Preparing For A Pay Freeze
Get Your Family Ready
May 21, 2014 by Mark Dye
We recently worked with the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) to survey military members and their financial attitudes and situations. None of the results were necessarily surprising, but two results in particular were revealing:
- Three in four (77%) have financial worries, mostly centered on reduced defense budgets and potential downsizing of the military.
- Around 65% have reduced spending due to those financial concerns.
As a military member, odds are you’re amongst those who see discussions about military pay and worry about how you’d make ends meet if any pay increases are frozen. And while nothing is set in stone as of yet, the fact so many are already preparing for such a possibility speaks volumes to just how concerned families are about the issue.
While there isn’t much any of us can do to control the budget battles on Capitol Hill, we do have some control over our own budgets. With that in mind, here are some things you can do to help get ready for the worst, along with links to blogs that go a bit more in-depth.
- Live beneath your means—Far too often we get some extra money each month, only to increase spending by around the same amount. Instead, act as if that money didn’t exist by having it directly deposited into savings, or use it to pay down debt.
- Cut back the smart way—The problem with reducing spending is that doing so often cuts out stuff we want, which breeds resentment. And if you resent something, you certainly aren’t going to stick with it. Thankfully, we have a blog that shows how you can cut back your spending and still get what you want.
- Find ways to save—Financial emergencies happen to everyone; when they happen to already-cash-strapped families they can turn into full-blown financial tragedies. The key is to save a bit at a time, here and there, so those unexpected bills don’t put your family in financial harm’s way.
- Ask for help—We’ve all found ourselves in over our heads, sometimes due to factors outside of our control. When those times come, there is no shame in asking for a hand up to help get back on your feet. There are several aid societies and organizations created specifically to help military families in such situations.
This list isn’t all inclusive, by any means, but it is a good starting point. And we’d love to know in comments what your family is doing (if anything) to help prepare for any DoD budget cutbacks.