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  • Pentagon urges decrease in spending on troops

    Defense officials fear money will go to people at the expense of weapons

    Through nine years of war, service members have seen a healthy rise in pay and benefits, leaving most of them better compensated than their peers in the private sector.

    Now, Pentagon officials see fiscal calamity.

    In the midst of two long-running wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, defense officials are increasingly worried that the government's generosity is unsustainable and that it will leave them with less money to buy weapons and take care of equipment.
    My Mind is the Master of My Reality. My Will is the Tool through which this Mastery is achieved.

    Body, Mind, Spirit, explore these topics and more at The Threefold Path

  • #2
    They already can't buy equipment. They can't afford the technicians to keep the equipment running either. Let me give you an example.

    A radar van broke at my squadron a few years ago. To fix this van, we needed a 50,000 dollar part. We GOT that part. But when one of the SATCOM vans broke down, we found out that we only got the Radar fixed by taking money away from the SATCOM Team. The logic was that we had replacement vans... we didn't have a replacement RADAR.

    Well, our satcom vans are from the late 60's. (We can't afford new ones.) So when the others started breaking, we were in a bit of trouble. No money.

    And for those that think we're paid better than our peers in the private sector? Don't make me laugh. My job, as an E-4 in the Air Force, was to not only build, deploy, and maintain satcom equipment. It was also to build grounding circuits, to man security gates, and to do the paperwork for the entire squadron's maintenance sector. I was an equipment custodian for an account worth over 2 million dollars. I did all of the inventories, inspections, and repairs for my equipment.

    And my monthly check before the supplemant for housing? 1920 dollars. Yeah. I sure did make a lot, didn't I? A whole 23,040 dollars before taxes.
    Now this is the Law of the Jungle - as old and as true as the Sky. And the Wolf that shall keep it may prosper, but the Wolf that shall break it must die. As the creeper that girdles the tree-trunk the Law runneth forward and back; For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack. ~ Rudyard Kipling

    Comment


    • #3
      So they should stop giving so much money for all the tech jobs in private sector. That's where the bread and butter is at. I'm just floored at how much they pay enlisted. It's pathetic. The standard of living is pretty skewed for loyal people. Downsize private sector and the umpteen useless jobs in the military. Budget the officials too.
      Love heals

      Comment


      • #4
        Here you go. http://www.militaryfactory.com/military_pay_scale.asp

        The pay rates for 2010.

        By and large, your largest chunk of military personnel is from E1 to E4.
        E-4 1889.70 1986.30 2094.00 2199.90 2293.80 2293.80 2293.80 2293.80 2293.80 2293.80 2293.80 2293.80 2293.80 2293.80 2293.80 2293.80 2293.80 2293.80 2293.80 2293.80 2293.80 2293.80

        E-3 1705.80 1813.20 1923.00 1923.00 1923.00 1923.00 1923.00 1923.00 1923.00 1923.00 1923.00 1923.00 1923.00 1923.00 1923.00 1923.00 1923.00 1923.00 1923.00 1923.00 1923.00 1923.00

        E-2
        1622.10 1622.10 1622.10 1622.10 1622.10 1622.10 1622.10 1622.10 1622.10 1622.10 1622.10 1622.10 1622.10 1622.10 1622.10 1622.10 1622.10 1622.10 1622.10 1622.10 1622.10 1622.10

        E-1 1447.20
        Can you LIVE on 1447 a month? Sure... if you're in a rural area. "Fortunately", E1 to E3 tend to live in dorms if single. But if married they have to either live in base housing or off base.

        BAH (housing allowance, added to the base pay) for the area I am in is about 750 for people with dependants. That's just enough for my rent.
        Last edited by Kraheera; May 9th, 2010, 03:25 PM.
        Now this is the Law of the Jungle - as old and as true as the Sky. And the Wolf that shall keep it may prosper, but the Wolf that shall break it must die. As the creeper that girdles the tree-trunk the Law runneth forward and back; For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack. ~ Rudyard Kipling

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Kraheera View Post
          Here you go. http://www.militaryfactory.com/military_pay_scale.asp

          The pay rates for 2010.

          By and large, your largest chunk of military personnel is from E1 to E4.
          Can you LIVE on 1447 a month? Sure... if you're in a rural area. "Fortunately", E1 to E3 tend to live in dorms if single. But if married they have to either live in base housing or off base.

          BAH (housing allowance, added to the base pay) for the area I am in is about 750 for people with dependants. That's just enough for my rent.
          Actually, I live in an urban area and can live quite comfortably on 1447 a month. I can't own a car on that, but we have public transportation and I don't drive, so I don't need a car anyway.

