careful. Click To Tweet
A and I have been very lucky to have that happen to us during both deployments. We’ve been able to purchase a new home, pay back loans faster, replace A’s car and go on a few extra vacations thanks to our “deployment money”. It’s a great feeling and I am forever grateful that we’ve been able to take advantage of that unique situation.
But it doesn’t just happen. No one just hands you extra money and tells you to go have fun. Obviously, we go through the ups and downs of deployments, but we’re also very budget conscious during those times we’re separated. When A is gone, all of those daily bills (groceries, extras, utilities), shift over to me and therefore I have to do more with the same amount of money. Whether it’s saving money on care packages or cutting out some extras, I try to keep my budget tight while A is gone.
We also talk about finances before he leaves. What would we like to do with the extra money when he gets home? What do we need to do with that money? And how much would we like to have by the time we make it to homecoming? By setting expectations and priorities early on, we both have something to work towards and it keeps us on track.
Based on those priorities, we can work out our deployment budget(s) together so we both feel comfortable with the plan. Add a dash of willpower, bake for approximately 4-6 months and you could really find yourself in a good financial position.
How do you save money during deployments?