Earning your military salary is one thing; managing it well enough to cover your military lifestyle can require some maneuvering. The military comes with great additional financial support: allowances, benefits and more, all in addition to your military salary.
Start by getting a clear understanding of the military pay scale, for enlisted members and officers. Get to know the pay you are entitled to now, how to move up in your pay scale, and learn how to best manage your military paycheck at every pay level.
Don't overlook the unique benefits of military allowances; this is money over and above your military salary, to cover certain cost of living expenses. Some allowances are not only tax exempt, they can help you save your military salary for other necessities.
There are some unique challenges to managing your military pay. For example, extended training, deployments and temporary duty can make a serious dent in your military finances unless you're prepared. There are many ways to lower your monthly bills, avoid late payments, and take care of business while you are busy training, deploying or serving.
Sure, your main career is your military service. But you can do it in military style, by understanding how the military pay scale and salary all works, for you.
The enlisted pay chart starts with basic pay rates for all those who have been in the service for four months or less. That's the amount of time most people spend in basic training, and it's the very lowest rung of the military pay scale. There's a good reason for that--all meals and housing are provided, so you don't get any military allowances.
Active duty officers have a military pay chart which can be just as confusing as the military pay charts for enlisted people. In fact, officer pay is more complex because it includes the pay scales for Warrant Officers and for officers who started their careers as enlisted personnel.
Any active duty member of the Armed Services that has PCS orders in hand and is either within 30 days of making a PCS move or 0-60 days after making a PCS move may be authorized an advance of pay in the amount of 1 month of basic pay less deductions (may be up to 3 months of basic pay less deductions if justified).