There are so many amazing military spouses out there kicking butt on a daily basis that deserve to be recognized and I’m excited to feature one of them each month with my Military Spouse Profile series. If you’re interested in sharing your story (or know someone who might), please send me an email!
Introduce yourself to my readers! Tell us a little bit about who you are.
My name is Kara and I am a military spouse and a mom of two! My son is two and my daughter is 3 months old. I’m a fairly new military spouse, my husband has only been serving for 3 years but we are excited about our future. I am the creator of Foxtrot & Pennies where I write about ways for military spouses to use their resources to save money, make money, and conquer the challenges of military life while living on a budget. I saw a lot of stories about military wives struggling to budget, running out of money, taking out high-interest loans, having to go to a national payday loan relief company, needing to dip into their savings, etc. so I decided I wanted to share my knowledge on the topic to help wives get more financially stable. Whether you want simple tips on saving money or resources that will help you plan how to get out of debt, my blog has everything.
What inspired you to start your blog or business?
The plan was to always be a nurse. I went to nursing school (and accrued tens of thousands of dollars of student loan debt) and got a job as a nurse. Then my son was born and everything changed. I wanted to be home with him SO badly, plus my husband had just joined up with the military and I didn’t know where that was going to take us. I wanted a way to create a second income for our family while staying home with my son, so I did some research on the best ways to create a second income. A lot of people recommended using a list of the best slot sites to try and make money via slots. I considered this, but I have never been much of a gambler, and it appears you need to know what you are doing. Some of my friends had some success with cryptocurrency investing and used things like Bitcoin Up to make a decent second income, so that was always an option I had on the cards. I also wanted to incorporate helping the military spouse community that I fell in love with. I quickly learned how difficult it was to live on one salary and discovered that so many other military families were struggling financially as well.
What’s the main message you hope your blog shares with your readers?
That there is hope! Debt and struggling to make it from paycheck to paycheck is so overwhelming. It almost feels like you are drowning. I know a few people who have started using some of the best credit cards to build credit so that they can get lower interest rates on big purchases and manage their finances better. I commend them and it’s all about finding a solution that works best for you. I want my readers to know that I know how they feel, I’ve been where they are and I want to help them. I want them to know that there are resources available to help military families save money and there are actual legitimate ways for military spouses to create extra income from home (or wherever they happen to be living at the moment).
What is your favorite part of being a military spouse?
My favorite part of being a military spouse is the experiences.
Tell us a little bit about your journey as a military spouse-the ups and downs, lessons learned, etc.
In the short time I’ve been a spouse I’ve travelled to places I probably would have never gone to, I’ve given birth without my husband (which I never thought I’d be strong enough to do), I’ve flown on an airplane by myself with an infant (and survived) and countless other things I never thought I’d have to do. I’ve felt excited, lonely, and anxious. I know what it’s like to go weeks without talking to my spouse. I know what it’s like to have to live on a new, low-ranking military salary (spoiler alert- it’s hard). I’ve learned a lot about myself, my marriage, and my parenting abilities but I’m still excited about what lies ahead and I wouldn’t change it for the world.
What’s the number one piece of advice you would give a new military spouse?
No matter what you are facing, know that you are stronger than you think. You can get through it. Maybe you are facing your first deployment, or your spouse just left for boot camp. Maybe you are struggling to find a job after your last PCS and don’t know how to live on one salary. There have been at least 4 different situations in the last 3 years that I was faced with where I seriously doubted whether I was strong enough to get through it. But I did, and you can too.
What or who has been the biggest help or source of support to you in your role as a military spouse?
My husband. He’s my best friend. He always reminds me that I’m strong, he let’s me know how proud he is of my accomplishments. When I have moments of “I-hate-military-life” I think about how it’s his dream, how proud I am of everything he’s done, how hard he works for our family and how we need to support each other. Saying this though, it can be quite hard sometimes, which is why I have done some research into a military debt consolidation loan, just so I can get a bit of assistance, as it can be a struggle taking care of a child on your own. Of course we also have to make plans for when my husband is no longer serving. Just the other day I was reading through a blog that was filled with money saving tips and other financial advice for veterans though so I am sure we will be able to work something out when that time comes.
Do you have a favourite place the military has taken you? What is it and why?
My favorite so far is Texas when he graduated. It was so unreasonably hot and miserable and I probably would have never travelled there if it weren’t for my husband graduating basic training. But this was my favorite because it was the moment he got to meet his son for the first time. I’ll never forget that moment.
Just for fun:
- Favorite Netflix binge-worthy watch? The Office
- What’s your favorite hobby? Arts & Crafts
- Chocolate or vanilla? Vanilla!
- Tell us a random fact about yourself. I am literally obsessed with cheese sticks but my daughter is dairy intolerant so I can’t eat them while she’s breastfeeding (she’s definitely gonna hear about this later in life!)
Many thanks to Kara for sharing her story this month! I am really happy to have her join me because she’s come such a long way as a military spouse in such a short amount of time. Each of us had a learning curve when we first started and I think Kara has really rocked hers! You can find Kara on her website, Facebook, Facebook group, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.