Did you know that for military families financial concerns are their top concern? In fact, according to a 2019 report by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, nearly 9 in 10 active service members and 84% of spouses or partners have worries about personal finances.
But, that’s just scratching the surface. Approximately 3 in 10 spouses or partners of service members reported that they are not able to pay their bills on time. And, even worse, another 1 in 10 reported that they currently have debts in collection.
Despite serving our country, what’s the reason behind this? Well, there are actually a number of factors. At the minimum, the issues includes erratic pay, moving expenses, and cost-of-living adjustments.
Moreover, there’s also the rising costs of childcare and frequent location changes. As a consequence, this can be a challenge for military family members to find full-time employment.
What’s more, there are also unexpected expenses. Jana Wanner, the wife of Eric Wanner, a sergeant in the U.S. Army, told CNBC that “when we came back from overseas we had to rent a car for two months while we waited for our other car to get shipped.”
Because of all these factors — it’s no surprise that military families are struggling to manage their finances and make ends meet. “Men and women in uniform face many challenges and daily sacrifices while serving our country,” said Rebecca Steele, president and CEO of the NFCC. “Financial concerns shouldn’t be one of them.”
How Military Families Can Overcome Financial Hardships
There is some good news, however, for servicemen, women, and their families. For starters, turn to resources such as the NFCC. They have 55 nonprofit credit counseling organizations that provide free advice on how to set up and maintain a realistic monthly budget. They also offer financial education regarding credit, insurance, housing, retirement, and savings.
“The NFCC is committed to ensuring that members of the military and their families have access to the financial tools and information they need to live a financially stable life,” Steele said. “NFCC member agencies are proud to assist military personnel through dedicated military-specific programs.”
Josh Andrews, a certified financial planner and advice director at financial services firm USAA in San Antonio, also suggests:
- Taking the full Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance coverage amount starting with your first paycheck. Make sure to increase your automatic contributions to the military’s Thrift Savings Plan to at least 10%.
- Paying down your debt beginning with the loan that is costing your the most.
- Planning for the inevitable by building an emergency fund to cover cost-of-living adjustments.
- If you aren’t planning to serve in the military until retirement, take advantage of education and training programs. You should also have a transition plan for health insurance and pensions.
In addition to the advice listed above, those serving in the armed forces can also stick to their budgets and save money by using the following 101 discounts.
Clothes, Shoes, and Accessories
1. 5.11 Tactical
Do you have a valid GovX account? If so, you can take 30% off select clothing and gear. Note, that this is available only for online orders.
Military members can enjoy an exclusive 40% discount on adidas.com.
3. Allen Edmonds
Verify that you’re an active military member using ID.me and a 15% discount will be applied during checkout.
4. Alpha Industries
All active retired, and reserve military members can receive 15% off all orders. You must sign in and verify using SheerID, however.
5. Banana Republic
Active duty, veterans, retirees, reservists, and dependents can take between 10-15% off at participating locations.
All active-duty military, reservists, and National Guard are eligible for a 5% discount.
A 20% military discount will be applied for active-duty service members, as well as veterans.
Active and retired U.S. armed forces members can enjoy a 10% discount on select merchandise.
All outlets offer a 5% discount for both active and retired military members. For online orders, you will have to sign in and verify via SheerID. And, for phone orders, please call 1-800-237-4444.
Service members, veterans, and families can receive 10% off in stores only.
11. Champs Sports
A 20% discount both in-store and online. What if you’re shopping online? Simply select “Use Military Discount” when checking out to verify your eligibility.
A 10% military discount to members of the U.S. armed force.
13. Danner Boots
An exclusive discount will be applied if using your GovX account.
14. Disney Store
10% off in stores only.
15. Eddie Bauer
16. Foot Locker
Active duty, reserve, and retired military members can receive a 15% discount.
Just show your military ID to enjoy 10% off — this is only available on the first of every month.
In addition to discounts of up to 25% on select Hylete gear. Armed forces members can also earn reward points for every purchase made.
19. L.L. Bean
10% off your order.
Military service members, veterans, and their families can take a 10% discount on all purchases.
25% off your next pair of shades.
There is a 20% military discount on boots.
Use the code MILITARY10 to receive 10%. It applies to veterans, active duty members, and their families.
24. The North Face
Veterans, reservists, and active-duty members can take 10% off their purchase.
25. Under Armour
Military personal and their family members are eligible for 40% off select purchases.
26. Veteran’s Nation
Active military, reservists, veterans, and military dependents can take 15% off apparel and gear.
27. Vineyard Vines
Vets and active members can receive a 15% discount.
28. Wilson’s Leather
Are you an active or retired U.S. armed forces personnel, or a family member? If so, you can enjoy an exclusive discount either in-store or by contacting customer service at 1-866-305-4704.
Active members, along with veterans, can receive a 10% military discount.
