In my years as an Army wife , I have heard so many spouses say “you make money living offpost”! I have always wondered why so many people say this, as I have yet to experience it. Here are my experiences as to why…be prepared as there is some math involved and I failed math hehe:
When I arrived in Savannah GA, BAH (Basic Allowance for Housing) at the time was $1100.00 a month. Now maybe because I demand a certain type of home, could be the reason why my housing allowance didn’t allow us to bank a surplus of cash. In all fairness though schools and safe neighborhoods were important to me and the area we chose to live in that was closest to the gate had no houses for rent under $1000 per month. Our house we rented was $1050. So let’s do the math:
So after rent we were left with $50 plus factor in we had lights and water and trash to pay for , not to mention gas for the car since we were offpost…where is the extra money?
We lived in Fayetteville NC back in 2006 and at the time BAH for us was $876. Our rent was $655. Let’s do the math:
Add in electric $135 gas for the car $75 monthly and other utilities and there goes that extra $221.
Now that our math session is over, I guess my point in this post is that when making the choice to live on or offpost you must factor in that BAH varies based on rank and zipcode. So your friend who had a brother, who had a cousin ,who had a boyfriend who was stationed somewhere should not be your determining factor in living on or offpost.
Financial Factors to Help You Decide
* Is housing available onpost or going to be available within a reasonable amount of time.
* Gas prices and distance
*How much BAH you will receive
*Factor in utilities such as lights, water and in some areas trash (Utilities that are cheaper or free onpost)
Routes to the post from where you will be living and traffic congestion
*Cost of living in the area you are stationed in and in surrounding area should you choose to live in one of them.
Naturally there are other obvious factors that will determine your decision but this is strictly looking at it from a financial standpoint . If you want more space for your money living offpost can be a great thing but from my experience and in talking to others I have found those who claim they make so much money living offpost usually:
* Have no kids and live in a apartment which is usually cheaper
* Usually get the cheapest apartment which in turn banks them more money
* Do not have the bills that come with having children.
Whether you agree or not I would love to hear your thoughts, if you have lived offpost and did well share as I am sure other spouses would love to hear.
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