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Thread: Family Finances Questionnaire

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    #1

    Nutts Family Finances Questionnaire

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    I copied many of the questions from a wonderful 2011 post by sweetsourcandii and added some of my own.

    I loved reading through what everyone had to say and would love to hear about how things are three years later. Thank you in advance for providing us with helpful insight. I am scared about finances going into this, and am trying to learn all I can. I am especially interested in learning about single income E-2 and E-3 households, but I can learn a lot from each and every pay grade If you feel like sharing, please copy and answer the following questions:

    Im curious to know if you both are working and if you feel that the income you receive is sufficient for a healthy lifestyle?


    How difficult would it be to live off of your income for a family of 3 or 4?


    Are there any military life and/or budgeting references that you would recommend?


    Are you on or off base? If you are on base, would you rather be off for the fact that you'd have more money saved or vice versa?


    Do both of you have a car, or do you share the same?


    How difficult is it to get around without a vehicle until money can be saved to get one? Any tips on how to get around (bus, train, etc)?


    Do you have any tips or recommendations for getting the most for your money at the commissary and/or exchange?


    Since there is often a delay when receiving the first paycheck and BAH, how much would you recommend a couple try to save before the SO goes to Basic Training?


    What was the toughest thing you two faced at the beginning, or may still struggle with slightly now? Plus, any words of wisdom for newbies



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    #2
    I'm curious to know if you both are working and if you feel that the income you receive is sufficient for a healthy lifestyle?
    DH works, I do not. His income has always been enough to support our household, even when he was an E-1. Some people will tell you that married E-1 isn't enough to live off of comfortable, but if you live within your means it is possible.

    How difficult would it be to live off of your income for a family of 3 or 4?
    A family of 3-4 people... Well, I personally wouldn't know for sure. It's currently just DH and I, our cat and our dog. Granted, we are trying for a child and hope to have one within the next year. But, dogs and cats are usually a little bit cheaper than kids so I don't feel that I can accurately answer this from personal experience. (Although, I can say that before I married DH that I helped support my mother's household by earning half of the income for the house. It was a household of 3 adults, including myself, and our budget was a little smaller than, or just about the same as, DH's total pay now. So, with careful budgeting and spending, I think it would be possible.)

    Are there any military life and/or budgeting references that you would recommend?
    I don't know about military budgeting references, because I've never used anything like that. From a young age, I was taught to be frugal -- as was DH, because we both grew up in what some people would consider "poor" or "lower middle class" families. I have always been very careful with my money, so my spending habits are natural by now. If you need tips on spending or saving money, I would suggest couponing and/or physically writing out a budget and sticking to it. There are plenty of websites that are helpful for things like that, so Google is your friend!

    Are you on or off base? If you are on base, would you rather be off for the fact that you'd have more money saved or vice versa?
    I've lived both on and off post. Currently, we live on post. In Georgia, the cost of living was low so it was nice to live off post because we saved a lot of money. For the same apartment here in Texas, though, we would literally be spending every dime of DH's BAH for a tiny apartment. It was, in our opinion as a married couple, a way to get more bang for the buck by living in military housing where all utilities are "included". It just depends on location, though.

    Do both of you have a car, or do you share the same?
    DH and I share one vehicle. One way we save on our budget is we drive the same car I drove when I was in high school. I'd rather drive my 1994 sedan, than have a $200/month car payment (plus another $150+ in insurance, because if you're financing a vehicle you are required to carry full coverage insurance on it!). Since we just PCS'd, we had to dip into savings for extra expenses, but we will soon be adding to our savings fund for a newer car.

    How difficult is it to get around without a vehicle until money can be saved to get one? Any tips on how to get around (bus, train, etc)?
    I've had a car since high school, and when I didn't have one I took the bus. Before he met me, DH never had a car and rode his bike to and from his civilian job.

    Do you have any tips or recommendations for getting the most for your money at the commissary and/or exchange?
    I don't shop at the commissary. Sometimes, DH and I purchase certain things at the PX. But, we get more value shopping somewhere like Walmart where we can buy something off-brand for half the price.