          Add into that the housing allowance of 750 and I could live more than comfortably and stick quite a bit in savings as well. Hells, my townhome rent is only about $800 a month and included utilities.

          I got nothing but love for our service men and women, but using the stats you have provided, I fail to see how they are all that underpaid. Maybe you left some numbers out of the equation.
          Brought to you by the
          National Association For Addressing Prejudice Against Jackasses (NAFAPAJ).
          Not all witches are love and light, nor are they all hate and darkness.
          Some witches are just real mothers - like me.
          You cannot carve a beautiful sculpture in stone with loving strokes.
          It takes a hammer, a chisel, and a lot of aggression that needs converted.
          I am aware of how nasty I come across.
          If others have the right and freedom to be sweetness and light,
          I have the right to be spit and vinegar.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Kraheera View Post
            They already can't buy equipment. They can't afford the technicians to keep the equipment running either. Let me give you an example.

            A radar van broke at my squadron a few years ago. To fix this van, we needed a 50,000 dollar part. We GOT that part. But when one of the SATCOM vans broke down, we found out that we only got the Radar fixed by taking money away from the SATCOM Team. The logic was that we had replacement vans... we didn't have a replacement RADAR.

            Well, our satcom vans are from the late 60's. (We can't afford new ones.) So when the others started breaking, we were in a bit of trouble. No money.

            And for those that think we're paid better than our peers in the private sector? Don't make me laugh. My job, as an E-4 in the Air Force, was to not only build, deploy, and maintain satcom equipment. It was also to build grounding circuits, to man security gates, and to do the paperwork for the entire squadron's maintenance sector. I was an equipment custodian for an account worth over 2 million dollars. I did all of the inventories, inspections, and repairs for my equipment.

            And my monthly check before the supplemant for housing? 1920 dollars. Yeah. I sure did make a lot, didn't I? A whole 23,040 dollars before taxes.
            Frankly articles like this always tend to trigger my bs detector. It was when I got to this part that I started to wonder...
            With Washington confronting record deficits, the Pentagon is bracing for an end to the huge increases in defense spending over the past decade. On Saturday, Gates is scheduled to give a "hard-hitting" speech in Kansas on fiscal discipline, in which he will warn military leaders that "we'll have to take some dramatic measures ourselves to sustain the force we have," his press secretary, Geoff Morrell, told reporters.
            People can carry on about places like Common Dreams (which I like) or Townhall (which I don't) but at least with them you know where you stand.

            It's figuring out which direction the mainstream media's bias is coming from this time that often leaves me with my head spinning.

            Now maybe it's just me but the whole sub text of the article seems to me to be, "Look at this anyone who thinks our military budget is too big. If we don't keep spending the same money, hell if we don't keep spending more money, you know who will suffer? The troops that's who."

            Meanwhile there seems to be an informal rule in the MSM that it's okay to talk about the fall out from reducing the military budget, but that it is absolutely forbidden to ever question if the reason for the size of the military budget, the current size of the military etc. is justified, and has it ever been justified, starting with the invasion of Iraq.

            To me the bottom line is that there are some hard questions that need asked and answered, and sadly it seems that no one, from the legislators, to the military leaders, to the mainstream media seem interested in even asking the questions.
            My Mind is the Master of My Reality. My Will is the Tool through which this Mastery is achieved.

            Body, Mind, Spirit, explore these topics and more at The Threefold Path

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Terra Mater View Post
              Actually, I live in an urban area and can live quite comfortably on 1447 a month. I can't own a car on that, but we have public transportation and I don't drive, so I don't need a car anyway.

              Add into that the housing allowance of 750 and I could live more than comfortably and stick quite a bit in savings as well. Hells, my townhome rent is only about $800 a month and included utilities.

              I got nothing but love for our service men and women, but using the stats you have provided, I fail to see how they are all that underpaid. Maybe you left some numbers out of the equation.
              Yeah those rates are before taxes. Military folk live near or on a base usually and need a car. Most bases are not near an urban area with transportation so how does your situation apply to enlisted people? Most enlisted people qualify for WIC, food stamps and state pre-school programs for at risk kids. This is how we treat people that risk their lives to protect others and now military is considered a burdon.
              Love heals

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by treefae View Post
                Yeah those rates are before taxes. Military folk live near or on a base usually and need a car. Most bases are not near an urban area with transportation so how does your situation apply to enlisted people? Most enlisted people qualify for WIC, food stamps and state pre-school programs for at risk kids. This is how we treat people that risk their lives to protect others and now military is considered a burdon.
                How my situation applies is that the person I was replying to asked
                Can you LIVE on 1447 a month? Sure... if you're in a rural area.
                And I was demonstrating that one could live in an urban area for that amount.

