Inside: 6 awesome resolutions for the military spouse to make this year
This year has gone by so incredibly fast, I still can’t believe it’s over.
We have experienced a lot this year; personally and professionally. We saw our son turn one, we are expecting baby number two, and Moms Don’t Sleep relaunched (pretty much from scratch) in June. (If you want to check out my income reports to see how we have grown, you can do so here.)
We moved from our house to an apartment, we got to go on a family vacation, we learned how to budget. In the beginning of the year, I had no idea how we were going to get through, but we did.
As this year comes to an end, I thought about all the things in store for next year; our daughter being born, a possible deployment, my business growing. I got to thinking of all the things I’m excited about and what I’m nervous about. I wrote down all the things I wanted to do, and what I’m glad I did in 2016 and now I’m sharing it with you. Time stands still for no one, let’s make the best of it!
#1. Be more patient.
I’ve never had very good patience. When I want something, or if I’m looking forward to something; I want it right then. If something frustrates me, I go from 0 to 60 in a split second.
The 4 ladies blocking the clearance section at Old Navy? SCREW IT! I’m NOT buying anything and we are going home NOW.
(To be fair, I was patient for about 20 minutes while them and their children tore apart the entire clearance section and wouldn’t let me in.. then I totally lost it and shouted about how rude they were to my husband all the way to the car for everyone in the mall to hear.. can I blame pregnancy hormones?)
I don’t know about you but between the million things that make no sense in military life to my kid hitting the button to the TV 84,596 times per day- my patience seriously lacks and I don’t like it. My goal for next year is to face these frustrations head on and find solutions for the things I can solve, and let go of the things that I have no control over
#2 Crush your budget.
Most of my readers struggle with finding ways to save money and budgeting. Military spouses face challenges with unemployment, living on one salary, and many military families rely on programs like WIC just to make it through.
At the beginning of this year, I spent most of my time crying because I had no idea how we were going to get through on the income we were bringing in. We struggled to buy formula (which made the heartbreak of my lack of milk production even worse) and even had to have our parents help us out. It was not a proud time for either of us, and it did result in a few arguments between my husband and I.
What I am proud to say is that we got through it.
We have cut back every possible aspect of our finances and we are now working towards pay off debt. I was able to grow my business enough to contribute to the finances and reinvest in my site and my husband is looking to transfer jobs within the military, which he is very excited for.
I have spent the last year learning as much as I could about military resources to save money and about budgeting. The best resource I have come across is the 90 Day Budget Bootcamp from the Busy Budgeter. Together with the workbook, the course literally walks you through everything you need to do to get control of your finances.
You start out by seeing where you are at financially; you take a look at what you make, what debt you have, and your other monthly bills. Then the workbook will take you step-by-step through everything from reducing your monthly bills, to how you can make more money.
It comes with tons of worksheets for planning out your monthly bills, meal planning, and everything else you need to save money and plan ahead with your finances. If you do nothing else this year, I highly recommend you at least go through this workbook. It could totally turn your finances around like it did for me. Wouldn’t it be nice to not be so stressed all the time? You can check it out here.
#3. Start meal planning.
Those of you that have been following me for awhile know how lazy I am about meal planning. But my game changer this year was signing up for FreezEasy. Not only did I save a massive amount of money in my grocery budget by doing freezer meals, but I avoided the “I don’t want to cook so let’s go to Moe’s” days, and we also avoided having to throw away any meat that wasn’t cooked in time.
“Meal planning” with FreezEasy literally takes 5-10 minutes. They also send you your grocery list in your email and instructions for putting together the meals (which only takes an hour or less) so it’s a win-win-win.
If you are really serious about cracking down on your budget this year, check out some other easy ways to save money on groceries
#4. Face a new military challenge.
This is a military spouse resolution that you absolutely can do. Have you gone through your first PCS? What about your first deployment? Is there one coming up that you are nervous about? Now is the time to face the challenge and accept it for what it is. Show yourself how strong and independent you are.
There is something I want you to know though, and it’s important so pay attention. Even if you think that you are failing miserably at whatever military life has thrown at you; whether it be struggling to survive on the pay or dealing with deployment, please know that you’re not failing. You are rocking it.
If you think you are failing, I want you to write down exactly what you think that you are failing at and look at it a different way.
Are you failing because you gave your kids cereal for dinner? I think you are an awesome mom because you got the strength to buy that cereal and serve it to your kids. They are probably super excited about eating cereal for dinner anyway!
Are you failing because you took your kids to a park that’s farther away so you didn’t run into anyone you knew? I think you are so strong for getting out and having fun with your kids.
It might not feel like it some days, but you will get through this. You are stronger than you think.
#5. Start a business.
I started this year making nothing (other than the money I made at my weekend nursing job). I was super stressed out trying to make my husband’s military pay cover all of our expenses. I’m ending the year by being able to dump extra money onto our credit cards to pay off debt and being able to reinvest in my business without touching our account. I still have a LONG way to go to get to my goal but I can’t wait for what 2017 has in store for Foxtrot & Pennies.
So what about you? Don’t you want a PCS proof career? A career that you can control and take with you wherever you are stationed? One that allows you to be home with your babies? What’s better than a military spouse resolution that allows you to have financial freedom wherever you go? Here is the Ultimate List of PCS Proof Business Ideas to get you started!
#6. Read a good book.
What’s better than a good book?? I used to read all the time but since my son came along, I just haven’t had time. Last year I made time for some good books and next year I want to make time for even more. If you are looking for inspiration, check out this awesome list of books for military spouses.
So what’s on your list?
What are you looking forward to this year? What does 2017 have in store for you? Let me know in the comments!