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Old 03-03-2012, 09:30 PM
 
3,323 posts, read 4,798,886 times
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Also part of it is your mos, what is it....Like somebody said previous if your eligible for deployments or overseas assignments then it will be easier. In 91 thru 93 my cola was almost $600 a month.
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Old 03-03-2012, 10:02 PM
 
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If you can choose your assignment location, pick ones with lower cost of living. A lot of people assigned to high cost of living areas (ie, DC or California) spend a lot of money out of pocket. BAH only covers your living expenses (barely), but doesn't account for other location-dependent costs like insurance, food, gas, etc...

There are a lot of websites with cost of living calculators. City-Data has a wealth of information on locations. For example, the Cost of Living Index for Oceanside CA is 129.1, while for Jacksonville NC is 90.8. The U.S. average is 100. Your dollars will go a lot further in Jacksonville (Camp Lejeune), and therefore you can save more.
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Old 03-03-2012, 10:20 PM
 
Location: New Mexico U.S.A.
24,162 posts, read 38,964,393 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smoke_Jaguar4 View Post
If you can choose your assignment location, pick ones with lower cost of living. A lot of people assigned to high cost of living areas (ie, DC or California) spend a lot of money out of pocket.
And a lot of those also have other opportunities such as possibility of faster promotion etc....

Sorry, but just trying to get a location with lower cost of living is just a bad idea in my opinion...

My last assignment was near Washington D.C. I became a Geographical Bachelor, stayed at Indianhead, MD for$30 per month. It put me in a very good position to get a very good job when I got out of the military, which I occasionally still do consulting at 22 years later...




Rich
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Old 03-04-2012, 05:46 AM
 
2,633 posts, read 2,966,286 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poncho_NM View Post
And a lot of those also have other opportunities such as possibility of faster promotion etc....

Sorry, but just trying to get a location with lower cost of living is just a bad idea in my opinion...

My last assignment was near Washington D.C. I became a Geographical Bachelor, stayed at Indianhead, MD for$30 per month. It put me in a very good position to get a very good job when I got out of the military, which I occasionally still do consulting at 22 years later...




Rich
If you're at a later point in your career, then I agree. However I've personally supervised too many E-3's on their first tour assigned to the Pentagon. Either they lived like shut-ins between the dorms and the commissary or they struggled financially off-base. A lot the took the first deployment they could as soon as they were qualified because they had no other choice. I had one case in particular of an E-4 who was assigned to my unit who had 4 kids and there was no housing available on base. He could only afford to live in the worst part of town and still couldn't pay his family's basic needs. I spent a lot of time working with the 1st Sgt, Commander, and the AF Aid Society on his situation. We helped him were we could but his family went through two years of hell; we finally managed to PCS him to a cheaper location.

No person below E-7/O-4 should ever be assigned to the DC area, ever.
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Old 03-04-2012, 08:17 AM
 
Location: New Mexico U.S.A.
24,162 posts, read 38,964,393 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smoke_Jaguar4 View Post
If you're
If, if, if... There are always if's...
[/quote]

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smoke_Jaguar4 View Post
No person below E-7/O-4 should ever be assigned to the DC area, ever.
Never going to happen and the original poster is talking about going into the Marine's for four years...


Rich
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Old 03-04-2012, 09:56 AM
 
3,071 posts, read 7,578,873 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poncho_NM View Post
If, if, if... There are always if's...
Never going to happen and the original poster is talking about going into the Marine's for four years...


Rich[/quote]

I have to agree with the chorus on this one. It's simple mathematics. San Diego (Camp Pendleton) does not receive COLA, DC does not receive COLA, Jacksonville, NC does not receive COLA, but the two former are much more expensive than the latter, therefore it would be that much harder to save money. Even living on base is more expensive. If I'm not mistaken some Comissary and Exchange prices are set by the average rank on the base. Camp Lejeune is so bottom heavy the average age in Jacksonvilleis 23 , making it the youngest city in the country. Versus Quantico (DC metro), which houses HQMC and OCS so the average rank and on base prices are that much higher.

Also, you mentioned the OP being a Marine like that decreased his chances of being stationed in the DC area. I have Marines that I put in and also friends serving at Andrews AFB, Henderson Hall, Marine Barracks Washington, and Quantico.

Expensive places can be a boon only in places that you receive COLA, and even then only with discipline. Two examples are Hawaii and Japan. You rate COLA there but all of the prices on base are fixed from stateside, so if you exclusively shop on base you can pocket the COLA. I know many families who saved money while being stationed in these locations doing this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by forest beekeeper View Post
$10 for a t-shirt? that sounds dumb to me, you need the course to make advancement. Buy the T-shirt.

Good luck
Corporal's Course is not required for advancement, though it looks good on meritorious boards. Sgt's Course on up are required though. Other people in the class offered to give him money for the shirt but he refused off of principal. He was stubborn, but you had to be to save money in the manner he did.
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Old 03-04-2012, 09:27 PM
 
Location: Ashburn, VA
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Don't get married and deploy somewhere remote. Especially, don't get married. Did I mention not getting married?
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Old 03-05-2012, 01:31 AM
 
Location: portland for now
83 posts, read 131,076 times
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Thanks for the reply's everyone. I'll be going active duty enlisted and the job field i'm going for is motor-T. the money is so that after I get out I can buy some property and eventually start my own business.
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:56 PM
 
645 posts, read 1,738,701 times
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Deploy
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Old 03-06-2012, 12:41 AM
 
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Stay in 20 then you can save $200,000
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