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Tips to Help Military Families Overcome the Stress of Deployment
Military spouses take much upon themselves, from managing their family's day-to-day activities to all of the household chores. They’re usually prepared to take on the tasks of two adults, but many military families with a spouse deployed still struggle with managing their finances. There are a few easy steps that military families can take to manage their unique financial challenges.
- Plan ahead.
In many marriages, one spouse takes care of paying all of the bills behind the scenes, while often the other doesn’t even know the online banking passwords! That may work for some marriages, but if the spouse who manages money is out of the country, then the other spouse absolutely must know how to log in or send payments via email or mail. Whether the spouse at home needs to pay the VA mortgage or the power bill, he or she will have easy access to it, even if he or she can’t reach the other spouse.
- Discuss the situation.
Not all couples talk about their finances, but some can benefit from maintaining the previous relationship they’d already established with their spouse about money. The deployed spouse often won’t be able to access online financial information, so it’s important to keep him or her in the loop, if possible, to maintain a sense of normalcy, so that both parties can have input on the situation.
- Set a budget.
Go over the household finances before the deployed spouse leaves. Whether your family pays rent, has a VA mortgage, or has a significant amount of credit card debt, the best way to tackle the family situation is to have a plan for savings and expenses.
- Take advantage of resources.
The first priority of many service members is communication with their families about daily life, which is why the military provides these service members with free calling cards. They often take advantage of this time to talk with their spouse about household finances, family situations, and anything else that has come up. Talking about important household matters like this is one way to ensure finances stay on track while one spouse is deployed.
It takes a lot of effort for military families to maintain their finances, but with a little effort, every family can easily manage their VA mortgage, power bill, and other expenses.