Reduce Strain on Your Family Spending Plan

student learning virtually

Tips to Stretch Your Spending Plan This Fall

You may have noticed the days are getting a little shorter, and there’s a crispness to the air. Fall is officially here! Under normal circumstances, military families often welcome the change in seasons, as they settle into school and extra-curricular activities. But this year is anything but normal.

For many military families, back to school has meant sending their children to the kitchen table for virtual learning or some hybrid of in person and online.

While there may be less money spent on new clothing, backpacks, or after-school activities, expenses, such as reliable internet, tablets and computers may become part of the household spending plan all year.

These expenses can put stress on the family budget. Here are three financial tips to help reduce strain on your family spending plan this fall as you navigate your new normal where home and school life blend.

Tip 1: Revisit or Create Your Spending Plan

While life is definitely uncertain at this time, there is one thing that you can reliably fall back on if you give it the attention it deserves and that is your budget or household spending plan.

This is your family’s blueprint for tracking how much money is coming in, going out, and being saved to fund future goals.

Now is the perfect time to review and update your spending plan, so grab a cup of coffee and get started.

You may be surprised to find that you’re spending less money on entertainment, such as going to the movies or restaurants. This “found” money can add up fast and be used to help fund new expenses, such as technology.

If you don’t already have a spending plan, there’s no time like the present to create one. You may find that having one brings you peace of mind!

Not sure where to get started? We’ve got you covered. Check out Money Ready 101: Create a Budget for step-by-step instructions and resources.

Tip 2: Look for Sales

Don’t be afraid to let your inner bargain hunter emerge and shop around for savings to help stretch that spending plan.

Before rushing to websites to shop, do your homework and check out your local Exchange for tax-free sales and your local Commissary for the food to fuel your children’s learning. You may even find easy, budget-friendly recipes to help make long days a little easier.

Remember, when shopping online, always do it safely and safeguard your personal information. Visit https://www.militaryconsumer.gov/protect for the latest tips.

Tip 3: Know Where to Turn for Assistance, Resources

Need additional assistance? The service relief societies are ready to help!

Army Emergency Relief (AER) is offering its Home School and Remote Education Assistance Program, which provides up to $1,500 to eligible Soldiers and their dependent children (grades K-12 and college undergrads) for costs associated with traditional home school and remote learning.

Coast Guard Mutual Assistance (CGMA) is also offering a COVID Supplemental Education Grant of $500 for school supplies. Additionally, they are offering in-person tutoring, child care and loans to help cover lost wages.

Air Force Aid Society (AFAS) and Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society (NMCRS) offer a variety of interest-free loans and grants. NMCRS also provides a COVID-19 Rapid Response Loan of up to $1,500, which may be used to help cover approved home schooling costs.

There’s no doubt that these are unprecedented times. Focus on what you can control by working your spending plan, hunting for sales to help stretch your money and knowing where to turn for more help.

Use these financial tips and resources to alleviate stress on your household this fall.

Here are some more tips and resources from Military OneSource for Back-to-School Planning During a Pandemic.

 

MilSpouse Money Mission™ is a Department of Defense resource that offers FREE personal financial education specifically geared toward spouses. There is a Money Ready guide for various stages of financial life, a MilLife Milestones section to help you through the big moments in your military journey, a blog, spouse videos, quizzes, calculators and more!

Join the mission to lead your family to a stronger financial future. Get started, here! Connect with us on social media and share this post.

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student learning virtually

Tips to Stretch Your Spending Plan This Fall

You may have noticed the days are getting a little shorter, and there’s a crispness to the air. Fall is officially here! Under normal circumstances, military families often welcome the change in seasons, as they settle into school and extra-curricular activities. But this year is anything but normal.

For many military families, back to school has meant sending their children to the kitchen table for virtual learning or some hybrid of in person and online.

While there may be less money spent on new clothing, backpacks, or after-school activities, expenses, such as reliable internet, tablets and computers may become part of the household spending plan all year.

These expenses can put stress on the family budget. Here are three financial tips to help reduce strain on your family spending plan this fall as you navigate your new normal where home and school life blend.

Tip 1: Revisit or Create Your Spending Plan

While life is definitely uncertain at this time, there is one thing that you can reliably fall back on if you give it the attention it deserves and that is your budget or household spending plan.

This is your family’s blueprint for tracking how much money is coming in, going out, and being saved to fund future goals.

Now is the perfect time to review and update your spending plan, so grab a cup of coffee and get started.

You may be surprised to find that you’re spending less money on entertainment, such as going to the movies or restaurants. This “found” money can add up fast and be used to help fund new expenses, such as technology.

If you don’t already have a spending plan, there’s no time like the present to create one. You may find that having one brings you peace of mind!

Not sure where to get started? We’ve got you covered. Check out Money Ready 101: Create a Budget for step-by-step instructions and resources.

Tip 2: Look for Sales

Don’t be afraid to let your inner bargain hunter emerge and shop around for savings to help stretch that spending plan.

Before rushing to websites to shop, do your homework and check out your local Exchange for tax-free sales and your local Commissary for the food to fuel your children’s learning. You may even find easy, budget-friendly recipes to help make long days a little easier.

Remember, when shopping online, always do it safely and safeguard your personal information. Visit https://www.militaryconsumer.gov/protect for the latest tips.

Tip 3: Know Where to Turn for Assistance, Resources

Need additional assistance? The service relief societies are ready to help!

Army Emergency Relief (AER) is offering its Home School and Remote Education Assistance Program, which provides up to $1,500 to eligible Soldiers and their dependent children (grades K-12 and college undergrads) for costs associated with traditional home school and remote learning.

Coast Guard Mutual Assistance (CGMA) is also offering a COVID Supplemental Education Grant of $500 for school supplies. Additionally, they are offering in-person tutoring, child care and loans to help cover lost wages.

Air Force Aid Society (AFAS) and Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society (NMCRS) offer a variety of interest-free loans and grants. NMCRS also provides a COVID-19 Rapid Response Loan of up to $1,500, which may be used to help cover approved home schooling costs.

There’s no doubt that these are unprecedented times. Focus on what you can control by working your spending plan, hunting for sales to help stretch your money and knowing where to turn for more help.

Use these financial tips and resources to alleviate stress on your household this fall.

Here are some more tips and resources from Military OneSource for Back-to-School Planning During a Pandemic.

 

MilSpouse Money Mission™ is a Department of Defense resource that offers FREE personal financial education specifically geared toward spouses. There is a Money Ready guide for various stages of financial life, a MilLife Milestones section to help you through the big moments in your military journey, a blog, spouse videos, quizzes, calculators and more!

Join the mission to lead your family to a stronger financial future. Get started, here! Connect with us on social media and share this post.

Team Member

We are team of financial professionals who understand military life because we have experienced military life. Our goal is to educate and empower military spouses to help them make smart money moves. We combine passion and expertise to ensure you get the most accurate and relevant information. Take comfort knowing Certified Financial Planner™ professionals, an Accredited Financial Counselor® and the Department of Defense Office of Financial Readiness have vetted the content on this site.

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