Amazing Military Wife Resources for March 2024

The Latest Resource Spotlight

Are you looking for more ways for you and your kids to stay connected with your husband during deployment? United Through Reading is AMAZING. During my husband’s most recent deployment, he used this program to record himself reading books for my kids. Then, they mailed the book and the recording to us for him!

The kids loved this and really looked forward to these packages in the mail. They came pretty frequently and brought a little piece of their daddy back into our home that they could watch whenever they wanted.

If your service member is deployed and doesn’t know about this service, make sure they check with their nearest MWR to get access to this resource.

The Latest in Jessie’s Kitchen 

On the menu today: Creamy Cheddar Potato Corn Chowder. We love making this soup on cold, blustery days. And even though Spring is here, for most of us, we still have some cold weather ahead. The best part? It’s a simple, one-pot recipe that’s quick and easy to make.

Ingredients

  • 8 cups of diced potatoes
  • 3-4 cups of chicken broth
  • 1-2 cups of whole milk
  • 1 pkg cream cheese
  • Worcestershire sauce (to taste)
  • Dash of sugar
  • 1 diced onion
  • One can of regular corn
  • One can of cream-style corn
  • Chunks of ham or crumbled bacon (optional)
  • 1 pkg (4 cups) of sharp cheddar cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

To Make

  • Combine all ingredients except cheese in a crockpot (and cook for 6 hours on low) or in an instant pot (on high for 25 minutes, natural release)
  • Slowly stir in cheese to let it melt, and season to your liking with salt and pepper
  • If you want a creamier consistency, ladle a bunch of the soup into a blender, blend it up, and then add it back to the soup

Enjoy!

The Latest in Jessie’s Home

Managing money with kids. There are so many ways to do this, but I’m going to share with you how we do it in our family in case any part of it would be a good fit for your family.

Our Money-Management Strategy

My kids get a weekly allowance of $1 for every year they are old. So my youngest gets $6/week, and my oldest gets $17/week. In our family, we pay an allowance to compensate for whatever family work is required of them that week: chores, help with dinner, babysitting their younger siblings, etc. We don’t pay specific amounts for individual tasks, just the set amount for whatever is needed that week, and more is expected from the older kids than from the younger kids, which is why the allowance amount increases as they get older.

My kids are encouraged to find ways to make additional money. When they are younger, it can be extra chores around the house or selling soda at a stand in the summer is a favorite. As they get older, they usually babysit for other people or find other services they can offer, like my son, who just started a business where he takes our neighbor’s garbage and recycling cans to and from the street for them on garbage day. Once they are old enough to get hired in stores or restaurants, they are encouraged to have a job that they can balance with their school and extracurricular commitments.

I am my kids’ bank when they are young. When they earn money, they give it to me, and I put 50% in their spending account, 40% in their savings account, and 10% goes to charitable contributions. Whenever they want to spend money, I give it to them and keep track to make sure they aren’t spending more than their set aside 50%. When they get old enough, they get their own checking/savings account and a debit card. I still help them manage it and their savings.  

We pay for everything that my kids need, and they are expected to pay for pretty much whatever is considered just a want. They get some clothes from us at Christmas and in the fall for Back-to-School. When they buy birthday presents for friends or family members, we pay for the first $10, and they pay for anything else that is more expensive than that. We pay for the base of their extracurricular activities, and they help pay for anything extra within that activity, like trips or gear. We pay for half of our teenagers’ gasoline and let them use one of our cars that we’ve designated as the “teenager car.”

My oldest is a senior in high school, so we’re just figuring out where we want to go from here to help her achieve financial independence as she prepares to buy her own car and help pay for college!

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