Posted By Freshontheboat on 09 Jun 2019 03:52 PM
Hello all, lurker and first post.
I'm a 24 year old college grad who wants to enlist and pursue an ME rating, MSRT and all that good stuff (prepared for the wait time as a non rate). I currently have a job making around 40k, and I know that as an E-3 I'd probably be making half of that. Has anyone been in my situation (taking a pay cut to join), what were your saving solutions etc?
As above poster mentioned your expenses will naturally go down. Otherwise do what everyone should do. Make a budget. List out your expenses, see which ones you have to pay and which ones are luxuries. Make sure you're being honest about which ones you absolutely have to have to survive and how much they'll be.
As a nonrate it'll be pretty minimal. Transportation (car payment, maintenance, gas, and insurance) and housing (rent, insurance, and utilities) will most likely be your biggest categories. When you find out your first assignment, if it's a shore assignment look up the bah for your station and find housing under that number.
Biggest "secret" to accumulating wealth regardless of income is living below your means. So don't splurge for an expensive place to live. Live like a pauper your first few months after boot camp and slowly up your spending as you can. And consider the cost of your commute when looking at housing. Guesstimate how much your car costs per mile to operate in commute traffic wherever you are and look at what google maps says about your commute (it has options on the website to set time to arrive by or depart at so you can see what average commutes are like during the week at whatever times you'll be going in/coming home).