    Since there is often a delay when receiving the first paycheck and BAH, how much would you recommend a couple try to save before the SO goes to Basic Training?
    Save money whenever possible. Write up a budget. Ask yourself, before a purchase, if you really need whatever you're about to buy or if there is a way to get it cheaper. If you have a job, don't quit it yet. If you plan on quitting said job, I wouldn't until do so until you are either moving to be with your SO, or they are out of AIT. Because, even in AIT, it's easy to get the boot or decide this particular career path just isn't working out. I moved to live with DH when he was in AIT and it can be an extremely anxious time for a married couple. Personally, I saw it too many times while living there -- DH's classmates were getting chaptered out left and right, a few were slapped with a UCMJ violations, a few didn't make weight, or they couldn't do enough sit ups. It can be scary during a time like that, if you have no safety net to fall back on (trust me, I know... DH didn't make push ups once. Granted, it was only once but that was the most nerve wracking two weeks of our life as a married couple). But, anyway, I worked up until I moved out of state to live with DH. We saved every penny possible until I was on the road to GA. (That meant no going out to eat, no video game purchases, no clothing purchases, etc.)

    What was the toughest thing you two faced at the beginning, or may still struggle with slightly now? Plus, any words of wisdom for newbies
    Distance was hard for DH and I at the beginning, because we literally did everything but live together before he left for Basic. We spent at least 18+ hours a day together, 7 days a week for about six months before he left. The distance is gonna suck, and if you're anything like me, there are gonna be days when you don't wanna get out of bed. But those 10 weeks will seem like a piece of cake when you look back on it. Just stay strong & do your best to take it all one day at a time -- I still have to do that now. It's very easy to get overwhelmed, especially if your relationship is anything like mine lol (if my husband can get me to do something instead of doing it himself, he will. For instance, we just PCS'd and he had nothing to do with it. He just moved furniture and sat along for the ride across the country. He saw none of the paperwork/un-fun side of the move.) A lot of times, it seems like certain situations will not work out (for instance, during a PCS or something)... but since my husband has enlisted in the Army and we have moved away from family and any "safety net" we previously had, I've learned to have faith in my ability (and his, too, lol) to problem solve and get shit done. My husband and I both have a policy, not only in our marriage but in everything else we deal with that failure simply is not an option. That kind of mindset helps out, a lot, IMO.

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    #3
    Quote Originally Posted by bars_and_bodegas View Post
    If you have a job, don't quit it yet. If you plan on quitting said job, I wouldn't until do so until you are either moving to be with your SO, or they are out of AIT. Because, even in AIT, it's easy to get the boot or decide this particular career path just isn't working out. I moved to live with DH when he was in AIT and it can be an extremely anxious time for a married couple. Personally, I saw it too many times while living there -- DH's classmates were getting chaptered out left and right, a few were slapped with a UCMJ violations, a few didn't make weight, or they couldn't do enough sit ups. It can be scary during a time like that, if you have no safety net to fall back on (trust me, I know... DH didn't make push ups once. Granted, it was only once but that was the most nerve wracking two weeks of our life as a married couple). But, anyway, I worked up until I moved out of state to live with DH. We saved every penny possible until I was on the road to GA. (That meant no going out to eat, no video game purchases, no clothing purchases, etc.)
    Yikes, I'm glad I got some feedback about this. I had no idea this could even be an issue, I thought that everything was smooth sailing after basic so thank you for opening up my eyes to this. Although my job is incredibly dreadful and I can't wait to get out of there I'll think more about not quitting right away. I can cash out my retirement to give me a little wiggle room (which would cover rent and groceries for a month) and I sold my car (which could cover rent and most bills for a month). I wonder if the Air Force is comparable is people being chaptered out =/ Also, thank you for all of the insight and recommendations! You rock
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skylah View Post
    Yikes, I'm glad I got some feedback about this. I had no idea this could even be an issue, I thought that everything was smooth sailing after basic so thank you for opening up my eyes to this. Although my job is incredibly dreadful and I can't wait to get out of there I'll think more about not quitting right away. I can cash out my retirement to give me a little wiggle room (which would cover rent and groceries for a month) and I sold my car (which could cover rent and most bills for a month). I wonder if the Air Force is comparable is people being chaptered out =/ Also, thank you for all of the insight and recommendations! You rock
    No problem! I'm glad I could help. If you have any questions, feel free to ask me -- I'm more than happy to try my best and help!

