Military families aren’t alone in their financial stress. It’s a troubling trend throughout the United States — and the world. Luckily, military spouse benefits can help lift the weight off your specific financial woes.
Financial stress can be defined as having sometimes overwhelming concerns that a household’s income cannot meet the expenses. If your family is one of the thousands operating paycheck-to-paycheck or struggling to pay down mounting debt, you’re likely feeling stress over money and personal finances.
This kind of financial anxiety can present itself in many forms. You may find yourself staying up at night, unable to sleep. You may get headaches or fatigue. Financial stress may cause weight gain or loss, endless worry, or even depression. Sometimes, people will turn to alcohol, bickering, or other unhealthy habits to cope with the stress.
If you experience symptoms of financial stress, there are solutions available — especially if you are in a military family. To alleviate your stress, take advantage of these military spouse benefits right away.
Military financial stress can be handled from many angles. It’s important to manage day-to-day stress that may be only temporary but is also out of your control. As a United States military member or a family member living on or near the base, you have access to the gym and exercise equipment. Make time for a daily workout, as exercise is a healthy way to alleviate stress and burn off excess worry.
If you’re overwhelmed, you can also participate in the Military and Family Life Counseling Program through Military OneSource by calling (800) 342-9647. This free, non-medical counseling is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, from anywhere in the world. If you just need someone to listen, this is an excellent resource.
Military families can also create personal and family budgets with the help of military-based tools. You can learn how to track expenses, live within your means, reduce your costs, and save during deployment with the information provided by Military OneSource financial tools.
Bringing in additional income is another effective way to reduce the stress from mounting expenses. This can prove problematic for military families who might be transferred geographically with little notice — unless the spouse takes advantage of MyCAA or the My Career Advancement Account Scholarship.
The military will provide up to $4,000 in financial aid to pay for a license, certification, or associate degree for employment in a new occupation or industry. Portable careers focused on healthcare or information technology, which are highly in-demand industries worldwide, can get started through online courses with MedCerts. This online school works with military spouses interested in pursuing new opportunities to help balance the family budget. Additionally, since their programs are online, they can be taken from anywhere you’re stationed and are flexible to fit in your schedule with no set class times.
Even with so many benefits available to military spouses, financial stress can sometimes feel overwhelming. Remember to breathe deeply and stay positive: Together, your family can create a plan that will improve your financial health and future with the support of all of America behind you.