Budget

deploymentPreparing for and dealing with a deployment is hard. If you are a service member, or if you are a spouse going through a deployment, trying to save money during deployment can be a daunting and critical task to take on.

However, there are ways to cut costs, save money, and still pay your bills on time. Here are a few tips to help you save money during deployment.

Servicemembers Civil Relief Act

If you aren't familiar with it yet, the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act gives legal rights to anyone being deployed and also extends some coverage to the spouse and family members of the service member. This is a big deal if you are trying to save money during deployment. Instead of paying bills you aren't using (like car insurance, phone bills, etc.) you can pause these contracts, or may be able to break them altogether.

Save Deployment Pay

There are many different ways that a service member can receive pay while deployed. Sometimes, you may qualify for additional compensation as well (based on the type of deployment and if the service member has a spouse/dependents).

There are times where deployment pay may be lower than traditional paychecks. However, if you find yourself earning more during deployment, throw the extra money into a savings account that you can't easily touch unless for an emergency. This will allow you to save money during deployment without losing out on too much income. ...continue reading

streaming servicesWith rising prices and lowered quality, many people are taking the leap from cable services to online streaming services.

Studies have shown that around 25% of American households no longer have cable, and instead use online streaming services to watch their favorite shows and movies. So what are the best streaming services that will help you replace your cable?

Start streaming services with Netflix

Netflix is the "holy grail" streaming service that many people already have, whether they're using it in conjunction with their cable or using it with other streaming services. At $7.99 for the cheapest plan (for use on one screen at a time), Netflix is an affordable option for those looking to venture into online streaming services.

Pros with Netflix include the release of new movies fairly quickly, many popular shows and Netflix originals (some being critically acclaimed), and many shows having all of their seasons all in one place.

A few cons to note are that Netflix typically releases seasons all at once.So, You may not be able to watch your favorite show right away. Also, Netflix is known for raises its prices every few years or so. In fact, they just announced they would be raising prices again (with the middle plan starting at $11 instead of $10). ...continue reading

afford a houseMany Americans are starting to feel as if they will never be able to afford a house, especially in areas like San Francisco, New York, and even Miami.

While many people choose to rent instead, you can still afford a house when you're broke. Here are a few steps to take if you want to own your own home.

Weigh Your Options

If you live in an area that buying a house is cheaper than renting (even factoring in insurance and repairs), it may be your best option to buy a home instead of rent. When trying to afford a house when you're broke, you may think that moving is expensive, but it doesn't have to be.

Some expenses may come up in your first few months of owning a home, but that is to be expected. Think about it this way: If you typically rent for $1,500 a month and you buy a home that only costs $800 a month, you are already saving $700 every single month. If something breaks down, and it costs $500 to fix, you still get ahead by $200 by having your own home.

Now, owning a home isn't always cheaper, so it's best to weigh your options. However, in many areas, including my own, owning a home tends to fare better than renting.

Look Into Assistance to Afford a House

Every state has home buying programs that can help you afford a house when you're broke. While the assistance varies from state to state, it's still worth it to look into what yours offers. Some will help you secure a loan as a first-time home buyer, even if you are low-income.

Some states even offer grants to move into less desirable areas or moving into more deserted places. It's best to look into these programs to see what you qualify for, you may be able to get your home for a lot cheaper than you first thought. ...continue reading