Financial Resources and Discounts for Military Families

Military families have a lot to deal with - emotionally, logistically, and financially. What benefits are out there for military families to make life a bit easier for them? Where can they find discounts and deals? We've created this helpful financial guide aimed specifically to help military family members learn about the different resources, federal programs, retail discounts, and deals for dependents of U.S. soldiers.

U.S. soldier family members should be able to rely on fellow Americans to provide support and help in one way or another. In this guide we aim to help military families navigate their finances as well as get the support needed in various aspects of their busy lives.

The Most Important Organizations and Resources for Military Families

There's one key thing to keep in mind, one thing that's hammered into our brains again and again: Everyone serves. Whether you're military personnel, retired veterans, or have family members who serve or are veterans themselves, it's important to remember there are plenty of resources and support groups available. However, beyond a simple breakdown of military family benefits, it's easy to get lost in military resources and give up on your search before finding what you really are after! Here are the main support groups that all dependents should check and use regularly:

Military OneSource:

The government's official one-stop resource for military spouses, this site includes materials on deployment, relocation, parenting, and finances. It offers 24/7 confidential support and counseling, access to the free Morale, Welfare, and Recreation Digital Library for adults and children, and a lot of information about what's out there for military family benefits.

National Military Family Association (NMFA):

The NMFA is one of the longest-running organizations made for family support. They've wooed national sponsors for a ton of different helpful programs, from family retreats to caregiver support. It's simply one of the best military websites out there for information and resources.

Operation Homefront:

The top nonprofit resource for helping to build "strong, stable, and secure military families," Operation Homefront offers many types of financial help and programs such as Homes on the Homefront, Transitional Homes, and the Holiday Toy Drive.

Blue Star Families:

Offering everything from career coaching to discounted movie tickets, this community offers the opportunity to get support in a variety of ways. Sign up to get a mentor and find the help you need.

Tutor.com:

This is an official resource for completely free online tutoring and homework help for U.S. military members and their families. The members themselves, children, and some spouses are eligible.

Operation Code:

Offering military veterans and family members a new career path, this nonprofit organization offers accelerated learning programs for coding, programming, and software development.

FOCUS Project:

Medical experts at Harvard Medical School and UCLA have been studying the resilience of military families for decades, and now, they offer courses in resilience and coping training.

Military Spouse Assistance

The wives, husbands, and partners of military members may feel like they're alone, but that's far from the truth. Not only are there communities of military spouses ready to network with, but there are more scholarships, business funds, and remote jobs available than ever before! Military spouse benefits and resources include everything from a free library to a military family life counselor to partner associations.

US SBA Spouse-Owned Business Support:

Spouses of the military who are hoping to start a business have accesses to resources and capital via the U.S. Small Business Administration.

FlexJobs for Military Spouses:

This is a job search tool for those looking for remote or freelance jobs, and it has a lot of resources for spouses.

Operation Homefront: Hearts of Valor:

This is an online community of caretakers for injured service members.

My Career Advancement Account (MyCAA):

Backed by the Department of Defense, this scholarship program provides tuition assistance to those pursing a STEM-related associate degree or certification in a portable career field.

Society of Military Spouses in STEM:

Connect with a LinkedIn group and Facebook group and get access to a network of other members. They also post jobs.

Military OneSource: Spouse Education and Career Opportunities:

This is an informational resource that offers career exploration counseling and tips.

MilSpouseFest:

This series of local festivals is presented by the USAA and MilitaryOneClick.

Naval Services Family Line:

A nonprofit for Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard families, this organization offers a mentorship program as well as leadership courses.

Amazon Jobs for Military Spouses and Caregivers:

Amazon is a great place to work, as they specifically value the flexibility of military spouses.

The American Military Partner Association:

This organization represents LGBTQ+ military spouses and families.

Also, check out helpful tips from blogging networks and magazines like MilitarySpouse.com and NextGenMilSpouse.com.

Benefits for Children and Dependents

"Military brats" have a mixed bag of privileges and struggles. The drawbacks are pretty obvious, with a family member going missing for long stretches of time, lots of moving, and needing to switch schools frequently. The benefits of being a military child include having access to educational tools, tutoring, and various kinds of financial help. Luckily, there's support for military families during deployment, especially for military children. Benefits of military family members include some of the following programs:

DoDEA Educational Partnership:

The U.S. Department of Defense has a variety of outreach programs to local education agencies (LEAs) to support the success of military children. One includes a joint grant program with the U.S. Department of Education. See how they can help children transition and learn more here

Military Kids Connect:

The main gateway for children to connect with other military kids, this site features message boards, interactive games, and ways to connect.

United Through Reading:

A simple but life-changing form of military family support, this program involves separated service members and their families reading aloud together.

Our Military Kids:

This is a nonprofit organization that supports 5-12th grade kids of military members in athletic, fine arts, and tutoring programs.

