It’s no secret that military life comes with many up and downs — fortunately, part of that includes the military discounts and benefits available to help make life just a little easier.
One of these benefits is your BAH (Basic Allowance for Housing), which is an allowance offered to military service members who are either married or have dependents. The rate you receive depends on your on geographic location, but it also varies based on factors like rank. This benefit allows you the freedom to live off-base and keep your budget in check — if, that is, you’re smart about how your spend your BAH.
The Department of Defense re-evaluates the rates given each year, considering the fluctuating costs of living, and releases the next year’s allowances in December. Rates closer to major metros, for example, will be higher than those closer to small towns. Year over year, each of the 39 rates may go up or may go down, although past years have seen slight increases on average around the country.
The 2018 rates were just released, so now it’s a great time to refresh your knowledge of BAH!
Some of the most common questions, for example, include:
What does BAH really cover? Utilities, other living expenses, etc.?
What if BAH doesn’t cover rent where I want to live?
What happens if BAH in my area is going down in 2018? Will I owe additional rent?
First, the good news: as for the third question, if you’re stationed in the same place, you’ll be grandfathered into your rate. But… this doesn’t protect you from your landlord raising your rent once your initial lease expires. And then, yes, you may owe more money if you choose to continue living there.
Fortunately, there are options for the budget-conscious families out there. Lincoln Military Housing, for example, offers installation communities across the country that blend the best of both on-base and off-base worlds. Moreover, you don’t have to worry about your budget; when you live at a Lincoln property, your 2018 BAH will cover your entire rental payment, plus renters’ insurance, normal utilities, and more. So there’s no risks, and no tough choices when it comes to how to use your BAH.
Take a look at the infographic below to learn about the basics of BAH, and how to make the most of your allowance!
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