Twins on an enlisted salary — The Bump
Military Families

Twins on an enlisted salary

My husband and I just discovered were expecting twins! We are so excited but we are definitely worried about money after they are born. I am glad he's in the army an that were able to have a stable job and paycheck but we all know the military salary isn't exactly the highest. Does anyone have any suggestions as to save money or crunch to help in the future?

Re: Twins on an enlisted salary

  • cloth diaper, get a job, live in a smaller house, breast feed if you can, go to fleet and family do a budget and take the budgeting for baby class offered my MWR ( this is navy). A lot of enlisted people make great money though. i know a lot of enlisted people who have 5 children and live very comfortably

    Married 11/27/09 and TTC right away
    Dx: Complete septate uterus with cervical duplication, endometrial polyps, PCOS, endometriosis, hypo thyroid, luteal phase defect
    4 uterus surgeries to correct my complete septum and to remove polyps and 2 years of seeing the RE, medicated cycles and IUIs
    Baby 1 and 2: BFP 3/3/11 with 2 babies EDD 11/1/11, M/C 4/6/11
    Baby #3: 8/11 pregnant EDD 4/27/11 and m/c:(
    Baby #4: 10/12/11 BFP! EDD 6/16/12m/c 10/26/11
    Baby #5: 3/13/12 BFP! EDD 11/25/12 ANOTHER m/c :(

    Baby #6: 2/14/13- BFP! EDD 10/24/13, CP 2/19/13
    Baby #7: 3/15/13- BFP! EDD 11/27/13, another CP
    Baby #8.  BFP 5/19/13 EDD 1/22/14. 8 was not our lucky number

    4th septum resection on 5/31/13.
    Baby #9: 6/29/13 BFP. C section scheduled for March 5th!

    My miracle baby was born March 5 at 9:33am. He was 8 lbs 12.5 oz and 21.25 inches long!

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    Missfunball
  • ArmyWife114ArmyWife114
    500 Comments 100 Love Its Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    member
    edited September 2013
    Buy as much as you can used (Baby Bargains is a good book with product reviews and advice on what items you can buy used, what you must buy new, and what is absolutely non-essential).  Hit up the post wide yard sale for baby items, our post ALWAYS has a TON of baby clothes, toys, books, etc.  You can get dressers, changing table and the like used easily.  Try bookoo, or look for selling/advertising pages on Facebook for your post.  

    I think ACS has a budgeting for baby class.  I would ask your FRG leader or your key caller. They'll either know if they have one, or know who to ask about it.  
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  • We're in the same boat, hubby is low enlisted hopefully getting NCO soon and we're expecting twins. We're moving on base since for a house the size we would need for them plus all the utilities we would be paying out just as much as if we forfeited the BHA going on base. A lot of it is going to be budgeting, hubby is going to have to cut back on his extra spending on cigs and beer. No more games for a while. We're doing as much as we can now to buy what we need for the long haul (ie diapers every payday, essentials to keep baby happy) Food and stuff well we're on WIC so that is going to help out a lot. 

    Most Bases will have budgeting classes, but the biggest help would be find a job (which near most military instillation are hard and the Furlows have sent many bases into a hiring freeze for civilians) 
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  • Buy used stuff.  Take a budgeting or money management class (most bases/posts offer them).   Cut back on nonessentials like cable, internet, movie services (like netflix) if you need to.   Use coupons. Definitely look into WIC (even while you're pregnant).   
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  • WIC! With military pay being as 'awesome' as it is, in most cases, families of SNCO sometimes qualify.


  • A lot of enlisted people make great money though. i know a lot of enlisted people who have 5 children and live very comfortably
    Are both parents working in this situation because this doesn't seem possible to me. 

    We have good friends with an enlisted husband and SAHM mom to 3 kids. They live quite comfortably in a house that I'm actually quite envious of (they own). 
    It will certainly be challenging on a lower enlisted salary, but I think its quiet doable. Just don't buy into the whole 'must have a new car, brand new furniture and all the latest gadgets' mentality that a lot of the younger military couples seem to have. 