                As for your other statements, I am gonna call for stats to back that up please.

                I got a lot of family members stationed stateside and all of their bases are in urban areas, none of them qualify for public assitance, and most of them got by just fine without cars for their first two years of service while they devoted themselves to their military careers. I know about public transportation to bases, because its how I go visit them. I take a Greyhound to the city they are in (I don't fly) and I take public transportation from the bus station to the gate of the base, then I call whoever I am visiting and let them know I arrived.

                In fact, The stated figure of $23,040 a year only qualifies you for WIC if you are trying to support a family of four. Otherwise, if its just you, your spouse, and one child, then you aren't qualifying for WIC and the standards for other public assistance programs are even worse. Food stamps is about the same. Medicaid and TANF (AFDC, ADC) cutoffs are usually about $17,000 a year.

                $1447 a month is the pay rate for an E-1 which is the lowest grade there is. After six months they automatically get advanced to E-2, and where they advance from there depends on them and the skills they choose to develop. If they choose to remain nothing more than cannon fodder, why are they blaming everyone else for their choices? The only people in the millitary that stay an E-1 after six months got busted down there and have no room to bitch because they did it to themselves.

                Another factor being ignored is this is just base pay. Those that are risking their lives get hazard pay, hazardous duty pay, incentive pay, as well as extra pay for serving on an aircraft carrier or in a sub. Certain bases have incentive pay just for taking those assignments. There are also pay bonuses for certain skills you can develop or even brought with you when you came in. In addition to the housing allowance there is a meals allowance, many get a clothing allowance, etc.

                So if we are going to decide if they are underpaid or not, as I stated before, we have to have all the numbers. One big table on base pay for different pay grades based on how many years they have served is only a drop in the bucket of what out men and women in uniform get. Without all the figures it doesn't seem like a lot, but when you add up all the numbers, you find the reality is quite different.

                Could they be paid more according to their skills? We haven't even gotten a real number based on what they actually get paid to be able to make that comparison yet. Not all enlisted are standing in warzones with their tails hanging out.
                Last edited by Terra Mater; May 9th, 2010, 10:00 PM.
                Brought to you by the
                National Association For Addressing Prejudice Against Jackasses (NAFAPAJ).
                Not all witches are love and light, nor are they all hate and darkness.
                Some witches are just real mothers - like me.
                You cannot carve a beautiful sculpture in stone with loving strokes.
                It takes a hammer, a chisel, and a lot of aggression that needs converted.
                I am aware of how nasty I come across.
                If others have the right and freedom to be sweetness and light,
                I have the right to be spit and vinegar.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Wow, just over 10 years ago the E-1 pay was just under $1000 a month. I'm not saying $1447 is good, but it is much better than it was (adjusting for inflation) than it was 10 years ago. I also can't say much for the living situation, as the whole time I served I lived on base, so all of my housing needs were fully covered. All of my food needs were covered by the DFAC. I had no problem walking 3-5 miles each way (the army prepares you for that), and we had cheap cab, train, and bus options...I didn't drive. In short I thought $1000/mo was great, no bills, it was all spending money, most of it was blown on junk food, alcohol, ect.

                  With that said, looking at the BAH rates for single servicemen, ranging from $600-$1600 you come out making between $2000-$3000/mo (also you are an E-2 by the time you hit your first duty station (as it is an automatic promotion after 6 months) so add another $200. Throw in the near $350 for BAS, not to mention COLA if you live in high cost of living areas, you are looking at a minimum of about $2500/mo, or $30,000/yr for a single soldier. Not to mention free health care and prescriptions (for a single person that would be at least another couple hundred a month)...and clothing allowance of a few hundred bucks/yr, so you are pushing the $35,000/yr job, fresh out of tech school. I would argue that while I don't feel that our servicemen are paid enough, I think this crying poor crap isn't quite fair either.

                  ETA, seeing that I could go back in as a prior service E-3 or E-4, and pull in over $3000/mo, that really has me thinking about seeing a recruiter about going back in spring of 2011.
                  Last edited by memnoch; May 9th, 2010, 11:01 PM.
                  There is no genuine justice in any scheme of feeding and coddling the loafer whose only ponderable energies are devoted wholly to reproduction. Nine-tenths of the rights he bellows for are really privileges and he does nothing to deserve them. H.L. Mencken

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Terra Mater View Post
                    As for your other statements, I am gonna call for stats to back that up please.

