USAA infographic


Why save for something big? The needs for military caregivers are significant and unique. For example, I have a need for bathroom renovations in my home. Our bathroom needs to be ADA compliant for my husband. This will require us to hire a contractor to come in and make these changes for us. We know of organizations that provide assistance. It is great to know of support available in the community for disabled veterans. However, applying to an organization for support – only to receive an answer that the budget is exhausted – could cause a delay in reaching our needed goals (which in this example, is making our bathroom safer for my husband).

We have discovered it’s to our advantage to personally work toward savings goals. Many of you may own a house but need to have major renovations done, as well? Some of you may not own your house yet, but maybe you are hoping to one day? Maybe some of you want to save for a vacation? You may have a goal to travel to a specific vacation spot for respite and need to save for that dream vacation?

The Elizabeth Dole Foundation has stepped up to provide a Military Caregiver Financial Hotline to those who care for the ill, wounded, or injured service member or veteran. This hotline is designed to help all caregivers with financial planning, including saving for big purchases. Experts are readily available to offer advice and counsel military caregivers, from the novice to the seasoned, on best ways to save for something big. You can read more from my first blog post here (click here for link to post) –it tells about the experts that are ready to help, and gives specific details to military caregivers who are ready to call-in to receive information and advisement.

Part 2: Tips to Save for Something Big

save-piggy bank

Protect your savings. Whether you keep your money in a piggy bank or savings account – make sure it is safe. There are many safe places to keep your savings: online banks, brick-and-mortar banks, or in a safe place! The financial adviser can give tips of safe places to keep your savings. Just make sure it’s safe and out of your wallet – where you may be tempted to spend it! Has anyone put savings aside only to spend it? Maybe it was in a place that was too easy to get to? For me, saving in a place that I can access with “one click” … is dangerous!

Make it Automatic. Make saving a habit! Perhaps your banking institution has an automatic savings option? You could automatically have your bank to set aside 15% to 20% of your earnings. And this money could be from ANYWHERE – an allowance, a job, gifts, etcetera!

Cut back on expenses. This is a hard one (for me, anyway). Why? Because I simply love, love to shop! Retail therapy is one of my favorite things to do, and can be very therapeutic for me. However, simple changes could make a significant difference. Perhaps you could skip the theatre and instead host a movie night at home? Pack a lunch instead of buying one? Stream free music instead of downloading songs? Purchase groceries instead of eating out every other day?

Boost your income. As military caregivers, our time is valuable – and very LIMITED. However, some form of employment – be it part-time, independent contractor, or whatever – will help toward saving for something big.  Take it from another military caregiver, finding an odd job that can work within a caregiver’s demanding schedule is possible. Sell some old stuff on EbayShopify Letgo,5miles, or through another app or online store. Look for a tutoring job and set your own schedule. Another option is to find employment with flexible work opportunities like through telecommuting or independent contracting. I wrote a blog post about creative employment opportunities for military caregivers here. It may be possible to put the extra cash that you earn toward your goal.

Keep on saving. It may take longer than you hoped for. But with determination, you’ll eventually reach your goals.

*These tips are also provided on the embedded infographic and by expressed permission of USAA.

Part 3: Reminder of military hotline info (click here for details )

The Military Caregiver Financial Hotline is a tool designed to help military caregivers overcome financial challenges that we face because of the chaotic twist of events that occur in our lives after adjusting our careers to care for a loved one injured during, ill from, or wounded in military service. Most of us were dealt a devastating blow that affected the outlook of our financial futures. However, the Elizabeth Dole Foundation has stepped up to offer another means that gives relief to military caregivers.

Each caller will benefit from learning about which of the organizations suits their needs best: MOAA, USAA, or Psych Armor – as each of these organizations offers solid advice and assistance to military caregivers in search of help. I highly recommend that all caregivers use the Military Caregiver Financial Hotline to gain helpful guidance on their financial needs, whatever they are. Those who do will feel much relief and a sense of security as they gain control over their financial future!

Military caregivers, saving for something big can be a very daunting task. However, we can do it! I challenge you today to reach out to the hotline today for help and support of financial planning, by calling (888) 503-1168. And, importantly, I recommend paying close attention to the infographic from USAA & the Elizabeth Dole Foundation (pictured above) on tips to save for something big!

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