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I KNOW this one is going to get me alot of flack but...(military pay)

We were AF....lowly E2 when married....had 2 kids....choose not to live in base housing. There were times I worked outside the home and others I did not. I know the pay is not that great.....BUT we lived our life - we ate out, our kids were provided for (and somewhat spoiled), we had things. I'm not talking about the chance we are facing of not getting paid - I am just in general asking.....why is it that it seems alot of military wives say "we struggle financially so much" "we are barely making it"? I don't mean to seem like I am bashing anyone....I know everyone has their own bills and cost of living is dif everywhere


Asked by brypmom at 8:16 AM on Apr. 9, 2011 in Money & Work

Level 17 (4,217 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (13)
  • I think it is like anyone in this country - we have become 'entitled' to a certain standard of living and make necessities out of extras (internet, cell phone, tv, cable, computer, etc.). We truly only NEED food, clothing, and shelter. Military get paid very little when you consider what we expect them to do - put their life on the line for the safety and freedom of others. However, in the grand scheme of things, ALL of us in the USA make much more money then about 75% of the world (that is based on making about 23K a year).

    It has been very hard for me at times to hear teachers, military, moms getting food stamps, etc complain about how little they have. When they say how much money that little bit is, it has been much more then my family of 6 have lived on at times. EVERYONE in the States needs to learn to live on less, not expect so much, and not make NEEDS out of wants and extra things.

    Answer by micheledo at 9:26 AM on Apr. 9, 2011

  • My husband is an E-5 we have 2 kids one on the way. We live paycheck to paycheck. Things are getting better now, but we were currently stationed in washington which killed us financially. Have you ever lived there? I was paying almost 5 dollars for a gallon of milk! Living cost (rent) was outrageous, living in general there was outrageous. It depends on where you are living well it does for me anyways. We now live in kentucky were everything is a lot cheaper and we are beginning to get stable again.

    Answer by amber1330 at 8:30 AM on Apr. 9, 2011

  • when my husband was in the army i stayed at home with our 3 kids and we were doing just fine. it was a lot easier then than it is now that he's working civilian jobs.

    Answer by tnm786 at 9:32 AM on Apr. 9, 2011

  • Well they dont get paid alot as you stated. I think it all depends on how you were raised, what you consider alot of money, and all of that. My ex was in the army and we did not make a ton of money but our bills were also always paid. I was happy for that but still did wish we had more money for extra stuff.

    Answer by gemgem at 8:18 AM on Apr. 9, 2011

  • Not everybody has the same upbringing and same situation as you. Lots of the military have struggles. They don't get paid enough for what they do. We manage and we are happy, but YES we do struggle from time to time.

    Answer by amber1330 at 8:33 AM on Apr. 9, 2011

  • Not true for us vbruno. We have cut a lot out of what we spend. We don't have cable, we do not have a home phone, we hardly ever eat out, and we only buy what is necessary. We are on a strict budget and yet we still struggle. I am not at all trying to start a debate because I do like you, you have wonderful advice, but you cannot speak for everyone who is in the military and how they live because you don't know how we all live.

    Answer by amber1330 at 8:55 AM on Apr. 9, 2011

  • I will say my ex is in the military, he is an E3, gets BAH-DIFF and lives in the barracks. He makes about $1900 a month and only has to pay his car payment, insurance, cell phone and child support ($400) and SOME HOW, he never has any money. I think in some cases, (and I am talking mostly single guys here) they just spend most of their money going out drinking. However, I think it is different when we are talking about families, I have been told that until you reach about E5 it is really a struggle with having a family and making ends meet

    Answer by JLS2388 at 9:07 AM on Apr. 9, 2011

  • Times are tough right now for everyone, whether you are military or not.

    Answer by KateShesGreat3 at 9:05 AM on Apr. 9, 2011

  • Well Amber I agree with you and I truly wasn't trying to "start" anger. The situation that got me upset was a phone call from a friend who's husband is an E7 - they currently live with his mom and as far as I've been told they pay her elec and phone bill (no rent, etc) each of them 5 total have cell phones. They haved looked into buying a home but have NOTHING to put down, credit is low - and he is afraid of a 500+ payment. I guess it got to me cause 17 years of service and they have nothing. I KNOW she takes the girls shopping just cuz one says "I need a pink shirt....i don't have one". It is irksome cuz she calls me for advice. I give my advice #1 being stop shopping then a few hours later I get a call "hey you wanna go to the mall, xxx wants xxx"

    Comment by brypmom (original poster) at 9:09 AM on Apr. 9, 2011

  • When I joined the Navy, I was an E-1 (single, no kids). When my dh and I got married, I was an E-3, and he was an E-4. I got out when he was still an E-4. At one point, we had 2 kids on E-4 pay, I'm a SAHM. I'm still a SAHM, and my dh is an E-8. The only reason I mention this is to show that really, as far as pay goes, I've seen all ends of the spectrum (at least from the enlisted end of it).

    We live in our means, however, there have been times that our pay has been messed up, or things beyond our control happened and money became tight and we would struggle for awhile. Medical expenses that weren't covered under Tricare (I had to have a surgery that Tricare authorized, but, because of a lot of reasons, would only pay for part of, we had to pay 10 grand out of pocket, and that was still a good deal for what I needed...)


    Answer by sailorwifenmom at 9:33 AM on Apr. 9, 2011