The Homecoming Shopping Spree

Thousands of military members in Iraq and Afghanistan are returning soon. They’ll likely come home to a new financial reality.

It’s only natural to want to celebrate the homecoming. But if you’ve been away for awhile, it’s smart to get a solid grip on how your finances will change as quickly as possible.

Often, your expenses are reduced while deployed. – June Walbert, USAA

There’s the suspension of income tax during deployment, and extra allowances associated with combat zone duty, but those go away. It’s time to adjust not only to less money coming in, but also the increased expenses of being back home. After settling in, one of the first things you must consider is revamping your budget and spending plan.

The excitement of coming home can also lead to spending sprees, so maintain some discipline and restraint. It’s natural to want to make up for lost time by spending money on a spouse or kids, but that can demolish a family budget that is already in flux. Enjoy a ‘cooling off’ period before planning any big family trips or splurging on expensive items. Other big life decisions, like buying a new home, might be better put off until you’ve had a chance to settle in and live with your revised financial situation.

 

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