Wives not only influence, but actually make a majority of the buying decisions within many families. And, since approximately 93% of Military Spouses are women, it’s important to be confident, knowledgeable and responsible when running (and saving) your family’s finances.

First and foremost, educate yourself. Get online and start researching retirement options, savings strategies, insurance needs of your family and the best ways to prepare them for what lies ahead.

If you’re just getting started, or looking to improve your family’s current financial situation, create a budget.  If you don’t really see the need for a household budget, think again! Keeping track of what you’re spending and saving will allow you to better manage and organize your family’s hard earned money. Creating a budget will also free up funds that you’ll be able to save or to use in other areas of your life. Here’s some advice to help you create and maintain the perfect budget.

Make sure you’ve got a savings account with easily accessible funds just in case anything unexpected happens in the future.

At some point, you and your spouse will both want to be able to retire while remaining financially secure. One great way to do that is through the use of mutual funds. Diversify your savings. Open an IRA, contribute to a 401(k) or a mutual fund to keep tabs on money you’ve set aside for retirement.

Since your Military Family has members who are involved in a potentially dangerous line of work, depending on their (and your) position, it doesn’t hurt to take out some extra life insurance. This is another situation where you’d rather have it and not need it, so always be prepared! AAFMAA’s Level Term 1 is a great policy to consider if you don’t feel that SGLI coverage is enough.

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You’ll also want to enjoy some spending in the short-term! One fun idea is to set out dedicated mason jars labeled with fun activities for you and your family, or just as a couple. You could have a date night fund jar, or a family ice cream sundae fund…you get the idea.

Think about setting aside money as a reward mechanism. For example, have you been working out? For every fitness goal you meet, add $10 to your reward jar that can go toward a new dress or pair of heels you’ve been eying. Make money management fun.

Always remember to live within your means and to pay for the things you need before you purchase the ‘wants.’ Knowledge is power. Be ‘in the know’ and understand that your family’s finances are constantly changing. Let the saving (and responsible spending) begin.

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