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Military spouses: Their struggles at home

From the extra costs associated with constantly moving to learning how to manage the family's finances on one's own, military spouses face their own set of personal and financial hurdles.

Learning to live within limited means
Learning to live within limited means
Andia Dinesen's husband, Ian, is a securities forces officer in the Air Force.
Name: Andia Dinesen
Location: Washington, D.C.
Number of times they've moved: 7

My husband and I got married during college and he joined the military shortly after that. We have relocated 7 times in 11 years and twice overseas -- once to Hawaii and once to Korea.

When we were in Hawaii, we took out a $10,000 loan to buy furniture. At the time, we had what's called a cost of living allowance, or COLA, of around $700 a month but we used that money to live on. We were 29, we had two young kids we didn't really think about it. But when you're in the military your circumstances can change in an instant.

When we were relocated to Texas, the cost of living allowance went away and then we had a really hard time making ends meet. We had to take out a loan from our savings plan to pay off the furniture loan.

In April, we will have finally paid off that loan that we took out years ago. We want to send our daughters to college, we want to retire, we want to go on vacations and we want to make sure we have money for unexpected expenses. But we lost a lot of opportunity for that money to make more money.


As told to by Jessica Dickler @CNNMoney - Last updated March 21 2012: 3:34 PM ET
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