Food and Restaurants
30. Alpha Coffee
Founded by veteran LTC (R) Carl Churchill and his wife Lori, Alpa Coffee has a 10% discount on every order. The company also donates coffee to deployed troops and a portion of profits to military charities. And, whenever possible, they try to hire vets.
Do you want to eat good in the neighborhood? If so, the national chain offers10% off for active duty and veterans at local participating restaurants. However, on Veteran’s Days both active duty and veterans can get a free meal for lunch or dinner.
32. Cici’s Pizza
On Veteran’s Day, Cici’s offer a free buffet with military ID. On a daily basis, most stores offer a discount of around 10% off.
33. El Pollo Loco
Because you serve the community, you’re eligible for a 15% discount at El Pollo Loco.
34. Golden Corral Buffet & Grill
Retirees, veterans, active duty, National Guard or Reserve, and their families, can attend Military Appreciation Night. Usually occurring on Veteran’s Day, those eligible can enjoy a free dinner. Some locations also allow you to 10-20%off your buffet meal.
35. Grocery Stores
- BJs: 25% off plus a $10 coupon.
- Costco: New members can receive a $30 Cosco Shop Card.
- Sam’s Club: Join or renew your membership and get a $10 gift card, along with the $30 Military Member Package.
Many other local grocery stores, such as Fred Meyer, also usually offer military discounts of around 10%.
36. Hard Rock Cafe
All military personal can receive 15% off their meals year-round.
37. Home Chef
If you verify at checkout using ID.me, you can take 50% off your first order, as well as 10% on following orders.
38. Johnny Rockets
At this family favorite 1950s-themed diner you save up to 50% off with valid military ID.
Through ID.me you can save 15% on these healthy snacks.
40. Lone Star Steakhouse
On Mondays, there is a military special where you can take 20% off. But, on all other days, you can save 10% with valid military ID.
41. Outback Steakhouse
The Australian-themed chain offers 10% off with valid military ID.
42. Texas de Brazil
Military members and veterans can enjoy the “Heroes Discount” which is 20% off lunch and dinner.
At participating deli locations, you can receive a 30% off with a valid military ID.
Home and Auto
44. Ace Hardware
Just show your military ID when checking out and you’ll a 10% discount — it applies to all active and retired members.
Offers 10% off regularly priced items for in-store purchases who serve or have served in the Armed Forces.
46. Brooklyn Bedding
All sleep products, including mattresses, are 25% off the retail price, as well as free shipping.
47. Car Dealerships
Most dealerships including Ford, GM, Subaru, Nissan, and Toyota offer bonus cash, credit, or rebates when purchasing leasing a vehicle.
Active duty, retirees, veterans, spouses, and military family members can receive 20% off any mattress order.
Active and retired military, reservists, veterans, spouses, and dependent can receive a 25% discount on select parts and accessories.
Through its Military and First Responder Appreciation Program, you’re eligible for a discount on select lawn products.
51. John Deere
“Military servicemen and servicewomen are eligible for a complimentary John Deere Rewards upgrade (Platinum 1 status) – which unlocks the best loyalty rewards including valuable equipment discounts.”
15% military discount on Mondays.
10% off eligible purchases for active military personnel and veterans.
15% off entire purchase, including sale items.
Free Club O membership and 5% reward dollars for every purchase, and free shipping.
56. Pep Boys
Active and retired customers can receive a 10% discount at local stores.
57. Sherman Williams
The 15% off Military Discount is applicable to those who are currently serving, are reservists, or have served in the military. Spouses are also eligible.
Moving and Storage
Active duty members can take 10% off self-storage
Do you have a pet? If so, no need to worry about relocating them. Happy Tails Travel has exclusive military discounts for both land and air transportation.
61. Man Crates
Military families can save 10%.
Active duty and veterans can enjoy 10% off local moves.
Active duty members are eligible for $20 off your order.
Using ID.me, you may be able to save a whopping 61% on moving and relocation services.
65. Zippy Shell
Contact Zippy Shell on to receive a quote on discounted storage and moving fees.
Travel and Entertainment
66. Aquariums and Zoos
Most aquariums and zoos offer discounted admission fees. However, The Mote Aquarium in Sarasota, Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, and Wildlife Conservation Society’s New York Aquarium offer free admission.
Military personnel, their spouses, and dependents can save 10%.
68. Car Rentals
Avis, Budget, Enterprise, and Thrifty Rent-A-Car all have discounts on car rentals fro vets and active-duty members.
Most cruise lines, like Carnival and Royal Caribbean, always have discounts and special rates. Additionally, Celebrity has a military rate that’s typical $100 less. And, Princess and Cunard both offer onboard credit ranging between $50 to $250.
Most airlines have military discounts. These include American, Aligeint, Alaska, Delta, Frontier, and Southwest.