                    I got a lot of family members stationed stateside and all of their bases are in urban areas, none of them qualify for public assitance, and most of them got by just fine without cars for their first two years of service while they devoted themselves to their military careers. I know about public transportation to bases, because its how I go visit them. I take a Greyhound to the city they are in (I don't fly) and I take public transportation from the bus station to the gate of the base, then I call whoever I am visiting and let them know I arrived.

                    In fact, The stated figure of $23,040 a year only qualifies you for WIC if you are trying to support a family of four. Otherwise, if its just you, your spouse, and one child, then you aren't qualifying for WIC and the standards for other public assistance programs are even worse. Food stamps is about the same. Medicaid and TANF (AFDC, ADC) cutoffs are usually about $17,000 a year.

                    $1447 a month is the pay rate for an E-1 which is the lowest grade there is. After six months they automatically get advanced to E-2, and where they advance from there depends on them and the skills they choose to develop. If they choose to remain nothing more than cannon fodder, why are they blaming everyone else for their choices? The only people in the millitary that stay an E-1 after six months got busted down there and have no room to bitch because they did it to themselves.

                    Another factor being ignored is this is just base pay. Those that are risking their lives get hazard pay, hazardous duty pay, incentive pay, as well as extra pay for serving on an aircraft carrier or in a sub. Certain bases have incentive pay just for taking those assignments. There are also pay bonuses for certain skills you can develop or even brought with you when you came in. In addition to the housing allowance there is a meals allowance, many get a clothing allowance, etc.

                    So if we are going to decide if they are underpaid or not, as I stated before, we have to have all the numbers. One big table on base pay for different pay grades based on how many years they have served is only a drop in the bucket of what out men and women in uniform get. Without all the figures it doesn't seem like a lot, but when you add up all the numbers, you find the reality is quite different.

                    Could they be paid more according to their skills? We haven't even gotten a real number based on what they actually get paid to be able to make that comparison yet. Not all enlisted are standing in warzones with their tails hanging out.
                    Ok, I don't think that relying on public transportation is responsible or dependable for military duties. When you are deployed you could leave at 3am so what then? Where you go does not always depend on skill and choice. Some jobs take longer to promote than others. "Cannon fodder" can happen at many ranks. There are plenty of skills in the military that get paid more as a civillian. I wouldn't want to leave it up to voters to decide the quality of life for enlisted people. Simply because civillians are in a capitalist frame of mind that does not apply to military lifestyle.
                    Love heals

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Ok, again, I'll use my base.

                      My base is 10 miles away from the nearest town. Public transport only runs from 630 am to 530 pm, and only from Monday to Friday. The Base does not have enough housing to serve ALL the military members that need houses, so many of us DO have to live off base.

                      The average rent rate for a 3 bedroom house is about 900 (I lucked out and got an awesome landlord). The average rent rate for a single bedroom apartment is about 600.

                      Car dealers tend to rape the E1-E4 range of soldiers, because most of them are between the ages of 18-21, and they don't have much credit built up yet.

                      Not having a car while living off base is not possible. You WILL get written up for it, because you'll have a hard time getting to work for a recall. (And there are time limits. If you live ten miles from base, you have 30 minutes from when you were called to get there... no matter what time it was or where you were.)

                      Right now, I don't work. (Recently retired). My husband is an E-5 with 6 years of cumulative service, which before taxes puts him at 31K a year. If you add in my retirement pension (long story) that puts us at 42.5K a year. We have it lucky. I know MANY service families where one parent stays home because they can't afford the daycare to have both parents work.

                      Daycare around here averages at 110 a week per child. That's without preschool. Preschool is usually another 90 on top of that per child.

                      Let's lay this out.


                      E5 with 3 dependants, one income:

                      Average Car Payment - 400
                      Average 3 bdr Rent - 900
                      Average Grocery bill - 200
                      Average Gas per month - 120
                      Average Utility
                      Gas - 40
                      Power - 50
                      Water/Sewage/Trash - 45
                      Cell Bill (most of the folks out here only have cell plans) - 80
                      Average Insurance - 100

                      That's 1935.
                      An E-5 with 6 years makes 2583. This leaves us 648 dollars. Not bad, especially when that E5 makes around 750 dollars in BAH, putting us at 1398 left over a month. That's great!

