Sometimes being relocated to a new part of the country for your significant other’s job can mean more job opportunities for you as a milspouse and sometimes it can mean less.
If you find that months have gone by and you still are not able to lock down a job that you are qualified for, then the next best thing you can do to alleviate money worries is to start saving.
We all have our own ways of saving, but here are some fairly simple ways that you may not have given much thought to yet.
1. Walk/ride your bike more often
If you live on base, instead of hopping in the car, consider putting on your bike helmet to pedal to the library, gym or even commissary (for a small list of items). Over time, you will save money on gas and additional car upkeep like oil changes due to less usage. You’ll also be getting your cardio workout in and as an added bonus you will be the epitome of environmentally friendly travel.
2. Turn down the thermostat a couple of degrees
It seems like such a silly thing to do to save money, and maybe it’ll only save you a few dollars a month, but you are still accomplishing the ultimate goal of saving. Try grabbing a cozy sweater and blanket to stay warm!
3. Grocery shop at the commissary
More times than not, the commissary’s prices beat the other grocery stores in town. On top of saving money on the items themselves, if you live on base you’ll save money by only having to travel down the street for groceries rather than miles into town.
4. Limit your fast food outings
I know this point sounds like a broken record, but let’s get real, fast food is expensive. It’s always fun to try to recreate your favorite fast food meal at home and to see how much you save. Yes, the time it takes to cook at home can seem daunting compared to just driving (or biking) down the street for a freshly prepared meal, but it will save you money and will usually be more healthy since you control all of the ingredients.
5. Cut down on the extras in life
If you find that you are only using that streaming service a handful of times a month, then maybe it’s time to get rid of it. The cost of $13/month doesn’t seem like much, but when you multiply it by twelve it equals a lot more than is worth spending when you use it as little as you do.
Something else that most people are guilty of binging is online shopping. Yes, it’s so convenient and you can order that adorable peplum skirt in any color or size you want, but in the end you don’t really need it and you can always treat yourself to a shopping spree once you get that job you’ve been working so hard for.
6. Bring the spa to your house
You may not have a massage chair or a vibrating, color-changing foot spa at home, but if you have nail clippers and polish you’ve got everything you need to give yourself a mani/pedi. Trimming and painting your fingernails or toenails at home can save you a good chunk of change and time. It’s ok to get them done professionally every now and then for a special occasion, but limit yourself to this splurge—you’ll be glad you did.
7. Grow your own herbs
Depending on where you live, this one can be a little challenging, but it’s doable. Visit your local home improvement store’s herb section for herbs that have already been planted and have started to grow. That way, you’ll know that those herbs can survive in the climate you are currently living. Select herbs that you find yourself using to cook with the most—perhaps those are basil, cilantro and oregano? Just remember to water them daily if you are in a hot climate. Growing your own herbs will provide you with the satisfaction of keeping plant life alive, and it will save you both time and money when you don’t need to rush to the grocery store to purchase a pinch of basil for a dinner recipe.
Don’t stress if you aren’t able to save money in as many ways as you’d like. As long as you are aware of how to save and are giving it a try, that’s the first step to success. In no time you will be saving money that you and your spouse didn’t even realize was there to save.