No matter who you are, life can get out of hand and military families are no exception. They have to go through many things civilian families will never experience. Finding ways to make your life a bit easier is a great way to reduce stress. And less stress can solve a whole lot of problems and make your entire families lives more enjoyable.
These 5 hacks for military families are fairly basic, but you are sure to find out some little-known tricks you had no idea about before that will make your life so much easier!
1.Know your education benefits
You probably already know that most service members are eligible to use the G.I. Bill to help cut costs to further your education. But did you know there are ways to increase how much you get? Taking 12 credit hours per semester and attending at least one class on campus are two great ways to get the most cash. You can also use any military training you have completed towards your college credits. Here is a great guide to add up to $11,536 a year to your G.I. Bill benefits.
But don’t forget to fill out your FAFSA and apply for scholarships as well. There is a big chance you are eligible for financial aid and that can add up to an extra a couple thousand dollars per semester. And if you aren’t going to use your G.I. Bill, make sure to sign it over to either your spouse or child/children (it can be split).
Buying furniture while you’re in the military can be both very costly and inconvenient. Imagine suddenly getting orders to PCS to a new station and having to worry about getting rid of all of your furniture on top of everything else (and you probably won’t be getting back anywhere near what you paid for everything). A great alternative for military families is to rent furniture.
CORT Furniture Rental is the national industry leader in furniture rental and offers a discount to service members, as well as a military out clause that allows families to get out of their contracts if there is a major turn of events regarding their military career.
CORT makes your life easier by taking care of dropping off and picking up the furniture. Can’t get any more simple than that! Plus CORT offers a large variety of style options to fit everyone’s preferences.
3.Organize important documents
Having all of your important documents is important for every service member, whether you’re active duty or national guard. When I was in the Army, I put all of my paperwork (yes, everything I ever received) into one of those large plastic tubs from Walmart. Any time that a certain document was needed, I simply had to search through the tub of paperwork. A file system would make finding certain things much faster, but for the lazy ones, this is a great alternative!
Having a PCS binder is also a really amazing idea. Having birth certificates, military orders, titles, travel documents, etc. all in one place will make your life so much easier if/when you get orders to head to a new station. This Ultimate PCS binder guide with free printables makes putting a binder together quick and easy.
4.Take advantage of discounts
So many companies offer military discounts and if you aren’t taking advantage of them, you are missing out on saving LOTS of money! You can find discounts for veterans in pretty much any industry. From clothing, shoes, and entertainment to home, garden, and insurance you could have hundreds to thousands a year just from flashing your military ID a little more when you go out.
Some well-known places that offer discounts include Nike, Best Buy, YMCA, Home Depot, Geico, Zales Diamond Store, Chick-fil-A, Bass Pro Shops, and Red Roof Inn. I could literally go on and on about who all offers discounts, but if you’re interested here is a HUGE list of places that offer military discounts.
5.Use your VA home loan
If you want to buy a house, don’t forget to use your VA home loan. You will not have to pay a down payment and lower credit scores are typically not a barrier. You can also take out a VA home loan for improvements on your current home.
And want to know a way you can use your VA home loan to live for free? The loan allows service members to buy multifamily homes as well. You could buy a duplex and live in one side while renting out the other side. You could charge the same (maybe even more) than your mortgage. Yes, you will have to take on the responsibility of being a landlord. But if you’re up for it…you could save yourself a whole lot of money every month!
Are you going to try out any of these hacks for military families? Let me know in the comments below!
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