Author Topic: Question for Military Mustachians  (Read 3138 times)

Kansaslover5

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Question for Military Mustachians
« on: August 11, 2014, 10:54:23 AM »
If I go to Germany as a single officer will I still get BAH? Or, do I have to live on post somewhere? Bottomline, can I rent something off post that is considerably less than the BAH amount? (As I currently do in the states). Also how much does COLA run per month? Thanks. Any other Mustachian benefits to being stationed in Germany?

Travis

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Re: Question for Military Mustachians
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2014, 11:05:34 AM »
I haven't been stationed in Germany, but I'm pretty sure you have the option of living off post. You can look up the COLA for the area you'll be in here:

http://www.defensetravel.dod.mil/site/colaCalc.cfm

I have friends who just left Italy and lived very frugally and saved a large portion of their BAH/COLA.  Living in Germany I would imagine your transportation costs would be very low since public transportation is so prolific.  My friends in Italy used Magic Jack and Skype for most of their communications. I'm sure others on here have some first-hand experience.

Kriegsspiel

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Re: Question for Military Mustachians
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2014, 02:03:21 PM »
If I go to Germany as a single officer will I still get BAH?

Bottomline, can I rent something off post that is considerably less than the BAH amount? (As I currently do in the states). Also how much does COLA run per month? Thanks. Any other Mustachian benefits to being stationed in Germany?

Yes, but you can't bank it. The way it worked for me was, you find an apartment you want to rent (some posts have lists of landlords to rent from, or people will put up a flyer if they are moving out soon), then you bring the info to the housing people on base, and then they set your BAH up to pay just enough for rent via direct deposit to the landlord. There was no way to live in a low-cost apartment and keeping the delta.

 
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Or, do I have to live on post somewhere?

If they have housing AVAILABLE for you when you report, you may be forced to live on post. If there is no housing available on post, then you can hunt for an apartment and live off post. When I moved to a second posting in Germany, I already had an apartment lined up. At the housing office, they tried to have me go to on-post housing, but when I told them I already had an apartment off post lined up, they told me to just go ahead. One of my friends from the BOLCs was assigned to on-post housing.

From what I could tell, single officers were more likely to get off post housing.

Kansaslover5

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Re: Question for Military Mustachians
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2014, 08:54:29 AM »
Thanks! Taht's what I was afraid of. What duty station do you think is the most Mustachian? In terms of what I could get for BAH vs. renting a room for $450/month? Hawaii?

Travis

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Re: Question for Military Mustachians
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2014, 11:03:28 AM »
I don't think you can really answer that question in that context.  BAH rates are set according to the local market.  You can find a small one bedroom for much less than your BAH, but it might also be in the most dangerous part of town (often right outside the gate).  Very rarely do we get to choose where we're stationed, so just make the most of wherever you happen to be.  At all of my duty stations I chose to live in a decent neighborhood where my BAH still covers nearly all of my living expenses.  The mustachian part of the equation is being smart about those living expenses.  At JBLM I pay a little more for rent for a quality area, but spend almost nothing in fuel since I live just a few miles from the gate.  At Fort Hood we lived in the same 2 bedroom apartment from 2LT to CPT.  We saw no need to change things and every couple years the BAH went up so we kept more of it.  The market and BAH rates at every post are different, but how you spend your money is entirely in your control.

Nords

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Re: Question for Military Mustachians
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2014, 11:45:13 PM »
What duty station do you think is the most Mustachian? In terms of what I could get for BAH vs. renting a room for $450/month? Hawaii?
Bingo!

That works in the Wahiawa area around Schofield Barracks & Wheeler Army Airfield.  It's a little more expensive around Camp Smith, Fort Shafter, and Tripler.  I'm assuming you're referring to Army bases because you've mentioned Germany, but please correct me if I've developed the wrong impression.

AHRN.com is preferable to Craigslist.

EricL

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Re: Question for Military Mustachians
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2014, 03:56:39 AM »
Kriegsspiel is correct about BAH in Germany.  You used to be able to receive BAH directly and either upgrade your living quarters if you were extravagant or downgrade to pocket the difference.  That changed in about '08.  Also, most places in don't have permanent BOCs as an option.  There simply no room.  You can eke some savings if you decline cable, can get a place close to post for a shorter commute, and get a place with lower utility bills.  Off post housing in most places is pretty nice and landlords know just what they can get away with charging.  The only place with real housing issues is Grafenwöhr/Vilseck.  Since that post has grown a lot there's a shortage in the housing off post and other rentable apartments aren't real close.