The issue of whether to move back in with family during deployment is one of the most debated issues among the younger members of the military community. Between a shaky economy and limited opportunities for civilians around military bases, many military spouses and significant others decide to move back in with their families during a deployment. However, there are just as many that advocate the benefits of sticking it out and living on your own.
If you will be faced with a decision between moving home or staying put in the near future, check out this pro's and con's list.
Saving money: The most common pro of moving home during a deployment is saving money. Especially if you are raising a family, moving home can take away expenses like rent and utilities that would normally consume a large chunk of your budget. If you are struggling to make ends meet, moving home can give you a break while you form a more solid financial plan.
You might not actually save money: Before you decide to move home to save money, make sure you won't be wasting a lot in the process. Between contracted utilities, breaking leases and the general costs of moving itself, you don't want to be spending more money moving home than you will save. Another place people get stuck when moving home is storage. Chances are you have furniture that you can't or won't want to sell before moving and you'll have to pay to store those items while you're away.
Support system: If you moved away due to a PCS or for the military in general, an emotional benefit of moving home may be spending time with your friends and family. The military lifestyle comes with a lot of moves and it can serve as a great mental break to spend 9 months in your hometown. It can be very nice to have the support of family and friends, many spouses especially like to live at home if they have children or during the first deployment.
Missing the military community: On the opposite side of getting to spend time with your family, a con will be missing out on the true military experience. If you decide to move home to the familiar during a deployment you may miss out meeting some great people who have a lot in common with you as well as really getting to integrate yourself into the great and supportive military community.
Save for something specific: More specifically than just saving money on rent and utilities is being able to save your BAH in the hopes of making a large purchase in the future. Whether you're looking to buy a car or use your VA benefits and purchase a home, you'll be able to save up money and make more financially responsible decisions.
School transitions for children: A military family considering moving back home should consider the task of taking your kids out of school. Although some may have children who aren't old enough to be in school yet, transferring schools in the middle of the year or even during the summer knowing that you'll return to base after deployment can make for a hard transition.
Help with children and childcare: Young military families especially may choose to move home in hopes that their family can help them raise children. New parents may feel overwhelmed taking care of a child alone, and parents and other family members can help guide you through the waters of new parenthood. Pregnancy is another main reason military spouses decide to move home during deployment.
Losing your independence: Depending on how long it has been since you lived at home, you may want to consider the difficulties associated with feeling like you've lost your independence. If you've been living on your own, with a significant other or a spouse for a number of years it may come as a culture shock to experience life with your parents again.
Opportunity to pursue your education: If you're hoping to earn a college degree over the next few years, moving home may present a perfect opportunity. The money saved from not paying for rent combined with the free time you may gain from having family help you raise children or help you out combine in a good environment to study.
Unfortunately there will be certain difficulties associated with deployment no matter where you decide to live. Create a pro's and con's list for your personal situation and create a practical plan of action that works best for you emotionally and financially.
Have you moved home during deployment in the past? Have you chosen to stay on base? Why?
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