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In my experience with military spouses this situation has come up numerous times. Your spouse is a soldier, you do the bills. One of you is a spender, the other a saver. You just can't agree on the budget. Does this sound familiar? How do you conquer this challenge in your marriage?

18 REPLIES

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Very familiar. Even if you can't agree on a budget, the main concern is that the
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My husband and I were fortunate enough to both work at a credit union prior to him going active duty so we got to see how good vs poor money management affected credit. We knew what we had to spend every month and had to decide what was most important to us since we were enlisted and had a little one to care for shortly after getting to our first duty station. I can remember living for payday when our 1 splurge was to get a pizza from the foodcourt at the BX that came with a coupon for a free video rental. The rest of the funds went to food and our truck payment which we sent extra money to every month to pay it off in 3.5 years instead of 5. It was hard but so many of our friends were in debt up to their eyeballs. We just couldn't stomach racking up debt for
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Everyone has their own way of doing things. My best advice is to seek out one of Dave Ramsey's seminars or go buy his Financial Peace University set. He teaches the fundamentals which thousands of people have succeeded from. Whether you continue his program or develop what works for your family, these fundamentals will be with you for the rest of your life. It's worth the effort to educate yourself, I hear so many times that military folks are living paycheck to paycheck. It's not about not having enough income.
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I am the spender the one that is at home getting calls from the grandchildren about what it is they need or want, so my husband and I decided that since it is two paydays in the month that we will pay the bill with one check and save the other check I agreed we will do just that. I believe that will allow us to meet our goals before his return and have money saved.
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I just love USAA. What a great topic to put up. Well my husband and I both work, I am a nurse and he is in the Army. We have no kids, but we just invested in a CA forclosed home we bought for 85K instead of 260K its a 5 yr old home. Well, we have been here for 2 months, and have always talked about what we want to do to this new house since a lot has been taken out and the whole house needs to be painted. Amazingly he and I have flipped on our budget goals. He used to always want to save, and now I want to save and he wants to spend everyday on EVERYTHING! It's frustrating. I felt like I was at a major breaking point tonight. SInce we made plans on what we we spend this month, he broke those plans and my trust w/ budget. Any suggestions.???
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I had a hard time budgeting, as I was the spender and my husband was the saver. It made for alot of tension in our marriage, and bad decisions on my part. I recently took Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University classes, and now I am a reformed spender. It teaches you how to budget, save for emergencies and get out of debt. It has really opened my eyes to the wastefull spending habits I had. I think it has given my husband peace of mind, and I feel he has more respect for me and my decisions. There is a shorter military version of the class that is available for budgeting and saving. I would recommend this to anyone who could use some help in learning to budget, save, and get out of debt.
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The most important lesson I have learned from being married to a military member is to treat savings as if it were a monthly bill. My husband and I have several savings accounts with USAA each has a special purpose. We automatically have money transferred from the checking account into each of the saving every payday. We have one that is just general savings, one used for Christmas shopping, one for vacations and one for retirement. Since we have started doing this we find that we are no longer adding to our debt each time Christmas comes around or we decide to take a family vacation. It is also important to remember that PCS moves have a lot of upfront cost so it's important to save for that as well if you know one is in your future. Military life is so much easier with money in your saving account. Just putting away a few hundred dollars a month can save you a lot of worry down the road.
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I'm jumping on the Financial Peace education program bandwagon. This is one of the easiest programs to understand for your financial learning and will bring you closer together in your marriage. Many bases and units offer the Financial Peace Military Edition but sometimes that's during the work day with just the active duty member attending. As a facilitator, I've seen where this can be difficult because only one side of the money relationship is hearing the message. If you are interested in this 13 week program, ask if your local chaplain's office or base offers it free of charge. Or google Financial Peace University and see if there's a local class starting at a church near you. You don't have to be a member of the church. The $100 fee covers the course materials and attendance for everyone in your home. (This is a great message for teenagers!) You aren't alone and you will feel great support by your classmates going through many of the same challenges!
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A few years ago my husband and I went through Financial Peace University a program by Dave Ramsey that was offered at our local base chapel. It really helped us get our financial goals in sync. We do a budget each month and stick to it. We were able to pay off all of our debt and are now able to put even more away for retirement, college for the kids, and other savings. While it wasn't easy in the beginning to make cuts and changes to our lifestyle, we knew it was well worth it when we saw our debt decreasing and our net worth increasing. Nothing can beat the peace you have when you have a six month emergency fund sitting in the bank. USAA helps make this so easy with immediate transfers between bank accounts and website access worldwide. We have moved multiple times in the last few years and USAA is always there.