    I quit my job and dropped out of college while my husband was in AIT and moved to be with him. I hated my retail job, I hated helping support my mom and step dad, I hated being away from my husband, I hated living a lie, I was growing to hate college... It was definitely a personal decision, that DH and I were able to agree was right for us at the time. I just wasn't happy with anything anymore and knew that I needed a change. And only I could make that change in my life. But it was kind of taking a gamble. (Also, I don't know how the Air Force works, but I was only able to move to be with my husband at that time because his AIT was more than a certain amount of weeks. They may not let the service member move out of the barracks if their school/training is less than 20 or something weeks). At any time, my husband could have come home and said "I can't do this anymore, I'm gonna get out". He was in AIT with more than two people that found a way to do just that. He stuck it out, though, and he's happy with his job now -- thank goodness

    My best advice if you decide to pick up and leave... Have a back up plan, if things happen to not work out. I was always, and still am ready, to hit the ground running to find a job again. One of the only reasons I don't work now, is because my husband has said (more than once, since we were just dating) that he doesn't want me to. He wants me to have an "easy life". But, I'm always ready for something to go wrong and to have to go back to our old life again, ya know? And if you outright own your car (or if your SO owns their car), keep one of them. You do not want to be stuck with payments and a higher insurance rate. And any debt acquired by the service member can interfere with their security clearance, and royally mess their career up until the debt is paid off. For that reason, my husband and I don't drive a nice car or have nice things that we can't outright pay for. It's rough sometimes, to not have a nice new car, but I would hate to see my husband's career be tarnished because I wanted to upgrade from a working vehicle to a shinier one

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    #5
    Im curious to know if you both are working and if you feel that the income you receive is sufficient for a healthy lifestyle?

    We are a single income household-- my husband works and I stay home. He is currently a frocked E-6, so he is still receiving E-5 pay.

    How difficult would it be to live off of your income for a family of 3 or 4?

    We are a family of three-- my husband, my daughter, and myself. We live fairly comfortably. My student loan takes 25% of the money that my husband sees (our BAH goes directly to the folks running base housing), so that makes things a bit tight. That loan has less than two years left until it's paid off, so we can't wait!
    If we didn't have that massive loan, we would live super comfortably.

    Are there any military life and/or budgeting references that you would recommend?

    Absolutely! FFSC (Fleet and Family Support Center) and NMCRS (Navy Marine Corps Relief Society) are both great options for Navy families that offer help with budget. FFSC has actual classes that you attend to learn about it (all free) and NMCRS has individual meetings where they will help you create a budget.

    Are you on or off base? If you are on base, would you rather be off for the fact that you'd have more money saved or vice versa?

    On base. No way! We lived off base for the first three years that we were here and we didn't save very much-- to get a decent place in a nice neighborhood here, it can generally be up to or more than your entire BAH.
    We were underwhelmed by the choices and base housing offered beautiful, spacious houses a few hundred yards from the beach. I'm so glad that we moved on base. We could not afford this kind of house out in town.

    Do both of you have a car, or do you share the same?

    We each have our own cars that we bought in cash, so we have no car payments.

    How difficult is it to get around without a vehicle until money can be saved to get one? Any tips on how to get around (bus, train, etc)?

    Totally depends on the situation. Some places have great public transportation, others do not.

    Do you have any tips or recommendations for getting the most for your money at the commissary and/or exchange?

    Check out coupons-- a ton of folks coupon there and save a lot of money. You can use commissary coupons or manufacturer ones, I think.

    Since there is often a delay when receiving the first paycheck and BAH, how much would you recommend a couple try to save before the SO goes to Basic Training?

    No information on this. I met my husband when he had been in for a couple of years already.

    What was the toughest thing you two faced at the beginning, or may still struggle with slightly now? Plus, any words of wisdom for newbies

    Financially? Having divided responsibility for bills and flow of money. It caused a lot of arguments.

    For instance, I would have already paid the bills, put some into savings, and allocated some money for spending, but my husband would call me out and question whether we had enough money to buy something right in the middle of the store, where folks could hear our conversation. It was embarrassing and inappropriate.

    Now, he rarely bothers me about money (he chooses instead to trust my judgement, which I appreciate), but when he does feel the need to bring something up, he does so in private. We haven't fought about money in ages, which is a big weight off of our shoulders.
    Last edited by katinahat; 09-22-2014 at 12:38 PM.
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    #6
    Im curious to know if you both are working and if you feel that the income you receive is sufficient for a healthy lifestyle?

    DH is an E-5. I am not working and the income is sufficient for he and I.


