Military life comes with its own set of unique challenges that can impact a family's financial stability in many ways. The very nature of military service, for example, means families could find themselves moving frequently. This can disrupt employment for spouses, education for children and lead to additional costs that come with moving.

For all these reasons and more, military families need to recognize these unique challenges and address them with a comprehensive financial plan. If you're a member of a military family, read on for tips for creating a financial plan that can help address your needs.

1. Understand your financial situation

First, you need to have a clear sense of your financial situation. Gather key financial information, including income, assets, expenses, debts, savings, and so on.

2. Establish financial goals

Next, you want to consider your short- and long-term financial goals. Do you plan on buying a home? Do you have debt to pay off? It's important to have clarity on these plans as you put together a plan.

3. Create a budget

When developing a budget, you want to account for your regular expenses, such as housing, utilities, groceries and transportation. But you also need to set aside money for your savings and any debt repayment.

Tip: To make setting aside money a lot easier, use automatic transfers to savings accounts and retirement plans.

4. Set up an emergency fund

Given the unpredictable nature of military life, an emergency fund to cover unexpected expenses or loss of income is critical. Your established financial situation and budget should influence the scope of your emergency fund.

Tip: To determine the appropriate size of your emergency fund, calculate your average monthly expenses and multiply that by the number of months you want to cover. The stability of your income, the predictability of your expenses and your current financial obligations are all factors to consider.

5. Know your benefits

As a member of the military, you have access to many benefits that should factor into your family financial plan. Here are just a few not to forget:

Tip: By incorporating your discounts and benefits into your financial plan, you can reduce everyday expenses and put more funds toward savings and debt reduction.

6. Plan for deployments

If there's a chance you'll be deployed, make sure you have a plan in place to manage finances while away from home. Your spouse or a trusted family member should have access to key financial information if you're unable to oversee everything while deployed.

7. Consider education expenses

Whether you, a spouse or children plan to pursue higher education, start saving for tuition and other education expenses. Fortunately, there are education benefits available to military families, such as the GI Bill.

8. Be ready to make changes

Understand that a family financial plan isn't just something you set once and forget about. It will require constant monitoring and adjusting depending on your family's financial situation.