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  • My husband is an E5 we have 4 kids including triplets I am a SAHM. For us we buy most everything used or on sale. We buy Christmas and birthday through the year on sale. It is hard we were on wic for formula and we cloth diaper yes triplets. When we had our first DH was an E3 do we got diapers and bottles through out my pregnancy same with clothes once we knew sex. It is hard but our kids don't want or need for anything. Good luck.
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  • A lot of enlisted people make great money though. i know a lot of enlisted people who have 5 children and live very comfortably
    Are both parents working in this situation because this doesn't seem possible to me. OP I would start stocking up on things like diapers each paycheck (save the receipt so you can exchange them for different sizes if necessary). Breast feeding is free(if you go that route) WIC is also a good resource for things like formula, juice, milk, etc. and yard sales and Craigslist are great for items you don't need to buy new. (Pretty much everything besides the car seat)
    nope she doesnt work. some enlisted rates get 100k enlistment bonuses and i know many enlisted people who make over 100k a year

    Married 11/27/09 and TTC right away
    Dx: Complete septate uterus with cervical duplication, endometrial polyps, PCOS, endometriosis, hypo thyroid, luteal phase defect
    4 uterus surgeries to correct my complete septum and to remove polyps and 2 years of seeing the RE, medicated cycles and IUIs
    Baby 1 and 2: BFP 3/3/11 with 2 babies EDD 11/1/11, M/C 4/6/11
    Baby #3: 8/11 pregnant EDD 4/27/11 and m/c:(
    Baby #4: 10/12/11 BFP! EDD 6/16/12m/c 10/26/11
    Baby #5: 3/13/12 BFP! EDD 11/25/12 ANOTHER m/c :(

    Baby #6: 2/14/13- BFP! EDD 10/24/13, CP 2/19/13
    Baby #7: 3/15/13- BFP! EDD 11/27/13, another CP
    Baby #8.  BFP 5/19/13 EDD 1/22/14. 8 was not our lucky number

    4th septum resection on 5/31/13.
    Baby #9: 6/29/13 BFP. C section scheduled for March 5th!

    My miracle baby was born March 5 at 9:33am. He was 8 lbs 12.5 oz and 21.25 inches long!

    image"">

  • A lot of enlisted people make great money though. i know a lot of enlisted people who have 5 children and live very comfortably
    Are both parents working in this situation because this doesn't seem possible to me. OP I would start stocking up on things like diapers each paycheck (save the receipt so you can exchange them for different sizes if necessary). Breast feeding is free(if you go that route) WIC is also a good resource for things like formula, juice, milk, etc. and yard sales and Craigslist are great for items you don't need to buy new. (Pretty much everything besides the car seat)
    It's not impossible at all.  My husband is enlisted.  I do a few side jobs cleaning here and there and help a friend who is a wedding planner.  My money is just for extras like saving towards vacation.  However, we are a family of 6 and live quite comfortably.  We bought our house before my husband hit E-5.  Our 10th grader and 7th grader are currently in private school.  
    We budget well.  I use coupons to feed our family well for between $300-400 a month.  We eat healthy meals at home.  We eat out every other week.  We shop smart.  We buy frugally.  We don't live above our means, but we live comfortably.  We have all we need and then some.  
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    LaciJaxx
  • I'm honestly trying to figure out how an E-5 can make that much money... depending on years of service they only make a little over 2K a month. 10+ years they rank for 3K but most of the branches if you don't make the next rank by next up they are kicking your ass out. Yes BHA helps out a lot depending on the area but still....

    DH is only an E-3 but makes not much less than a E-5 and even with the BHA we are living paycheck to paycheck. For the longest time the only 'extra' we had was the internet the rest are all necessities. His one deployment was the only saving grace because of all the extra pay he got. 
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  • Well, clearly there are a lot of different enlisted ranks from junior enlisted who make very little, to senior enlisted who get paid more than some officers.  There is also career incentive pay, resigning bonuses, and special pays (like flight pay, jump pay, sea pay)....so while some junior ranks don't get paid nearly enough (in my opinion), some enlisted are quite will compensated.  And like everyone else has said, a lot of it comes down to how people manage their personal finances. I think ti's pretty naive to assume that just because someone is enlisted, they must be poor (or just because someone is an officer, they must be rich).  
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  • ufsandra85ufsandra85
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its Photogenic
    member
    edited October 2013
    In the navy all e ranks are enlisted. So e1-e9. My husband is enlisted he is an e8 nuke submariner. So he gets pro pay. Sub pay, sea pay, his nuke bonus, single bah and bas in addition to 18 year e8 base pay which all equals a Lot more than a i make as an officer

    Married 11/27/09 and TTC right away
    Dx: Complete septate uterus with cervical duplication, endometrial polyps, PCOS, endometriosis, hypo thyroid, luteal phase defect
    4 uterus surgeries to correct my complete septum and to remove polyps and 2 years of seeing the RE, medicated cycles and IUIs
    Baby 1 and 2: BFP 3/3/11 with 2 babies EDD 11/1/11, M/C 4/6/11
    Baby #3: 8/11 pregnant EDD 4/27/11 and m/c:(
    Baby #4: 10/12/11 BFP! EDD 6/16/12m/c 10/26/11
    Baby #5: 3/13/12 BFP! EDD 11/25/12 ANOTHER m/c :(

    Baby #6: 2/14/13- BFP! EDD 10/24/13, CP 2/19/13
    Baby #7: 3/15/13- BFP! EDD 11/27/13, another CP
    Baby #8.  BFP 5/19/13 EDD 1/22/14. 8 was not our lucky number

    4th septum resection on 5/31/13.
    Baby #9: 6/29/13 BFP. C section scheduled for March 5th!

    My miracle baby was born March 5 at 9:33am. He was 8 lbs 12.5 oz and 21.25 inches long!

    image"">

  • His e5 just re enlisted and go a 90k bonus. That is just his bonus. Many enlisted are paid well. Pick your rate pick your fate

    Married 11/27/09 and TTC right away
    Dx: Complete septate uterus with cervical duplication, endometrial polyps, PCOS, endometriosis, hypo thyroid, luteal phase defect
    4 uterus surgeries to correct my complete septum and to remove polyps and 2 years of seeing the RE, medicated cycles and IUIs
    Baby 1 and 2: BFP 3/3/11 with 2 babies EDD 11/1/11, M/C 4/6/11
    Baby #3: 8/11 pregnant EDD 4/27/11 and m/c:(
    Baby #4: 10/12/11 BFP! EDD 6/16/12m/c 10/26/11
    Baby #5: 3/13/12 BFP! EDD 11/25/12 ANOTHER m/c :(

    Baby #6: 2/14/13- BFP! EDD 10/24/13, CP 2/19/13
    Baby #7: 3/15/13- BFP! EDD 11/27/13, another CP
    Baby #8.  BFP 5/19/13 EDD 1/22/14. 8 was not our lucky number

    4th septum resection on 5/31/13.
    Baby #9: 6/29/13 BFP. C section scheduled for March 5th!

    My miracle baby was born March 5 at 9:33am. He was 8 lbs 12.5 oz and 21.25 inches long!

    image"">

  • A lot of enlisted people make great money though. i know a lot of enlisted people who have 5 children and live very comfortably
    Are both parents working in this situation because this doesn't seem possible to me. OP I would start stocking up on things like diapers each paycheck (save the receipt so you can exchange them for different sizes if necessary). Breast feeding is free(if you go that route) WIC is also a good resource for things like formula, juice, milk, etc. and yard sales and Craigslist are great for items you don't need to buy new. (Pretty much everything besides the car seat)
    It's not impossible at all.  My husband is enlisted.  I do a few side jobs cleaning here and there and help a friend who is a wedding planner.  My money is just for extras like saving towards vacation.  However, we are a family of 6 and live quite comfortably.  We bought our house before my husband hit E-5.  Our 10th grader and 7th grader are currently in private school.  
    We budget well.  I use coupons to feed our family well for between $300-400 a month.  We eat healthy meals at home.  We eat out every other week.  We shop smart.  We buy frugally.  We don't live above our means, but we live comfortably.  We have all we need and then some.  






    The private schools in our area run about 30k a year with financial assistance at about 17k leaving the parents with a 13k bill a year per kid give or take a little (some do offer discounts for multiple children). 

    I don't know the EXACT income my husband makes as we have separate bank accounts, but did the military pay change drastically recently and he's just not telling me?
    The school my kids go to starts at $9K/year.  That's the average cost of private school here.  Some are more, some are less.  
    Like I said, it is all about budgeting and how you spend.  
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  • I don't think the 100K comment was strictly base pay. I'd assume it's base pay, BAS, BAH, etc. DH is an E-6, and including all extras, he brings in 5k a month.
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  • A lot of pay comes from benefits (tax free, BAH, BAS, etc etc) rather than base salary.  Looking only at the base salary skews things.
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  • I think that my husband and I saved money moving on post.  We are both in the Army so that may have something to do with it.  But we work MAYBE 5 minutes from out job and daycare.  We carpool to PT and sometimes work.  Even though living on post they take all of your BAH, we dont have anything extra to worry about like trash, water sewage and garbage.  All we pay for is cable and internet.  It has helped us....a lot!
    If you knew better, you'd do better.
  • 100k a year? I don't even think an E-9 with more then 20 years in makes that! 