Child Care Aware:

This federal program partners with the military and Department of Defense to connect people with child-care programs at a reduced fee. The exact program depends on the military branch.

Operation Homefront: Military Child of the Year:

This national award recognizes six outstanding kids ages 13 to 18 for their leadership. They receive $10,000 each and a laptop computer.

Operation Homefront: Back-to-School Brigade:

This is a school supply campaign sponsored in part by Dollar Tree.

Operation Homefront: Holiday Toy Drive:

People give donations of toys and games for children to open during the holidays.

Military OneSource: Morale, Welfare, and Recreation Digital Library:

This digital library offers free books for military spouses and other family members.

Military Child Education Coalition:

This national nonprofit funds webinars, scholarships, the career-readiness program SchoolQuest, and transition resources.

Tutor.com:

This resource is for service people and their family members; if the child is a K-12 student, it's one of the only free military dependents benefits.

NMFA's Operation Purple Camps:

The National Military Family Association offers a free week of camp where attendees can connect with other military kids. They also offer options like "healing adventures" and "buddy camp."

Amazon Jobs for Dependents:

Dependents over 18 can apply to work for Amazon, which appreciates their flexibility.

Do Parents Get Military Discounts? Are They Considered Dependents?

Military benefits for parents of service members are limited. They cannot be enrolled in Tricare, but if you learn how to make a parent a military dependent, they may have access to some limited Tricare Plus options.

Financial Concerns: Banking, Military Family Insurance, Loans, and Emergency Assistance

Health care can get expensive, especially if someone is treating a spouse with PTSD or a potential brain injury. Luckily, military family benefits tend to cover those sorts of things, but that doesn't mean the transient lifestyle can't lead to unforeseen costs, or even sudden wealth. Getting a hold of good military insurance benefits not only helps in emergencies but also can provide resources in times when things are going well. A number of insurance and financial options are available as well as ways money can be drawn on in times of stress.

  • USAA: With numerous forms of banking, insurance, wealth management, and loans for military family members, from auto loans to mortgages to health insurance to credit monitoring, the USAA is the top insurer of military families and veterans.
  • Armed Forces Insurance: Providing active military and veteran insurance for family needs from auto to renters' insurance, AFI has been an important provider sine 1887.
  • First Command: A banking solution that offers financial planning, loans, investment management, and insurance for military family members, this institution dates back to the 1950s.
  • Tricare: This is the official health insurance of the U.S. military.
  • AAFMAA: This banking solution offers mortgages, wealth management, and life insurance.
  • Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society: They offer many kinds of services and loans for military family members, from financial counseling to thrift shops to education assistance.
  • Army Emergency Relief: For those in the Army, this organization offers interest-free loans and grants as well as financial assistance.
  • Veterans of Foreign Wars Grants: The VFW offers emergency financial assistance for veterans.
  • Military Star Card: Earn rewards and build credit with a military-focused credit card.

Your individual state may have a military family relief fund for direct financial aid as well!

Discounts for Military Families

There's a huge array of military discounts out there for a huge variety of situations: when things are going well and you're shopping for a gift for your loved one's return, or when things are a bit more dire and spouses are scrounging for cheap groceries. We've picked out some of the most useful deals for military families that can help transitions go smoother.

Recreation and Vacation

Many attractions like museums, national parks, and even amusement parks give vacation deals to military families. If your loved one is looking for a bit of rest and relaxation, you may be able to find a military lodging facility that could fit your needs, such as the Hale Koa Hotel or the Shades of Green Resort. Check the Information, Tickets, and Travel Office or look for a USO. There are a lot of options!

Hotel and Flight Discounts

Note that besides buying military family discount flights, you can also travel via train or bus: Amtrak offers 10% off on tickets, or you can get up to 30% off on Greyhound tickets or 15% off on Peter Pan bus tickets.

Other Military Family Discounts and Deals

Below you'll find a few military programs that once enrolled you'll have access to exclusive deals and discounts for a variety of online retailers and services:

  • GOVX: Servicemen and -women themselves can get deals for everything from gear to baseball tickets to hotels to discount airline tickets for military families.
  • ID.me: Put in a military ID and you can get discounts with a variety of brands. It's sort of like a military discount Groupon!
  • Veterans Advantage: Easily find military discounts and savings with this network.
  • Military Bridge: This similar resource focuses on discounts at small or local businesses.

Most military deals at stores and restaurants pertain only to the service members themselves, but there are still many more deals out there that extend to military family and dependents. Discounts are everywhere, but here's a brief overview of what's available. (Keep in mind that each one of these military family deals has special rules and regulations.)

Electronics

Looking For More Military Family Discounts?

If you haven't found the coupons and deals you need here, know that there are always more deals out there for military dependents. You can use CouponFollow's Interactive Military Discount Guide to sort through over 250+ different Military discounts, coupons and deals based on programs you've enrolled in and categories of interest.