Adjusting back to civilian life and civilian income can be challenging. We've done it before and we can do it again. There's only one problem this time. We have 2 kids who depend on us and we no longer use credit cards to cover us if we need them. Our income while my husband was deployed (this deployment - his second) was almost double of his civilian salary. We saved alot of it while he was away. The saved money went quick after he got home after his deployment.
He and I both purchased a car. He needed a new car and that was one of the reasons that we saved so much. We purchased a car for me because my car at the time broke down. The transmission blew and we were in a jam to where we had to purchase a new/used car for me. They wanted $6,000 just to fix it and we were able to buy a new/used car for about the same amount with only 28,000 miles on it instead of putting $6,000 into a car that is worth a third of that and has 163,000 miles on it.
We also needed new appliances and a fence. So we took care of that. After all of these items that we purchased including paying off our credit card debt while he was deployed, we were left with nothing.
Now, he's back at his civilian job and making half of what he made over the past year with his Army pay. I wish I could help take the burden off of a single income and work to earn extra income. I have no babysitter for my kids and daycare is outrageous. They want $150 a kid. I have 2 children, so it would cost me approximately $1200 per month for someone else to watch my kids. It's just not worth for my wallet or their well being. With this area's income levels, that is about half of what my income would be. Instead, I rather be a stay at home mom and take care of my own kids and try to find ways to save money.
So far I've been starting at some obvious places. I clipped coupons, printed coupons online, started selling more actively on eBay, and just simply going without. We haven't gone out to dinner at all and we barely go anywhere. We've been trying to come up with other ways to save money and ways to have fun without breaking the bank. They are harder said than done, especially when your income equals the amount of your bills. All I can say is that we are trying.