The Struggle of a Military Spouse
As many of you know I am a Military Spouse! The struggle of a spouse is unthinkable to many, so I would love to give a little insight to those who are not as familiar. Sometimes with being a spouse you are not able to do things you envisioned, you put your husband’s careers before yours, you move away from friends and family and so much more. In the next few paragraphs I want to give you all a short version of my life as a military spouse.
In 2006, my husband and I married. I was working at my dream job for 3+ years designing multi million dollar residential homes. I am talking homes that were so large and impressive that they were celebrity homes, even a few were featured on TV. I had to quit my dream job in Florida, move away from family and friends to support my husbands career. We moved to San Diego. Neither of us have previously ever been to San Diego, so it was a challenge for newlyweds. This is something as a military spouse that will be experienced several times – the joy of moving to somewhere new, the stress of being away from family and friends and having to make new friends. Along with the stress of having to find a new job. In addition to San Diego, I had to switch colleges and degrees as I was still going to school for my bachelors.
In 2010, we received the awesome news we were moving to Hawaii. My husband and I fell in love with the islands as soon as we moved there. We had our daughter in Hawaii. She gets to say she was born in Hawaii. Living in Hawaii, was something I never dreamt of, visiting yes but never living. I was beyond excited to be living in Hawaii. I embraced the lifestyle change and wanted to explore as much as I could. At the same time, I was still living a frugal lifestyle. I was clipping coupons, entering sweepstakes, doing what I could do to help offset the cost of me not working. In the process, I met many people interested in couponing so I started a blog. I developed a lot of awesome friendships from this website. I also, met a ton of fellow Shopaholics which I loved meeting, encouraging and watching every Shopaholics savings grow. I was able to create my hobby into my job. You probably ask how was I making money. Through this website when you purchase items through the links (most items) on the website I will earn a small commission. On average 5% commission. When you print a coupon from this website, I might earn a few pennies when you use the links posted. I do not make a ton of money on the website as that was never my goals or intentions, but yes I do make some money. Currently on average I make any where from $500 – $700 a month – so as you can see not a ton, actually I think these numbers would actually qualify for poverty level, but enough to get by and have extra spending money. My goal currently, is not about money or working but to raise Avery. I still continue to post as I get free time but Avery is my priority.
With all this said, as you can see my passion is to share deals, to create an awesome community of couponers that loved to share deals, share coupons at the Coupon Swaps, swap products at the Grocery Swaps and so forth! It doesn’t matter if I am not there physically. The concept of couponing is all the same, no matter where you move to. Watch the sales ads, compare your coupons, check for clearance to match coupons to. It isn’t rocket science just a different mindset. I spend time every week pulling up Hawaii sales ads online and I spend at least one hour each week highlighting deals from Longs Drugs and a few other deals I spot throughout the week. Of course, that does not benefit my couponing goals but it benefits most of my Hawaii readers. I do this because I care and still want to make sure those that live in Hawaii know it is possible to coupon in paradise and save money while online shopping.
The Navy has decided to give my husband the opportunity to have his job for 2 years to be a student for a master’s degree! I mean who would pass up the opportunity to get a degree and a paycheck while you are being told your job for the next 2 years is to go to school. In 2007, my husband and I worked full time jobs and were going to school full time. We both finally graduated with our bachelor’s degrees but trust me it was a challenge. We were always on a go between work and school that we rarely saw each other. So to be given the opportunity in Hawaii to stay home so we can have dinners together and now the opportunity to be a stay at home mom is amazing. Don’t get me wrong, I would prefer to be in paradise but as a spouse I know I have to support my husband and his career. It would not be right for me to stay in Hawaii, split up our family, not have Avery around her dad. Sometimes you just have to do things that benefit others. Trust me I would much prefer living in Hawaii than in the wilderness I now live in.
In the last couple of weeks, we spent time celebrating our daughter’s 2nd Birthday. My husband was deployed for her 1st birthday so this was a very special day for us all to be together. My sister in law flew in for the weekend and my mom flew in for the week to help celebrate. Of course, it was real sad to say good bye to family when they left. Unfortunately, being a military spouse, this is another struggle we deal with – being far from family, saying good bye too many times and missing countless occasions and holidays together as a family. I can only wish when my husband retires that we will settle down somewhere close to family so we can spend the special occasions and holidays together.
So as I continue to be a military spouse, for at least the next 8 years, my husband’s career is first, and my main task in life is to be the caretaker of Avery. When I get time I enjoy sharing deals on this website. I apologize to those of you who are offended that I am not in Hawaii (again not by choice). I hope you understand as a reader that I started Hawaii Shopaholics (now The Spenderella) after not seeing many couponers in 2010 & 2011 in Hawaii. I started the website to make it known that you can save and live a frugal lifestyle in paradise. In 2011, I started to teach classes and posted on this website how it was possible to save. Can you believe over 3,000 people took a class from me between 2011 – 2015? That is awesome numbers. I can only hope that those 3,000 people have spread the knowledge of couponing in Hawaii and have helped so many living in Hawaii to know it is possible to coupon in paradise. I do not live in Hawaii now but I still take time out every week to look at Hawaii sales ads to keep the website with a Hawaii presence. In addition, I reach out to the 60+ coupon instructors that I have trained to ask them to continue to teach coupon classes for free. Through this website we still host Coupon Classes, Coupon Swaps and Grocery Swaps for free in Hawaii through the awesome 60+ coupon instructors I have trained. In addition, many of those coupon instructors teach Coupon Class parties at people’s home. If you are ever interested in coupon classes, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I hope you made it to the bottom of this rant. I just wanted to share the struggle I go through as a military spouse. This rant was sparked from a friend sending me a screen shot of someone commenting on someone else’s post mentioning I no longer live in Hawaii. I have never kept that a secret. I announced it on a past blog post, in case you missed it, I spoke about it at many of the events before we left. I am sorry some are offended that I left Hawaii and still use the Hawaii name. I appreciate all the readers that continue to visit daily, enjoy the deals posted, those that tag and share deals with their friends and family and most of all everyone who follows along. I love the readers of this page, I love the friends I have made, I love helping others save money and hope you continue to be a reader throughout this tough journey as I experience being a military spouse. I love when new couponer’s find our page, ask questions and are excited to start saving. I love the community we have built together and enjoy when you comment, tag your friends and share the deals so let us continue on readers and let’s get back to deal seeking. Thanks again for letting me write and free my mind. It is very difficult to be a military spouse. Aloha and back to deal seeking!!