New to Army

Jessica - posted on 09/22/2009 ( 7 moms have responded )

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Hi Ladies!
My husband was in the Army when we met, so I have very limited experience with the Army lifestyle. I lived two hours away, he'd come in on weekends. I'd sometimes visit base and that's pretty much the extent of my experience. He is about to go back in and I'm learning that military girlfriend and military wife and mommy are two different things. I'm so afraid!!!!! Our daughter is 3 1/2 months old. He was laid off while I was on maternity leave and has yet to find a job. So...he's decided that the Army is the only way we are going to make it. But I keep hearing all these stories about military families having to go on food stamps and assistance because the pay is so low...basically being almost in poverty type situations. Is that true??????? Is this really going to financially fix our situation? Can I expect base housing? And if there is a waiting list, where would my daughter and I stay while on this waiting list? I keep getting conflicting stories....join the military for financial security...then I hear that it's not secure at all...I don't know what to believe. He will return as an E4. My daughter currently qualifies for WIC, will we still get it in the military? I just don't know what to expect. Someone please help.

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Bridgette - posted on 09/28/2009

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Jessica we did it with a family of 3 on an E4 salary; now we are a family of 5 on an E5 salary. The pay isn't the best in the world but it's not the worst. It's actually GREAT when you consider the health care, housing, BAS, and all the other perks. You will keep your WIC. I'm a stay at home mom, I cook all meals at home except for Sunday when we go out to eat after church, I do as much as I can at home to save $$$. It's all in how you budget.

Jessica - posted on 09/28/2009

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Thank you so much, I feel alot better knowing that we will get by. It's difficult to find a job in general, I hear it's that much more difficult as a military spouse. I want to be home with my little girl, so at least I will get that.

Kourtney - posted on 09/26/2009

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i understand what you mean .. my husband was in the army when we met also..there are definately perks and drawbacks to being part of a military family. your husband may not make a lot of money but if you do things right and manage your money you will have plenty to get by even if you aren't working too.. it can be challenging but it is completely possible..really in the long run there is security..i mean you have insurance for you and your kids, as long as your husband stays out of trouble he is really most likely not going to lose his job and you can qualify for wic and if you want you can get other assistance but it is not anything you are going to have to do to get by if you budget..good luck and i'm sure that you and your family will be more than fine

Jennifer - posted on 09/25/2009

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As the others have said you would more then likely still qualify for WIC. Many of the wives I know do. Now as for the stable part. The Military is stable in the fact you will receive a pay check on the first and 15th of every month. The pay can change if you do not manage your money well and end up owing the military money. So long as you can make a budget and stick to it you will be fine. When you PCS the first time getting housing a little easier since you get moved to the top of the list. Otherwise each time after you are placed in line (and you can send paperwork in ahead of the move to place you higher on the list as well). Sometimes, depending upon the duty station, you can be in housing in a month or less. When you first arrive you will be either in military lodging on post, or a hotel off. You will get TDY, which is payment to be in lodging, but be sure and budget for at first all of the hotel stay and food is out of your pocket. The military only refunds a set dollar amount depending upon family size, and duty station. If your wait for the on post housing is too long then you will have to rent a place off post. The military helps with this by supplying you with lists of places for rent, BAH (Basic Allowance for Housing), and you can receive a small loan if you do not have first and last months rent. Many military families choose to live off post. It is all about preference. My family and I live on post due to less hassle or worry about having a roof over head, electricity, gas, water, and trash.. It is a constant and is lumped into the BAH they take out. So less hassle and less budget. We have been in over 8 years now and I have been a housewife up until this month, (kids are finally old enough so I can work from 0930-1530) hehe. We were able to manage a house on my husbands pay at E-4 with three kids. It can be done and still have money left over if you do not fall into the military trap of credit card this, rent to own that, and oh I need a fancy new car like the Jones. If you have any other questions please don't hesitate to ask. I was raised a Navy brat, was a Marine for years, then my Hubby decided to go ARMY. I have been through all sides of the Military experience over time and know how challenging they all can be. Just go in with the mind set this will be a challenge, but my family will benefit from it and be stronger. Also a budget.. hehe budgeting is KEY.

Danielle - posted on 09/23/2009

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Yes you will more than likley qualify for WIC. The financial situation is different for many people. If you are responsible with your money you will be fine. You dont have to pay for medical and the pay stays the same unlike other jobs where it depends on the hours you work. You get the same pay twice a month so you are able to budget better. If you have anyother specific questions feel free to ask me I was in the Army whe I met my husband 9 years ago. We have been married 8 years he has been in over 11 years and is now a Recruiter. We also have 4 children. We would be happy to help you with anything you need to know!

Michelle - posted on 09/22/2009

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well i can tell u u will deff still be able to get wic. u wont be rich at all...butl if u manage ur money u should be able to pay ur bills

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