It has been a couple of years since my husband deployed, and he's not going on a ship this time. We've spent the last couple of months buying stuff for him to take - a laptop computer, a super-duper backpack, new boots, a camera - the list is pretty long. And we've been doing things that we wouldn't usually do - eating at our favorite one-a-year restaurants, taking the family bowling, stuff like that.
And right now, we're sitting in a hotel room in Norfolk, figuring out how to reorganize now that his departure has been delayed. Another night in the hotel, another day of family fun. I'm thankful for the extra time together and I'm also thankful that our budget can support these surprise expenses. There have certainly been times in my life that an extra night in a hotel would have been unaffordable.
This military life has many financial benefits, such as well-priced medical care, housing or a housing allowance, and the consistency of pay twice a month. On the other hand, it seems like we have more unusual expenses than anyone I know - quarantining pets in foreign places, 17 different types of uniforms, and buying new curtains every couple of years.
This pre-deployment spending spree has reminded me why it is important to keep our finances in order and plan for the unexpected. Our extra time together would be significantly less fun if I were worried that the cost was going to make it hard to pay our bills this month. One more reason to keep paying off debt and building up our savings. You never know what our next adventure is going to be, and I want to be prepared.