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There's nothing better than getting mail when you're on deployment. You know the feeling. That joy you feel when you see the USPS charge on your checking account and realize it's just a matter of days (or months, depending on where you are…) until you're showered with nostalgia of home, snacks, and adorable reminders that you'll be back before you know it.
Care packages are the best.
Until they're not.
Here are 5 of our best care package fails:
1. Super soap
Sure, there are the things you want in a care package and then there are the things you need. The best care packages combine both with a 3:1 ratio of wants:needs.
But, take it from my first-hand experience: if your ratio is 25:1 and that one "need" is scented soap and said soap somehow penetrates the flavor of the 25 "wants" so that all of your homemade brownies and cookies and hopes and dreams taste like some sort of lavender bath salt, then you're better off skipping the need altogether. Lesson learned, definitely the hard way.
2. Moldy cake
We've all seen the birthday cake in a jar. You can act embarrassed but we know you're stoked when it shows up with plates and forks for all of your buddies to have a makeshift party. And really, who doesn't want to spend their birthday in a bunker?
Pro tip: if you don't seal the canning jars, the cake molds. And if you thought your spouse was going to be mortified when they opened a box of party favors, try sending homegrown penicillin.
3. Sticky pictures
Get your mind out of the gutter. We're talking about our sweet friend who mailed her husband a taste of home (Maine) by sending him pictures of their kiddos, some fun goodies and a bottle of syrup, which shattered.
4. Glitter bomb
Glitter is the norovirus of the craft world. You don't even have to come in direct contact with it for it to find its way to you. When a friend of mine wanted to do a "gender reveal" during her husband's deployment, she had another friend fill an opaque balloon with colored glitter (but whyyyyyy) for him to pop.
He did, and blue glitter rained like confetti at a Kygo concert. Every boot, every bed, everybody was constantly sparkling for months.
The worst kind of care package fail? Not getting your shit together enough to send one. Your good intentions aren't as fun to open as a physical package.
Skip the mess and the stress and outsource your care packages to the folks who know exactly what to send: Bespoke Post. Each month, they release new themed boxes filled with quality goods to their subscription members — think: shaving sets, cigars, knives, home bar essentials, and more — along with useful advice you need to use 'em.
With thousands of standout products from unique brands, their shop is a destination in itself. They're always updating their stock with new apparel, grooming goods, outdoor gear, home essentials, and more.
Give a care package that never fails -- a Bespoke Post subscription.
This article was sponsored by Bespoke Post.
Editor's Note: The following story highlights a veteran at WESCO Distribution, Inc. committed to including talented members of the military community in its workplace. Best Buy is a client of Hirepurpose, a Task & Purpose sister company. Learn More.
Air Force veteran Adam Gubitosi has many strengths. His 21-year career in the Air Force helped him hone the talents he already had and develop new traits to further his civilian career. By relying on his strengths — fostering personal growth, networking, and goal-setting — Gubitosi has created a successful career at WESCO Distribution, Inc.
Editor's Note: The following story highlights a veteran at Verizon committed to including talented members of the military community in its workplace. Verizon is a client of Hirepurpose, a Task & Purpose sister company. Learn More.
While he has a desk at Verizon's Global Network Management Center in Cary, North Carolina, you'll rarely find Aaron Francis seated on the job. Despite the injuries he sustained during his years in the Army, Francis says he prefers to spend his days "on the floor," building rapport and resolving network issues alongside his team. As the network operations and engineering supervisor, Francis spends every day putting the leadership skills he developed in the Army into practice with his diverse team of engineers, many of whom are reservists or veterans themselves.
"I've had to deal with people from different walks of life who were under extremely stressful situations, including those who were facing death," Francis says. "[This] has definitely honed my ability to be a calming and steadying influence, and to actually lead – not to be a boss, but to be a leader."
Editor's Note: The following story highlights a veteran at The Home Depot committed to including talented members of the military community in its workplace. The Home Depot is a client of Hirepurpose, a Task & Purpose sister company. Learn More.
In 2009, Kristopher Green was an Army Ranger. If you asked him on the day of his discharge where he would be in 10 years, he wouldn't have said software engineering. But three career shifts later, the determination, problem-solving, and ability to work on a close-knit team developed in the 75th Ranger Regiment made him a perfect fit for The Home Depot's corporate headquarters in Atlanta.
We've all been there. You're at the checkout line on the 14th or 30th of the month, frantically refreshing your online bank account to see if somehow your EFT came a little early like a Christmas miracle, or if you at least have enough to cover your transaction. There's no stress like financial stress.
Give yourself some breathing room by having extra savings at the end of the pay period. Here are 4 easy ways to save a little more each month:
Never underestimate the power of a skillset. Maybe you’re excellent at ironing and the guy down the hall who cuts hair hates laundry. Racking up Venmo charges for babysitters? Find a neighbor with kids and swap. Trade mowing lawns for meals. Save money by exchanging goods and services.
2. Free ride
Life might not be a free ride but your unit might have one. We know it’s not the coolest option to roll downtown on the duty bus, but what is cool is that while your buddies go through their paychecks one Uber ride at a time, you’ll have more in your pocket. Carpooling and the base shuttle are great options.
3. Leverage your base resources
We know just as well as you do that the pork tenderloin in the chow hall on Monday is going to be served five different ways until some sort of stew on Friday. The other thing we know? It's free.
Take advantage of the services offered on base, whether it's coffee at work or dinner. Use the base gym and skip the memberships outside the gate. Take a base tour with your family whenever you PCS to a new duty station to better understand some of the free resources your family can utilize, whether that's tutoring, counseling or that fineeee pork tenderloin.
4. Take advantage of discounts
If you're not getting free concert or show tickets through VetTix or discounted prices through MWR or base, entertainment adds up quickly.
Take advantage of discounts in order to stretch your money. A night out with free tickets and free childcare through a kid-swap sounds much better than lighting the $400 on fire that it would cost you normally.
Taking a look at your spending and seeing where you can save a little more each month will alleviate some of your financial stress. Another huge relief? Being able to buy a house with a VA Loan. With no money down required, your savings account can take a deep breath. Learn more about the VA Loan and Veterans United, the nation's #1 VA lender: Veterans United Home Loans provided more VA Home Loans by total volume than any other lender in 2018. Source: Department of Veterans Affairs Lender Statistics
Military life is stressful enough without worrying about whether or not your next transaction will go through. Use our hacks to help you save.
This post was sponsored by Veterans United.
Editor's Note: The following story highlights a veteran at Best Buy committed to including talented members of the military community in its workplace. Best Buy is a client of Hirepurpose, a Task & Purpose sister company. Learn More.
Best Buy's corporate culture is a great environment for people of diverse backgrounds, including military veterans. Not only do they encourage veterans to apply with the help of the military skills translator on the Career Portal website that helps translate military experience into civilian leadership terms, but they also actively support employees in the National Guard or Reserves who need to take time away from work for drill weekends and deployments.
Hirepurpose spoke with two employees to learn more about the ways Best Buy encouraged them during their military career.