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Military Families Military Families

Can a family live off E4 salary?

Posted by on Apr. 24, 2014 at 4:56 PM
  • 33 Replies

My boyfriend and I were planning on getting married but he's joining the army and will be an E4 Specialist. He saw how much E4s make and now he's panicking that he won't be able to support me and our two kids. 


I think it'll be fine but he's really worried. Does anyone else make it on that much?

by on Apr. 24, 2014 at 4:56 PM
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Replies (1-10):
RKL10
by Member on Apr. 24, 2014 at 5:08 PM
My husband is navy and we lived off of E4 but we only have one child
Anonymous
by Anonymous 1 on Apr. 24, 2014 at 5:18 PM

Things will be tight, but there are plenty of families who make it work. Write out a budget and stick to it very carefully.

You won't have to pay out-of-pocket for healthcare, so that's huge. And you'll have housing or BAH, which will help tremendously. Those are usually the two biggest expenses, and they'll both be covered.

Elle.tea.22
by Bronze Member on Apr. 24, 2014 at 5:20 PM
5 moms liked this
If you find yourself right on cash, you can get a job too.
RKL10
by Member on Apr. 24, 2014 at 5:21 PM
But we also live off base so we don't use all the bah on rent we can put some towards gas and groceries

Quoting RKL10: My husband is navy and we lived off of E4 but we only have one child
amylovesnick07
by Member on Apr. 24, 2014 at 5:24 PM
We lived off of that for a little while. It was tight sometimes but we managed oh and we only one child at that time though.
Aqua_Jen
by Gold Member on Apr. 24, 2014 at 6:07 PM
We did it. You just have to set up a budget and stick to it. You can go to school or work too if needed.
mnkymommy08
by Bronze Member on Apr. 24, 2014 at 6:27 PM
We did it with 3 kids. It was tight but we did it. Thankfully DH has since gained a couple of ranks since those days. Just make sure you budget very carefully. Oh, and we made it living off post.
BellaRose17
by Bronze Member on Apr. 24, 2014 at 6:34 PM
1 mom liked this

My husband enlisted last year. He started at the bottom (E1). We have 6 year old twins, a dog, and a baby on the way.

He's now an E2 (will be an E3 in two weeks). We are comfortable but of course...we aren't very extravagant people. We live simply and don't need much to be happy lol ^_^ We live within our means and stick to a budget.

Sometimes things are tight but we aren't struggling. If we were I could easily find employment somewhere.

As long as you are smart with your money and don't spend it like a crazy, drunken socialite, you'll be fine :)

darbyakeep45
by Darby on Apr. 24, 2014 at 7:08 PM
1 mom liked this

As you can tell, it can be done.  Budgeting is key.  My husband was an E-4 when we got married about 12 years ago, and he was an E-6 when we had our son almost 6 years ago.  

cocoroo
by Coco on Apr. 24, 2014 at 7:24 PM

My dh enlisted as an E1 when I was pregnant with our third child.  Our son was born after BCT and before my dh waited for his AIT class to start.  He was still an E1.  We had 4 kids when he was an E4.  It is definitely possible.  We never did without, we just didn't do anything crazy. We lived off post, had 2 cars, our kids didn't do without, etc.

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