How to Get Through a Recession: Tips for Military Spouses

Recessions hurt most members of society, but women seem to be some of the hardest hit by the current economic downturn after COVID-19 forced the shutdown of many female-led industries. Military spouses are especially vulnerable during times of economic turmoil like these. According to Forbes, 24 percent of active-duty military spouses are unemployed, and another 31 percent are working part-time when they would prefer a full-time career. Unfortunately, military spouses face several barriers when seeking employment, including resume gaps, frequent moves, and exclusion from veteran hiring programs. When a recession hits, these women have an incredibly difficult time securing a job and earning an income. 

Making Money Online

Despite the economic downturn, you still have to pay the bills and put food on the table. How are you going to make it work? When local jobs are few and far between, it may be worthwhile to try working remotely from home. There are several ways to generate income online, which should be good news for military spouses with young kids at home. Don’t be afraid to make a career change! With a little work, you should be able to turn your existing skills and experience into a successful venture. Here are some tips to help you get started!

Building a Freelancing Career

Freelancing is a great way to earn money from home. Since you can set your own hours, your freelancing business could range anywhere from a part-time side gig to a full-time career! Freelance roles are especially well-suited for military spouses because they are location independent, meaning you can bring your work wherever you go. This flexibility is essential for future-proofing your income, so you won’t have to search for new work when your family relocates.

When it comes to selecting a freelancing industry, you have several options. For example, if you enjoy creative work, consider freelancing as a writer, home-staging consultant, graphic artist, social media manager, or event coordinator. You could also work as an accountant, project manager, or translator. Many companies are hiring administrative support assistants to complete such tasks as bookkeeping, data entry, and responding to emails. Search for job opportunities on freelancing platforms like Upwork to see what’s out there!

Starting an Online Business

Starting your own business could also be a lucrative move. There are several ways to sell products online without much of an investment. In many cases, you don’t even have to hold any inventory, which makes this an approachable option for military spouses who have to be prepared to move frequently. If you need your business to be mobile, consider producing online courses, starting an affiliate marketing blog, or dropshipping products through an e-commerce site.

Nurturing a Business in a Recession

Of course, getting a business off the ground is going to be more difficult during a recession, so make sure to implement some key strategies to reduce your risk. For example, Entrepreneur recommends starting with strong branding that will help you form an emotional connection with your target consumers. Focus on how your business differs from your competitors and why your commitment to quality, low prices, or unbeatable customer service makes you the best choice during a recession. 

At the very beginning, you may be struggling through a low-revenue period. Consider offering discounts, sales, free shipping, or bonus gifts so your customers will be more likely to make a purchase during economically uncertain times. It’s also incredibly important to keep your business expenses down right now. One way to cut your costs is to try free or low-cost content marketing and social media strategies over expensive traditional paid advertising campaigns.

Facing a recession can be scary, especially if you’re a military wife. Surviving an economic crisis may seem impossible when you’re unable to find work, but generating income online is a realistic and profitable alternative. Try freelancing or start your own e-commerce business and see where this new path takes you!


About the author: Sarah Bull is a single mom of two, an entrepreneur, and a penny pincher. She created her blog,, to share what she’s learned about growing a home-based business and making money online all while raising two awesome kids. Through her site, she hopes to inspire readers, especially fellow moms, to take their earning destinies into their own hands using her career and money-making advice.