    How difficult would it be to live off of your income for a family of 3 or 4?
    It would be tighter but do-able. We put away a couple hundred dollars into a vacation fund and a couple hundred into savings each month so I imagine that with kids that would essentially go away.


    Are there any military life and/or budgeting references that you would recommend?
    We don't budget, but I will pat ourselves on the back and say that we have saved more money than anyone else our age we know that we've talked finances with. What works for us is having 4 bank accounts, one for savings (big things, cars, house, emergencies), one for vacation, one for rent and utilities and one for everyday spending (food, gas, going out, etc). If we don't split it up and only use those accounts for their intended purpose the money is GONE, it just disappears somehow So this way works very well for us.


    Are you on or off base? If you are on base, would you rather be off for the fact that you'd have more money saved or vice versa?
    We're off base. I wouldn't want to live on base, but honestly I don't really think it saves money, at least not much. You have to drive and spend more on gas because of it, especially if you have kids you might be driving to and from base a few times each day. It'd look at it more of what you'd prefer rather than one being cheaper than the other.


    Do both of you have a car, or do you share the same?
    We had 2, now we only have one. It works out fine, but if I was working I would definitely want my own car.


    How difficult is it to get around without a vehicle until money can be saved to get one? Any tips on how to get around (bus, train, etc)?
    I ride my bike to some local things. Aside from that I just take my husband to work when I need the car and then pick him up. In theory you could do that everyday.


    Do you have any tips or recommendations for getting the most for your money at the commissary and/or exchange?
    TBH we usually can find better deals off base. Doesn't hurt to look or price check on big ticket items, but usually it's at least the same. On occasion it's a better deal on base.


    Since there is often a delay when receiving the first paycheck and BAH, how much would you recommend a couple try to save before the SO goes to Basic Training?
    That will depend on your expenses, but I'd minimum try to have a month's worth and at least some open credit just in case. We always want to have a minimum of 6 month expenses in the bank in case of emergency.


    What was the toughest thing you two faced at the beginning, or may still struggle with slightly now? Plus, any words of wisdom for newbies
    I can't really think of anything that was extremely tough. Financially I would just make a plan, stick to it, see how it goes and adjust from there!

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    #7
    Im curious to know if you both are working and if you feel that the income you receive is sufficient for a healthy lifestyle?
    We both work, always have. Our income is healthy for OUR lifestyle. Each couple is different. What is healthy for me may not be healthy for you, or vice versa

    How difficult would it be to live off of your income for a family of 3 or 4?
    We are a family of 4, and it hasn't been difficult at all.

    Are there any military life and/or budgeting references that you would recommend?
    The financial planning office on base, USAA Financial planning, Bugeting class offered on base. Each service member is given a finance course during basic. Its an overview and basics class of how to manage money properly. For more advance budgetting and fianancial help attend a full course offered through family services on base. Family services/family readiness provide assistance for military families, including coping with military life.

    Are you on or off base? If you are on base, would you rather be off for the fact that you'd have more money saved or vice versa?
    We are retired now, but we lived off base for the last 15 years of active duty. We chose off base due to house size. Base housing wasn't ever big enough to hold the 4 of us so we chose not to live on base. Plus we didn't like the 'rules' on base. We didn't always save money (aka bank BAH) it all depended on where we lived, his rank, etc.

    I do recommend living on base for first tour or at least once. You cannot know if it is the thing for you unless you try it. Don't base your decision off what others experience as it won't be the same.

    Do both of you have a car, or do you share the same?
    We both have cars. We have also at one point shared one vehicle.

    How difficult is it to get around without a vehicle until money can be saved to get one? Any tips on how to get around (bus, train, etc)?
    It is not difficult at all. I chose to drive my husband to work when I needed the car, simple. We also were lucky where we worked opposite shifts which was also simple. The only time it was difficult was when we both had to be at work at the same time, across town from each other, but we made it work.
    As far as how to get around, this is too broad as each area has different methods. Such as public trans is very safe and very reliable where I live, but other places you would use it with a 10 ft pole.

    Do you have any tips or recommendations for getting the most for your money at the commissary and/or exchange?
    Again, this is dependent upon area stationed. Commissary and Exchange aren't always the cheapest. IN fact I would say 99% of the time you can get better savings at Walmart than the Exchange. Commissary, you would have to do it yourself to see if commy is cheaper or local grocery store is cheaper. Here, there is no money saved by going to the Commissary unless commy is closer to you. I find the local grocery stores are far cheaper in price.

