In today’s military there are an unprecedented amount of base services for single service members living in the barracks. While pay is pretty low for young enlisted pay grades there is not much to have to spend your money on. The most successful savers/wealth creators I have witnessed living in the barracks eats at the mess hall, does not owe the bank money for their car, is on either a cheap cell phone plan or their parents family plan, and maximize their base’s services.
Examples of base services:
- 4 Meals a day on a meal card.
- Free Wi-Fi throughout base.
- 24 hour gym access.
- Close enough to work to walk, bike, or catch a shuttle.
- Library with current inventory of video games and movies.
- Free access to Overdrive online library which includes books, audio-books, and movies.
- Exchange with below MSRP clothing and no sales tax.
- Do it yourself automotive service.
- Low cost sports and camping rentals.
- Free Morale Welfare and Recreation (MWR) trips, excursions, and on base events.
While you can be totally dependent on base services and the friends you make I do encourage a cheap and reliable mode of transportation for some independence. Also, if you live in the barracks and your personal items are stolen or lost due to a natural disaster the military is not liable for your loss. You can get renters insurance for as low as $10 a month to cover that 64″ TV, Xbox, and closet full of uniforms.
- Making $2,000 a month for the first time in your life does not mean you can afford a new BMW, or even a used one.
- Cell phone plans with tons of data is a joke. Connect to Wi-Fi and pay only for what you need.
- Get a Roku, Firestick, Smart TV, or utilize Xbox/PlayStation apps to access your favorite TV shows. Don’t pay for cable. (Also, cable companies will make you pay disconnect/reconnect fees if you change barracks rooms, which happens often.)
- In the military if you can’t control your spending habits someone else senior to you will.
If you have any question or input please feel free to comment below!