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Making your Military House a Home:
A Creative Take on Portable Container Planting

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I don’t exactly have a green thumb. Really, it is not my fault. Over the past ten years our family has moved in and out of base housing, never giving me the opportunity to establish a garden. I always envied the beautiful flowers some people would plant, but I never desired to spend the money on gardening when I knew we would not stay long. Recently, I have learned of a creative way to use containers to create a cozy garden-like atmosphere that is easily transported.

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Choosing a school for your military child.

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The Department of Defense has developed a comprehensive plan that provides military families with the tools and information needed to make informed choices regarding the appropriate educational setting for each child. Through the publications, resources and websites listed here, parents can access information necessary to compare options, make sound education decisions, and become involved and informed advocated of quality education.

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It’s All About Perspective

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 The military life is what you make of it.  There are pros and cons to everything. Maintaining a positive attitude is the key to being a successful military wife.  Embrace the good. Don’t focus on the negative, it’s counter productive.  Sure, it’s a pain to pack up and move so often but how many people get to live in as many different places as we do? Look at our life like an adventure story and you’re the main character. Your outlook will determine a good or bad ending.

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Money Saving Tips for Military Wives

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  • Create a financial budget to help you save.

  • Do not use credit cards.

  • Stop purchasing frivolous, impulse items.

  • Don’t buy anything just because it is on sale.

  • Occasionally buy generic or non-name brand merchandise.

  • Don’t eat out as much as you’d like to.

  • Do more activities at home. (you wont be out spending!)

  • Invest the money you save so that it earns money too.

  • Stay busy – you have less time to spend money.

  • Stop smoking.

  • Don’t try to compete with your friends and neighbors.

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Is the Trip to the Commissary Really Worth it?

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You bet it is! On average, shopping at DeCA saves over 30%*!

Single: $1,029
Married Couple: $1,885
Married w/ 1 child: $2,309
Married w/ 2 children: $2,957

*Annual savings derived from cost-of-food figures from the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture Center for Food Nutrition Policy and Promotion & figures from DaCA’s price comparison study, which compares commissary prices with those of local supermarkets, major grocery storechains, and supercenters.

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Military Travel Discounts!

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Summer is right around the corner. If you’re considering a family vacation, it’s not too early to start exploring your options and planning your trip. Your military ID can save you a lot of money. There are so many local, national, and international discounted travel opportunities available to military personnel and their families.

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Support is Key!

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Without doubt, the military lifestyle can be very demanding. Frequent moves, war-time tension and anxiety, living far from family, and juggling multiple household roles can really take a toll on our physical and mental well-being. As military wives, we’re often the cornerstones of support and strength for our husbands. We provide the continuity for our homes and families. But, it’s important to recognize that we need support too.

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It Pays to Shop at AAFES!

Take advantage of the benefits of shopping at your local post or base exchange.

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Many people don’t realize that the Exchange stores offer a price matching program, which also includes “warehouse club” prices.  Be sure to check sales flyers to compare prices. Review the newspaper advertisements and your catalogs to stay informed about varying prices at different stores.   Last year, we saved hundreds of dollars  at our Exchange during the holiday season using the price matching program.

 On average, a  customer at the BX/PX/NEX saves 17 to 20 percent more on purchases over civilian retailers. That savings does not factor in the exclusion of sales tax!  Also, unlike the commissary, there is no surcharge on exchange purchases.

However, if you don’t have access to an exchange or prefer to shop off post/base, remember that your military ID can save you a lot of money. There are many and varied  discounts  available to military personnel and their families.

Always call your local vendors to be sure they participate in the program. Also, never be afraid to ask a store if they offer a military discount, even if one is not advertised. You may be pleasantly surprised. I’ve found that a lot of “mom and pop” type businesses in our local community are very patriotic and happily offer at least a 10% discount.

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Do You Know How Much Your Husband Really Makes?

I hear wives complaining all the time about how little their husbands earn, compared to their civilian counterparts. I gripe too. I believe our troops deserve better pay. However, you need to look past the LES and take into consideration the total value of the military compensation package. We do get a lot of non-cash perks like FREE health care, FREE legal services, FREE financial counseling services, and FREE special needs services. We also get great tax breaks. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the average active duty service member receives a compensations package worth almost $100,000! Take advantage of the benefits, they add up fast! Click here to learn more.

A military paycheck can be hard to decipher. Do you know how to read your husband’s Leave and Earnings Statement (LES)? Learn how here.

Military Pay Charts

You can find your husbands pay grade based on years of service.This is an easy to read pay chart for military members of every rank. Find your husbands pay grade based on years of service here.

Do you know about the military Thrift Savings Program? It’s comparable to a 401k. Learn how you can invest in your future.

If you’re experiencing a personal financial hardship, these relief funds may be able to assist you:

Air Force: Air Force Aid Society
Army: Army Emergency Relief Fund
Coast Guard: Coast Guard Mutual Assistance
Navy & Marines: Navy & Marine Corp Relief Society

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