                      Then you have to look at fluctuating prices for gas, power, car fuel, etc. In the winter, the gas bill is easily over 100 dollars. In the summer, the fuel bill easily breaks 200. And the Average Insurance? that is actually kinda low. I just checked Geico. An Economy plan for me and my husband to be insured would be about 120 a month, or 683 if we paid in bulk for 6 months.

                      Now picture having all that at E4, or E3. Add in having to get all the school supplies for your kids, new clothes, etc. It gets tight quick.

                      Could it be worse? Hell yes. But also remember that all of that is BEFORE taxes. I don't have an LES on me, so I can't tell you how much is taken out for taxes, but I know it was pretty hefty. Every service member not only pays FICA and state/federal tax, they also pay about 25-30 dollars for Tricare.
                      Now this is the Law of the Jungle - as old and as true as the Sky. And the Wolf that shall keep it may prosper, but the Wolf that shall break it must die. As the creeper that girdles the tree-trunk the Law runneth forward and back; For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack. ~ Rudyard Kipling

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Also, in 1997 someone in the private communications field after training made an average of 15 dollars an hour BEFORE they became a supervisor. That's about 28.8K per year before taxes. And that was over 10 years ago.

                        The "non supervisor" ranks NOW don't make that much.
                        Now this is the Law of the Jungle - as old and as true as the Sky. And the Wolf that shall keep it may prosper, but the Wolf that shall break it must die. As the creeper that girdles the tree-trunk the Law runneth forward and back; For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack. ~ Rudyard Kipling

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Kraheera View Post
                          Ok, again, I'll use my base.

                          My base is 10 miles away from the nearest town. Public transport only runs from 630 am to 530 pm, and only from Monday to Friday. The Base does not have enough housing to serve ALL the military members that need houses, so many of us DO have to live off base.

                          The average rent rate for a 3 bedroom house is about 900 (I lucked out and got an awesome landlord). The average rent rate for a single bedroom apartment is about 600.

                          Car dealers tend to rape the E1-E4 range of soldiers, because most of them are between the ages of 18-21, and they don't have much credit built up yet.

                          Not having a car while living off base is not possible. You WILL get written up for it, because you'll have a hard time getting to work for a recall. (And there are time limits. If you live ten miles from base, you have 30 minutes from when you were called to get there... no matter what time it was or where you were.)

                          Right now, I don't work. (Recently retired). My husband is an E-5 with 6 years of cumulative service, which before taxes puts him at 31K a year. If you add in my retirement pension (long story) that puts us at 42.5K a year. We have it lucky. I know MANY service families where one parent stays home because they can't afford the daycare to have both parents work.

                          Daycare around here averages at 110 a week per child. That's without preschool. Preschool is usually another 90 on top of that per child.

                          Let's lay this out.


                          E5 with 3 dependants, one income:

                          Average Car Payment - 400
                          Average 3 bdr Rent - 900
                          Average Grocery bill - 200
                          Average Gas per month - 120
                          Average Utility
                          Gas - 40
                          Power - 50
                          Water/Sewage/Trash - 45
                          Cell Bill (most of the folks out here only have cell plans) - 80
                          Average Insurance - 100

                          That's 1935.
                          An E-5 with 6 years makes 2583. This leaves us 648 dollars. Not bad, especially when that E5 makes around 750 dollars in BAH, putting us at 1398 left over a month. That's great!

                          Then you have to look at fluctuating prices for gas, power, car fuel, etc. In the winter, the gas bill is easily over 100 dollars. In the summer, the fuel bill easily breaks 200. And the Average Insurance? that is actually kinda low. I just checked Geico. An Economy plan for me and my husband to be insured would be about 120 a month, or 683 if we paid in bulk for 6 months.

                          Now picture having all that at E4, or E3. Add in having to get all the school supplies for your kids, new clothes, etc. It gets tight quick.

                          Could it be worse? Hell yes. But also remember that all of that is BEFORE taxes. I don't have an LES on me, so I can't tell you how much is taken out for taxes, but I know it was pretty hefty. Every service member not only pays FICA and state/federal tax, they also pay about 25-30 dollars for Tricare.
                          You hit on one major point I agree with, and that is that car dealers take advantage of enlistees. With that said you are told that from your earliest days of training. Then again, any person who buys a new car at a young age is stupid...personal opinion. Seriously, you don't need a new car, that is a luxury. You can buy a used one much cheaper.