    Since there is often a delay when receiving the first paycheck and BAH, how much would you recommend a couple try to save before the SO goes to Basic Training?
    My advice is always save at least 2-3 months worth of ALL expenses.

    What was the toughest thing you two faced at the beginning, or may still struggle with slightly now? Plus, any words of wisdom for newbies
    Not being able to talk to him daily. My advice would be talk about communication and expectations of communication prior to him leaving. This way neither of you will feel shafted or hurt if communication isn't what was expected. If you are in agreement as to what each others wants and that if communication is minimal it is okay, then you will be alright.

    There are 10 types of people in the world, those that understand binary and those that don't
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    #8
    Im curious to know if you both are working and if you feel that the income you receive is sufficient for a healthy lifestyle?

    We were always a tow income family until moving OCONUS. Now that the Navy seems determined that we never live in the States again (it will be at least 8.5 by the time the next OCONUS orders are done), that has changed. Still, in Japan I worked part time and plan to again when we return. In Germany, part time work is much, much harder to come by. I've not been able to find anything. I think our income, whether I am working or not, is way more than sufficient, but my DH is a senior officer.

    How difficult would it be to live off of your income for a family of 3 or 4?

    We are a family of 2, but I think 2 kids would be no problem.


    Are there any military life and/or budgeting references that you would recommend?

    I love the Mr. Money Mustache website. He's very straightforward about things and there is no coddling, but he offers a practical perspective, and shows that anyone can save. It's not military related or focused, but it encourages living within one's means, not matter what you make, and belies the notion that so many income levels aren't sustainable, and that debt is necessary.

    Are you on or off base? If you are on base, would you rather be off for the fact that you'd have more money saved or vice versa?

    We've never lived on base. We will have to at our next location, and I am not pleased about that. It is never something we would choose. Even overseas, when you can't bank any housing allowance money, we've banked by being very careful about utilities. (You can save anything over the utilities allowance, but your housing allowance OCONUS is paid as your rent amount, even if that's less than the total allowed.) Another thing to think about is that the lower your rank and the larger your family, the better a deal it is to liv eon base. (In terms of finances, at least.) DH and I would get a 3 bedroom for his BAH. An E-3 with 3 kids would also get a 3 bedroom, from a much lower BAH.

    Do both of you have a car, or do you share the same?

    We've always been a two car family. We'll be down to one car for a short time here and there while we move, but that's it. But again, I'll be working (if only part time) so having one car would be more difficult.


    How difficult is it to get around without a vehicle until money can be saved to get one? Any tips on how to get around (bus, train, etc)?

    This depends entirely on where you live. Also, if you live on base, it's possible your DH can walk or bike to work at least some days, giving you the car.


    Do you have any tips or recommendations for getting the most for your money at the commissary and/or exchange?

    Don't assume they are cheaper. Compare. Yes, you pay no tax at the commissary, but you pay a 5% surcharge, which is nearly the same as tax. And you tip the bagger, with adds another couple bucks (which can be 2-6+%, depending on how much you buy). And their prices are not always cheaper, especially if you have access to Costco and use enough to make Costco worthwhile.


    Since there is often a delay when receiving the first paycheck and BAH, how much would you recommend a couple try to save before the SO goes to Basic Training?

    Mostly what I'd recommend is that the spouse stay in her/his old location and pay for that in whatever way they'd been doing, until the BAH has actually started. Other than that, it's hard to come up with a set number, since people's budgets and their rent amounts vary so much.


    What was the toughest thing you two faced at the beginning, or may still struggle with slightly now? Plus, any words of wisdom for newbies.

    I think that marrying someone with a smilier financial style made all the difference for us. We've never had a fight about money because our values are the same.



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    #9
    Im curious to know if you both are working and if you feel that the income you receive is sufficient for a healthy lifestyle?

    We have always budgeted our living expenses off one income and are able to live fine and dandy on that. We prefer to both be working, but I was laid off a week ago so super bummer and major income hit to the extra goals we spend and save for.

    How difficult would it be to live off of your income for a family of 3 or 4?


    If we had to we totally could, but we prefer a lot more distance between our income and obligations.

    Are there any military life and/or budgeting references that you would recommend?

    We follow a Dave Ramsey type plan. He's a bit to conservative for us in general, but financially it makes sense for us.

    Are you on or off base? If you are on base, would you rather be off for the fact that you'd have more money saved or vice versa?


