- I inherited $ 110,000 in student debt after i married my husband and knew we'd to pay them back.
- As a bimilitary couple, we live a salary level below our current level and use the remainder to go into debt.
- We also employ only one of our basic housing allowance to pay off our mortgage and save the other.
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When I married my husband, I inherited a sizable debt in the form of his student education loans. I accepted this was pretty much normal for the course; almost everyone I know has student loans (I was lucky enough to graduate without one). But our number horrified me.
After a bloody dissection of our finances, as it turns out we owed $ 110,000, all in student loans except Five dollars,000 in credit debt. And even though we're both active duty military, my husband wouldn't entitled to the Civil Service Loan forgiveness because the most of his loans are Parent Plus loans in the father's name, not his. .
I determined that between our two salaries and military benefits, we're able to pay everything off in 5 years. But only then do we found out that we were expecting our first child. Suddenly, the “money thing” took on the stronger feeling of urgency.
We've created a tight budget, itemized every dollar spent, created spreadsheets to track our progress, and ditched all unnecessary spending. I read several books on personal finance (that we borrowed from the public library for free) and scoured Military OneSource for opportunities to spend less money.
A year has now passed since my husband and I had that first painful conversation about our finances, and we have repaid over $ 40,000 indebted – double things i predicted. We now intend to pay the remaining balance round the same time next year.
Here are some of the main ways we have maximized our balance and military advantages to accelerate debt repayment.
We live a salary level below what we should currently earn and save the rest
Basic military pay is dependent upon rank, rank and length of service. The Defense Ministry publishes tables that show how much service members are required to receive every month based on these details. My husband and I use this chart to determine what we should would earn on the next lower level and plan our budget with this number in your mind to ensure that saving the rest is automatic.
My last manager gave me these tips and it saved my loved ones 100's of dollars a month. In addition, we only use one of our income for bills. The other would go to savings and debt repayment.
We use our Basic Housing Allowance (BAH) to our advantage
BAH is really a tax-exempt housing allowance in the United States for the military. The amount varies by geographic location and pay level, but is usually enough to cover the price of rent and more.
For my spouse and i, part of my BAH alone covers our mortgage. We make use of the rest, and my husband's full BAH, to pay off student education loans and save for housing expenses like maintenance, repairs, and utilities.
We put our pay raises on our debt
Military salaries increase each year on January One in line using the development in private sector wages and salaries. Over the past 10 years it's grown typically 2.1% per year, which translated into an extra $ 80 per month for me, or almost $ 1,000 per year. I invested this extra money in student loans and I never miss it.
We buy smart
We buy the majority of our meat from the commissary's freezer, where prices are heavily discounted on inventory the store couldn't sell, and our meal plan involves what we find there each month. This saves us a minimum of $ 200 per month on groceries.
We also shop at BJ's and Sam's Club to purchase basic items that we regularly use in bulk, such as beans, rice, yogurt and eggs. BJ's offers discounted memberships for the military, so the savings count the small annual fee.
We will also be purchasing the “free and for sale page” in our Facebook base for such things as tools and housewares and have saved a minimum of $ 1,000 on the items required for that. These pages are simple to use and there is at least one in every military installation.
We use free tax filing software
The Department of Defense provides MilTax, free electronic filing software that's “fit for military life,” according to the MilitaryOneSource website. Through the site, military personnel can connect 24/7 with military tax advisers, a huge deal for big families and people facing complex tax situations.
We asked for assist with the expense
Child Care Conscious of America offers cost assistance programs which help military families find affordable and reliable child care. The Child Development Center (CDC) on base closed temporarily because of the pandemic, so we enrolled my son in daycare off base – at more than twice the price. Once our request is processed, this program will release one more $ 500 to repay the loans.
We always request military discounts
Many places offer military discounts if you ask, and the little money we saved is well worth it. We adopted the mindset that each penny counts, and it did more than we expected.