Operation Military Family Summer Savings Audit

It may already be August, but there’s still time to audit your family’s household spending to find summer savings and see how much fat you can trim from your expenses. Why? Because cutting unnecessary expenses means you can find more money to save for important things, such as emergency or retirement funds or paying off high-interest debt. And, well, it just feels good!

So, let’s get started. Here’s how I did it:

  1. Back-to-school shopping:

Did you know that parents with school-age children expect to pay around $685 on back-to-school shopping this year? That’s nearly $700, and if you have multiple children, that dollar amount goes way up. Still, there are ways to cut this expense.

It may sound obvious, but the first thing I did was to take stock of school supplies my children already had from last year that were still perfectly usable. Got glue sticks? We have leftovers from last year. How are those backpacks holding up? Just fine. Take your child’s school supply list and see what you really need to buy (and make a list) before heading into the store. It could save you bunches of money.

And when you do plan to head into the store, be sure to check out your installation’s military Exchange for back-to-school specials, which are tax-free and often discounted.

  1. Purge and sell

The next thing I tackled were the closets. My children experienced major growth spurts last year, so they had plenty of clothing that I needed to pass along to my installation thrift store or consign through an installation swap or sell Facebook page to make some quick cash.

The process of going through their school clothing also helped me know exactly what I needed to buy for the upcoming year and their sizes. Bonus!

  1. Purge and use up

If you’re like me, you may lose track of what you have in your kitchen pantry and bathroom cabinets. Once I went through my kitchen pantry, I found the ingredients to make two additional meals for supper. From my bathroom cabinets, I found expired medicine to toss, but also plenty of shampoo and face creams I had lost track of that I would have purchased needlessly.

Bottom line: Sorting through these areas of my house saved me money on my next commissary trip, and that’s money in my pocket.

  1. Cut the cable cord

After months of debating, my family finally pulled the cord on cable and is now using a streaming service. Being the news junky that I am, I was worried about missing out on my favorite programs.

However, once we really took stock of our television use, we realized we were spending hard-earned money on an expensive service we just didn’t use. I even found a streaming service that provides live news channels. Problem solved and more than $70 saved each month. Cha-ching! Is cutting the cord right for your family? Consider your budget, use and actual needs.

  1. FREE or discounted summer entertainment

Whether on your installation, at a major amusement park or through a Blue Star Museum, always look for free or discounted entertainment to help your military family save money and stretch the family budget.

From free splash pads and fairs on post to free admission at Sea World, our military family has enjoyed some much-needed downtime this summer. A quick visit to your installation’s Information, Ticket and Travel Office will help you learn about the area’s free or discounted entertainment.

And never be afraid to ask a business whether it offers a military discount. This is a business’s way of thanking you for your sacrifice and service. Use this benefit to save money and further stretch your entertainment budget.


There are many ways to audit your family’s household spending this summer and keep an eye on it year round. Use these five tips to find more money now as you prepare your family for the school season and wrap up summer vacation. Happy summer saving!

Let Military Saves help you save money so you can feel confident about your finances. It all starts when you make a commitment to yourself to save. Take the first step today and take the Military Saves pledge to save money, reduce debt, and build wealth over time. And it doesn't stop there. Military Saves will keep you motivated with information, advice, tips, and reminders to help you reach your goal. Think of us as your own personal support system.


There’s still time to audit your family’s household spending to find summer savings. Why? Because cutting unnecessary expenses means you can find more money to save. >> http://bit.ly/2Mndpmd via @MilitarySaves

  Tweet this now

Tip of the Day

  • Written by Guest Blogger | May 5, 2014

    Know how to request a free copy of your #credit report. It’s easy and safe. Just go to www.annualcreditreport.com

Saver Stories View all »

Making Saving Automatic Leads to Personal Success

Written by Lila Quintiliani | May 27, 2020

Ryan’s savings journey started when he was an active duty airman. Frequent deployments and temporary duty assignments gave him the opportunity to save. By the time he transitioned out of active duty, he had built up a healthy rainy-day fund and had started to aggressively save for retirement.


How Smart Financial Decisions Can Create Opportunities 

Written by | November 22, 2019

Written by Stephen Ross, America Saves Program Coordinator | November 22, 2019

Of the many stories Military Saves shares, most describe how someone was in dire straits financially and worked their way out of it with the help of Military Saves. This time we want to highlight a different kind of story. This is a story about how responsible financial decisions can build on one another to create opportunities you thought only the super-rich enjoy.


When You Start Small, Saving is Easy

Written by Lila Quintiliani | August 12, 2019

When Attiyya first got married, she and her Marine husband had just graduated from college and were focused on paying off student loan debt. They had both attended private schools and had sizeable loans. Then three months after the wedding, the couple found out they were pregnant with their first child.

The first year of their marriage, says Attiyya, was a balancing act between paying down debt and saving for the future.