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The Best Apps for Military Families

Soldier using iPhone 600x400

Military life is hard, but there’s an app for that. We polled our staff and asked our readers what apps make their military lives easier. Here is what they said.

WhatsApp. Use this messaging app to exchange text messages and phone calls with your spouse while he or she is deployed. Best part? If you miss a call, you can use the app to call him or her back (provided you are both in an area with WiFi). Score.

Couple. Like the WhatsApp, the Couple app allows text messages. It also lets you share photos and videos and send drawings created within the app. But here’s the best part: if you and the other user are both on the app at the time same, you can “thumb kiss” and make the phone vibrate. Awwww. Pay App. Gone are the days of figuring out your pay by piecing together data from confusing online military pay tables. The Pay App lets you calculate your base pay, BAH and any other entitlements or special pays with just a few taps.

Starbucks. You might prefer to buy your coffee from a local small business, but there’s something to be said for using a chain store that is nationwide — including on many military bases. Since coffee is one of the things that helps us power through military life, this app is perfect. Use it to find your closest Starbucks store and pay for your order — some stores will even let you place your order using the app.

Mint. Using a secure connection, Mint aggregates data from all of your banking institutions and credit cards (including USAA and the Military Star Card) into one place so you can easily see what you’ve spent and where you’ve spent it. Their budget tool lets you set monthly budgets and then categorize purchases. Using cash? No worries, simply manually add the transaction to the list. No matter who uses the card, you can see what has been spent. That makes it easy to keep track of spending from those accounts for the whole family.

My Military Life. Developed by the National Military Family Association, this app is packed with helpful tips that can guide you through every step and every season of military life. You’re unlikely to encounter a military life situation that they have not tackled.

Commissary Rewards Card. Dealing with electronic coupons can be annoying, but the rewards card app makes it easy. Check what coupons you have saved, add new ones to your card and see which ones you’ve redeemed. And you don’t need the physical card to redeem them at the checkout – just ask the clerk to enter your rewards card phone number for you.

USA Rest Stops. Military life often comes with a lot of travel. You can skip the sketchy restaurant and truck stop bathroom breaks when you know where to find the state sponsored rest stops. This app gives you that information categorized by state and tells you what amenities they have (picnic tables? pet area?) at each. It also lets you locate the rest stops nearest you, including information on what direction you must be traveling to enter. 

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