As military personnel prepares for deployment, money is usually the last thing on its mind. With so many things running through a soldier’s mind, financial security often gets ignored.

If you are backing your belongings to head out on assignment, don’t let this happen to you. Follow these 4 strategies to ensure that you and your dependents are taken care of.

Have a Plan Before You Deploy

While on deployment there really isn’t a time in which you can sit down and “balance the checkbook.” You are required to have laser focus and an undivided mind while on the battlefield regardless of the capacity in which you serve. You just won’t be able to handle domestic financial issues.

This is why it’s very important to make the appropriate arrangements before you leave. Set up automatic payments for as many of your bills as possible. Discuss the possibility of giving someone power of attorney in regard to your finances such as a close family friend or consultant. Make sure you don’t burden your partner and other dependents with unnecessary financial issues.

Focus More on Saving

Very often deployments will come with an increased amount of income. Incentives such as family separation pay, hardship duty pay, and hazardous duty pay all come tax-free with overseas deployment.

It is very easy to spend more when you’re making more. Try to keep your budget fairly similar to how it was before your deployment. The extra income is awarded due to the risks that a family must endure when a loved one is in combat. It’s not free money to spend on unnecessary things.

Invest the money, save some in a military account which accrues interest at a higher percentage rate and pay-off some debt in order to decrease your monthly expenses.

Keep Expectations in Check

Although there is the opportunity to increase your savings, there are some expenses that come with being deployed. Things such as care packages, long-distant conversations, or weekly chores and repairs that your spouse took care of before being shipped out. Make sure everyone knows the role they need to play and what it will take to accomplish it.

Look for Discounts

Discounts come in many different forms. Some of the most common discounts are associated with food or travel. Don’t be afraid to ask for discounts and encourage your family to inquire about them as well.

Think about certain subscriptions or monthly services that you won’t need while deployed and see if you can put them on freeze or cancel at no additional fee. This may not save a ton of money but it could pay a bill or two and maybe a house repair.

Financial stress is a real thing and it can be debilitating if not handled properly. Make sure your family is taken care of while you are away by implementing a strategic plan on how to manage your money.