It’s Memorial Day weekend, and while many of us are planning barbecues or family trips, we always stop and remember our courageous troops who made and continue to make the ultimate sacrifice for our country. To give thanks this Memorial Day and everyday, we would like to share money saving tips to help our troops.
If you are an unmarried military member deployed or living in barracks:
- Consider moving your household goods into storage and eliminate rent.
- Cut out all of your home utilities as well (e.g., cable, electric, water, gas/oil, etc.).
- If you are overseas and own a car, contact your insurance carrier and inquire about any discounts you can benefit from while your car will be idle for an extended period. You may even consider selling your car.
Other strategies to consider relate to the choices you make while you are away. Choosing to control your spending while away can have a tremendous impact on how much money you return home with later on. Having a reasonable budget for entertainment will go a long way, as will selecting a prepaid cell phone plan. Ensuring you take advantage of most if not all of the free meals available to you on base can help you save a ton too.
If you have a loved one running your household, having a conversation about running the household in a cost-effective manner while you are away can help. Numerous discounts are also available to active duty military personnel and their families. Here are some of them:
- Admissions to attractions (zoos, aquariums, museums).
- Travel vendors such as hotels and car rental agencies.
- Certain restaurant chains and local dining options.
- Retailers who have a special day of the week where the military receive a discount.
Still, make sure discounts offered don’t cause you to spend money you normally wouldn’t. If you do, you’re really not saving. Other opportunities for the military to save include discounts on insurance policies (e.g. homeowner’s or renter’s, automobile) and new car purchases.
Military members can also save in their TSP, a retirement plan for the armed forces. Much like a 401(k) plan is an important consideration for the civilian workforce, an increased level of saving in the TSP for a military family can go a very long way to ensure a successful retirement many years later.
We hope these tips will help you and your family save money while on active duty through retirement.