This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Navy Federal Credit Union. All opinions are 100% mine.
Finances are a huge source of stress on marriage. But for military families, that natural stress is compounded by the obstacles of military life. The underemployment and unemployment rates for military spouses are much, much higher than the national average. Military families move considerably more than their civilian counterparts. And military families are often far from home and support, which can create extra financial burdens on a family.
All of that can make budgeting a hot topic for military families. While it can be frustrating and time-consuming (and let’s be real, a little intimidating), taking the time now to look into 2019 and creating a budget with your spouse for your family can create buy-in from everyone, can save you money, and can make sure you’re ready as possible for what life (or the military) throws your way.
When you create your budget, you’ll want to think about these four things:
A popular myth in the military community is that deployment means more money. But oftentimes, deployment also puts a strain on military families. If a deployment is in your family’s near future, start thinking about what that deployment means to your family. Does it mean that you will only be able to work part-time while you’re solo-parenting? Does it mean increased childcare costs? Maybe you’ll be moving home for the deployment. Or maybe you just need to work in some budget for care packages. (By the way, here’s how to save major cash on those.)
Are you PCSing in 2019? If so, make sure you have a little cushion. While the military does pay for the move, there are so many incidentals that go unpaid. And if you’re waiting for reimbursement, you need to be able to sustain the loss from your finances until the military pays you back.
3. An emergency trip home
While no one wants to be called home for an emergency, what if you had to be? Think about where you live in relationship to the people you love. Could you afford a trip to be at a beloved grandparent’s bedside or to attend a funeral of a loved one? What about the not-so-emergency ones (like weddings or births)? If not, consider planning to save a few bucks from every paycheck specifically for emergency travel. Hopefully you won’t have to use it… but if the need arises, you’ll have it available for yourself and your family.
4. A natural disaster
No matter where you live, you should have a chunk of change set aside for a natural disaster. A little bit of cushion will make it easier to evacuate or deal with the aftermath. And as we’ve seen in the last few years, natural disasters are getting stronger. Military families are particularly vulnerable to disasters that happen where they’re stationed because they may not be used to them. Here’s what you should be thinking about at your duty station.
See all the ways you could earn and save with Navy Federal Credit Union. If you’re part of a military family or are affiliated with the DoD, you can become a Member at Navy Federal Credit Union.