I’ll go ahead and admit to what everyone else is already thinking: We’re missing the extra deployment money. It’s not that we blew all of the additional pay and didn’t save anything. We saved, but we were definitely living a little more comfortably, too. Now, with all of that saved money off limits, hundreds less per paycheck, and the increased expense of feeding a full grown man, we just don’t have quite as much fun money as we once did.
This is the part that gets me. I know there are others who are feeling the sting of this adjustment far more than we are. I remember when my dad got back from his deployment with the National Guard. We, a family of six, had to go from a staff sergeant’s deployment pay to a city cop’s wages, and that hurt. This, in comparison, is nothing. Yet here we are, obsessively checking the bank account from our two laptops, our two smart phones, the iTouch or the Kindle, wondering what we could possibly do without to save some money. That figures.
We have far more than we need and are still so stressed out by that relatively low number in our checking account. I know that this adjustment time is typical, that only a few truly save everything that is above their regular pay during a deployment, and that most struggle a bit while getting used to the old pay amount. I also know that my entire family once managed just fine on what we, a family of two, make now.
I think, for me, this readjustment time is going to mean more than just scaling back our eating out to once a week. For me, it will have to be about throwing out that spoiled rotten, entitled attitude that seems to be spreading like a plague in this generation. I think it will have to be about reminding myself that giving is better than receiving, and that what you have is not nearly as important as what you have to offer.