By Jaimi Erickson
Military spouse life is full of financial challenges. It is also full of a lot of wise spouses who have tips to share. These action steps to save money will help you stay on budget. They help maximize your income by helping to create savings potential.
Tips for Saving Money
- Buy during end-of-season sales for the next year.
- Shop at stores like Marshalls, Ross, or Walmart clearance. Thrift stores have huge savings opportunities too.
- Military thrift stores tend to be cleaner and filled with really inexpensive name-brand items. Overseas, the shopping experience is even better. In Japan, thrift stores are like department stores in the US.
- Unfollow fashion influencers. This can help reduce impulse-buying.
- Unsubscribe from store emails that only occasionally send coupons and influencer pages that may cause impulse buying.
- Be content with an older vehicle.
- Stop coloring your hair. Embrace the grays! (They are your wisdom sparkles.)
- Buying furniture through the DLA Disposition Services (formerly DRMO) on base.
Tips for Sticking to a Budget
- Use grocery pickup. You stick to the list and shop the sales easier.
- The cash envelope idea for groceries can keep you on budget with no room for over-spending. This system for budgeting has you label an envelope for each category of your budget. Load the money into each envelope at the beginning of the month. When an envelope is empty, that category of spending is done for the month.
- Stick to a list when shopping for clothes, groceries, gifts. Random extras can really sink a budget quickly.
- Meal prep. Planning ahead for what will be cooked all week reduces take out and the stress of figuring out what to cook for dinner. A rotating meal plan can help you stay on track.
- Learn from Nourishing Minimalism or Becoming Minimalist to focus on having less material possessions. Less to unpack with each PCS move!
- Marie Kondo your things and then utilize your local Marketplace page to sell or gift items.
Savings Goals and Budgeting Success
Focus on the financial goals that you and your spouse have set. Keep those in mind as the big picture.
If you want to live a comfortable retirement, then cutting spending in some areas day-to-day will be worth it. As your nest egg grows, the saving you do today will translate into real gains.