    Living off-post has made more financial sense for us. We could get more room for less money.

    Do both of you have a car, or do you share the same?

    Yes we have two commute cars and a hobby car.

    How difficult is it to get around without a vehicle until money can be saved to get one? Any tips on how to get around (bus, train, etc)?

    When we got to DH's first duty station we only had one car and one being shipped. I drove him there and picked him up. Wasn't that much of a problem since I wasn't working. We bought his commute car soon afterwards but had the money saved up from him being in training so long.

    Do you have any tips or recommendations for getting the most for your money at the commissary and/or exchange?

    Nope, commissary makes me cranky and the exchange is typically expensive.

    Since there is often a delay when receiving the first paycheck and BAH, how much would you recommend a couple try to save before the SO goes to Basic Training?

    We didn't save anything, but DH and I weren't married at that point and I had already been paying all the bills since DH wasn't working. He was in Basic and AIT for 10 months and once we were married we had one of the nightmare stories of BAH back pay taking months. Since I hadn't moved and was still working no biggie. I will say though for having a few grand (3k?) available for the pending PCS was critical. Hotels, gas, food, setup fees, deposits etc.

    What was the toughest thing you two faced at the beginning, or may still struggle with slightly now? Plus, any words of wisdom for newbies

    My employment is the biggest challenge for us. Not working emotionally drains me and frustrates DH. For someone coming in I would say I think it is important to remember there are so many different types of military families and not fitting into the daydream image is normal. In fact I would say most families don't. Finding a work/personal life balance and the roll of income in that is different for everyone.
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    #10
    Im curious to know if you both are working and if you feel that the income you receive is sufficient for a healthy lifestyle?
    We both work and I think our income is sufficient for the two of us.

    How difficult would it be to live off of your income for a family of 3 or 4?
    I’m not sure. We don’t have kids yet. DH is an E5 now so I think we'd be okay but we plan on waiting a few more years before we ttc.

    Are there any military life and/or budgeting references that you would recommend?
    I’ve got none, sorry.

    Are you on or off base? If you are on base, would you rather be off for the fact that you'd have more money saved or vice versa?
    We’ve done both. We lived off base for the second year DH was in but we like base housing so much that we stuck with it for over 5 years. I like base housing more because they allow us to have our two large dogs without charging us a pet deposit. Also, if something breaks like the A/C, they have 24 hr maintenance that will rush right out to fix it. After having to find a place in town that would take our dogs then factoring in pet deposit and utilities, it made more sense for us to just live on base. Also, depending where you at, for example San Diego, base housing can be very nice and spacious.

    Do both of you have a car, or do you share the same?
    We have always had our on cars. We both started off with cars that were old. When mine crapped out, I got a new one that we paid off very quickly. Then this past year, DH finally traded in his old clunker for a new car. I do recommend only having one car payment at a time (should you buy new). Some friends of ours have made it work with two payments so if you budget well then I guess it can be done...

    How difficult is it to get around without a vehicle until money can be saved to get one? Any tips on how to get around (bus, train, etc)?
    When my old car wouldn’t start some days I would ride my bike to the college. Although, that probably wasn’t the safest idea… It really depends where you’re stationed though. In NC there were no busses, trains, etc. so to get around you had to find a ride, walk, or ride a bike.

    Do you have any tips or recommendations for getting the most for your money at the commissary and/or exchange?
    Coupons? Depending on where you are it may be cheaper to shop out on town than at the Commissary. When we were in CA I almost never shopped at the base because base housing was like 15 mi from the base and we had a few grocery stores right down the road. But, here in MA, produce and meat are about double the price out in town so we shop exclusively on base.

    Since there is often a delay when receiving the first paycheck and BAH, how much would you recommend a couple try to save before the SO goes to Basic Training?
    I’m not sure on this one. DH was DF when he went to boot camp. I moved up to be with him at his 1 year mark when he had finished his schooling. We both saved that entire year so we could move my stuff up and have a nice place to live.

    What was the toughest thing you two faced at the beginning, or may still struggle with slightly now? Plus, any words of wisdom for newbies
    It was a little hard getting on the same page when it came to finances but after some time we figured it out.
    My advice would be to save and spend within your means. Also, budget for fun stuff like nights out, trips, etc… Too many times our friends would say they couldn't go out because they were broke. Save some money and go out and explore your new duty station!




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