Why The Military Should Always Be Paid, Always
What a way to wake up, to hear of a government shutdown. That what so many people said wouldn’t happen did and that so many families are wondering what that means for them.
Our military is used as a bargaining chip, and sometimes that means that we will have to deal with what happens when the government gets shutdown. I am hoping that this does not last long, I am hoping that by the time you read this, the shutdown is old news, but I am not holding my breath.
No one in today’s Military was drafted.
Every single person who serves decided to do so on their own. The Military is the job they decided to do and how they help support their families. In some cases, the Military member is the only one bringing in a paycheck. Having that regular paycheck is a must.
If your spouse is deployed, you will receive extra money which helps your household. This can be an excellent time to pay off debt, save for the future or just catch up on bills.
The National Guard and Reserves have monthly drills that families are used to, those have been and could be canceled because of this. And while a canceled drill can seem like a nice break, a canceled drill also means families will be going without some of their regular income for the month.
So whether the Military member is deployed or not, that money is very important. But beyond that, to not get paid like you should is a huge slap in the face.
In a perfect world, we would all have nice sized emergency funds, but not everyone does. While it is true we should always be prepared, a lot of military families are not and live paycheck to paycheck. While it is nice to have savings, not everyone has enough to help them through something like this.
But beyond whether a family has enough money in their bank accounts to get through one or two delayed paychecks is beside the point. What does not paying the Military do to morale? It crushes it. From the single soldier serving in Afghanistan to the Mom of four trying to hold it together while her husband is deployed for the fourth time.
To not get paid on time feels like a blow.
To have to figure out how to make a paycheck stretch that much more is added stress Military families don’t need. In 2013, the last time this happened, my husband was deployed, and the feeling that he would not get paid was beyond frustrating. I hate that for anyone going through this right now.
If you are looking for more information about what is happening, how you will be affected during this time, how services you depend on will be affected, please use these links to help:
Here’s what we know about how a government shutdown would affect the military, DoD civilians and veterans
Defense Finance and Accounting Service – DFAS
How to Survive the Government Shutdown
What should we be doing?
As we are trying to see what is going to happen with this shutdown, here is what we can do to help our situations:
- Try not to panic- I know that is difficult, this is a stressful situation.
- Look at your budget- Figure out where your gaps are. Talk to your bank. Put down on paper your plan for paying your bills.
- Watch for updates- Things can change quickly.
- Be informed- There is a lot of misinformation out there, make sure the information you are reading about all of this is correct.
- Breathe- This sucks, it does, but hopefully, the shutdown will not last long, and we will be back to “normal” soon.
And to anyone who has any power in this, stop using the military like this. Stop acting like it doesn’t matter if the military gets paid or not. The military should always, without question be paid on time. Always.