The Army Gives, and the Army Takes

OK, I’ve been a bit scarce these past two weeks since hubby got home from Korea, but I did warn y’all LOL  Time for a little catch-up with how things have been going.  Since hubby is now home, I have been able to see for myself just how much has sunk in from our email and messenger conversations vs. being able to talk to him face-to-face, and WOW is there a big difference.

Let’ws use the Army travel pay as the shining example: the day before hubby left Korea he had the wonderful experience of Army paperwork (nothing new to either of us) but he was told to just check the boxes and if he was supposed to receive travel pay then he would get it; if not he wouldn’t.  Well, whoever told him that must not have been in the Army very long!  The day he left Korea, the Army deposited $1756 into his account as travel pay for him plus a dependant, since many soldiers do marry in Korea and often to local civilians.

Fast forward to yesterday (friday) and hubby receives a letter from DFAS (Defense Finance something-something)  saying he was NOT supposed to get $1756, he was only supposed to get about $200 as travel pay.  Since the money is already paid, they don’t pull it back out but instead deduct it from his future pay either in one lump sum or through monthly payments that you work out with DFAS.  Hubby was totally freaked out.

I’m not sweating it at all, though!  We didn’t spend the entire amount like most soldiers do, so we still have about $1500 of it…which is what is owed back to the government.  If we wanted to, we could probably pay this back in one lump sum, except for the way we have his pay set up.  I told him we could do it in three months, but he is still nto comfortable with that, so we decided on four months to pay it back.

Now, why am I not freaked out about owing our “favorite uncle” that much money?  Because I have been working on this whole budgeting idea since this past January and feel very comfortable with it now.  Our bill money won’t be affected by this at all…just the amount we pay extra on the truck note. 

Hubby hasn’t been concerned with our “home budget” as I refer to the household expenses, but he is very concerned with how it affects his separate budget.  So this morning over my third cup of coffee I sat down with him and our “high-tech” dry erase board budget, and broke down for him how we can manage to pay the government back with no adverse effect on our ability to pay our bills.  Then I went a step farther and broke out and wrote down his separate budget for him, to show him just how easy it will be to get through this little DFAS accounting SNAFU.  He’s much more relaxed about this now.

Hubby has made a few interesting observations this morning: he says listening to Dave Ramsey and being told through email and messenger is NOT the same as sitting down with me and a dry erase marker and board.  The numbers on the board are much more real, and much more personal.  He also said how happy he has been that I took an active role in our finances, even when he really didn’t understand my objectives with it.  He also hints that he may be well on his way towards a little bit of that “Financial Peace” Dave Ramsey talks about! 

Even if he doesn’t want to watch the Dave Ramsey FPU videos with me (yes, I took advantage of the FPU Online offer for veterans … as if I wouldn’t!).  Even if he doesn’t want to listen to the Dave Ramsey Show on the radio every weekday like I do.  So those of y’all who still struggle with a reluctant spouse at home, give what I did this morning a try: grab a piece of paper and pencil, or a dry erase board and marker, and go over things, and allow them to dream a little.  It worked for me today!