Almost every hotel will provide a military discount. These include Best Western, Comfort Suites, DoubleTree, Hilton, Extended Stay America, Hyatt, La Quinta, and Red Roof Inn.
72. Movie Theaters
AMC, Cinemark, and Regal have discounts on movie tickets. But, this varies by location.
The 9/11 Memorial & Museum, Boston Children’s Museum, Field Museum in Chicago, and Orlando Museum of Art offer free general admission. In addition to that, most other museums across the country do offer discounted admission fees.
74. National Park Service
Current U.S. military members and dependents, along with Reserve and National Guard members, can receive a free annual America The Beautiful Pass.
75. Phone and Internet
- AT&T: Unlimited plans starting at just $26.25/mo. per line
- TMobile: Exclusive 50% off regular Magenta plan rates to active-duty military, veterans, and their families.
- Verizon. Offers discounts on select Wireless and Fios plans to active duty U.S. military members, veterans, and their military families.
- Xfinity: If you’re currently serving in the military or a veteran, you can receive $100 Visa credit and a $25 Entertainment Pass coupon.
Need an escape? Beaches, Great Wolf Lodge, Hawk’s Cay, MGM, Sandals, and Universal Orlando are resorts that have discounted — usually around 10%. If you want to connect with nature, Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park also has a 10-20% offer at select camping grounds.
77. Sporting Events
Many professional sports teams offer reduced prices on select game tickets to active-duty members of the military. These include:
- The Baltimore Orioles and Ravens
- Charlotte Hornets
- LA Clippers
- Orlando Magic
- Philadelphia 76ers
- Phoenix Suns
- San Antonio Spurs
- Pittsburgh Pirates
- Tampa Bay Rays
- St. Louis Cardinals
What’s more the Bristol, Martinsville, Pocono, and Tallagegada raceways and speedways also offer discounted tickets.
78. Theme Parks
Busch Gardens, Disney World, King’s Dominion, Six Flags, and Sesame Place are just some of the theme parks where active-duty service members and guests can get free or discounted admission tickets.
Health and Wellness
Active duty military, retirees, and veterans are all eligible for a 25% discount.
If you use the code IDME10BB and are a member of the armed forces, you can get a 10% discount.
The Veterans Advantage program allows U.S. military, veterans, and their families to 20% off every order plus free shipping.
82. Dragonfly Hot Yoga
Veterans and active-duty members are able to purchase a 10-class pass for just $150.
83. Fitness 4 Home
U.S. military veterans, reservists, active-duty personnel, and their dependents are eligible for exclusive discounts.
84. Gym Memberships
Many local and national chains like Gold’s Gym and 24 Hour Fitness offer free daily passes or discounted memberships.
85. Lazarus Naturals
If you’re a veteran you can get 60% off your purchase.
86. Massage Envy
Ask your local franchisee about their military discount program.
Military members and their families are eligible for a free Y membership.
Active duty, inactive reserves, National Guard, vets, and retirees can join the YETI Military and First Responders to get deals on Yeto products and gear.
Banking, Insurance, and Legal
Open a checking or savings account and you’ll be rewarded with a hundred bucks.
91. American Express
Military members will have the $550 annual fee waived for the Platinum Card from American Express. And, according to Bankrate, you’ll also have “access to elite airport lounge membership” and “up to a $200 airline fee credit.” As if that weren’t enough, they offer up “to $200 in Uber credits per year, a credit of up to $100 for Global Entry or TSA Precheck, elite hotel status with Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors and more.”
Veterans can receive discounts on select legal services. Please send an email to [email protected] or call 202-848-9324.
Current and former U.S. military members will have no monthly or ATM fees if they open a Chase Premier Plus checking account. Moreover, there are no charges when renting 3” x 5” Safe Deposit Boxes.
94. Channeling Stocks
Veterans and active members qualify for a 50% discount.
Military personal are offered lower rates and higher discounts.
“If you are on active duty, retired from the Military, or a member of the National Guard or Reserves, you may be eligible for a discount of up to 15 percent on your total insurance premium,” states the GEICO website.
97. Jackson Hewitt
Visit your nearest Jackson Hewitt tax services office to obtain special tax considerations.
98. Legal Zoom
F you verify with ID.me, you can take 15% off Legal Zoom products and services.
Members can access to military specials. These deals include “up to $20 in ATM fee rebates, free military checks, and early access to military pay with direct deposit.” There’s also loan discounts, VA home loans, and deals like 25% off Sirus.
Active duty military can file a federal return for $0.
101. U.S. Bank
No monthly maintenance fees and no minimum balance requirements. Other perks include no ATM transaction fees, free mobile check deposits, free trades, and “0.25% of your new first mortgage loan amount and deduct it from the closing costs.”
Are there other ways to save?
Are there additional discounts available? You betcha! The easiest way to find military discounts? I suggest joining the following memberships: