Deployments can pile on even more financial issues. Here are 10 ideas for saving money during this hard time. Remember, every dollar helps!

Savings Deposit Program (SDP)

The SDP was established to provide Military members serving in designated combat zones the opportunity to build their financial savings.  Amounts up to $10,000 earn 10% interest annually.  Check out the video above and find more information here.

Active Duty Credit Report Alerts

Federal credit reporting law provides special protection for Active Duty Servicemembers, including Reservists serving anywhere other than their usual station.  This helps prevent identity theft against Servicemembers who are stationed far away from their home address. Find out more here.

Cellphones

Most combat areas are without cellphone coverage, resulting in no need to keep cellphone service on (unless there is a need to receive calls from that number).  Check with your cellphone provider to see if there are any hidden fees in turning off or pausing service. Skype is a great alternative to connect with loved ones during a deployment.

Car Insurance

Notify your car insurance company right after deployment. Let them know about the situation and you may be able to receive a discount for the duration of the deployment.

Dollar Store Gifts

The dollar store is a fun place to find small gifts for your deployed loved one.  Even a cheap, tiny trinket can make their entire day. Find things that represent your love or remind them of an inside joke. It’s OK to be a little cheesy, they’re dealing with unbelievable stress and anything light and fun will help.

Military Flat Rate Boxes

These boxes are free. Stuff them with everything possible and you’ll only need to pay the postage.

Save!

Well, duh, but every penny you save during deployment adds up. Let your loved one know of your progress so they feel more at ease, even it’s $30 that was saved that week by eating in. Make it fun – give them a “report” every other week and show the accumulation of savings. This could be part of their care package — put it on fun paper and deck it out with silly stickers. Make this something special between you and your loved one.

DIY  Projects

There are so many cool DIY projects out there! Whether its fashion, home decorating, or organizing, you can save a lot of money by getting your hands dirty. When it comes to homecoming parties, try making your own signs. Pinterest is a great resource for ideas, directions, and inspiration!

Coupons

There are plenty of coupons for boxed/microwaveable meals.  You can purchase entire care packages with coupons. Even if you get things your loved one doesn’t like, someone in their unit will! Check out this resource.

“Deployment” Items

The month prior to deployment is hectic.  Your loved one may want everything from a $400 laptop to a $115 external hard drive. When getting items ready for a deployment, make sure to ask if there are Military discounts as well as price matching.  Take time to shop around and try not to buy brand-name. Remember, these items will more than likely be destroyed by the time your loved one gets back. Ebay is always a great resource to.
  Check out more inexpensive ideas for deployment care packages in our “Deployment & Care Package Suprises” post. You can also find many more ideas on the SpouseLink Pinterest page.