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Consumer Tip of the Week

 Counseling for Military Spouses

 

Money management can be difficult from an overseas deployment, making the weight of financial responsibilities fall on the spouse and family at home. This can cause serious anxiety if financial troubles arise. On top of this, frequent relocations can also make it harder for the spouse at home to hold down a job, or only find short-term jobs with no benefits. According to Department of Defense statistics, 85% of military spouses need or want work and the peace of mind that accompanies a second household income. For one-income families, the money can get spread pretty thin by the end of the month.

It’s hard to find others outside of the military that understand your unique living and income situation. Some companies prey on the fact that you might feel isolated, and try to sell you bogus services or take advantage of you by offering high-interest lending. While it might feel scary to be solely responsible for your family’s financial well-being while your spouse is deployed, you do have support.

Each branch of Service has established a Personal Financial Management Program to provide educational classes, financial counseling, workshops, and seminars on various financial topics. Additionally, they understand the environment of the military and the programs that are specific to military service members. For more information, click the links below.

Air Force Aid Society (AFAS)   

www.afas.org

Army Emergency Relief (AER)  

www.aerhq.org

Coast Guard Mutual Assistance (CGMA)  

www.cgmahq.org

Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society (NMCRS)  

www.nmcrs.org

Reserve Aid  

www.reserveaid.org

Feeling overwhelmed? Schedule an appointment with a counselor and start with a small step and create a budget today. There are also many blogs on the internet with creative money tips from military families, people just like you who have learned to look closely at their spending and took control of their finances.

Additional Resources

Money and Mobility: A Save and Invest guide to military finances

Military Families: A Kiplinger personal finance guide for military families

BBB Military Line provides financial literacy and consumer protection resources and manages a complaint consumer complaint center for military families.

Military Saves is a social marketing campaign to persuade, motivate, and encourage military families to save money every month.

SaveAndInvest.org/Military is a financial education program for military personnel and their families developed by the Financial Industry regulatory Authority Investor Education Foundation

For more information, please visit the Consumer section of www.montanalawhelp.org/.  Or, call the Montana Legal Services Association Helpline at 1-800-666-6899.

This Consumer Tip and MontanaLawHelp.org is a joint project of Montana's Credit Unions and Montana Legal Services Association.  MontanaLawHelp.org has information about consumer issues, housing, money management, and more.

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