                          Now that I've covered that I want to cover numbers thrown around. I'm guessing that your husband is stationed at Mountain Home AFB (while not in Korea). I thought I would check your numbers. I googled apartments in Mountain Home...I've found 1 bedrooms for $325 and 3 bedrooms for $550 http://www.mountainhomenews.com/classifieds/ Another number that bothered me is the BAH, you claim an E-5 gets around $750 for BAH...acording to military.com an E-5 in Idaho gets between $975-$1353.

                          Now, living near Wright Patterson, and having spent my time in, I know that many apartments and landlords near military bases have discounts for military...So, lets take an E-2 fresh out of tech school moving into Mountain Home, lets say they have a family of 4 (since that is average), lets say you buy a cheap car for a couple thousand, and you cut the payments to $150/mo, and you have a house or apartment, I found 4 3 bdrms between $550-$650, so lets say $600. Now, using your other numbers we are looking at under $1400. Now, an E-2 is bringing home about $1200 after taxes, $350 for BAS, and about $900 for BAH, or $2500/mo, that means that an E-2 is spending just over half of their money on a car, gas, insurance, a phone, and a house...leaving $1000/month "extra" money...on one income
                          There is no genuine justice in any scheme of feeding and coddling the loafer whose only ponderable energies are devoted wholly to reproduction. Nine-tenths of the rights he bellows for are really privileges and he does nothing to deserve them. H.L. Mencken

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Kraheera View Post
                            Also, in 1997 someone in the private communications field after training made an average of 15 dollars an hour BEFORE they became a supervisor. That's about 28.8K per year before taxes. And that was over 10 years ago.

                            The "non supervisor" ranks NOW don't make that much.
                            Como pay is very regional. After I got out in 2000 having been a network switchboard operator I looked around Ohio for work in that field. The minimum was was $5.75 if I remember correctly, and I could have worked with the phone company as a linesman for $7/hr, or I could have been a secretary at $9/hr...oh, except it is difficult for a guy to get a secretary job.
                            There is no genuine justice in any scheme of feeding and coddling the loafer whose only ponderable energies are devoted wholly to reproduction. Nine-tenths of the rights he bellows for are really privileges and he does nothing to deserve them. H.L. Mencken

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by memnoch View Post
                              You hit on one major point I agree with, and that is that car dealers take advantage of enlistees. With that said you are told that from your earliest days of training. Then again, any person who buys a new car at a young age is stupid...personal opinion. Seriously, you don't need a new car, that is a luxury. You can buy a used one much cheaper.

                              Now that I've covered that I want to cover numbers thrown around. I'm guessing that your husband is stationed at Mountain Home AFB (while not in Korea). I thought I would check your numbers. I googled apartments in Mountain Home...I've found 1 bedrooms for $325 and 3 bedrooms for $550 http://www.mountainhomenews.com/classifieds/ Another number that bothered me is the BAH, you claim an E-5 gets around $750 for BAH...acording to military.com an E-5 in Idaho gets between $975-$1353.

                              Now, living near Wright Patterson, and having spent my time in, I know that many apartments and landlords near military bases have discounts for military...So, lets take an E-2 fresh out of tech school moving into Mountain Home, lets say they have a family of 4 (since that is average), lets say you buy a cheap car for a couple thousand, and you cut the payments to $150/mo, and you have a house or apartment, I found 4 3 bdrms between $550-$650, so lets say $600. Now, using your other numbers we are looking at under $1400. Now, an E-2 is bringing home about $1200 after taxes, $350 for BAS, and about $900 for BAH, or $2500/mo, that means that an E-2 is spending just over half of their money on a car, gas, insurance, a phone, and a house...leaving $1000/month "extra" money...on one income
                              I WISH that landlords gave discounts for military. This is a military town. There are no military discounts, I kid you not. The closest town after this one is 40 miles away, where yes, the apartments and such are cheaper, and there are lots of military discounts.

                              The apartments that run for 300-500 are really, really nasty. I've looked at them.

                              The townhouses run for around the same, and they're... bad. Very, very bad.

                              That's the problem with google. You can't actually SEE those houses as well as you could if you were in them. Trust me... you don't want the ones that are that cheap. I have a few friends living in them, and it's awful.

                              Another problem I'm seeing a lot of with the new enlistees. College debt. They come in with a few grand in college debt... and it really makes the budget tight for a while.
                              Now this is the Law of the Jungle - as old and as true as the Sky. And the Wolf that shall keep it may prosper, but the Wolf that shall break it must die. As the creeper that girdles the tree-trunk the Law runneth forward and back; For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack. ~ Rudyard Kipling

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