Most mothers would agree that being a mom is pretty hard, but it’s easy to see how being a military mom can bring even more unique challenges to motherhood. Military life can be difficult to navigate. Frequent moves, new schools, new homes, and new jobs are all facts of life for the military family. Navigating the military world can be stressful, and the added pressure of making ends meet can be daunting. There are plenty of pieces of advice that you can take advantage of, but there are also plenty of military specific sources that can ensure you that you’re not alone. It's important to know that you have a variety of resources available to help your family financially and emotionally when it’s needed most.
1. VA Benefits
The VA offers assistance to our veterans and those currently serving alike. VA benefits span a variety of categories from home loans to education and employment assistance. According to Low VA Rates, “The purpose of the VA loan program is to help our nation's veterans obtain adequate housing on better terms than they could get anywhere else.” You can explore more options regarding specific VA benefits, including the GI education bills, on the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website.
2. Military OneSource
The Military OneSource website offers a variety of financial guidance right at your fingertips. While they do not directly offer assistance, they do put you in close contact with organizations who provide it in your area. In addition, they offer free online workshops and non-medical counseling services on a variety of topics to dependents and spouses alike.
3. Family Readiness Center
The family readiness center (FRC) is one of the best places to go when you are in need. Family readiness centers are local, which means they are going to have the best options that will work for you, that also means that they don’t have a universal website so it’s best to look up your local chapter and see how they can help you. Most FRC services are free to military families. Your local FRC will likely offer a variety of services, such as:
- Career & Family Counseling
- Financial Advising
- Child Care Assistance
- State/Federal Assistance Options
4. Military Discounts
If your struggling to make ends meet financially, one clear option is to shop for discounts. Many stores offer discounts to military families with proper ID. Shopping for the best price, in addition to discounts, can help you to make ends meet month to month. While we certainly don't endorse only shopping at stores which offer military discounts, they are an excellent place to start. According to Military Benefits, “Military and veteran discounts [range]from national brands, chain locations and online stores to local area mom and pop, single location establishments.”
5. Military Commissary
Cutting your grocery bill isn't always easy, but you most likely have access to the military commissary. The commissary offers a triple whammy, so to speak, for those needing to cut some fluff off their budget. According to their website these are some of the services they provide:
- They are usually cheaper than other grocers.
- They offer military commissary specific coupons.
- They accept manufacturer coupons.
When you shop at the commissary, you have the possibility to stack coupons for ultimate savings to your grocery bill on top of already low prices.
If you're looking to make ends meet as a military spouse, there are a variety of options for you utilize. Check out your VA benefits, visit your local FRC, log onto Military OneSource, and check your local discount stores and commissary to reap ultimate savings! Above all, remember you are not alone in this journey, and you always have a helping hand somewhere.
Eileen O'Shanassy is a freelance writer and blogger based out of Flagstaff, AZ. She writes on a variety of topics and loves to research and write. She enjoys baking, biking, and kayaking. Check out her Twitter @eileenoshanassy.