We’ve previously featured what you can do to prepare your finances before a deployment, but maintaining your financial health while deployed is just as important. Financial-related stress could eventually lead to debt, relationship challenges or psychological health concerns such as depression or substance misuse. So, use the following money management tips and resources highlighted in the Real Warriors Campaign’s article, “Managing Financial Challenges During Deployment,” to help you balance the demands of deployment with financial obligations.
Follow your financial management plan
Before you left, you and your family may have created a financial plan to follow while you’re away. If not, you can still create a spending plan to help you save money for emergencies or pay off credit cards and other debt. If you exceed your monthly budget, get back on track as soon as possible. To help recover from overspending, try these tips:
■Re-evaluate your original spending plan and identify the reason or reasons for exceeding it. By determining the cause for overspending, you can help your family recover and prevent it in the future.
■Develop a new spending plan and be sure to account for any debt incurred from overspending.
■Download “Getting out of Debt, A Step by Step Guide” from Military OneSource for more information on recovering from debt.
For one-on-one assistance with budgeting, contact your installation’s Personal Financial Management Program (PFMP). PFMP counselors can help you readjust your budget, develop a repayment plan to eliminate debt and contact creditors to coordinate a repayment strategy. To contact a counselor on base, visit the MilitaryINSTALLATIONS database.
Track your bill payments
You may have set up automatic bill payments or asked your spouse, a family member or other trusted individual to serve as your financial overseer and manage your bill payments. Nonetheless, you should also login to your automatic bill pay or check in with your financial overseer to confirm your bills are paid on time and in full each month. To help you monitor bill payments, keep an ongoing checklist of your bills and track when payments clear.
Stay in touch
While deployed, communicate with your spouse or financial overseer about your finances. Communication about financial matters will help prevent financial stress and allow you and your spouse to stay in control of your financial health and future.
Seek help in financial emergencies
If you’re experiencing stress because of financial difficulties, nonprofit organizations exist for each service branch to assist with financial emergencies. You and your family may be eligible to receive debt help, money management advice and emergency financial assistance in the form of grants and interest-free loans through these organizations:
■Air Force Aid Society
■Army Emergency Relief
■Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society
■Coast Guard Mutual Assistance