    I thought bonuses were out also- 90k bonus seems like an awful lot these days, and rather unlikely. 

    anyway- OP I'd say your best bet is to shop frugally, and buy used. Only thing I'd buy new is the carseat. Start buying diapers now, whether you cloth diaper, or use disposable diapers

    GL- 
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    image


  • ufsandra85ufsandra85
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its Photogenic
    member
    edited October 2013
    100k a year? I don't even think an E-9 with more then 20 years in makes that! 

    I thought bonuses were out also- 90k bonus seems like an awful lot these days, and rather unlikely. 

    anyway- OP I'd say your best bet is to shop frugally, and buy used. Only thing I'd buy new is the carseat. Start buying diapers now, whether you cloth diaper, or use disposable diapers

    GL- 
    nukes get that much for bonuses otherwise there is no incentive to stay in the navy

    when you add up bah, bas, bonuses, pro pay, sea pay, sub pay, etc there are many e7-e9 who make over 100k in certain communities. like i said before. pick your rate, pick your fate

    Married 11/27/09 and TTC right away
    Dx: Complete septate uterus with cervical duplication, endometrial polyps, PCOS, endometriosis, hypo thyroid, luteal phase defect
    4 uterus surgeries to correct my complete septum and to remove polyps and 2 years of seeing the RE, medicated cycles and IUIs
    Baby 1 and 2: BFP 3/3/11 with 2 babies EDD 11/1/11, M/C 4/6/11
    Baby #3: 8/11 pregnant EDD 4/27/11 and m/c:(
    Baby #4: 10/12/11 BFP! EDD 6/16/12m/c 10/26/11
    Baby #5: 3/13/12 BFP! EDD 11/25/12 ANOTHER m/c :(

    Baby #6: 2/14/13- BFP! EDD 10/24/13, CP 2/19/13
    Baby #7: 3/15/13- BFP! EDD 11/27/13, another CP
    Baby #8.  BFP 5/19/13 EDD 1/22/14. 8 was not our lucky number

    4th septum resection on 5/31/13.
    Baby #9: 6/29/13 BFP. C section scheduled for March 5th!

    My miracle baby was born March 5 at 9:33am. He was 8 lbs 12.5 oz and 21.25 inches long!

    image"">

  • As PPs have suggested, go to ACS and find out what assistance is available for you on post.  I know they give out free car seats here, and that's where you sign up for the budgeting classes.  I'm all for cloth diapering (I love it!) and BFing but I would imagine BFing twins would be very difficult.  One of my coworkers told me the CDC actually gave them free formula for their child.  I'm not sure if that was just where we were located or if they all do that?  Just something else to check out.  If you're at all interested in going the CDC route you should get a job and get on the waiting list immediately.  In most places you having a job will put you in a higher priority category so you'll get in quicker.  Most places do have a long wait list so you want to sign up ASAP.  And of course hit the thrift shop and go to yard sales on post.  People in the military have tons of kids so you can get almost everything you need used.  Baby Bargains is a great book to read for hints on how to save on buying stuff for baby.
  • Um, wow, kind of got off topic. Anyway we saved money by buying things on sale, using coupons and buying used. We bought a lot of clothes from a church thrift store and were also lucky in that we have a lot of hand me downs from my SIL. Also ask for gift cards at your baby shower. Some people will buy whatever they want but usually family will understand. That way you can buy what you need.
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  • Just wanted to say good luck! I'm sure with all the great advice you have gotten you will be able to work it out.

    Mom to Madison- 5 and Lillian 2....and now surprise baby #3!
  • We are AF and have something called an Airman's attic. It has things that other AF at that base can donate to and you can go in and get items you need for free. I'm not sure if there is something like that for every branch but it has helped us out a lot! We got a washer and drier when we pcs' d to the states from Portugal. We pretty much had nothing being newly weds and a baby on the way. Maybe your base has something similar and that can get you the cribs you need or changing tables. Good luck! We are e4 AF and expecting our #2 :/ excited but nervous about our budget too! Our base doesn't do foregoing your bah because our housing is privatized :(
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