Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Saving Money During Deployment?

I am definitely dreading Dustin's impending deployment. To the point that anytime I see Christmas decorations or activities I cringe. Since it is inevitable that he is leaving, Dustin and I have been talking about what we can do to save some extra money during the deployment.I definitely do not plan on spending any of the extra money he receives while deployed (unless we decide to splurge and spend R&R vacationing in Europe). And while I'm sharing our plans, what did you do during your spouse's deployment that was a good way to save money? Or not-so-good way?

Lower daily living expenses - With Dustin not here, we should be able to save some money in our budget when it comes to food, gas, travel, and entertainment expenses. I'm not sure that we will be able to save much money when it comes to car insurance or cell phone bills, but I think that we might be able to put an extra $500 or so a month toward our house/emergency fund in this area alone.

Tax benefits - I posted earlier this year about the Saver's Credit for low to middle income families who contribute to retirement accounts. I'm thinking since Dustin's income won't be taxable, we might be able to get up to $2,000 in tax credits in 2012. On top of that, Uncle Sam won't be taking the typical $200 from Dustin's paychecks, which will help us save even more.

Savings Deposit Program - The military allows deployed members to contribute up to $10,000 to the Savings Deposit Program. Under this program, the money receives a guaranteed 10% return during the entirety of the deployment, and up to 3 months after returning stateside. It will probably take us four or five months to contribute our maximum $10,000, but that high interest rate will kick butt compared to our savings accounts, certificates of deposit, and poorly timed mutual fund purchases (darn you stock market, with our 15% in losses the last six months).

Are there any ways that you and your spouse saved money during deployment? I know a lot of people mention moving back home to live rent-free, but I just couldn't consider doing that in the middle of the school year. The stress of moving back home by myself and trying to find a job alone doesn't seem worth the money I would save by living with my parents. But if it works out for you, awesome!


  1. If you have Sprint, they'll let you put his contract on hold (It's the deployed service member clause). I think other companies do it, but you won't be charged for his phone while he's gone. You do save quite a lot in "everyday" expenses, such as gas and entertainment stuff, but don't be surprised when he spends quite a lot over there. I never budgeted for that, just thinking he wouldn't spend anything, but whenever he was back on the FOB, he spent quite a bit restocking his supplies.

  2. Don't move back home. We saved a ton of money and have paid off any debt we had but it's not worth it. Being independent and then going back with your family is a serious culture shock.
    You really don't have to do much to save extra money. Like you said, just with him being gone you will be saving.
    My biggest struggle was having the extra money to begin with. With Jon being gone a year on this deployment my stress release has been clothes shopping. It's a killer I'll tell you. Just remind yourself to stay away from stores and if you need to relieve stress to go to the gym instead :-)

  3. You actually should be able to save on insurance and cell phone. If you have USAA for insurance you can take insurance off of his vehicle and only pay a nominal $5 so that it's covered in case something happens to it when it's parked, etc. Also, just take his orders into your cell phone carrier and they'll suspend his phone for free until he returns. {these are two things we did during deployment}


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